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Archive for April, 2011

12 Money-Making Certificates

Laid off and looking to flee the floundering industry that sent you packing?
Not to worry: Minimum wage work is not your only option.
Whether you’re in dire need of a new career, trying to earn more at your current gig or you’re returning to work after a prolonged hiatus at home with the kids, a certificate program from a community college or vocational school is the swiftest way to pump up your earning potential.
“Many people refer to community college as the new master’s degree,” says Dr. Laurence Shatkin, author of more than a dozen books for job hunters, including 150 Best Recession-Proof Jobs. “It’s a way to repurpose yourself.”
As an added bonus, countless certificate programs train you for cubicle-free jobs – good news for weary office workers who’d like a change of scenery.
Certificate programs vary in length, averaging six months to a year, with evening, weekend, and online classes frequently available. Costs range from several hundred to several thousand dollars (happily, financial aid is sometimes offered for those who qualify).
Review the list below and make note of which certificate programs appeal to you or build on what you already know.

1. Court reporter certificate program.

Can you type like the wind? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, court reporters remain in high demand — by both the justice system and the television industry, which hires these workers to create closed captioning text. Average salary: $39,781 a year.

2. Auto insurance appraiser certificate program.

Appraisers have the best of both worlds: Many split their time between the office and the field, traveling to homes and auto shops to write up repair estimates for crumpled cars. While most work for insurance companies, some are self-employed. Average salary: $50,165 a year.

3. Auto or motorcycle mechanic certificate program.

Are you happiest when wielding a wrench? “Mechanic jobs are particularly good in a recession because people are trading in their cars less,” Shatkin says. In other words, there’s no shortage of clunkers in need of repair. Average salary: $41,233 a year.

4. Massage therapist certificate program.

If you think the economy is keeping people from getting a massage, you’re wrong. The American Massage Therapy Association found that 36 percent of Americans got a massage to relieve stress in 2008, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects these jobs to increase by 20 percent before 2016. Average salary: $35,349 a year.

5. Security and fire alarm system installer certificate program.

Do you live to tinker with electronic devices? Then installing, maintaining, and repairing residential and commercial alarm systems might be the ideal career for you. Most installation work requires driving to various job sites each day. Average salary: $42,763 a year.

6. Emergency medical technician certificate program.

Why sit at a desk all day when you could be out there saving lives? Despite the recession, people will continue to “crash their cars and have heart attacks in the middle of the night,” reminds Shatkin. EMT certification requirements vary by state. Average salary: $30,530 a year.

7. Aerobics or fitness instructor certificate program.

If you’re already a workout fiend, why not get paid for pumpin’ it up? Job openings for exercise instructors are expected to increase by 25 percent over the next decade, Shatkin says, with most located at health clubs and fitness centers. Average salary: $37,113 a year.

8. Medical transcriptionist certificate program.

With healthcare the fastest-growing job sector, there’s plenty of work for those who can decipher and type up the audio recordings doctors make about their patients. While a majority of transcriptionists work in a hospital or doctor’s office, many telecommute from home. Average salary: $31,286 a year.

9. Cosmetologist certificate program.

Are you the person everyone calls for beauty advice? Then why not go pro? Cosmetologists are trained to cut, style, and chemically treat hair, as well as to treat skin and nails. Bonus: Schedules are flexible and self-employment is common. Average salary: $27,112 a year.

10. Language interpreter certificate program.

Maybe you grew up speaking two languages or picked one up while traveling abroad. If so, hospitals, courtrooms, and social service agencies need your help. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in five interpreters works for themselves, and many work part time. Plus, oftentimes, only a one-day exam is needed to be certified. Average salary: $44,175 a year.

11. Sign language interpreter certificate program.

If you enjoy working with others in multiple settings — from live performances and business conferences to schools and social service agencies — translating the spoken word for the deaf could be the job for you. Average salary: $36,278 a year.

