Low-Stress, High-Paying Jobs

Source: Yahoo

Low-Stress, High-Pay Jobs

These jobs prove that not all highly paid work will have you pulling your hair out from stress.

By Terri Williams
Who doesn't want a high-paying job? However, if the job's stress level is just as high as its salary, it may not be worth it for many people.
And according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, workplace stress can cause anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and aggressive behavior. It can also result in cardiovascular disease and other medical conditions.
On the other hand, low-stress jobs offer a high level of autonomy and empowerment, which leads to fulfillment and satisfaction, according to Liza Sichon, an executive coach, speaker, and human resources consultant at Executive HR Coach in Silicon Valley, California.
What do these low-stress jobs have in common? According to Sichon, they have clearly defined requirements, so there is no need for a supervisor to hover over your shoulder and check your work frequently - cutting down on anxiety and stress.
And here's the good news: There are a lot of low-stress, high-pay jobs out there. Keep reading to learn about some of the jobs that won't turn your hair gray prematurely.

Low-Stress, High-Pay Job #1: Computer and Information Systems Manager

Median
Annual Salary*
$120,950
Top 10 Percent of Earners
$187,199
Bottom 10 Percent of Earners
$74,940
For computer geeks, the chance to do what you love while earning a lucrative salary makes this a promising career option.
The Low-Stress, High-Pay Factor: "Computer and information systems managers have the freedom to analyze problems and consider the best way to solve them," says Debbie Benami-Rahm, an entertainment and media career expert at DBR Career Services in Los Angeles, California. She explains that the flexibility and independence of this job lends itself to a low-stress work environment.
Regarding pay, "technology changes quickly, and companies need someone at the top of their game," says Benami-Rahm. And while there may be many people with technology skills, "Fewer people have experience managing projects or people, and as a result, computer and information system managers can command good salaries," he explains.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Computer Science Program.
Computer and information systems managers analyze their organization's computer needs, oversee installations and upgrades, and direct the work of other information technology employees, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. They work for computer systems design and related services firms, and telecommuting is becoming more common.
Education Options: Computer and information systems managers typically need a bachelor's degree in computer or information science with relevant work experience, reports the Department of Labor. Many professionals in this occupation also have a graduate degree.

Low-Stress, High-Pay Job #2: Technical Writers

Median
Annual Salary*
$65,500
Top 10 Percent of Earners
$101,660
Bottom 10 Percent of Earners
$38,700
Technical writers can utilize their way with words to earn a hefty salary in a laid-back work environment.
The Low-Stress, High-Pay Factor: "Technical writers have the freedom to be creative and to determine how their work will be performed. In addition, they usually don't have tight deadlines, and some may telecommute," says Benami-Rahm. All of these characteristics make this a low-stress career option.
The job pays well, because technical writing is a specialized skill that many writers don't possess. "There is a desperate need for more technical writers in every industry to provide knowledge to company workers, customers, consultants, etc." says Benami-Rahm. He adds, "This is a hot profession and technical writers have room to negotiate their salaries."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Communications Program.
Technical writers compose how-to-manuals, assembly instructions, and "frequently asked questions," according to the U.S. Department of Labor. While most are employed directly by companies, some technical writers work on a freelance basis and are self-employed or work for technical design or consulting firms. According to the Department of Labor, most technical writers work in offices, although some may telecommute.
Education Options: Employers usually prefer a bachelor's degree in English, journalism, or communications, states the Department. However, many technical writing jobs also require knowledge in such specialized fields as engineering, computer science, or medicine.

Low-Stress, High-Pay Job #3: Biomedical Engineers

Median
Annual Salary*
$86,960
Top 10 Percent of Earners
$139,450
Bottom 10 Percent of Earners
$52,600
With a whopping 62 percent job growth rate, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, you won't have to stress over finding a job in the high-paying field of biomedical engineering.
The Low-Stress, High-Pay Factor: "Biomedical engineers have autonomy," says Benami-Rahm. And this autonomy is just one of the reasons why the career is low-stress. "Most people love to do things on their own, and this job allows for that."
"Also, in the U.S., there's such a demand for all engineers," according to Benami-Rahm, who says that many corporations are hiring outside of the U.S., but there is a limit to how many visas they can get. As a result, she says, "Engineers can name their price. If one company can't match it, another company can."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Engineering Program.
Biomedical engineers conduct research and design such products as artificial organs and limbs, in addition to sometimes building the materials for these products, according to the Department of Labor. They also design software and electrical circuits for medical equipment and new drug therapies.
Education Options: Biomedical engineers typically need a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering, reports the Department. Applicants with a degree in another area could either pursue a graduate degree in biomedical engineering or get "on-the-job training in biomedical engineering."

