Careers in community bedrocks like schools, hospitals, and law firms are here to stay.
By Yahoo! Education Staff
Everyone’s heard about outsourcing and job cuts. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that while the economy is changing and employment patterns are evolving, there are some bedrock institutions – and jobs – that aren’t going away.
Just take a look around and you’ll see examples of jobs that are here to stay, at least in some capacity. Almost every community, big or small, has a medical office, a law firm, a school, a police department, a drugstore and other “bedrocks” that provide employment.
Check out these seven jobs that will stick around the neighborhood – and how you can qualify…
Career #1 – Police Officer
From patrolling the streets to running security for parades to apprehending criminals, police officers provide a valuable service that no community – big or small – can do without. [Search for Criminal Justice degree programs]
Job Forecast: The U.S. Department of Labor anticipates employment of police officers to grow 10 percent from 2008 to 2018 (about as fast as the average for all occupations). And, as the Department of Labor notes, police officers who lose their jobs due to budget cuts usually have very little trouble finding jobs with other agencies.
Training: If you’re thinking about becoming a police officer, look into earning a criminal justice degree to help you on your way.
Pay: Police officers have an average annual salary of $51,410. Differences in salary largely depend on location. The highest ten percent average at more than $79,680.
Career #2 – Paralegal
In this world of contracts and litigation, lawyers are essential to local businesses and individuals – and paralegals, who help lawyers prepare for trials and prepare legal arguments, are essential to lawyers.
Job Forecast: The Department of Labor expects a 28 percent growth rate for these jobs between 2008 and 2018. They also anticipate the need for more paralegals as intellectual property, health care, elder issues, and environmental law become increasingly important to our communities.
Training: If you’re interested in pursuing a paralegal career, check out associate’s degree programs in paralegal studies. If you already have a bachelor’s degree, consider earning a paralegal certificate.
Pay: Paralegal salaries can vary. Working for a large law firm or in a big city, for example, will typically pay more. The average annual salary for paralegals is around $46,120, though the top ten percent can earn more than $73,450. In addition to a salary, many paralegals receive bonuses.
Career #3 – Accountant
Whether you live in a big city or small town, there’s probably an accounting firm that many neighborhood businesses use. And it’s no surprise – accountants do a lot more than just prepare taxes. Local businesses rely on them for everything from bookkeeping to helping plan growth strategies.
Job Forecast: Accountants are important advisors and team members for our local business communities, and as the number of businesses increase, so will the number of jobs for accountants. The Department of Labor estimates employment of accountants will grow by 22 percent between 2008 and 2018.
Training: If you want to become an accountant, consider earning your bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. You can advance your career by earning your Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification.
Pay: Accountants have an average annual salary of $59,430, with top earners averaging at more than $102,380 per year. Accountants who provide services for private businesses typically earn more than accountants who work for state or local governments.
Career #4 – Health Care Administrator
Health care administrators help improve the quality of health care; control costs; interface with insurance companies; and oversee patient record security. At first glance it might not be clear why these jobs are essential to every community, but as the health care industry expands we will need administrators to help keep hospitals and physician’s offices running smoothly.
Job Forecast: The Department of Labor predicts that employment of medical and health services managers will grow 16 percent from 2008 to 2018.
Training: A bachelor’s degree in health care administration should prepare you for an entry-level position in a smaller facility or department. For larger facilities, consider a master’s degree in health services administration.
Pay: Health care administrators have an average annual salary of $80,240. Higher salaries tend to be found in hospital settings.
Career #5 – Pharmacy Technician
People rely on their local pharmacy for their prescription needs. Pharmacy technicians help ensure that those pharmacies run smoothly and efficiently. With health care changes, more people will have prescription drug coverage, which will put a greater demand on local pharmacies – and as a result, increase the need for pharmacy technicians.
Job Forecast: This is another career with much higher than average employment growth anticipated. The Department of Labor expects employment of pharmacy technicians to grow 25 percent from 2008 to 2018 according to the Department of Labor. That’s 96,300 new jobs!
Training: Pharmacy associate’s degrees or certificate programs are a good way to go if you’re interested in a career as a pharmacy technician.
Pay: Pharmacy technicians earn $13.32 per hour on average, though the highest 10 percent can earn more than $18.98. Keep in mind that certified technicians may earn more than non-certified technicians.
Career #6 – Registered Nurse (RN)
People need to physically visit their health care providers – or have their health care providers come to them – in order to get the care they need, which makes nurses essential to local communities.
Job Forecast: Many employers are currently reporting difficulty in hiring enough RNs to handle their current workload, and more jobs will become available as the numbers of our elderly continue to grow. According to the Department of Labor, employment of registered nurses is expected to grow by 22 percent from 2008 to 2018.
Training: To become a registered nurse, you’ll need a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing (BSN), an associate degree in nursing (ADN), or a diploma from an approved nursing program. You’ll also need to complete a national licensing examination in order to obtain a nursing license.
Pay: Registered nurses have an average annual salary of $62,450. Nurses working in hospitals generally have higher salaries than those employed in nursing care facilities. The top ten percent of registered nurses average at about $92,240 per year.
Career #7 – Teacher
Whether your town’s population is 500 or 5,000, every community needs schools and teachers. Teachers provide an essential service that cannot be outsourced. And while times may be tough in education right now, the kids aren’t going anywhere.
Job Forecast: The Department of Labor expects employment of kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers to grow by 13 percent between 2008 and 2018. There is an even higher demand for teachers who specialize in mathematics, science, and bilingual education.
Training: If you’re ready to start your career as a teacher, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree from a teacher education program. If you want to be a secondary school teacher, major in the subject you plan to teach and take a program of study in teacher preparation.
Pay: The average annual salary of kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers ranges from $47,100 to $51,180. According to the American Federation of Teachers, beginning teachers with a bachelor’s degree earn an average of $33,227. Getting a master’s degree or national certification can also get you a raise in pay.
Unless otherwise noted, all salary information is from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2008.