12. Embalmer certificate program.

Preparing the dead for their final resting place isn’t for everyone. But for those with a strong constitution, there’s job security in the funeral business — people won’t stop dying simply because the economy’s taken a turn for the worse. Average salary: $38,482 a year.
Source: All salary data is from PayScale. The salaries listed are median, annual salaries for full-time workers with 5-8 years of experience and include any bonuses, commissions or profit sharing.
—————————-

12 Money-Making Certificates

Laid off and looking to flee the floundering industry that sent you packing?
Not to worry: Minimum wage work is not your only option.
Whether you’re in dire need of a new career, trying to earn more at your current gig or you’re returning to work after a prolonged hiatus at home with the kids, a certificate program from a community college or vocational school is the swiftest way to pump up your earning potential.
“Many people refer to community college as the new master’s degree,” says Dr. Laurence Shatkin, author of more than a dozen books for job hunters, including 150 Best Recession-Proof Jobs. “It’s a way to repurpose yourself.”
As an added bonus, countless certificate programs train you for cubicle-free jobs – good news for weary office workers who’d like a change of scenery.
Certificate programs vary in length, averaging six months to a year, with evening, weekend, and online classes frequently available. Costs range from several hundred to several thousand dollars (happily, financial aid is sometimes offered for those who qualify).
Review the list below and make note of which certificate programs appeal to you or build on what you already know.

1. Court reporter certificate program.

Can you type like the wind? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, court reporters remain in high demand — by both the justice system and the television industry, which hires these workers to create closed captioning text. Average salary: $39,781 a year.

2. Auto insurance appraiser certificate program.

Appraisers have the best of both worlds: Many split their time between the office and the field, traveling to homes and auto shops to write up repair estimates for crumpled cars. While most work for insurance companies, some are self-employed. Average salary: $50,165 a year.

3. Auto or motorcycle mechanic certificate program.

Are you happiest when wielding a wrench? “Mechanic jobs are particularly good in a recession because people are trading in their cars less,” Shatkin says. In other words, there’s no shortage of clunkers in need of repair. Average salary: $41,233 a year.

4. Massage therapist certificate program.

If you think the economy is keeping people from getting a massage, you’re wrong. The American Massage Therapy Association found that 36 percent of Americans got a massage to relieve stress in 2008, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects these jobs to increase by 20 percent before 2016. Average salary: $35,349 a year.

5. Security and fire alarm system installer certificate program.

Do you live to tinker with electronic devices? Then installing, maintaining, and repairing residential and commercial alarm systems might be the ideal career for you. Most installation work requires driving to various job sites each day. Average salary: $42,763 a year.

6. Emergency medical technician certificate program.

Why sit at a desk all day when you could be out there saving lives? Despite the recession, people will continue to “crash their cars and have heart attacks in the middle of the night,” reminds Shatkin. EMT certification requirements vary by state. Average salary: $30,530 a year.

7. Aerobics or fitness instructor certificate program.

If you’re already a workout fiend, why not get paid for pumpin’ it up? Job openings for exercise instructors are expected to increase by 25 percent over the next decade, Shatkin says, with most located at health clubs and fitness centers. Average salary: $37,113 a year.

8. Medical transcriptionist certificate program.

With healthcare the fastest-growing job sector, there’s plenty of work for those who can decipher and type up the audio recordings doctors make about their patients. While a majority of transcriptionists work in a hospital or doctor’s office, many telecommute from home. Average salary: $31,286 a year.

9. Cosmetologist certificate program.

Are you the person everyone calls for beauty advice? Then why not go pro? Cosmetologists are trained to cut, style, and chemically treat hair, as well as to treat skin and nails. Bonus: Schedules are flexible and self-employment is common. Average salary: $27,112 a year.

10. Language interpreter certificate program.

Maybe you grew up speaking two languages or picked one up while traveling abroad. If so, hospitals, courtrooms, and social service agencies need your help. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in five interpreters works for themselves, and many work part time. Plus, oftentimes, only a one-day exam is needed to be certified. Average salary: $44,175 a year.