Low-Stress, High-Pay Job #4: Art Directors

Median
Annual Salary*
$80,880
Top 10 Percent of Earners
$162,800
Bottom 10 Percent of Earners
$43,870
Getting paid very well to unleash your creative energy makes art director another good low-stress career choice.
The Low-Stress, High-Pay Factor: "Although it may appear to be a challenging position, at the same time, it calls for using an inborn talent, so creative people would find it more exciting than stressful," says Gail Liebhaber, a career consultant  and the owner of Your Career Direction, a career coaching company.
Liebhaber, who is also the former director of career services for the Harvard Graduate School of Design in Cambridge, adds, "Art directors who are highly skilled in online and digital media are in high demand, which accounts for the high salary."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Graphic Design Program.
Art directors are responsible for the overall visual design and style of magazines, newspapers, television and movie productions, and product packaging, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. They typically determine the project's concept, supervise a staff of designers, and approve artwork, photography and graphics.
Education Options: Art directors need a bachelor's degree in art or design, in addition to relevant work experience, usually as a graphic designer, photographer, illustrator, copyeditor or another design occupation, reports the Department of Labor.

Low-Stress, High-Pay Job #5: Dental Hygienists

Median
Annual Salary*
$70,210
Top 10 Percent of Earners
$96,280
Bottom 10 Percent of Earners
$46,540
Dental hygienists may not be running the show like dentists, but they still earn a lucrative salary. Plus, they don't have to perform stressful, invasive procedures such as root canals.
The Low-Stress, High-Pay Factor: To begin with, this job starts off as low-stress since it doesn't require a bachelor's degree, according to Liebhaber. The job also has the perks of "pleasant working conditions, seeing the results of your efforts, and flexible hours for those with childcare responsibilities," she explains.
And Siphon adds, "Dental hygienists are in high demand and can command high salaries, because everyone needs to have their teeth checked at least annually."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Dental Hygiene Program.
Dental hygienists take dental X-rays, and remove plaque, tartar, and stains from patients' teeth, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. They also apply sealants and fluorides and teach patients how to properly brush and floss.
Education Options: Dental hygienists typically need an associate's degree in dental hygiene, reports the Department of Labor. They must also have a license to practice but requirements vary by state.

Low-Stress, High-Pay Job #6: Actuaries

Median
Annual Salary*
$93,680
Top 10 Percent of Earners
$175,330
Bottom 10 Percent of Earners
$55,780
If you've got a head for numbers, a career as an actuary could be the right combination of high pay and low stress for you.
The Low-Stress, High-Pay Factor: According to Liebhaber, actuary is consistently ranked as a top job for prestige, salary, and working conditions. She also says this career offers a lot of flexibility, which reduces the stress level for those who need a less rigid work schedule and environment.
And Sichon adds, "Actuaries have a very unique skill set that is both formulaic and measurable. As a result, they're in high demand, and they're well paid."
Next step: Click to Find the Right Business Program.
Actuaries analyze data using mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to determine the probability and economic cost of an event, such as sickness, an accident, or a natural disaster, says the U.S. Department of Labor. They also help clients and businesses develop policies that minimize the cost of that risk.
Education Options: Actuaries typically have a bachelor's degree in business, actuarial science, statistics, or mathematics, reports the Department of Labor. Employers increasingly expect applicants to have professional certification, which actuaries earn by passing an actuary exam.

Costly mistakes to avoid in your cover letter

Cover letter mistakes

Learn the dos and don'ts of creating a cover letter that can land you an interview.

By Terri Williams
It's been said that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. And if you submit a bad cover letter, you won't get a chance to make that first impression on employers.
"People who read cover letters and resumes can be very picky - they have that luxury," says Richard J. Atkins, Ed., who is the co-chair of career planning & professional development for the Human Resources Association of New York. "You want the job, and so do hundreds of other people," says Atkins.
And the reality is that the slightest error can earn your job application a free trip through the document shredder. So what can you do to ensure you're not inadvertently disqualifying yourself from potential jobs? Keep reading to learn about six costly mistakes when writing cover letters.

Costly Mistake #1: Using Generic Content

If your cover letter is full of generic content, the hiring manager may assume that if you were too lazy to craft a specialized cover letter, you may be as nonchalant about performing your job.
And, generic cover letters are usually easy to spot, according to Lars Schmidt, senior director of talent acquisition & innovation at National Public Radio in Washington, DC. "They don't address the specifics of that job, so they likely won't stand out to a hiring manager."
So, how do you go about writing the type of cover letter that gets read?
Well, you should tailor your cover letter to each job, according to Schmidt. "It's okay to have a general template (or several), but be sure to address some of the qualities you possess that tie directly to that job and employer," says Schmidt.

Costly Mistake #2: Being Preoccupied With Your Ultimate Career Goal

Maybe you really want a more prestigious job, or one that pays enough money to keep up with the Joneses. However, if you indicate to the hiring manager that this job is just a temporary stop along the way to a better position, you'll appear ungrateful.
"Most hiring managers want to know what skills, experience, and interest you bring to this particular job," says Schmidt. "If you essentially tell them you view the job as something to just 'pay the bills,' they'll pass and find others who aspire to be in that role."
So, keep your lofty goals to yourself if they don't relate to the job you're applying for.
For example, Leigh Inskeep, who works in Human Resources at Kinder Morgan and writes resumes for Rave.Resumes.com, says that a graphic designer applying for a position that requires HTML experience should write about his proficiency in programming languages, instead of writing about how he can't wait to launch his own graphic design company.

