February 18, 2011

One Year To a New Career (kinda, maybe)

This Yahoo article One Year To a New Career gives a list of seven jobs they say you can get into within one year.

Their list is : 

1. Medical Assistant
2. Pharmacy Technician
3. Paralegal
4. Dental Assistant
5. Graphic Designer
6. Chef
7. Administrative Assistant

Its a pretty good list of jobs over all.   I look at this list as a short list of decent jobs you might transition into.   I think this is most valuable for someone who is currently unemployed or in a dying field.   These are fairly good jobs you can get into fairly quickly.


The wages for these jobs are generally in the $25,000 to $40,000 range.   You can make a living with these occupations.  However they tend to cite the average wages for the jobs.  The average wage for a job will be more than you should expect to make when you first start out.   

Might take longer
The article claims that you can get into each of the jobs within a year.   The exact time it takes will depend on local training options and possibly state requirements. It might take a two year program to get into many of these fields.

Job availability and competition
Medical, dental and pharmacy assistants all have good job prospects.   There is increasing demand and there isn't an over supply of people looking to get into the jobs.  Administrative assistants and chef jobs are about average as far as demand and competition.   Paralegals and graphic design are good jobs but I think theres a fair amount of people wanting to get into those fields.   You'll likely to be competing with people who have 4 year college degrees.   There is keen competition for graphic design jobs.

Go to Community College
If you're considering training for a career like one of the seven listed then you should definitely look at the local public community college first.    Don't go to some for profit college that advertises non stop on TV or radio.   The for profit schools will likely charge you $20,000 a year for training you can get at the community college for more like $3,500.   Most of the for profit colleges are total rip offs in my honest opinion. 

The best

Personally I like the pharmacy assistant option but thats more my personal preference.  But its one that may or may not take longer than one year depending on how they do it in your area.   The wages according to BLS average about $13-$14 an hour.   Nothing fabulous.   But I think it would be a good work environment and a stable job with good future.   Also in my area you can get into the field in less than a year with a quick certificate program via the local community college.   Of course that may not be true in your area.

Dental assistant is also a good field.   There is always going to be demand and they get paid fairly well.  

The worst

I don't think Chef is a good bet.   Competition for the better chef jobs at good restaurants is keen.   Maybe I'm wrong but what I've heard is people who train as chefs usually end up as cooks more often.  Cooks make more like $10-$12 an hour.   Graphic designer is one I'd avoid due to the high competition.   Theres way too many people trying to get into that field for you to have a safe bet at landing a decent paying job.    Of course if being a chef or graphic design are really your passion in life then maybe its worth doing one of them. 

1 comment:

  1. You're right about Chef's. I am a chef (semi retired from the trade) and I have run large kitchens all fine dinning - really great cooking. It takes many years to get to a level where you earn a living as a chef. A cook's wage is as you said $10-12, maybe a bit higher in the best cases....but not after 1 year of schooling. It makes me laugh. I would never hire someone with one year of schooling and no work experience and pay $12 - no way - they would get $10. Restaurants can't afford otherwise, given the narrow economy of their business.

    I retired and moved on to my own home based business because to be a Chef, and earn a good living the challenge is great. I started my training at 15, under a Master Chef and worked with him for 8 years - Summers during school. I also went to Hotel School and got a University Honors Degree in Commerce specializing in Hospitality Management - what a chef needs to know. Then I worked over seas and in many high end places as A COOK! It wasn't until 13 years later that I was earning $60K a year and the job was very hard work - 12-16 hour days 6 days a week sometimes 7. My Career Peaked out at $70K after about 16 years total.

    There will be so many out of work Chefs, of great skill that I'd advise people to avoid it as a career. But, Mastering Cooking is a crucial life skill. Everyone should do it, it will save you a great deal of money and enrich your quality of life! I offer this information for free in online cooking classes! I love to see people learn to cook.

    Yahoo must have some stake in raising enrollment to Chef Schools!


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