11. Sign language interpreter certificate program.

If you enjoy working with others in multiple settings — from live performances and business conferences to schools and social service agencies — translating the spoken word for the deaf could be the job for you. Average salary: $36,278 a year.

12. Embalmer certificate program.

Preparing the dead for their final resting place isn’t for everyone. But for those with a strong constitution, there’s job security in the funeral business — people won’t stop dying simply because the economy’s taken a turn for the worse. Average salary: $38,482 a year.
Source: All salary data is from PayScale. The salaries listed are median, annual salaries for full-time workers with 5-8 years of experience and include any bonuses, commissions or profit sharing.
—————————-

20 Jobs, Work Less, Earn More

It was a few hundred years ago that Benjamin Franklin made the observation that time is money. The same is still true today, and workers are constantly trying to strike the right work/life balance to get as much as they can of both. 
According to the American Time Use Survey (conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics), we’re still working an average of eight hours a day. And the most recent figures from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that the median annual income per household member is $36,036 per year.
There are some jobs, however, where you can work less and make more than the averages. The hours may not be significantly less generally between 35 and 38 hours a week but these jobs offer more value in both time and money. They all pay salaries that exceed that $36,036 median income. 
Here are 20 jobs we found that let you work less and earn more. These jobs require less than 40 hours of labor in a work week, but exceed the median annual income level in pay.* 
Hours/week: 23.5
Hours/year: 1,215
Annual earnings: $139,658
Hours/week: 38.4
Hours/year: 1,992
Annual earnings: $95,329
Hours/week: 37.5
Hours/year: 1,947
Annual earnings: $89,681
Hours/week: 35.9
Hours/year: 1,613
Annual earnings: $46,107
Hours/week: 38.1
Hours/year: 1,693
Annual earnings: $79,595
Hours/week: 35.6
Hours/year: 1,849
Annual earnings: $40,895
Hours/week: 38.7
Hours/year: 2,007
Annual earnings: $46,858
Hours/week: 38.1
Hours/year: 1,978
Annual earnings: $58,243
Hours/week: 37.9
Hours/year: 1,712
Annual earnings: $60,075
Hours/week: 38.0
Hours/year: 1,976
Annual earnings: $55,262
Hours/week: 38.6
Hours/year: 2,005
Annual earnings: $73,157
Hours/week: 34.1
Hours/year: 1,687
Annual earnings: $45,853
Hours/week: 38.4
Hours/year: 1,961
Annual earnings: $56,539
Hours/week: 35.2
Hours/year: 1644
Annual earnings: $168,353
Hours/week: 36.7
Hours/year: 1,852
Annual earnings: $48,698
Hours/week: 37.7
Hours/year: 1,959
Annual earnings: $113,375
Hours/week: 38.2
Hours/year: 1,722
Annual earnings: $69,543
Hours/week: 37.5
Hours/year: 1,611
Annual earnings: $33,499
Hours/week: 38.7
Hours/year: 2,009
Annual earnings: $39,877
Hours/week: 37.2
Hours/year: 1,898
Annual earnings: $65,644
By the numbers
All of these jobs allow you to work less and earn more, but some of these careers clearly give you more bang for your buck.
At the top of the list: Pilots, copilots and flight engineers, who average $114 an hour. Law teachers are close behind, averaging $102.32 an hour, followed by optometrists, who average $54.77 an hour.
Make it work
Obviously these jobs are not for everyone, but if you’re looking to strike a better balance between work and home, you may be able to approach your employer and negotiate alternatives to your current schedule.
Among the possibilities:
· You may be able to arrange to work from home on a recurring basis, or on days where you may have an appointment or personal commitment.
· Your manager or supervisor may also be willing to create a flexible scheduling arrangement, where you work four days a week to and have the fifth workday free.
· Companies may be willing to negotiate with workers who want extra vacation time, particularly unpaid time.
Discuss your ideas with your company. If time is more important to you than money, your employer may be very receptive to providing more time off for you versus financial compensation.
*All job descriptions are as defined in the National Compensation Survey, as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data taken from the survey are the mean hours and annual earnings. Actual earnings can vary based on a number of factors, including regional job market demands. 
—————————-

