Tag: career choices

Hot careers with high pay potential

Hot careers with high pay potential

Want to pursue an in-demand career? Check out these six fast-growing careers with solid earning potential. One health care career has a median wage of $86K a year and is projected to grow 22% by 2020.

Medical and Health Services Manager

With all of the changes in the health care system in recent years, it’s no wonder that the U.S. Department of Labor projects medical and health services managers to be in great demand.

In fact, the Department of Labor projects job growth in this sector to be faster than the average, at 22 percent, from 2010 to 2020. One main reason for their projected growth? An increased number of physicians, patients, and procedures, the Department says. In effect, managers will be needed to organize and oversee the medical information and staffs.

To get into specifics, medical and health services managers work to improve the efficiency and delivery of health care services, says the Department. How? By keeping up on new laws and regulations for facilities, managing hospital finances, communicating with the members of medical staff, and more.

Education Options: Most medical and health service managers have at least a bachelor’s degree in health administration. However, a master’s degree in health services, public health, or business administration (MBA) is also common.

Median Annual Wage: $86,400
Wage for Top 10 Percent of Workers: $147,890
Wage for Bottom 10 Percent of Workers: $52,730

Hot careers with high pay potential


Do you get fired up at the thought of balancing your checkbook? Do you absolutely love tax season – or at least not hate it? You could be accountant material, and that’s a good thing if you’re looking for a high-growth career.

In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor projects that nearly 200,000 accountant jobs will be created (a 16 percent increase) from 2010 to 2020. The Department of Labor says this stellar job forecast is due to the recent corporate financial crises and stricter laws and regulations in the financial sector – all of which require an increased focus on accounting.

As for their daily responsibilities, accountants do everything from help businesses reduce costs, prepare tax returns, examine financial statements, comply with financial regulations, and communicate with management about a business’s financial operations, says the Department.

Education Options: The majority of accountants and auditors need at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Some employers may prefer a master’s degree in accounting or business administration (MBA) with a concentration in accounting.

Median Annual Wage: $62,850
Wage for Top 10 Percent of Workers: $109,870
Wage for Bottom 10 Percent of Workers: $39,640

Elementary School Teacher

Do you want to pursue a growing career that involves mentoring the next generation? A gig as an elementary school teacher could be in your lesson plan.

Why? Because this career is hot – at least according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2012 list of “Occupations with the largest job growth.” Elementary teacher ranked number 15, with a projected 248,800 jobs created from 2010 to 2020. However, keep in mind that faster growth is expected in the South and West of the country, thanks to more student enrollment. Growth will be slower in the Midwest and Northeast.

Elementary school teachers teach grades first through fifth and sometimes sixth, seventh, and eighth, according to the Department of Labor. It goes on to say that these teachers often teach many subjects, like math, English, reading, and science.

Education Options: Every state requires public elementary teachers to earn a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and have a state-issued certification or license. Some states also require elementary school teachers to major in a specific content area, such as math or science.

Median Annual Wage: $52,840
Wage for Top 10 Percent of Workers: $81,230
Wage for Bottom 10 Percent of Workers: $34,910

Network and Computer Administrators

Can you name one medium-sized to big business that isn’t totally or partially dependant on computers? We’re guessing you’re drawing a blank right now. So it’s no surprise that the U.S. Department of Labor projects jobs for network and computer administrators to grow by a whopping 28 percent, or nearly 100,000 positions, by 2010 to 2020.

The Department of Labor says this is because businesses will invest in newer, faster technology and require better security. As a result, “More administrators with proper training will be needed to reinforce network and system security,” says the Department.

In terms of their day-to-day tasks, network and computer administrators organize, install, and support a business’s computer systems. If you’re a computer lover, you’ll likely also love this gig, since your work life will be dealing with such things as local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and intranets, adds the Department.

Education Options: A bachelor’s degree in a computer or information science related field is most common for this career. Some positions, however, require only an associate’s degree or a certificate in a computer field, along with some related work experience.

Median Annual Wage: $70,970
Wage for Top 10 Percent of Workers: $112,210
Wage for Bottom 10 Percent of Workers: $43,400

Human Resources Specialist

Are you a good judge of people? Maybe you have a knack for ascertaining their strengths and weaknesses? If so, a career as a human resources specialist might be worth considering – especially since it is projected to have stellar job opportunities.

How stellar? According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the occupation of human resources specialist is projected to grow by 21 percent from 2010 to 2020. That’s due to a number of factors, including the increased emphasis on finding and keeping quality employees.

