Jobs That Could Pay More than $40 An Hour

2071

Wish you had more to show for your time on the clock? Here are seven careers that may increase your bottom line.

By Lia Sestric

Do you wish your paycheck made a bigger impact on your bank account? Good news: There are a range of jobs you could pursue that pay an average of $40 or more an hour - all of which could potentially beef up your bank account. In terms of salary, that might translate to more than $80K per year.

Why the high pay? All of these jobs have a common theme. "They're [in] industries that are growing quickly that really have a need for people who have an expertise in a given area," says Taunee Besson, president of Career Dimensions, a career management company in Dallas.

Interested in how you might pad your savings account? Keep reading to find out how to pursue one of these high-earning careers.

Career #1: Medical and Health Services Manager

Average Hourly Pay: $47.34 (or $98,460 per year)*

Health care is a business. And what does every successful business need? Someone who can manage it, says Besson. If you are business-oriented and have an interest in the future of health care, you may find that a career as a medical and health services manager is right up your alley. Plus, you have the potential to make a good living.

As a medical and health services manager (also called health care executives or health administrators), you will likely plan and direct medical and health services, says the U.S. Department of Labor. This could mean managing a group of physicians or even an entire facility.

The $40+ Factor: It boils down to the need for competent database management professionals in the health care industry, says Besson. "As a part of the new health care law, also called Obamacare, doctors' offices, hospitals, and other medical facilities are digitizing records to save time and money and become more patient-friendly," she says. And that means that office management and staff who are computer-literate and willing to learn and maintain these new systems are in great demand, Besson says.

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

Education Options: "Prospective medical and health services managers have a bachelor's degree in health administration," although master's degrees in related fields are also common, according the Department of Labor. These fields may include health services, long-term care administration, public health, public administration, or business administration.

Career#2: Applications Software Developer

Average Hourly Pay: $44.85 (or $93,280 per year)

Your Smartphone is loaded with apps that you use every day. What if you could go from being an avid user to the creator of the next trendy app? If you pursue a career as an app software developer, there's a possibility you could design the next big download while making a sizeable hourly pay.

Software developers are "the creative mind[s] behind computer programs," says the U.S. Department of Labor. Some in this profession design the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer, whereas others create the underlying systems that run the devices or networks, it says.

The $40+ Factor: Companies are willing to pay big bucks for software developers because they help technology run smoothly and advance, says Bill Peppler, managing partner at Kavaliro, a staffing agency in Orlando. He explains that software developers add value to a company, because they can design preventative software to avoid blips or detect problems before they become serious.

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

Education Options: These professionals usually have a bachelor's degree in computer science, software engineering, or another related field, says the Department of Labor. Math degrees are also considered to be acceptable.

Career #3: Human Resources Manager

Average Hourly Pay: $52.69 (or $109,590 per year)

Do you enjoy getting to know people? Do you always make a conscious effort to remember names and particular attributes about people you meet? That attention to detail may be a good fit for a career as a human resources manager, and one that could earn you good pay at that.

What are the responsibilities of this position? "Human resources managers plan, direct, and coordinate the administrative functions of an organization," says the U.S. Department of Labor. You may oversee recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of new employees, as well as act as a liaison between management and its employees.

The $40+ Factor: Human resources managers are essential to the recruitment and retention within companies, says Besson. "Any company who is smart about how they do business realizes their most important asset is its people," she adds. "Having a human resources manager that can truly serve as part of the executive team and look upon how the company strategically is going to grow - and what people and skills the company will need to make that happen - is a very important player in the company."

Next step: Click to Find the Right Human Resources Program.

Education Options: The Department of Labor says human resources managers typically need a bachelor's degree in human resources or business administration, along with related work experience. Some higher-level positions may require a graduate level degree in human resources, labor relations, or business administration.

Career #4: Financial Manager

Average Hourly Pay: $59.26 (or $123,260 per year)

How would you like to increase your bottom line by helping an organization stay financially robust? You have the potential to do both as a financial manager.

A person in this profession might direct investment activities, produce financial reports, and develop strategies for the long-term financial goals of their organization, says the U.S. Department of Labor.

The $40+ Factor: People are willing to pay for a sense of financial security, especially when they don't have the expertise or time themselves, says Besson. "Given that we have gone through the great recession, everybody in this point of time recognizes how important it is to know how to take care of the money that you have and invest it in things that are going to grow or at least in things that are not going to collapse."

Next step: Click to Find the Right Finance Program.

Education Options: To pursue a career as a financial manager, you must usually have a bachelor's degree and more than five years of experience in another business or finance-related occupation, says the Department of Labor. Bachelor's degrees in finance, accounting, business administration, and economics are often the minimum education needed for this position. The Department does note that many employers seek applicants with a master's degree in accounting, finance, or economics.

Career #5: Actuary

Average Hourly Pay: $51.29 (or $106,680 per year)

If you have been told you over-analyze everything, this is a career where that trait is an asset. As an actuary, you can focus your analytical skills on minimizing costs for a business, while having the potential to earn a relatively high pay.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, actuaries "use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to asses the risk that an event will occur." They also help clients design policies that reduce the cost of that risk.

The $40+ Factor: Besson says that companies are willing to pay a lot of money for an actuary because of the role they play in determining risk - and as a result, the role they have in a company's revenue.

For example, an actuary determines the risk of insuring people of different ages with different kinds of medical issues, she says. This could make a big difference in the amount that is charged to cover an employee, and it all depends "tremendously on the actuary's statistics and predictions," she says.

Next step: Click to Find the Right Business Program.

Education Options: Actuaries typically have a bachelor's degree in mathematics, statistics, business, or actuarial science and need to pass a series of exams to obtain certification, according the Department of Labor.

Career #6: Computer Hardware Engineer

Average Hourly Pay: $49.99 (or $103,980 per year)

Know a thing or two about the inner-workings of a computer? Why not connect this skill set with a new, high-paying career as a computer hardware engineer?

"Computer hardware engineers research, design, develop, and test computer equipment such as chips, circuit boards, or routers," says the U.S. Department of Labor. By solving glitches with computer hardware, they help advance computer technology.

The $40+ Factor: These professionals help companies reduce time wasted when computer systems go down, says Peppler.

Besson adds that "[c]omputer hardware engineers are able to give their expertise to make sure critical systems are up and working properly". She notes that this is especially important in a military and/or scientific-use setting. And with so much at stake, these positions are well-rewarded, she says.

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

Education Options: "Most entry-level computer hardware engineers have a bachelor's degree in computer engineering, although a degree in electrical engineering is generally acceptable," according to the Department of Labor. Earning the degree from a program accredited by ABET (formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) is preferred by some employers. A background in computer programming is usually needed as well, adds the Department.

Career #7: Public Relations Manager

Average Hourly Pay: $52.05 (or $108,260 per year)

Are you very conscientious about your image? How would you feel about polishing up the image of a business or client? As a public relations manager, you could help create a positive appearance of a company or person - and you may get a nice chunk of change in return.

As a public relations manager, you might direct public relations programs, raise funds for the company, and write media releases, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

The $40+ Factor: A company or person's brand is becoming increasingly important, especially with the popularity of social media, says Besson. Companies are willing to pay for positive publicity. "Goodwill isn't tangible, but if you are selling your company to stock holders or to an individual venture capital firm, goodwill actually has a value on it."

Next step: Click to Find the Right Communications Program.

Education Options: To enter a career as a public relations manager, the Department of Labor says you will typically need a bachelor's degree in communications, public relations, journalism. Also helpful is coursework in business administration, public speaking, and advertising.

* All salary information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Employment and Wages data, May 2012.

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