Costly Mistake #3: Displaying Egotism

If you hoard the cover letter by using most of the space to talk about yourself, the hiring manager may see you as a narcissist who will also hog conversations and the company's time.
"Overuse of first-person pronouns, such as 'I,' 'me,' or 'my,' send the message that you're more concerned about yourself than the organization," says Atkins. Instead, he says the cover letter should address the specific wants and needs of the company.
Therefore, instead of "I would like to speak with you," Atkins recommends, "It would be great to speak with you." And instead of "I am available," write, "Would you be available?"This shows respect for the hiring manager, and demonstrates that it's not all about you, he says.
And when you do talk about yourself, it should be in the context of being a useful and productive team member. For example, a software developer must be able to work independently, but also function as part of a team, "so include characteristics like your ability to work well with others, and how you're open to receiving feedback and critiques from others," Inskeep says.

Costly Mistake #4: Not Proofreading Before You Hit "Send"

Submitting a cover letter with typographical and syntax errors may send the message that you are a careless worker who considers slipshod work perfectly acceptable.
"Mistakes on your cover letter can cost you dearly," says Atkins. "Many hiring managers have said that when they get a resume containing errors, it goes immediately in the 'unacceptable' pile."
For example, if a company is hiring a human resources manager, Inskeep says this individual is responsible for making sure that the company's documents can pass legal scrutiny. "If they can't submit an error-free cover letter, how can the company trust the accuracy of their work if there's ever any type of legal or ethics investigation?" asks Inskeep.

Costly Mistake #5: Revealing Too Much

Maybe your former boss didn't appreciate your hard work, but badmouthing past employers in your cover letter will leave hiring managers wondering if you have unresolved issues.
"Listing non-relevant personal details before you've had an opportunity to establish interest will usually work against you," warns Schmidt. "You want to make a connection based on your skills and experience."
And even if you're not sharing bitter experiences, it's still a good idea to make sure that you don't share intimate details.
"It is a very common mistake for candidates to share too much personal information," says Inskeep.

Costly Mistake #6: Overly Displaying Your Artistic Side

Your cover letter is not the place to express your inner child. In other words, leave the cursive type, wild colors, smiley faces, and rainbow backgrounds for another occasion.
"There is a trend lately to try and be provocative in a cover letter to stand out," says Schmidt. He says that sometimes this may work, but it really depends on the audience and culture of the organization, so think carefully about the intended receiver.
As a general rule, your uniqueness should be expressed through your job skills, not through the use of flowery stationery, or emoticons such as smiley faces, frowns, and winks.
"People don't have time for the fluffy stuff, and emoticons look unprofessional and sophomoric," warns Inskeep. "Hiring managers are accustomed to seeing proper English language and punctuation." For example, if a financial analyst applicant sends in a cover letter on pink stationery with emoticons, the hiring manager will think, "if this is how they communicate with our high-powered clients, it will undermine our company's credibility."

Career Switches That Could Make You More Money

Lucrative Career Switches

Just because you've started down one career path doesn't mean you can't switch to a new career - and up your salary in the process.

By Jennifer Berry
Feeling stuck in a low-paying job can be awful - but you might be able to do something about it. There are jobs you can transition to that could offer you a higher salary than your current career. Interested in making a mid-career switch? The first step is figuring out what you might enjoy doing.
"Pull out [some] paper and write what you'd enjoy doing in a work setting," says Tony Lee, publisher of CareerCast.com, a job board ranking jobs and openings, and JobsRated.com, a website ranking the 200 best and worst jobs. When you're done, you should have a job description of your ideal job - as well as your ideal salary. Determining where you want your career path to head is the first step you can take toward pursuing a high-pay career.
"My advice is that if you are even thinking about making a switch, then it's worth getting serious about the exact steps you'll need to take to make it happen," says Will Little, co-founder & CEO of Code Fellows, an organization devoted to training talented people to fill software engineering roles in Seattle. That could mean interning for experience, going back to school to update your education, or even trying to transition into your ideal position within your current company, he adds. These are just a few smart career moves you could make that could help you earn a more impressive paycheck.
Bottom Line? You don't have stay in a low-paid job you hate. It's possible to move into a new career - and moving into a new occupation could even mean a higher paycheck. Keep reading to learn more.

Career #1 - Software Developer

Median Annual Salary:* $90,060
If you're a technically savvy person looking to make a mid-career switch, preparing to pursue a career as a software developer could pay you big dividends down the road.
Switching Could Pay Off: "Software developers earn a high salary, because, at a fundamental level, there is extraordinarily high demand for them in the job market," says Little. Beyond that, he adds, your previous business experience - even if it wasn't in coding initially - could help you in your transition.
"If you ask executives what kind of engineers they are looking for, you'll often hear phrases like ‘well-rounded' or ‘experienced with business, professional, and coding skills'," says Little. "In other words, companies are looking for software developers who have experienced life from enough angles to bring a unique perspective to the team."
Do you like solving puzzles? As a software developer, you could be the creative mind behind a computer program, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. You might develop an application, design how the application will work, and maintain and test software to make sure it works correctly.
Prepare For The Switch: According to the Department of Labor, software developers usually have a bachelor's degree in computer science, software engineering, or a related field such as mathematics. However, some employers may prefer a master's degree.