20 Jobs, Work Less, Earn More

It was a few hundred years ago that Benjamin Franklin made the observation that time is money. The same is still true today, and workers are constantly trying to strike the right work/life balance to get as much as they can of both. 
According to the American Time Use Survey (conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics), we’re still working an average of eight hours a day. And the most recent figures from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that the median annual income per household member is $36,036 per year.
There are some jobs, however, where you can work less and make more than the averages. The hours may not be significantly less generally between 35 and 38 hours a week but these jobs offer more value in both time and money. They all pay salaries that exceed that $36,036 median income. 
Here are 20 jobs we found that let you work less and earn more. These jobs require less than 40 hours of labor in a work week, but exceed the median annual income level in pay.* 
Hours/week: 23.5
Hours/year: 1,215
Annual earnings: $139,658
Hours/week: 38.4
Hours/year: 1,992
Annual earnings: $95,329
Hours/week: 37.5
Hours/year: 1,947
Annual earnings: $89,681
Hours/week: 35.9
Hours/year: 1,613
Annual earnings: $46,107
Hours/week: 38.1
Hours/year: 1,693
Annual earnings: $79,595
Hours/week: 35.6
Hours/year: 1,849
Annual earnings: $40,895
Hours/week: 38.7
Hours/year: 2,007
Annual earnings: $46,858
Hours/week: 38.1
Hours/year: 1,978
Annual earnings: $58,243
Hours/week: 37.9
Hours/year: 1,712
Annual earnings: $60,075
Hours/week: 38.0
Hours/year: 1,976
Annual earnings: $55,262
Hours/week: 38.6
Hours/year: 2,005
Annual earnings: $73,157
Hours/week: 34.1
Hours/year: 1,687
Annual earnings: $45,853
Hours/week: 38.4
Hours/year: 1,961
Annual earnings: $56,539
Hours/week: 35.2
Hours/year: 1644
Annual earnings: $168,353
Hours/week: 36.7
Hours/year: 1,852
Annual earnings: $48,698
Hours/week: 37.7
Hours/year: 1,959
Annual earnings: $113,375
Hours/week: 38.2
Hours/year: 1,722
Annual earnings: $69,543
Hours/week: 37.5
Hours/year: 1,611
Annual earnings: $33,499
Hours/week: 38.7
Hours/year: 2,009
Annual earnings: $39,877
Hours/week: 37.2
Hours/year: 1,898
Annual earnings: $65,644
By the numbers
All of these jobs allow you to work less and earn more, but some of these careers clearly give you more bang for your buck.
At the top of the list: Pilots, copilots and flight engineers, who average $114 an hour. Law teachers are close behind, averaging $102.32 an hour, followed by optometrists, who average $54.77 an hour.
Make it work
Obviously these jobs are not for everyone, but if you’re looking to strike a better balance between work and home, you may be able to approach your employer and negotiate alternatives to your current schedule.
Among the possibilities:
· You may be able to arrange to work from home on a recurring basis, or on days where you may have an appointment or personal commitment.
· Your manager or supervisor may also be willing to create a flexible scheduling arrangement, where you work four days a week to and have the fifth workday free.
· Companies may be willing to negotiate with workers who want extra vacation time, particularly unpaid time.
Discuss your ideas with your company. If time is more important to you than money, your employer may be very receptive to providing more time off for you versus financial compensation.
*All job descriptions are as defined in the National Compensation Survey, as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data taken from the survey are the mean hours and annual earnings. Actual earnings can vary based on a number of factors, including regional job market demands. 
—————————-

Careers that Earn You $40 per Hour

A $40-per-hour job provides an annual income of around $83,200. Not bad at all. How do you get to that level of earnings? Look at healthcare and IT jobs. You’ll likely need a degree and a good amount of training to get hired. But, if you’re looking to start a new job path and are willing to spend some time to prepare, the following careers will pay off.

