Careers With Staying Power

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Career experts weigh in on careers that are in-demand.

By Tony Moton

The recession, technology, and automation have all affected employment stability in today's job market.

The good news is that there are plenty of careers that can potentially withstand the test of hard times, and that will likely be around for years.

Shelly Field, a career expert from Catskills, New York, says there are excellent opportunities for job seekers to have careers that flourish well into the future.

"Jobs that stick around are the ones where technology enhances the job and doesn't take away from what the job is," says Field, author of The Unofficial Guide to Hot Careers and 100 Best Careers for the 21st Century.

If you're interested in finding out which careers could be more likely to stick around, keep reading...

Stable Career #1 – Medical Assistant

Why It's Likely Here To Stay: "As long as the population is growing and people are living longer, there will be a need for medical assistants," says Roger J. Moncarz, a top occupational forecaster for the U.S. Department of Labor.

Staying Power: The number of positions for medical assistants, whose duties can be both clinical and administrative, is projected to grow by 34 percent from 2008-2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

The Preparation: Medical assisting programs could take about one or two years (depending on your course load) and could help lead to either a certificate or associate's degree. Courses in anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology will prepare you for work in this stable field.

The Pay: Medical assistants have incomes that vary, depending on their experience, skill level, and location. The average is $29,450*, with top-earning medical assistants making $39,970 a year.**

Search for Medical Assistant training programs now.

Stable Career #2 – Accountant

Why It's Likely Here To Stay: "People don't like doing their own finances,'' Field says. "They like to have somebody who is trained to do them. You may or may not do your own taxes, but as long as there are businesses, there will always be a need for accounting."

Staying Power: Accounting and auditing careers are expected to grow by 22 percent from 2008-2018 and the prospects are particularly good for CPAs, according to reports from the Department of Labor.

The Preparation: Going for a bachelor's degree in accounting or business, can help you pursue an entry-level position. If you've got a special area of interest in the field, such as government or management accounting, you might also be required to obtain state certifications.

The Average Earning Potential: Accountants have an average wage of $67,430. Top accountants earn an average salary of $104,450 per year, but that figure varies and depends on specialty, preparation, and company of employment.*

Find local and online Accounting and Business schools now.

Stable Career #3 – Paralegal

Why It's Likely Here To Stay: "Paralegals do a lot of the nitty-gritty work," career expert Field says. "But as much as computers take over things, you can't take over what paralegals do...."

Staying Power: The number of paralegals, also called legal assistants, is projected to grow by 28 percent from 2008-2018, according to the Department of Labor.

The Preparation: Earn an associate's degree in paralegal studies to help you pursue a career as a paralegal. If you already have a college degree, a great educational alternative is a certificate in paralegal studies.

The Average Earning Potential: Paralegal salaries vary greatly based on factors such as training, preparation, location, and size and type of employer. The average annual salary of a paralegal is $46,120, whereas the average annual salary for a paralegal near the top of the salary scale is $75,700.*

Research top Paralegal schools now!

Stable Career #4 – Registered Nurse (RN)

Why It's Likely Here To Stay: "We didn't use to live this long, and we died a lot sooner," says occupational forecaster Moncarz."...If you are going to a doctor, you are probably going in and talking to a nurse. Nurses have found ways to enhance the way they are doing things."

Staying Power: Nursing is the largest health care field with 2.6 million positions, and that number is projected to grow by 22 percent from 2008-2018, according to the Department of labor.

The Preparation: Generally speaking, there are three degree programs that help you prepare for an RN career – a bachelor's degree, associate's degree, or certificate.

The Average Earning Potential: Many RNs often have flexible work schedules, child care, educational benefits, and bonuses. All of this can be in addition to an average annual salary of $66,530 - and a top-tier average annual salary of $93,700!*

Find a Nursing school near you now!

Stable Career #5 – Cost Estimator

Why It's Likely Here To Stay: "A cost estimator is developing critical information that decision makers are using to go forward with a project. And going forward, as budgets are tightened and resources are thinner, builders will rely on cost estimators to hone in and give them a sense of the capital they need to raise," Moncarz says.

Staying Power: Growth in the number of cost estimators will rise by 25 percent between 2008-2018, according to the Department of Labor.

The Preparation: If you have experience in the construction industry, you might be an excellent candidate for transitioning into a long-term career as a cost estimator. Earning a bachelor's degree in a field like business, accounting, engineering, or physical science and can help potentially catch the eyes of employers.

The Average Earning Potential: Average salaries of cost estimators vary in relation to experience, education, size of firm, and industry. Cost estimators have an average annual wage of $61,190. At the top of the earnings scale, they make an average salary of $95,190.*

Search for Business and Accounting degrees near you.

*Average salaries represent the mean annual wage estimates, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2009.
**Average top salaries represent the average annual salary among the top ten percent of wage earners in the field, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2009.

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