Most people approaching a career decision want tidy answers, not complicated questions. One of the tricky questions is: What kind of job could I get that pays well, but won’t take much extra training? A new study by Mathematica Policy Research just made the answer easier to find.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Mathematica used information from each state to determine promising careers for people who don’t have the resources for long-term training, but who need to get jobs that will support their families. The results of their study provide information about in-demand jobs with attainable training requirements, that could be used by any high school or college student, adult student, or career changer to get ideas for a new career.
To add an occupation to the list, it had to meet three criteria: it must require some training beyond a high school diploma, but less than a bachelor’s degree; its expected job growth must be positive over the next several years; and to make sure there are likely to be a relatively high number of job openings in the selected state, the projected employment for the occupation must be at least one job per 1,000 jobs statewide.
You can search by state to find promising careers in your area. You will find a list of occupations listed in order from highest number of expected jobs to lowest.
The amount of training needed for these jobs varies from some college, to a non-degree award such as a certificate or certification, to an associate’s degree (usually considered a 2-year degree of full-time school). The chart also indicates when on-the-job training is typically provided for an occupation.
For every state, you will find which occupations are more in demand, the amount of training expected to enter the field, the average annual openings for that field in your state, and how rapidly the occupation is growing. You can also learn about wages; the lower end (typically reflecting entry level workers and sometimes more rural locations), the higher end, and the median (the dollar amount that 50 percent of workers in that field earn less than, and 50 percent earn more than).