1. Dental Hygienist – $33.19 -$41.92

A science-minded people person could shine in this job. Dental hygienist is one of the fastest-growing careers in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). One suspected reason is that, to cover costs, dentists are relying more and more on hygienists to carry the workload with patients. A high school diploma and college-entrance exam scores will get you into many two-year dental hygiene degree programs. Some programs require a year of college courses in science as a prerequisite. State licensure is also required after you graduate.

2. Physical Therapist (PT) – $34.74 – $45.00

As more baby boomers need help recovering from surgery and maintaining their mobility over the years, physical therapy is a career field that will grow. This job can offer flexible hours, and it allows you to work with people of all ages. Most physical therapists work in clinics or hospitals. Getting into a physical therapy career requires completing a bachelor’s degree, preferably in a science-related major, then earning a master’s or doctoral degree at an accredited institution. Further exams and licensure are typically needed, but the requirements vary somewhat by state.

3. Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) – $36.55 – $61.08

From stopping stuttering to reducing accents, speech-language pathologists help people with challenging speech problems get closer to “normal” speech. Many speech-language pathologists work in educational settings, while others work in healthcare or social assistance settings. They assess a patient’s issues, design a treatment plan and often collaborate with teachers and parents to ensure that the treatment plan is followed. A master’s degree is the standard level of education amongst speech-language pathologists, as well as licensure in most states.

4. Software Developer – $36.66 – $61.29

Employment for software developers is expected to grow 21 percent by 2018, making it one of the fastest growing careers in the U.S. Software developers need to have plenty of technical knowledge and be able to write code for computer software. They also must think creatively and find ways to solve problems so that the computer games, business applications and operating systems they design work well for the end user. This job can offer flexible, though often long, hours. Employers tend to look for applicants with a bachelor’s degree in a computer-science-related area and good knowledge of computer systems and technology. That said, a two-year degree can sometimes get you work if you’re able to prove yourself.

5. Certified Nurse Midwife – $37.42 – $51.25

Want a career with meaning? If you’re interested in supporting healthy mothers and healthy babies, working as a nurse midwife will give you plenty of opportunity to make a difference in the world. Be prepared to hit the books, first, though. Your best route to this career is to complete an undergraduate degree in nursing, then attend a certified nurse midwifery school. You will need to complete a written examination at the end of your training. At that point you will be an advance practice registered nurse who can work with an obstetrician to assist women before, during and after labor.

6. Industrial Designer – $30.52 – $48.72

Who’s behind the look and function of your external hard drive, television, new power tool and electronic toothbrush? An industrial designer. Industrial designers work on a large range of manufactured products, though individual designers often focus on a certain type of product. Designers work closely with engineers, materials scientists, marketing and corporate strategy staff, cost estimators, and accountants to produce the final product. Competition is stiff to get into this industry. A bachelor’s degree in a related area, like economics or engineering, is essential, and increasingly, designers are pursuing MBA degrees so they can assist in the business strategy around their designs.

7. Senior Web Developer – $39.03 – $66.28

Web developers are responsible for the technical aspects of website creation. Developers use software and other tools to create applications for the Web. They oversee a site’s production and implementation. A senior web developer is able to lead a team of web developers on a large project, taking full responsibility for the final product. Getting into this field requires, at the very least, an associate’s degree and a professional certification. To advance to a management role, you’ll likely find more opportunities with a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field.

8. Business Systems Analyst – $38.45 – $52.53

Here is a job for someone who loves maximizing profits and minimizing waste. A business systems analyst takes a look at a whole company, or a division of it, and works on making that organization more streamlined and profitable. Some business analysts specialize in technology while others focus on marketing or overall strategy. Questions they might address include: How much of a financial risk should the business be taking with its next product line? Should it be hiring, firing or keeping the same team? To get into this field you likely need at least a bachelor’s degree but, as you develop in your career, a master’s degree or some specialized training will likely be needed. Degrees in accounting, marketing, management and engineering can all support a business systems analyst career.