As a human resources specialist, you would help recruit, screen, and place workers into appropriate positions. You also might do things like assess company needs, interview job applicants, process their paperwork, and perform employee orientations, says the Department of Labor.

Education Options: “Most positions require a bachelor’s degree,” says the Department. “When hiring a human resources generalist, for example, most employers prefer applicants who have a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business, or a related field.”

Median Annual Wage: $54,310
Wage for Top 10 Percent of Workers: $94,700
Wage for Bottom 10 Percent of Workers: $29,850

Registered Nurse

Are you looking for a career that helps people improve their health? Look no further than registered nursing. These are the caregivers who perform diagnostic tests and explain patient treatments, among other things, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. You’ll also be happy to hear that these vital health care workers will be in great demand.

In fact, the Department of Labor put registered nurses at the top of its 2012 list of “Occupations with the largest job growth.” It projects more than 700,000 nursing jobs to be created from 2010 to 2020 (that’s a 26 percent growth rate, by the way).

What gives for this high growth? The Department says “Growth will occur primarily because of technological advancements; an increased emphasis on preventive care; and the large, aging baby boomer population who will demand more health care services as they live longer and more active lives.”

Education Options: An associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) or a diploma from an approved nursing program are two education paths commonly taken by registered nurses. They must also be licensed.

Median Annual Wage: $65,950
Wage for Top 10 Percent of Workers: $96,630
Wage for Bottom 10 Percent of Workers: $44,970

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Great career choices for trendsetters

Great career choices for trendsetters

If you’re the type that’s usually ahead of the curve, you might be well-suited for these professions.

Marketing Manager

If you have an eye for new trends, a career as a marketing manager is one option to consider. Whether it’s for developing new items or finding innovative ways to advertise existing products, as a marketing manager you could use your trendsetting skills to monitor new fads for promoting your company’s products or services.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, marketing managers usually work with a team of advertising and promotion managers, product development managers, and market research managers. They might play any number of roles in areas like market research, product development – even pricing and advertising.

Fashion Designer

Do you have a passion for fashion? Consider a career in fashion design where you could spot trends and predict the styles, colors, and fabrics that people might be drawn to next season.

By researching trends in the economy and society, fashion designers can create designs that appeal better to the public, says the U.S. Department of Labor. After sketching their designs, they generally work with textile designers and manufacturers to select fabrics, draw sketches, and create prototypes.

Foreign Correspondent

If you hope to explore the world and learn about different cultures, a career as a foreign correspondent might be right up your alley. In this type of career, you could have the opportunity to bring important world issues and trends into the spotlight by gathering information, creating stories, and delivering international news to viewers or readers back home, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Assigned to a country by a publication or station, foreign correspondents usually work under strict deadlines, says the Department of Labor. You might be asked to report the news from the location of a war zone or at the scene of a natural disaster.

Interior Designer

Do you enjoy decorating your home or office? As an interior designer, you could give decorating advice to clients and illustrate the latest interior design trends.

By listening to a client’s needs and wishes, interior designers can create a design that fulfills those requests, says the U.S. Department of Labor. And even though those designs will need to be created with building/safety codes – and budget – in mind, interior designers can still bring their creativity to the table and deliver something that makes the client say, “Wow!”


Do you love food and enjoy testing new recipes? As a chef, you could put your culinary creativity and trendsetting nature to use, finding new ways to suit the public’s palate by staying in touch with culinary trends, such as healthier alternatives or sustainable food sources.

In addition to overseeing the daily duties of a kitchen staff, chefs might play a role in preparing cost estimates for food and supplies, making work schedules, developing recipes, and planning menus, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

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Five tough jobs with low pay, high stress

Five tough jobs with low pay, high stress

These careers can be compelling and offer important services, but they are far from easy.

What makes a job awful? Lousy growth potential? A micromanaging boss? Unsupportive, lazy colleagues? One website surveyed workers in a variety of industries and discovered that it’s not high stress or low pay that determines career misery — it’s both. The combination of being stressed out and broke trumps all other career-related gripes.

Certainly there are higher-stress jobs out there, but if the pay is good, workers seem willing to bear the anxiety. Likewise, for the totally stress-averse, there are plenty of jobs that won’t ruffle feathers, but also likely won’t pay well.

Unfortunately, as with chemical-dependency counselors or parole officers, many of the workers dealing with high stress and low pay provide essential social services. “We can’t have a society with no probation officers, no social workers,” says Al Lee, director of quantitative analysis at PayScale.com. “We should maybe talk about where we want to spend our money as a society.”