Career #2 - Accountant

Median Annual Salary:* $63,550
If you enjoy working with numbers and are eager to shoulder some big responsibilities for a company, you could prepare to pursue a great-paying job as an accountant.
Switching Could Pay Off: Why does this job offer such a nice salary? Well, as Lee points out, "This is an important position." Companies need great accountants to manage their finances, pay their taxes, and even strategize with leadership on how to reduce waste and maximize profits.
As far as making the transition mid-career, your current work experience might help you get a foot in the door. What kinds of skills do you have that might transition nicely into the role of accountant? "If you're going from being bookkeeper to accountant, it isn't a big leap," says Lee. "Otherwise, you might have to go back to school."
But even if you do need more schooling, your previous work experience could help when it comes time to look for a job in this field. In fact, Mullen suggests looking for a position within your current company. As she points out, you probably have a good idea of your company's goals, products, and services. Knowing the needs of your company could put you at an advantage when pursuing an accounting position there.
As an accountant you could be responsible for everything from examining your company's financial operations to paying your company's taxes properly and on time, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Prepare For The Switch: The Department of Labor says most accountants need at least a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field, although some employers like to hire applicants with a master's degree in accounting or business administration (MBA) with a concentration in accounting.

Career #3 - Dental Hygienist

Median Annual Salary:* $70,210
You don't have to be a dentist to earn a great salary in a dental office - so if you're looking for a job where you can help people, this is one switch that could give you a healthy boost to your wallet.
Switching Could Pay Off: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the employment of dental hygienists is expected to grow from 2010 to 2020 by 38 percent, much faster than the rate of other occupations.  In other words, the demand for skilled hygienists with the right training drives the high salary of this job.
And there's more to this career than money, as Lee points out. "Most dental hygienists enjoy doing this job," Lee says. Unlike dentists, "When the day's over, they're not on call so they don't have to think about work, they don't have long hours, and they're in demand without being too stressed."
Excited about helping people stay healthy? As a dental hygienist, you might clean teeth, look for signs of oral disease, and provide preventative dental care, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Prepare For The Switch: You'll typically need an associate's degree in dental hygiene to enter this field, according to the Department of Labor, although they do note that certificates, bachelor's degrees, and master's degrees in dental hygiene are also available - though less common among dental hygienists.

Career #4 - Medical and Health Services Manager

Median Annual Salary:* $88,580
Working in the medical field but wish you could take on more managerial tasks? Preparing to pursue a career as a medical and health services manager could help you transition into a career with more responsibility - and a higher salary.
Switching Could Pay Off: "This is a higher level position," says Lee. That higher level responsibility is one of the main reasons this job pays so well - and should continue to as we face changing demands on health care providers. "The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires a higher level of sophistication in the medical world," Lee says. She explains that the skills required to be a manager in this field are higher than ever before. And all of that translates to higher pay.
What about switching to this job mid-career? "It might be harder to make a career transition if you don't have some medical experience already, but if you do, this could be a good way to move from the front line to a managerial role." The good news is, there are a wide variety of positions for medical and health services managers, and recent changes to healthcare in this country could open some more doors for future managers.
As a medical and health services manager, you might plan, direct, and coordinate medical and health services in your facility - or you might manage a specific clinical area or department, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Prepare For The Switch: You will typically need at least a bachelor's degree in health administration to get started, according to the Department of Labor. However, master's degrees in health services, long-term care administration, public health, public administration, or business administration also are common.

Career #5 - Market Research Analyst

Median Annual Salary:* $60,300
If you love digging into research - and love the idea of a fast-paced marketing job - preparing to pursue a career as a market research analyst could be one way into a fun new career and a higher salary.
Switching Could Pay Off: "This job pays well when you can gather data and turn that info into actionable insights - that's strategic thinking," says Shannon Mullen, executive recruiter and founder of Mullen Marketing Search. "People who make a lot of money in market research can really see usable insights and help their clients decide what to do."
What about making this switch mid-career? "If you have relevant experience, you can slide sideways much easier without a huge pay hit," says Mullen. Work in social media, web analytics, or any position where you're pulling insights out of information could help prepare you for the switch, she says.
Without that experience, Mullen recommends going back to school and focusing on any major where research is foundation of the work. "Take as many research classes as possible," she advises.
Psyched about diving into big data? According to the U.S. Department of Labor, as a market research analyst you might study market conditions, monitor and forecast marketing trends, gather data about consumers, and convert complex data into understandable reports.
Prepare For The Switch: If you're ready to make this switch, you'll typically need a bachelor's degree in market research or a related field. Many have degrees in fields such as statistics, math, or computer science. Other market research analysts have a background in business administration, one of the social sciences, or communications, according to the Department of Labor. Many market research analyst positions that involve more leadership or technical research require a master's degree. Schools offer graduate programs in marketing research but many analysts earn advanced degrees in statistics, marketing, or business administration (MBA).