9. Veterinarian – $40.76 – $66.05

Do you love dogs, goats, cows and kittens? A career in veterinary medicine can put you right in the middle of the animal kingdom treating everything from upset stomachs to blood cancers. Veterinarians also sometimes contribute to research on treating human illnesses. The majority of veterinarians work for themselves in private practice. Competition to get into veterinary school is stiff. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree to apply. And, you’ll graduate with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. After that, a licensing test is required to start working. This test varies from state to state.

10. Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) – $38.91 – $54.51

Besides working in large, urban hospitals and bustling medical clinics, an advanced registered nurse practitioner can work as a main, medical care provider in a rural area of the country where doctors are in short supply. ARNPs examine patients, run diagnostic tests, prescribe medicines and therapy, assist with minor surgeries and more. Their on-the-job training is extensive and they must complete either a master’s or a doctorate degree, as well as passing a board certification exam. Finally, they must also be licensed in their state.

Source: All salary data provided by online salary database PayScale. Salaries listed are a range from the 50th to 90th percentile of hourly salaries for workers with 5-8 of experience and include any bonuses, commissions or profit sharing. 

—————————-

By Bridget Quigig for PayScale

Careers that Earn You $40 per Hour

A $40-per-hour job provides an annual income of around $83,200. Not bad at all. How do you get to that level of earnings? Look at healthcare and IT jobs. You’ll likely need a degree and a good amount of training to get hired. But, if you’re looking to start a new job path and are willing to spend some time to prepare, the following careers will pay off.

1. Dental Hygienist – $33.19 -$41.92

A science-minded people person could shine in this job. Dental hygienist is one of the fastest-growing careers in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). One suspected reason is that, to cover costs, dentists are relying more and more on hygienists to carry the workload with patients. A high school diploma and college-entrance exam scores will get you into many two-year dental hygiene degree programs. Some programs require a year of college courses in science as a prerequisite. State licensure is also required after you graduate.

2. Physical Therapist (PT) – $34.74 – $45.00

As more baby boomers need help recovering from surgery and maintaining their mobility over the years, physical therapy is a career field that will grow. This job can offer flexible hours, and it allows you to work with people of all ages. Most physical therapists work in clinics or hospitals. Getting into a physical therapy career requires completing a bachelor’s degree, preferably in a science-related major, then earning a master’s or doctoral degree at an accredited institution. Further exams and licensure are typically needed, but the requirements vary somewhat by state.

3. Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) – $36.55 – $61.08

From stopping stuttering to reducing accents, speech-language pathologists help people with challenging speech problems get closer to “normal” speech. Many speech-language pathologists work in educational settings, while others work in healthcare or social assistance settings. They assess a patient’s issues, design a treatment plan and often collaborate with teachers and parents to ensure that the treatment plan is followed. A master’s degree is the standard level of education amongst speech-language pathologists, as well as licensure in most states.

4. Software Developer – $36.66 – $61.29

Employment for software developers is expected to grow 21 percent by 2018, making it one of the fastest growing careers in the U.S. Software developers need to have plenty of technical knowledge and be able to write code for computer software. They also must think creatively and find ways to solve problems so that the computer games, business applications and operating systems they design work well for the end user. This job can offer flexible, though often long, hours. Employers tend to look for applicants with a bachelor’s degree in a computer-science-related area and good knowledge of computer systems and technology. That said, a two-year degree can sometimes get you work if you’re able to prove yourself.

