In a competitive environment, it’s worth taking a look at these little-known jobs. Find out how a brief degree or certificate program gives you the training you need for these secret career gems.
This ain’t your father’s job path. While these unique careers might not be what you’d immediately think of, you may be surprised at how appealing they could be. Think making your own hours, making a difference… maybe even making six figures. A degree program helps get you there.
From healthcare to high-tech, artistic to data-based, these jobs offer a career experience a few steps off the beaten path. Check out five of the best-kept-secret careers, and learn how you can train to enter the field with confidence.
1. Air Traffic Controller. Guide air traffic through the friendly skies and earn a six-figure salary with this exciting career. If you can take the stress of working as an air traffic controller, a strong job market and healthy salary await. Air traffic controllers earned mean annual wages of $108,090 in 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports. If you don’t have work experience in the field, a bachelor’s degree is required to begin controller training. The actual degree you pursue doesn’t much matter, but training related to aviation could give you an edge.
2. Interior Decorator. As Lorena McDonald completed an online degree program, she got an idea for an unusual career; an interior decorating company with an online presence. “The neatness of being in home decor came from my mother’s background, my mother’s influence,” Lorena told the Calgary Herald. Offering less expensive options than pricey interior designers, Lorena’s decorating services became popular. Today, her Home Link Design site gets about 4,500 page views a month. Want to join the market as an interior designer or decorator? The BLS reports that interior designers earned mean annual wages of $51,020 in 2008. A targeted associate’s degree in interior design is recommended.
3. Video Game Designer. Get into the game with training in video game design. Far from a simple market, the industry mixes high-tech hardware and software with art, writing, and other creative skills. If you’re hoping to work on the artistic side of design, you’ll need a strong portfolio that incorporates the latest programs and a high level of artistic skill. Multimedia artists and animators earned mean annual wages of $62,380 in 2008, the BLS reports. An associate’s degree is often the minimum requirement for technical jobs, but you may consider a bachelor’s degree in design or art to further develop your skills.
4. Medical Biller & Coder. Here’s a career you might not think of: the people who translate your doctor’s visit into a precise bill for you and your insurance company. What makes this a great secret career? With a brief associate’s degree or certificate program in medical billing and coding, you could make a healthy mean annual wage; $32,960 in 2008, the BLS reports. What’s more, experienced and trained medical billers and coders may be able to work from home. If you’re looking for a work-from-home career that isn’t an envelope-stuffing pyramid scheme, this is a great career to pursue.
5. Respiratory Therapist. Help your patients breathe easier and live fuller lives as a respiratory therapist. Unlike some healthcare careers, this one doesn’t require years in medical school and internship; only an associate degree is required for most respiratory therapists. The BLS reports that respiratory therapists earned mean annual wages of $53,150 in 2008. If you enjoy the career, continue your education with a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Respiratory therapists advance from general care to caring for critically ill patients. With some additional business administration training, you could even become a branch manager.
Education for Best-Kept-Secret Careers
It’s no secret that an education can improve your resume, particularly in fields where training is preferred or required. Hiring managers in the fields above typically look for formal training, and if you’re interested in one of these great secret jobs, a degree or certificate program is generally recommended.
Publish date: August 13, 2009