Career #6 - Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Median Annual Salary:* $65,860
With the changing face of healthcare, preparing to pursue a career as a diagnostic medical sonographer could launch you into an exciting medical field - and a career with a great paycheck to boot.
Switching Could Pay Off: "This is a career that is - in many ways - a lot like dental hygiene in that you need to have very specific training," Lee says. Add to that the fact that this is a career that's booming, and you'll start to understand why sonographers can command such a healthy salary. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment of diagnostic medical sonographers is expected to grow by 44 percent from 2010 to 2020 - which is an incredibly high rate.
So how can you make this career switch? If you've done any customer-oriented work, that experience could help you as you transition into this role, where you'll be interacting with patients on a day-to-day basis. But, as Lee points out, to make this switch, you'll need the specialized skills you can only get by going back to school for sonography.
"For this work, you have to learn how to use the equipment and how to interpret the results," says Lee.
Ready for a great medical career - that doesn't require the years and years of medical school it takes to pursue a career as a doctor? As a diagnostic medical sonographer, you might use special imaging equipment to assess and diagnose various medical conditions, according to the Department of Labor.
Prepare For The Switch: The Department of Labor notes that diagnostic medical sonographers need either an associate's or postsecondary certificate. Colleges offer both associate's and bachelor's degree programs in sonography. Employers prefer a degree or certificate from an accredited institute or hospital program. 

Personality Types Fit For High-Powered Careers


Personality Types Fit for High-Power Jobs

Certain personality types are a better fit for high-powered careers - find out what career may suit your style.

By Lia Sestric
When you see people in positions of power, do you ever wonder whether or not they have anything in common? Beyond education, knowledge, and experience, there could be another factor at work.
To an extent, the qualities of your personality can determine how satisfied you may be in your career. Just ask Erin Nichole Smith, a success coach for the National Society of Leadership and Success.
"Understanding what environments your personality is more predisposed to thrive in may help provide important insights," she explains. Discovering your personality type could help you tap into your passion and cultivate lasting satisfaction in your work, says Smith.
We have come up with some common traits of six high-powered careers based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test (MBTI). This test divides personalities into 16 types, but it is really the combination of four main categories that creates four letter codes.
  1. Extroversion (E)/Introversion (I)
  2. Sensing(S)/Intuition (I)
  3. Thinking (T)/Feeling (F)
  4. Judging (J)/Perceiving (P)
Dr. Carole Stovall, a psychologist and the CEO of SLS Global Assess, an online test site that offers the MBTI test, says the test does not necessarily measure one’s success in a given career but rather helps determine the best fit for your persona.
Of course, there is more than one personality type that could fit these careers, but here are a few examples of some good matches according to our career and personality experts. Also, it may take years of experience in order to reach these high-powered careers, but you could take steps toward these careers today. Keep reading if you’re ready to find out which career could best suit your personality and empower you, too.

Career #1: Financial Manager

Personality Match: The Duty Fulfiller (ISTJ)
If your personality type reveals that you are dependable, orderly, and logical, such as an ISTJ, a high-power career as a financial manager might be one you may want to consider.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, financial managers help keep an organization in good financial standing. It is their responsibility to produce reports, coordinate investments, and strategize how to help reach financial goals.
Why It's A Match: "You want someone who is good with handling money as well as thinking with that money," says Stovall. "An ISTJ-type person likes structure, details, and they like a world that is pretty predictable. They’re also very big planners and that’s very important in terms of being a financial manager."
Education: To pursue a financial manager career, you usually need at least a bachelor’s degree and five years of experience in another business or financial occupation such as loan officer or accountant, says the Department of Labor. The minimum education for this job is a bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, business administration, or accounting. The Department also says many companies often now seek applicants with a master’s degree, preferably in business administration, economics, or finance.

Career # 2: Public Relations Manager

Personality Match: The Doer (ESTP)
Are you a creative thinker and a solid communicator? Would others describe you as friendly, action-oriented, and persuasive? An influential career as a public relations manager sounds like it’s written all over you.
Public relations managers and specialists strive to keep a positive persona of their employer or client with the public, according the U.S. Department of Labor. Their key responsibilities include writing press releases, coordinating and evaluating public relations campaigns, and raising funds for their company.
Why It's A Match: Smith says ESTP is a good fit, because "they are often ‘the doers’ and their ability to calmly respond to and solve pressing problems inspires confidence and helps to persuade others."
Education: A bachelor’s degree in public relations, journalism, English, business, or communications is typically a requirement, says the Department of Labor. Some companies prefer a master’s degree in public relations or journalism.

Career # 3: Medical or Health Services Manager

Personality Match:The Duty Fulfiller (ISTJ) or The Guardian (ESTJ)
Are you keen on being organized and getting the job done right? Are you best described as hardworking and practical? Whether you’re introverted or extroverted, you could do well in the important career of medical or health services manager.
As the U.S. Department of Labor notes, these professionals work closely with medical staff in the planning and delivery of health care. Their job involves creating work schedules, managing a facility's finances, and keeping up-to-date on new laws and regulations. Heath care service managers may work in the offices of hospitals, nursing homes, or group medical practices, adds the Department of Labor.
Why It's A Match: Stovall says there are many personalities that are suitable for this high-power career path depending on their reasons for entering the profession. "If they enter health care to make money and are interested in the business, they could easily be I/ESTJ! Their type could be more similar to a business executive."
Education: Most medical or health services managers need at minimum a bachelor's degree in health administration to enter the profession, says the Department. Master’s degrees in health services, long-term care administration, public health, public administration, or business administration are also common.

