9 Jobs You May Not Have Considered (But Should)
These days, it may seem like a decent job is hard to find. Unemployment is still on the high side, and many people have left the workforce altogether. But there are decent and meaningful jobs out there for people who are willing to think outside the box.
Consider these nine professions that offer solid work, and in many cases, good pay and a growing demand for applicants.
1. Welder (in North Dakota and Many Other Places)
Former "Dirty Jobs" host Mike Rowe recently offered some career advice to a young person and noted that welders in North Dakota were "writing their own ticket."
He may have been overstating things a bit, but there's no doubt that the oil boom in that state and elsewhere has opened up a lot of job opportunities for people who have the skills to cut and shape metal. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said job growth for welders is projected to be slower than normal nationwide but notes that "skilled welders with up-to-date training should find good job opportunities." It's challenging and somewhat dangerous work, but with an average salary of $36,500, it pays OK for a job that does not require a college degree.
2. Hospice Worker
Americans are getting older, and more families are faced with making difficult decisions regarding loved ones near the end of their lives. Hospice workers will assist in making a person's last days as comfortable as possible, and work with palliative care specialists to ease physical pain and suffering. While many hospice workers are doctors, there are social workers, counselors, and health aides that play very important roles and do not hold advanced degrees. It is not easy work, nor is it particularly high paying. But it could be one of the most meaningful jobs out there.
3. Personal Care and Home Health Aides
Like hospice workers, these jobs are more in demand as we look to assist an aging baby boomer population. The job outlook for these positions is good, with more than a million new jobs expected in the next eight years. Many aides will need a nursing degree or other medical training, but some aide positions only require a high school diploma. If you like helping the elderly, there may be jobs for you in the coming years.
According to one report, an increasing number of women are turning to doulas for support during their pregnancy and the childbirth. A doula — also referred to as a labor companion or labor support specialist — provides emotional support for pregnant mothers and can help communicate with doctors about your care. They differ from midwives, who are trained to actually deliver babies.
If you love the idea of helping to bring a child into the world but aren't in a position to go to medical school, this could be the job for you.
5. Instructional Coordinator
If you're interested in education but aren't sure you want to be a classroom teacher, this is an alternative path. Instructional coordinators work to oversee school standards and establish and enforce curriculum. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said job growth outlook is strong due to recent calls to improve school curriculums and evaluate the effectiveness of teachers. Most instructional coordinators will need a Master's degree, but median annual pay is quite competitive at more than $60,000.
6. Genetic Counselor
In recent years, there has been great advancement in the area of genetic research, and doctors are now learning about the role genes play in the health of patients. A genetic counselor is someone who works with individuals and families to assess the risk of certain medical conditions or birth defects. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said job growth is expected to rise 41% between 2012 and 2022. You'll need a Master's degree, and many genetic counselors earn a PhD.
If you're not afraid of some hard work, there are some opportunities for anyone willing to help out on a construction site. Construction laborers are in demand, with nearly 260,000 new jobs expected between 2012 and 2022, according to BLS. Demand for these jobs is expected to grow about 25% faster than average.
8. Air Traffic Controller
Sit in front of a screen and direct planes in the sky? It may not seem glamorous, but it's hugely important work and very well paying. A typical air traffic controller makes about $122,000 per year, according to BLS, and a college degree isn't even required. The number of positions in this field isn't expected to grow much over the next 10 years, however.
9. Gaming Surveillance Officer
This may be a little more interesting than a typical security job. If you work in the gaming surveillance field, you work at a casino and monitor live video feeds of the gambling floor. There is a growing demand for these jobs as all but a handful of states have legalized casinos in recent years.
Do you do any of these jobs? Please share your experience in comments!