Careers for TV and Movie Lovers


Need some career advice? Look to your favorite TV shows and movies for career inspiration.

By Chris Kyle

Calling all TV and movie lovers!

Not sure what kind of career you want? Look to your favorite shows and films for inspiration.

According to Nielsen, the average American watched 35 hours of television a week in 2009. That's a lot of time spent investing in characters and plot lines and mysteries...and that's not even counting how many movies Americans watch every year!

The truth may be that what you watch could indicate career options for you. So if you want a career you can potentially love, find the shows and movies you love... Then see how you can prepare to pursue a related career!

You Like: House, Scrubs, Grey's Anatomy, ER
Career Option for You: Health Care

Is Scrubs' JD your favorite comedic character ever? Do you admire the dedication of Dr. Cristina Yang in Grey's Anatomy? Consider a career in the broad field of health care.

Showtime for Health Care: Ten of the 20 fastest growing occupations are in health care, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Between 2008 and 2018, 3.2 million positions are expected to be added, many of which only require an associate's degree.*

Health Care Education Options:
Medical assisting
Medical billing and coding
Health care administration
Dental assistant

Average Health Care Salaries:*
Medical assistant: $28,300
Health information technicians: $30,610
Dental assistant: $32,380
Health services managers: $80,240

Search for Health Care and Medical Assisting career programs.

You Like: Mad Men, The Apprentice, The Office, Wall Street
Career Option for You: Business

Some of the most memorable men and women from the business world come courtesy of TV and the movies. If you're one of many who enjoy watching big business on the big screen, consider a career in this diverse field.

Showtime for Business: A business degree could be a versatile choice. In fact, you can potentially apply it to almost any industry you can imagine, like health care and even computer technology services. And for those with management aspirations, it's never been more convenient to earn an MBA since online programs have revolutionized business school.

Business Education Options:
Business administration
Health care

Average Business Salaries:*
Administrative assistants: $29,050
Office managers: $45,790
Accountants: $59,430
Management analysts: $73,570
Medical and health care managers: $80,240
Financial managers: $99,330
Computer and information systems managers: $112,210

Search for online and local Business schools now.

You Like: Nurse Jackie, HawthoRNe, Meet the Parents, Mercy
Career Option for You: Nurse

If TV shows and movies about the nursing profession intrigue you, consider potentially entering this growing field. The work is rewarding, and the earning potential is great too!

Showtime for Nurses: Registered nurses make up nearly 3 out of every 10 hospital workers, according to the Department of Labor, and demand is growing. "Moving into the future, we see a very large shortage of nurses, about 300,000," Vanderbilt University's Peter Buerhaus told the Washington Post.* Find Nursing schools now.

Nurse Education Options:
Nursing diploma
Associate's degree in nursing
Bachelor's of science in nursing
Master's of science in nursing

Average Nurse Salaries:*
Licensed practical nurse: $39,030
Registered nurse: $62,450
Family nurse practitioner: $66,954-$82,790
Advanced registered nurse practitioner: $67,823-$86,055

Search for Nursing schools near you now.

You Like: CSI, Bones, Silence of the Lambs, Law and Order
Career Option for You: Criminal Justice

If crime and police procedurals are your must-see TV and movies, consider a degree in criminal justice so you can potentially follow in the footsteps of your favorite on-screen investigators.

Showtime for Criminal Justice: About 9 in 10 police officers, sheriffs, and detectives work for local governments, according to the Department of Labor. Many opportunities also exist with state and federal agencies. Find Criminal Justice bachelor's degree programs now.

Criminal Justice Education Options:
Criminal justice
Law enforcement
Homeland security
Public safety

Average Criminal Justice Salaries:*
Police and sheriff's patrol officers: $51,410
Detectives and criminal investigators: $60,910
Police and detective supervisors: $75,490

Search for online Criminal Justice degree and certificate programs.

You Like: Boston Legal, The Practice, Erin Brockovich, A Few Good Men
Career Option for You: Paralegal

If you love watching legal teams crack a big case on TV and the silver screen, maybe it's time get in on the action by pursuing a career as a paralegal. They're the ones who assist lawyers in just about every possible way.

Showtime for Paralegals: The Department of Labor forecasts a much faster than average employment growth for paralegals between 2008 and 2018. According to Paralegal Today, top earning paralegal specialties in 2009 were intellectual property, commercial law, and securities law.*

Paralegal Education Options:
Paralegal certificate
Associate's degree in paralegal studies
Bachelor's degree in paralegal studies

Average Paralegal Salaries:*
Legal secretaries: $39,860
Paralegals: $52,214

Find the right Paralegal program now!

You Like: Glee, School of Rock, Mr. Holland's Opus, Stand and Deliver
Career Option for You: Teacher

Hollywood has a long tradition of portraying teachers who have made a difference in the fictional lives of their students. A career as a teacher coupd potentially allow you to do that in the real world.

Showtime for Teachers:The Orlando Sentinel reported in June 2010 that nearly 500,000 new openings for public and private school teachers are expected by 2018, thanks in large part to a flood of retiring baby boomers. Career prospects for teachers vary from good to excellent, accoridng to the Department of Labor.*

Teacher Education Options:
Teaching certificate
Bachelor's degree
Education degree
Master's degree

Average Teaching Salaries:*
Elementary school teacher: $52,240
Middle school teacher: $52,570
High school teacher: $54,390
Elementary school principal: $85,907
Middle school principal: $91,334
High school principal: $97,486

Search for local and online Teaching degree and certificate programs.

*All average salary and job growth information is from the U.S. Department of Labor and uses 2008 figures, except for family nurse practitioner and advanced registered nurse practitioner pay, which comes from; paralegal pay, which comes from Paralegal Today's 18th Annual Salary Survey, which was published in June 2010 and uses data from 2009; and elementary, middle, and high school principal pay, which comes from the Educational Research Service's survey of public schools for the 2007-2008 school year and represents average salaries.

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