Career #4: Construction Manager

Personality Match: The Mechanic (ISTP)
Are you more hands-on in nature and a methodical thinker? Do you find yourself interested in the way things work? Then a powerful career as a construction manager may be right up your alley.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, construction managers oversee construction projects from early development to completion, as well as coordinate the plans and the budget.
Why It's A Match: "A career in construction management is a good fit for ISTP personality types," says Smith. "As ‘The Mechanics,’ ISTPs are at their best when they take on tasks that require immediate action. ISTPs can stay calm under pressure and focus attention on the most pressing issues at hand."
Education: Employers increasingly prefer applicants with a combination of work experience and a bachelor's degree in a construction-related field, such as architecture, engineering, construction management, or construction science, says the Department of Labor. However, for some positions,  an associate's degree with relevant work experience is enough.

Career # 5: Human Resources Manager

Personality Match: The Caregiver (ESFJ)
Are you loyal, dependable, and sensitive to the needs of others? A career as a human resources manager might be suitable for you and also give you the responsibility you're seeking.
What are the responsibilities of this high-power position? Human resources managers coordinate everything from employee relations to payroll and benefits, says the U.S. Department of Labor. They often oversee recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of new employees, as well as act as a liaison between management and its employees.
Why It's A Match: Stovall says ESFJ "is somebody who needs to be good at understanding and working with people." She adds that human resources managers must value people, and ESFJs fit that bill.
Education: The Department of Labor says that most employers prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree in human resources, business, or a related field.

Career #6: Marketing Manager

Personality Match: The Guardian (ESTJ)
Are your strong points in leadership and organization? If you also have a creative eye and commonly make decisions on logic rather than emotion, you may want to look at the high-powered career of marketing manager.
Marketing managers monitor trends and markets to predict demands for goods and services that a business and its competitors offer, notes the U.S. Department of Labor. They also develop pricing strategies to help companies maximize profits while ensuring customer satisfaction.
These professionals may also be responsible for creating price plans to help maximize a company’s bottom dollar while meeting expectations of their customers, says the Department of Labor.
Why It's A Match: Stovall says ESTJs would be well-suited to marketing manager positions, because ESTJs are natural managers and leaders. She adds, however, that "you could have some sales people who are ESTP who work their way through the company and end up managing people." 
Education: The Department of Labor says most marketing manager positions require a bachelor’s degree. Courses in business law, management, economics, accounting, finance, mathematics, and statistics are useful in this field.

Associate's and Master's Degrees That Could Pay You Back

Degrees With Payoff Potential

The right associate's or master's degree could pay you back in time and in marketable skills to boost your career.

By Amy Howell Hirt
School is a huge investment of time and money, not to mention the sweat and tears. But what if you could cut your time invested in half, while still setting yourself up to reap financial benefits?
While not all degrees will deliver on both fronts, there are several programs that could take as little as two years and give you a leg up on pursuing a career that pays well. Whether you are ready to change jobs or go after that promotion, these associate's and master's degrees offer valuable skills in a reasonable timeline.
Keep reading to learn about seven programs that could pay off big down the road.

Degree #1: Associate's in Nursing

Looking for a degree that could offer rewards in more ways than one? In as little as two years, an associate's in nursing could prepare you to go after a high-paying career in nursing.
As for what you'll study in a nursing program, the College Board, a non-profit organization that promotes higher education, says you might take courses like pathophysiology, anatomy and physiology, and pharmacology. You'll also learn how to examine patients and how to design a plan of care.
Payback Potential*: Beth Jorgensen, a career counselor with Talent Curve, a career and education guidance company, also sees value in this degree. Although she says some employers prefer four-year degrees, an associate's degree in nursing could help you land a high-wage nursing job because the field has more open positions than qualified applicants. And here's what it comes down to: "You have a better chance of getting a decent-paying job without experience," she says.
And according to the U.S. Department of Labor, in addition to a license, an associate's degree in nursing is one path to pursuing a career as a registered nurse.
But how big is the payback potential for this career? Well, according to the Department of Labor, registered nurses report a median annual salary of $65,470. The bottom 10 percent earn $45,040, and the top 10 percent earn $94,720.

Degree #2: Master's in Education Leadership

Already working in education and looking to move up - in salary and responsibility? A master's degree in education administration could help you reach that payoff - in as few as two years.
Educational administration majors learn how to serve as school principals and may take courses that focus on how to supervise teachers, according to the College Board. And that knowledge could provide an advantage if you're pursuing a high-paying management role like an elementary school principal.
Payback Potential: This degree is valuable to an employer because it signifies that you are prepared to handle the administrative duties of the role, Jorgensen says. What kind of role, exactly? Well, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, a master's degree in education administration or leadership is required of most elementary school principals.
The degree could also prepare you to handle a bigger paycheck. Education administrators see a median annual salary of $87,760, according to the Department of Labor. The top 10 percent earn $130,810, and the bottom 10 percent makes $58,530.

