Seven In-Demand Careers That Could Pay Over $30 an Hour

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Think a high-growth, high-pay job is out of reach? Think again.

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Finding a great career can be a terrific long-term proposition. But which careers should you be looking at?

One thing to look for before pursuing a hopefully rewarding and long-lasting career is how much it pays - and how many jobs are out there.

To help, we combed through the U.S. Department of Labor website to find a variety of careers that pay $30 an hour and up - and are projected to add at least 60,000 jobs over 2012 to 2022.

Keep reading to learn more.

Career #1: Registered Nurse

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Mean
Hourly Wage
$33.13*
Median Annual Salary
$66,220*
Job Outlook Projected for 2012-2022
526,800 new jobs**

If caring for others comes naturally to you, you might want to consider a career in nursing.

Registered nurses, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, provide patient care, educate people about various health conditions, and give advice and support to patients and their family members.

Hot Factor: Nurses are the lifeblood of any medical setting, says Rebecca Fraser-Thill, a career coach and founder of WorkingSelf.com.

The aging population is a driver of growth, too. "The health care system is being increasingly utilized, both because of the aging baby boomer generation and the Affordable Care Act," says Fraser-Thill.

Next step: Click to Find the Right Nursing Program.

How to Prepare: According to the Department of Labor, preparing to pursue a career as a registered nurse usually means earning a bachelor's of science in nursing, an associate's degree in nursing, or a diploma from an approved nursing program. One must also be licensed.

Career #2: Accountants and Auditors

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Mean
Hourly Wage
$34.86*
Median Annual Salary
$65,080*
Job Outlook Projected for 2012-2022
166,700 new jobs**

If you're good with numbers, you'll appreciate the high hourly pay you could collect as an accountant or auditor.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, accountants and auditors are responsible for preparing financial records and taxes as well as working to help ensure companies run smoothly and efficiently.

Hot Factor: Compensation for accountants and auditors could be high because retirement rates in this sector surpass hiring rates, and high compensation serves to draw in young hires, Fraser-Thill explains.

"As accountants and auditors begin to retire, we need new young people to take their place, and that's not happening at the rate that would be ideal. Thus the pay is high," she says.

In addition, modern-day corruption might mean we need more accountants and auditors keeping us all honest. Recent corporate scandals and financial crises are at the root of increased demand for accountants and auditors, specifically because stricter standards and regulations are pushing companies to rev up their accounting services in order to prove their creditworthiness, states the Department of Labor.

Next step: Click to Find the Right Accounting Program.

How to Prepare: A bachelor's degree in accounting is required for most positions as an accountant or auditor. Some employers also prefer applicants with a master's in accounting, or in business administration with an accounting concentration, according to the Department.

Career #3: Computer Systems Analysts

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Mean
Hourly Wage
$41.02*
Median Annual Salary
$81,190*
Job Outlook Projected for 2012-2022
127,700 new jobs**

If you're a whiz with computers, you may have the skills that could help you pursue a career with an impressive mean hourly rate of pay.

The U.S. Department of Labor explains that computer systems analysts help an organization run smoothly by analyzing its computer systems, binding business and information technology together with their understanding of both.

Hot Factor: You'll be hard-pressed to find any company that doesn't use some kind of computer system to run their business these days, which is great news for computer systems analysts. "We are a society reliant on our computers in order to do our work, so they're in absolute need these days," says Fraser-Thill.

The Department of Labor adds that increased reliance on information technology (IT) as well as the growth of mobile and wireless networks will drive demand for new systems to be designed and installed across all sectors of the economy.

Next step: Click to Find the Right Computer Science Program.

How to Prepare: Most computer systems analysts have bachelor's degrees in a computer-related field, according to the Department.

Career #4: Construction Managers

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Mean
Hourly Wage
$44.57*
Median Annual Salary
$84,410*
Job Outlook Projected for 2012-2022
78,200 new jobs**

If you've ever done any construction or construction-related work, and you're ready to help run the show, you should look into this as a career option.