5. Certified Nurse Midwife – $37.42 – $51.25

Want a career with meaning? If you’re interested in supporting healthy mothers and healthy babies, working as a nurse midwife will give you plenty of opportunity to make a difference in the world. Be prepared to hit the books, first, though. Your best route to this career is to complete an undergraduate degree in nursing, then attend a certified nurse midwifery school. You will need to complete a written examination at the end of your training. At that point you will be an advance practice registered nurse who can work with an obstetrician to assist women before, during and after labor.

6. Industrial Designer – $30.52 – $48.72

Who’s behind the look and function of your external hard drive, television, new power tool and electronic toothbrush? An industrial designer. Industrial designers work on a large range of manufactured products, though individual designers often focus on a certain type of product. Designers work closely with engineers, materials scientists, marketing and corporate strategy staff, cost estimators, and accountants to produce the final product. Competition is stiff to get into this industry. A bachelor’s degree in a related area, like economics or engineering, is essential, and increasingly, designers are pursuing MBA degrees so they can assist in the business strategy around their designs.

7. Senior Web Developer – $39.03 – $66.28

Web developers are responsible for the technical aspects of website creation. Developers use software and other tools to create applications for the Web. They oversee a site’s production and implementation. A senior web developer is able to lead a team of web developers on a large project, taking full responsibility for the final product. Getting into this field requires, at the very least, an associate’s degree and a professional certification. To advance to a management role, you’ll likely find more opportunities with a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field.

8. Business Systems Analyst – $38.45 – $52.53

Here is a job for someone who loves maximizing profits and minimizing waste. A business systems analyst takes a look at a whole company, or a division of it, and works on making that organization more streamlined and profitable. Some business analysts specialize in technology while others focus on marketing or overall strategy. Questions they might address include: How much of a financial risk should the business be taking with its next product line? Should it be hiring, firing or keeping the same team? To get into this field you likely need at least a bachelor’s degree but, as you develop in your career, a master’s degree or some specialized training will likely be needed. Degrees in accounting, marketing, management and engineering can all support a business systems analyst career.

9. Veterinarian – $40.76 – $66.05

Do you love dogs, goats, cows and kittens? A career in veterinary medicine can put you right in the middle of the animal kingdom treating everything from upset stomachs to blood cancers. Veterinarians also sometimes contribute to research on treating human illnesses. The majority of veterinarians work for themselves in private practice. Competition to get into veterinary school is stiff. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree to apply. And, you’ll graduate with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. After that, a licensing test is required to start working. This test varies from state to state.

10. Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) – $38.91 – $54.51

Besides working in large, urban hospitals and bustling medical clinics, an advanced registered nurse practitioner can work as a main, medical care provider in a rural area of the country where doctors are in short supply. ARNPs examine patients, run diagnostic tests, prescribe medicines and therapy, assist with minor surgeries and more. Their on-the-job training is extensive and they must complete either a master’s or a doctorate degree, as well as passing a board certification exam. Finally, they must also be licensed in their state.

Source: All salary data provided by online salary database PayScale. Salaries listed are a range from the 50th to 90th percentile of hourly salaries for workers with 5-8 of experience and include any bonuses, commissions or profit sharing. 

—————————-

By Bridget Quigig for PayScale

HOW TO – Find and Land Freelance Work

For many years before I started blogging and editing full-time, I made my living as a freelance writer. One of the biggest pain points for me during that part of my professional life was the tedium of finding and landing gigs. Though freelance work is plentiful in many areas, especially creative professions like design and writing, actually finding jobs, writing proposals and negotiating with clients often took up more time than the actual work.

Based on my own experience, plus that of three current freelance professionals, below are five tips for finding and landing freelance work. Are you a freelancer? How do you find gigs? Share your tips in the comments.

 
1. Network, Network, Network
 
 


Though freelance job boards Freelance Switch Krop are Sologig and more the number one way freelancers we talked to found work was via networking. “The secret is networking, never stop doing it. Get it right once, the stream just keeps flowing,” says freelance creative director Dann Petty. “Never stop networking, seriously, just don’t stop. Don’t talk about yourself at all and always ask questions about the other person,” he advises.