Degree #3: Master's in Counseling

If you love helping people work out their problems and have already received a bachelor's degree in psychology, this graduate degree could provide a stepping stone toward a higher-paying career.
In a counseling psychology program, your courses might cover topics such as child, marital, and family therapy, according to the College Board. You could also expect to learn how to provide counseling individually or in groups.
Payback Potential: As for employers, this degree is attractive for the occupation-specific training it offers, Jorgensen says. What kind of occupations? According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a master's degree in counseling or marriage and family therapy is required to practice as - you guessed it - a marriage and family therapist. A state license is also needed.
And what does the ultimate payoff look like? Marriage and family therapists take home a median annual salary of $46,670, according to the Department of Labor. The top 10 percent make $75,120, while the bottom 10 percent make $25,540.

Degree #4: Associate's in Dental Hygiene

If you're a detail-oriented people-person, this degree could help you pursue a high-paying gig where you can put those traits to work - on teeth. The best part? You could pick up this degree in as few as two years.
In an associate's program in dental hygiene, you could learn how to care for teeth and gums and how to treat tooth decay and oral disease, according to the College Board.
Payback Potential: Employers value the knowledge that the degree provides, but also the hands-on experience that most programs include, Jorgensen says. And armed with that knowledge and experience, you could be ready to pursue a career as a dental hygienist. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, dental hygienists typically need an associate's degree in dental hygiene, in addition to being required to have state licensure.
As for monetary payoff, the median annual salary of dental hygienists is $70,210, according to the Department. The top 10 percent make $96,280, while the bottom 10 percent make $46,540.

Degree #5: Associate's in Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Would you like to find a way to help people, and maybe help out your checkbook at the same time? An associate's degree in diagnostic medical sonography could point you in the right direction - all in as few as two years.
Common courses include medical terminology, abdominal and obstetrical sonography, and ultrasound physics, according to the College Board.
Payback Potential: Because this is a technical, machinery-focused occupation, employers value the degree's job-specific training, Jorgensen says. And according to the U.S. Department of Labor, formal education, such as an associate's degree or postsecondary certificate, is needed to pursue this career. Most employers prefer those with professional certification as well.
But the formal education could be worth it. Diagnostic medical sonographers report a median annual salary of $65,860, according to the Department of Labor. The top 10 percent make $91,070, while the bottom 10 percent make $44,990.

Degree #6: Associate's in Health Information Technology

Looking for a new career with payoff potential and a bright future? An associate's degree in health information technology could get you on your way by prepping you to pursue a good-paying field that's in its infancy.
In this program, you might take courses like introduction to coding, health care statistics, medical terminology, and computers in health care, according to the College Board.
Payback Potential: This degree is valuable to hospitals and other health care facilities simply because the field is so new, Jorgensen says. Which means the degree can make up for the lack of experience that's common among applicants, she adds.
More specifically, this degree might prepare you to pursue a career in the field as a medical records and health information technician. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, these professionals are usually required to have certification, although an associate's degree may also be acceptable.
The payback potential looks strong, too. Health information technicians see a median annual salary of $34,160, according to the Department of Labor. The top 10 percent make $56,200, while the bottom 10 percent make $22,250.

Degree #7: Master's in Business Administration (MBA)

If you have your sights set on a lucrative career in business, spending a couple years pursuing a master's in business administration could make sense. And you may only need as few as two years to do it.
An MBA aims to provide a broad overview of the main areas of business and offers courses in management, finance, and decision sciences, according to the Princeton Review, an organization that provides testing resources for students applying to college and graduate school.
Payback Potential: Employers value an MBA because it provides knowledge of the broader business world, Jorgensen says. And with broader knowledge, comes broader opportunities. Financial analyst is just one of the positions that employers might expect an MBA to fill. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, financial analysts typically have a bachelor's degree, but employers often require an MBA or master's in finance.
And as for pay, financial analysts see a median annual salary of $76,950, according to the Department of Labor. The top 10 percent make $148,430, while the bottom 10 percent makes $47,130.

Hot Degrees To Earn In Your Spare Time


Hot flexible degrees

Does it seem impossible to squeeze classes into your busy schedule? Then these flexible degrees could be right for you.

By Lia Sestric
Has "earn a college degree" been written on your to-do list for quite some time? Well, you may be able to cross this off your list if you pursue a degree online.
But where should you start? Fortunately, Learning House released a survey, "Online College Students 2013," which breaks down the most popular online undergraduate degrees.
One of the key findings of this report? About two-thirds of the students who completed an online program thought it was a good investment of time and money.
If it's convenience you're after, online education can give you that. But it's important to note that online learning does require hard work and discipline and as a result, may not be for everyone.
If you're ready to make the leap to advance your education, keep reading to discover the hottest online degrees.

