6 Careers With Rewarding Average Earning Potential


With the right education, you could potentially transition to a career with great average earning potential.

By Jennifer Berry   

Are you struggling to make ends meet because your income just isn't cutting it?

There may be some options out there for you.

Check out these 6 hot careers with $60,000 earning potential.

Career #1 - Market Research Analyst
Average Earning Potential: $67,500*

Market research analysts investigate conditions in local or national areas to figure out how well a new product or service might do there. As a market research analyst, you might use your survey results to develop marketing campaigns based on different area's preferences and buying habits.

The preparation: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, you'll need a bachelor's degree for many market research positions. They suggest taking courses in business, marketing, and consumer behavior. Other courses that might be helpful include social science courses (like economics, psychology, and sociology) and courses in math, statistics, and computer science. Earning an advanced degree in business administration, marketing, statistics, or communications could be helpful in furthering your career.

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Career #2 - Corporate Paralegal
Average Earning Potential: $46,358 - $70,258*

As a corporate paralegal, you could spend a good part of your day assisting attorneys with shareholder agreements, stock-option plans, and other legal documents. It might also be your responsibility to help prepare and file annual financial reports.

The preparation: The most common path to pursuing a paralegal position is an associate's degree in paralegal studies, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. If you already have a bachelor's degree, consider earning a certificate in paralegal studies. Check to see if your program is approved by the American Bar Association (ABA), as studying at an ABA-approved school may enhance your opportunities later, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

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Career #3 - Registered Nurse (RN)
Average Earning Potential: $66,530*

As an RN, your duties may include treating and educating patients about various medical conditions. You might also perform diagnostic tests, analyze results, and administer medications.

The preparation: You can either earn a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN), an associate's degree in nursing (ADN), or a diploma from an approved nursing program. To get your nursing license, you'll need to complete a national licensing examination.

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Career #4 - Commercial Loan Officer
Average Earning Potential: $63,210*

As a commercial loan officer, your duties could include verifying information on loan applications and determining whether or not to grant the loans. You may work with multiple banks or investment bankers to put together a package of loans to finance a big project - like building a new shopping mall.

The preparation: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, commercial loan officers need a bachelor's degree in finance, economics, or a related field. A good understanding of business accounting, financial statements, and cash flow analysis could also be important. A lot of commercial loan officers start off in related positions like tellers or customer service representatives.

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Career #5 - Multimedia Artist and Animator
Average Earning Potential: $62,810*

As a multimedia artist and animator, it might be your responsibility to create special effects, animation, or other visual images for computer games, movies, music videos, and commercials.

The preparation: As the U.S. Department of Labor notes, most multimedia artists and animators need a bachelor's degree because of the level of technical expertise required in this type of role. Make sure you take advantage of your school years to build a strong portfolio of work.

Search for Art and Design Programs Near You

Career #6 - Criminal Investigator
Average Earning Potential: $65,860*

As a criminal investigator, your responsibilities might include gathering facts and collecting evidence for criminal cases. You could conduct interviews, examine records, observe the activities of suspects, and participate in raids or arrests. You might even be assigned to a task force to combat specific types of crime.

The preparation: Earning a degree in criminal justice, police science, administration of justice, or public administration could be a great step in pursuing this career.

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* All average income information is provided by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2009, except for Corporate Paralegal, which comes from PayScale.com's "Salary Snapshot Corporate Paralegal Jobs"

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