“I find my freelance work through a mixture of social networking, referrals and offline events,” says Natalia Sylvester, a freelance writer and owner of Inky Clean, who recently made the move from Florida to Texas. With the move, she relied heavily on social networking to find a new client-base. “Getting my new business name out there as quickly as I did, not just locally but online, wouldn’t have been possible without social networking through Twitter, Facebook and blogs.”

Bob Aycock, a CMO who does freelance marketing work, also uses social media as a key tool for networking and finding jobs. “A lot of my freelance work is from referrals. However, I’ve actually been able to get quite a bit from folks that I am connected to socially,” he says. “Utilize your social networks. You are probably connected to a lot of people, whether it be through Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. And these people are connected to other people.”
 

2. Be Precise

Of course, the most creative proposal in the world won’t land you a gig if it’s not what the client is looking for. That’s why it is important to be precise and include only the relevant information. “One thing that I’m continually surprised to find helps me stand out is the simple act of following instructions,” says Sylvester. “If a job posting asks for two writing samples in the body of an email and a certain keyword in the subject line, then I include that. It turns out, not a lot of people do.”

Sylvester also advises freelancers to take some time to research potential clients before going after a job. “I don’t apply to postings blindly, and I don’t reply to everyone who calls for a freelance writer, because I know that my ideal client has a specific profile,” she says. “If I do decide to contact them, I’ll refer them to work samples that are more significant to their niche, and I’ll try to somehow even if just through an anecdote make it clear that I’ve taken the time to learn about them.”

Petty takes being precise to another level and cuts out the minutiae that can weigh down a creative proposal. “If I’ve learned anything about proposals, it’s ‘the less you say the better you stand,’” he says. “Don’t waste your time on the details of a proposal keep it quick and simple. I always write my proposals as if they were to myself; how I would like to read them.”
 

3. Sell Yourself

According to Petty, “To sell yourself as a freelancer, you need to sell your own personal brand, not just your work.”

In the social media age, where everyone’s voice has been amplified and personal branding has become paramount, that’s actually quite prescient. Aycock similarly utilizes social media to sell himself and make sure his potential clients know who he is. “Whenever I reply to a job posting, I make sure I include a link to my About.me page. Most of the freelance work I do is for social media work, so I always want folks to be able to find me online and see what type of social networks I use on an everyday basis,” he says.

 
4. Get Creative
 


The freelance job market, like any area with available work, is extremely competitive. Standing out from the crowd is an imperative for landing work. According to Petty, that means getting creative and being willing to go the extra mile.

“It’s easy to be different and stand out when replying to a gig post, just don’t do what the other guys will do  be creative. I tend to write my emails a little different and with a lot of my own personality [so that] if I didn’t sign my name in the email, you’d [still] be able to tell it was me,” he says.

Petty also makes his proposals stand out by doing things his competition might not be willing to do. For example, for web design work, his proposals are entire web sites dedicated to helping him land the project. “My proposals not only stand out more than any others, but they show how determined I am by making something different than just a plain PDF,” he says.
 

5. Show Passion

Yet every point made in this post might ultimately be moot without exhibiting passion for your work. People who hire freelancers are looking for workers who are going to get the job done well and go above and beyond expectations. They want someone who shows a clear love for their craft and will positively create something jaw-dropping.

For Petty, showing passion is about taking risks. He even offers to fly out to meet clients at their location when starting on a new job. “It’s a tough job, but always remember: No risk, no reward,” he says. “Clients usually find freelancers because they want more creativity, so be prepared to deliver more.”

“Get out there and let people know what you are passionate about,” says Aycock. “If you aren’t letting people know what you enjoy learning about or working on, they’ll never think of you as someone to hire.”
Social Media Job Listings

Every week we put out a list of social media and web job opportunities. While we post a huge range of job listings, we’ve selected some of the top social media job opportunities from the past two weeks to get you started. Happy hunting!

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by Josh Catone for Mashable

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