The employment news is not very good. But there are jobs available if you know where to look.
The national unemployment rate jumped to 8.1% in February. Jobs in manufacturing, construction and financial services are especially drying up, according to data released last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“We’re seeing health care grow across the board,” says Steven Sylven, a spokesperson for Monster.com. “We’re also seeing growth in protective services in and around D.C. as well as forestry positions out west.” (Protective services includes law enforcement and other professions, such as lifeguards.)
If you’re in the market to change your career, here are six jobs you may want to consider.
Clinical Laboratory Technician
Job description: Clinical laboratory technicians prepare specimens for examination by medical technologists, operate medical machinery and test samples themselves.
Minimum requirements: An associate degree or a certificate from a hospital, a vocational or technical school, or the armed forces. You can also contact the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences to find out how you can become a certified laboratory technician.
Median salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: $34,270 per year (as of May 2007)
Job description: Social workers help clients cope with a variety of issues including employment loss, housing displacement and drug and alcohol abuse.
Minimum requirements: You’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree to find a job as a social worker, and many positions require an advanced degree such as a master’s in social work. All states have their own certification requirements, and regulations vary. You can contact the National Association of Social Workers to find out about the certification requirements in your area.
Median salary: $38,620 per year (as of May 2007)
Job description: Pharmacy technicians prepare medications under the supervision of a pharmacist. Some tasks include counting tablets, labeling bottles, stocking shelves and answering the phone.
Minimum requirements: There is no set requirement for becoming a pharmacy technician and, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most are trained on the job. However, many employers look for applicants with formal training, previous experience or certification. You can contact the Pharmacy Technicians Certification Board to find out how you can earn your certification.
Median salary: $26,720 per year (as of May 2007)
Job description: Security guards (also known as protection officers) monitor property in order to prevent incidents of theft, vandalism, terrorism and illegal activity.
Minimum requirement: A high school diploma.
Median salary: $22,570 per year (as of May 2007)
Job description: Analysts design information systems for business, accounting, scientific and engineering organizations.
Minimum requirement: A bachelor’s degree in computer science, information science or management information systems.
Median salary: $73,090 per year (as of May 2007)
Job description: Conservation workers preserve ecosystems such as forests. Some of their duties include planting trees and removing diseased timber.
Minimum requirement: There are no educational requirements for forest worker jobs.
Median salary: $20,510 per year (as of May 2007)
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