Online Degree #1: Business Administration

If you've considered a business administration degree, you are not alone. According to the "Online College Students" survey, business administration has the highest enrollment.
The Online Benefit: Michael Detzel, associate director of online initiatives at the College of Mount St. Joseph says pursuing a business degree online allows students to find a program "that fits individual desires and needs, without being limited to a small geographic area."
As Detzel notes, having access to unique concentrations that may not be offered at a local college could make you stand out from the pack when it comes to finding a job in the business field.  
As a business administration and management student, you may learn how to plan, organize, and direct the activities of an organization, says the College Board. Some common courses might include economics, management information systems, financial management, and business policy and strategy.
Potential Career*:

Online Degree #2: Accounting

If you already know math is your strong point, why not pursue a degree in accounting? By earning it online, you can balance your studies and your busy life.  Plus, you could see for yourself why it ranks number two in popularity among online undergraduate programs according to the "Online College Students" report.
The Online Benefit:  Detzel says accounting has always been a safe field to enter, but online learning has been tailored to fit the accounting world of today. 
"The days of the accountant with a calculator and notepad are in the past," he says. "Advanced accounting software, complex programs, and word processing are a few of the technologies modern accountants use on a daily basis.  Online classes emphasize and provide hands-on training in these computerized accounting applications, while still complementing the core accounting curriculum."
An accounting program teaches students to interpret and communicate information on how an individual or organization is performing financially, says the College Board. Classes for this degree might include multiple levels of accounting courses as well as business law and auditing.
Potential Career*:

Online Degree #3: Health Care Administration

Maybe you know you are not cut out to be a doctor. But if it is in your heart to pursue a career in health care, where you can still make a difference, why not consider an online degree in health services administration?
This degree is a popular choice to earn online, ranking number seven in the survey, and it can also fit into your busy schedule.
The Online Benefit: Detzel says an online health care administration program offers students a global perspective. Students of this online degree may also get a leg up in the profession, since they'll practice using software that's applied to real world situations in their field, he adds.
"Technology is essential to health care, from the computerization of health records to the myriad of health care software that is used in every medical office large and small," he says.
Students of health services administration could learn about the different responsibilities of overseeing health care facilities and the services they provide, says the College Board. Common courses include health care ethics, anatomy and physiology, statistics, and accounting.
Potential Career*:

Online Degree #4: Criminal Justice

Has a career in criminal justice always seemed exciting to you? You don't have to put that dream off any longer. An online criminal justice program could prep you for a career without giving up your current job. This degree ranked fourth in popularity for undergraduate degrees, according to the survey.
The Online Benefit: "Computers are playing a much larger role in criminal justice than ever before," says Detzel. As a result, many online courses teach students the computer skills and techniques to develop security systems, to compute and factor large quantities of data, and to protect companies who are finding it increasingly vital to do business online, he explains.
If you choose to pursue this degree, you may learn all aspects of the law, crime, and the justice system, says the College Board. In this program, you may interpret statistics and study court cases. The College Board reports that courses might include policing society, the U.S. criminal-justice system, and juvenile justice.
Potential Career*:

Online Degree #5: Early Childhood Education

Do you like the idea of lesson-planning and grading tests? If a degree in early childhood education has been on your radar but has seemed out of reach, an online program may be the right choice for you. According to the survey, early childhood education is the eleventh most popular online program. 
The Online Benefit: Detzel says early childhood education is very hot online right now because new technology allows for online simulations. "These simulations can play a key role in courses such as child psychology.  In these courses students can use the virtual simulations to experience situations and study reactions in ways they never ethically could before."
As an early childhood education student, you may learn how to create and manage a nurturing, safe classroom where every student thrives, says the College Board. Coursework may possibly include child development, curriculum methods, and instructional design.
Potential Career*:

Online Degree #6: Graphic Design

Can you picture yourself creating a trademark design? This vision doesn't have to feel like a pipe dream. An online graphic design program may provide you the knowledge you need without putting too much stress on your daily routine.  According to the survey, it also ranks seventh among the top 15 undergraduate online degrees.
The Online Benefit:  An online program can offer a student great professional experience, says Detzel. "The students actually find themselves immersed in the material they are studying.  This assists them in building technical skills, computer literacy, and to work on a daily basis with the technology they are learning in class," he says.
Also, Detzel points out that most graphic design firms are working with people from around the globe. "This means that the vast majority of communication will be done electronically.  Learning how to effectively communicate electronically with clients, both in expressing your ideas and providing feedback, is essential to success as a graphic designer," he adds.
In a graphic design program, you could learn about the principles of good design as well as the necessary computer skills to create the look for everything from books to websites, says the College Board. Courses might include Photoshop for designers, history of graphic design, and typography.
Potential Career*:

Online Degree #7: Psychology

Are you interested in a career where you can help people by listening to their thoughts, troubles, and feelings? A psychology degree can prep you for one of many careers where you can do just that. And if you can't get to a college campus, don't worry. You can earn this degree online. In fact, psychology ranked sixth in popularity in the survey of online undergraduate degrees.
The Online Benefit: Studying psychology online makes sense in a world where humans are interacting virtually more and more, says Detzel. "Students of psychology often learn the majority of the program basics through self-guided study and reading. This importance [placed] on literature and self-study in psychology lends itself perfectly to online education."
He adds that an online program offers the opportunity to study a specialized area within the field of psychology. This could include specializations such as industrial and organizational psychology, child development, or applied behavior analysis.
As a psychology major, you could explore human and animal behavior, says the College Board. Students might have to conduct research and maybe even be a guinea pig themselves. Some courses may include neuroscience, perception and sensation, and research methods in psychology.

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