The following is a list of jobs and their annual salaries from PayScale.com that have the double-whammy of high stress and low pay:

1. Supportive Residential Counselor – Median Annual Salary: $26,900

It’s not hard to imagine that running a residential home for the mentally ill or physically disabled would be demanding and stressful at times. But when you add the challenge of maneuvering through the tangled bureaucracies that often accompany any public-service infrastructure, you have all the makings of a stressful job.

Just ask Paula S. Gilbert, a licensed mental health counselor who held a full-time supervisory position in a residential home for mentally ill young adults. The home is overseen by the New York State Office of Mental Health. At the time, Gilbert had more than four years of work experience, and earned around $38,000 per year. She quit after about a year, but not because of the salary.

“The staff was very difficult to manage, and no one was really helping me,” she says. “There was an overall lack of support and training. I pieced things together day by day. It was very high-stress.”

2. Import / Export Agent – Median Annual Salary: $36,700

Import/export agents are typically found at the center of deals where goods are bought and sold internationally. They act as mediators and sometimes facilitators between the buyer and seller. Agents must abide by a strict set of rules and guidelines on international trade. The job is highly stressful, in part, because it’s commission-based. If you’re not able to get all parties to come to an agreement, your paycheck disappears with their deal.

3. Chemical-Dependency Counselor – Median Annual Salary: $38,900

These counselors deal with addicted individuals who are often in the throes of a calamitous life event. And rather than accepting the help of a counselor voluntarily, many of these people are legally required to take it. While the work can be compelling, substance-abuse counseling ranks as one of the most difficult social work jobs due to its emotional challenges. Watching clients relapse and sometimes become ill or die can take its toll.

4. Probation Officer – Median Annual Salary: $39,900

Probation officers spend the majority of their time working in prisons, courthouses and detention centers. They supervise and follow up with sentenced offenders, often working with social workers and other care providers to ensure that offenders are attempting to live lawfully.

“I don’t remember many happy days of my job,” says Charles Merwin, a retired probation officer in Suffolk County, New York. “The system is challenged. The people are troubled. You had to be a little bit good at everything. You had to remind yourself you were doing good work.”

5. News Reporter – Median Annual Salary: $40,900

Digging up details on the latest news story is hard work. The financial struggles that have plagued the newspaper industry in recent years make this role even more stressful. Still, many news reporters might not want to change to a lower-stress career because the work wouldn’t feel as important.

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Careers with strong growth potential

Careers with strong growth potential

Whether you’re just starting out or switching professions, check out these promising fields.

Looking to rebound from the recession in a new, growing career? Whether you’re on the brink of embarking on your first career, switching careers, or looking for work after a slump, the good news is that there are some careers that aren’t going anywhere. Check out these careers with strong growth factors – then see if any are right for you.

Career 1 – Accountant

If you’re comfortable working with numbers, there’s lots of opportunity out there for helping individuals and companies manage their money as an accountant. To qualify for this role, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related area, says the U.S. Department of Labor.

Growth Factor: The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that between 2008 and 2018, accounting will be one of the fastest-growing occupations in the country with 22 percent growth. The profession is projected to add 279,000 jobs in the ten year time frame.

What Accountants Do: Accountants balance books, prepare tax returns, keep management informed on the company’s financial health, and help the company exercise sound judgment when buying assets of any kind.

Career 2 – Registered Nurse (RN)

Want to pursue opportunities in a growing – and rewarding – industry? Look into earning either an associate’s or bachelor’s in nursing or a nursing diploma.

Growth Factor: The U.S. Department of Labor says nursing will grow 22 percent from 2008 and 2018. Translated to the number of jobs, that’s 581,500 new RN positions.

What RNs Do: RNs provide patient care and education to those with medical conditions. They might administer medication, perform diagnostic tests, and run blood drives.

Career 3 – Computer Systems Analyst

If you’re looking for a growing career that requires big-picture thinking, computer systems analyst might be the right option for you. Consider earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field.

Growth Factor: The U.S. Department of labor projects 20 percent job growth (108,100 computer systems analyst positions) from 2008-2018.

What Computer Systems Analysts Do: Computer systems analysts help implement and improve existing computer systems, reviewing capabilities, analyzing requirements, and making recommendations for software.

Career 4 – Dental Assistant

If you’re looking for careers with a strong rebound factor, dental assisting takes the cake. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, this is one of the fastest growing professions from 2008-2018. The best part: You could potentially qualify to pursue opportunities in this field with a one-year dental assisting program.

