Tired of living paycheck to paycheck? You may want to take a look at these professions that could give your bank account a little more padding.If your savings account looks like it needs some inflating, it may be time to find a higher-paying career that could help give your financial situation a boost.
Luckily, there are plenty of great careers in a variety of fields that pay an average of $30 or more an hour. But if you think that $30 an hour doesn't sound very impressive, in annual salary terms it translates to more than $60K - not too shabby after all.*
The reason for the good pay? High demand for the highly skilled, says Mike Palumbo, founder of The Palumbo Company, a professional recruiting and consulting company in Fairhope, Ala. "These careers all have training in a specific skill. It's not just any skill, but a skill that is in demand. Until we have computers that can take blood from your arm, hammer a nail, or consult with you on a complex tax issue, these positions will be in demand for the foreseeable future," he says.
Keep reading to learn more about which professions could add to your bank account, and how you might prepare to pursue them.
Career #1: Registered NurseAverage Hourly Wage: $32.66
Average Annual Salary: $67,930
Do you enjoy being the caregiver to your aging grandmother, or comforting your friend suffering from a serious illness? Perhaps you have a calling as a registered nurse. You could earn a great salary - in addition to the reward of helping others.
Your responsibilities as a registered nurse could include setting up plans for patient care, performing diagnostic tests, and teaching patients and their families how to manage their illnesses or injuries, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why It Pays Well: "It's a tough job," says Palumbo. "A hospital is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so a registered nurse is required to work long hours under very stressful life-and-death situations."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Nursing Program.
Education Options: There are different paths to pursuing a career as a registered nurse. These include earning an associate's degree in nursing, a diploma from an approved nursing program, or a bachelor's of science in nursing, according to the Department of Labor. The Department also says that registered nurses must get licensed by passing a national exam.
Career #2: AccountantAverage Hourly Wage: $34.15
Average Annual Salary: $71,040
Money is probably quite an important element in your daily life, and chances are you want more of it. Why not consider pursuing a career as an accountant, where you can deal with money all the time - while you could earn a good living for yourself?
Besides organizing and maintaining financial records, your responsibilities as an accountant could include helping businesses and individuals find ways to reduce costs and enhance revenue. You could also inspect accounting systems for efficiency, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why It Pays Well: "Accountants get paid well because the need is so great," Palumbo says. "Most jobs are created by small businesses and with the complex nature of taxes, insurance, regulations, and the future health care expenses, the need for accountants will continue to grow."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Accounting Program.
Education Options: To prepare to pursue a career as an accountant, you will need at least a bachelor's degree in accounting or related field, the Department of Labor says. It adds that a certification within a specific field of accounting could enhance job prospects.
Career #3: Market Research AnalystAverage Hourly Wage: $32.39
Average Annual Salary: $67,380
You're intrigued by the difference between brand-name and generic products, and you constantly ask your friends where they bought this or that. That curiosity could be a great characteristic of a market research analyst - and one that could earn you good pay at that.
As a market research analyst, you might help a company understand what products people want, who will buy them, and at what price, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department also says that you could be gathering data on consumer demographics, preferences, and buying habits.
Why It Pays Well: "The world is constantly changing, which is one of the big reasons why market research analysts get paid so well," said Palumbo. "Someone has to keep up with the changes in technology and trends on a daily basis."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Marketing Program.
Education Options: The Department of Labor says market research analysts need at least a bachelor's degree in market research or a related field. Many of these professionals pursue a degree in a field such as statistics, math, or computer science. Others may have a background in business administration, communications, or one of the social sciences, the Department says. Top research positions often require a master's degree.
Career #4: Diagnostic Medical SonographerAverage Hourly Wage: $31.90
Average Annual Salary: $66,360
Seeing your first child's image on an ultrasound photo was life-changing. And if you can envision being a part of this moment in other people's lives - while potentially making a good living - you should consider a career as a diagnostic medical sonographer.
Your day-to-day duties as a diagnostic sonographer might be comprised of preparing patients for procedures, maintaining imaging equipment, checking those images for quality, and recording findings, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why It Pays Well: "Diagnostic medical sonographers get paid well because of the training and skills it takes to operate the technology," Palumbo says. "When you mix technology with medicine, it equals a great career position."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program.
Education Options: The Department of Labor says that if you're interested in a career as a diagnostic medical sonographer, you will need formal education, such as an associate's or postsecondary certificate. You might also need to pursue professional certification, as the Department says many employers require it.
Career #5: Construction ManagerAverage Hourly Wage: $43.73
Average Annual Salary: $90,960
You and your younger brother used to erect elaborate Lego structures day after day. Of course, being the oldest, you would be the one in charge and "lead the project". Why not put those skills of leadership and your love of building to good use in a career as a construction manager? The best part is, you could potentially see a great pay check as well.
As a construction manager, you might prepare and negotiate cost estimates and budgets; report on work progress and budget matters to clients; and select, hire, and instruct laborers and subcontractors, says the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why It Pays Well: "Construction managers get paid well because of the need to build construction projects on-time and under budget," Palumbo says. "Until the day where robots can build a building, bridge, or tunnel, we will need people to build projects. The construction manager will be needed to manage those projects."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Engineering Program.
Education Options: An associate's degree with work experience may be enough for some positions, but it is becoming more important for construction managers to earn a bachelor's degree in construction science, construction management, architecture, or engineering, says the Department of Labor.
Career #6: Computer ProgrammerAverage Hourly Wage: $37.63
Average Annual Salary: $78,260
When your family and friends run into computer problems, you are the first one they call. You could put those skills to use formally and pursue a career as a computer programmer. Besides, wouldn't it be nice to be compensated for your services for a change?
As a computer programmer, you might write programs in a variety of computer languages, debug programs, and build and use computer-assisted software engineering tools, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why It Pays Well: "Someone has to teach the computer what to do," says Palumbo. He explains that while computers are getting easier to operate, most people still don't understand how computers work. Hence, computer programmers get paid well because they are in demand, Palumbo says.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Computer Science Program.
Education Options: Many computer programmers earn a bachelor's degree, but some businesses do hire those with an associate's degree, according to the Department of Labor. Most programmers pursue a degree in computer science or a related subject, the Department says.