Construction managers are the folks responsible for coordinating, budgeting, planning, and supervising construction projects from start to finish, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Hot Factor: "[A]ny time we pull out of an economic downturn, construction begins again in earnest," says Fraser-Thill.

"While our fiscal recovery may be slow this go round, construction is expected to pick up in the near future. With that increase in construction comes the need for good managers," Fraser-Thill says.

Next step: Click to Find the Right Construction Management Program.

How to Prepare: The Department of Labor tells us that for construction managers to possess a bachelor's degree in engineering, architecture, construction management, or construction science is becoming increasingly important.

Career #5: Software Developer

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Mean
Hourly Wage
Applications: $46.28* Systems Software: $50.23*
Median Annual Salary
Applications: $92,660* Systems Software: $101,410*
Job Outlook Projected for 2012-2022
222,600 new jobs*

If you want to be the mind behind the next computer program or application, a career as a software developer might be ideal for you to pursue.

The U.S. Department of Labor defines software developers as the creative folks behind computer programs, who develop both the handy applications and integrated computer systems that power networks.

Hot Factor: Is it even possible to imagine a world without computers anymore? As Fraser-Thill mentioned earlier, our society has become dependent on computers not only for our personal lives but also at work.

Computer systems therefore affect a company's overall productivity and bottom line, which could translate to high pay for the experts in charge of building these systems.

Next step: Click to Find the Right Programming & Software Program.

How to Prepare: In addition to solid skills in computer programming, software developers usually have a bachelor's degree in computer science, software engineering, or a related field, according to the Department of Labor. It's also acceptable for software developers to have a degree in mathematics.

Career #6: Financial Advisors

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Mean
Hourly Wage
$48.04*
Median Annual Salary
$75,320*
Job Outlook Projected for 2012-2022
60,300 new jobs**

If you enjoy helping others figure out what to do with their money, good news: You might be able to make a pretty penny doing just that as a financial advisor.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor these professionals give advice to people on matters ranging from taxes to investments to insurance.

Hot Factor: The growing number of potential retirees is a big factor here. "As the baby boomer generation ages, they are facing many messy financial questions: Do I have enough money to retire? How can I financially provide for my parents who are in long-term situations? And how do I prepare for my own eventual long-term care needs? The boomers are willing to pay for answers to these complex questions," says Fraser-Thill.

As Fraser-Thill explains, with such pressing financial questions come a pressing need for answers, thus "putting financial advisors in hot demand."

Next step: Click to Find the Right Finance Program.

How to Prepare: If you're hoping to pursue a career as a financial advisor, the Department of Labor says that a bachelor's degree is usually needed. It adds that degrees in finance, economics, accounting, business, mathematics, or law are all good preparation for this job.

Career #7: Medical and Health Services Managers

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Mean
Hourly Wage
$48.72*
Median Annual Salary
$90,940*
Job Outlook Projected for 2012-2022
73,300 new jobs**

If you don't want to go to medical school, but want to make a decent living in health care, consider medical and health services management as a profession.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, medical and health services managers plan, direct, and coordinate the delivery of health care.

Hot Factor: The general need for health care is a benefit for these workers when it comes to growth. "As demand for health care rises, so does demand for medical professionals of all stripes. Effective management of health services has become particularly important in recent years as legislation and insurance has become increasingly complicated," says Fraser-Thill.

The Department of Labor says that as the baby boomer generation continues to age and yet remain active later in life, the health care industry will see an increased demand for medical services.

Next step: Click to Find the Right Health Care Administration Program.

How to Prepare: A bachelor's degree in health administration is what the Department tells us that prospective medical and health services managers should have. Master's degrees in health services, long-term care administration, public administration, public health, and even business administration are also common, adds the Department.

* All salary information from the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2013.

** Projected job growth rates from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 edition.

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