Growth Factor: The U.S. Department of Labor expects 36 percent growth (105,600 new jobs) in this field between 2008 and 2018.

What Dental Assistants Do: Dental assistants perform a variety of functions in a dentist’s office, including preparing patients for procedures and updating dental records.

Career 5 – Computer Support Specialist

If there’s one industry that shows no signs of slowing down, it’s computer technology. Prepare for opportunities in one section of this growing field with an associate’s degree in information technology or computer science.

Growth Factor: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, this profession is projected to experience 14 percent growth from 2008-2018. That’s 78,000 new jobs.

What Computer Support Specialists Do: Technical support specialists provide support and advice to computer users, writing training manuals, responding to questions, and resolving technical issues.

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Does your resumé make you look old?

Does your resumé make you look old?

You might be wise not to broadcast when you got your university degree.

Been applying for work and have little to show for it? Don’t assume the lousy job market is solely to blame. Your résumé could be working against you as well. Best practices for resume writing have changed in recent years, said Wendy Enelow, a management trainer and author of “Expert Résumés for Baby Boomers.” If you have not held, your document can be a sign that you passed your choice.

1. Exaggerate contacts

Multiple phone numbers to summarize the look, you’re a dinosaur, if you specify a fax!

The solution: Instead, simply enter your mobile number and e-mail – without labeling them as such, “said executive coach Donald Asher, author of” The Night Summary.”

2. Relying on clichés

Some language has become so common in resumes that he is now virtually meaningless.

The solution: Skip these words and phrases that LinkedIn to be the most overused in resumes online: innovative, motivated, broad experience, results-oriented, dynamic, proven team player, fast, problem solving, and entrepreneurship. Instead, use keywords from the job, which will help you go beyond the resume-scanning programs, many businesses use today.

3. Do not describe former employers

A young manager of recruitment may not have the same scope of industry knowledge that you are doing, and will not be able to put your experience in context.

The solution: “Unless it’s a Fortune 500 company, add a line like” private company that manufactures pencils in the world, “says Patricia Lenkov, CEO of Agility Executive Search in New York.

4. Using the format obsolete

For your first resume, you may have learned to put dates on the left, but this is not the way he did more.

The fix: List of years – not months, which are only relevant for recent graduates – on the right after your title and company,” said Asher.

5. The sub-self-employment

Job seekers are often too vague on the timing of self-employment, which makes them look like periods of unemployment, “said Lenkov.

The fix: Be specific about the projects you discussed and the names of some of your customers, if you have permission.

6. Lead with a goal

“It’s all about what you want from the company,” says Enelow executive coach. “What is the management company? Are you the scoop in this market.”

The solution: Start with a profile or career summary focusing on what you can contribute. This person might say 15-plus years of experience “the spearhead of the global campaigns of business development. (Why not 28?” Fifteen-plus communicates well qualified, but not on the hill, “says Enelow. ) You can also leave a bulleted list of expertise, such as “developing new clients” or “make financial projections.”

7. Reveal When you got your degrees

Scary as it is, the hiring manager may not yet born.

The solution: Take off grad dates. “Are we fooling anyone by doing it? No, Enelow says, “but at least we’re not slapping them in the face.”

8. Delving too deeply into the past

Your first work experiences are probably far from the level and type of work you do today.

The solution: In general, return just 15 years unless you have significant achievements before, Enelow said.

9. Showcasing Run-of-the-Mill Skills

Declare your familiarity with MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel, or gives the impression that if you just come on board.

The fix: List as specialized software (such as Quick-Books) or new technologies (platform programming Ruby on Rails, for example), said Garrett Miller, a former hiring manager for Pfizer, which now holds CoTria, a consulting firm in workplace productivity.

10. Noting the passive activities

While recreation can create common ground, “said Miller, you do not want to highlight those that make you seem sedentary or without energy.

The fix: Sports such as cycling or running to demonstrate the vibrancy, as well as the activities in which you give – organize a fund-raising, for example. Experts recommended time noting the religious activities such as singing in a church choir, but that has changed and these activities telegraph integrity, a quality that is very important to hiring managers today said Miller.

11. Give little attention to the recent experience

Many older job seekers are hamstrung by outdated rules requiring resume to fit on one page, and so they have their recent crisis – and relevant – the experience until he says nothing.

The solution: Expand your resume to two or three pages is perfectly acceptable for someone in their forties or fifties. Devote half a page to your most recent job, Lenkov said. Ball and action-oriented highlights, making sure to include quantifiable accomplishments such as “Reduced costs by 16% over two years.”

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