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Career Corner
Lucrative Jobs for Young Careerists

Selena Dehne, JIST Publishing Inc. -- If you're a young person, consider that there are a good number of high-paying jobs where your age is not a barrier to entry.

You thought your first few years in the work force would be blessed with a salary generous enough to provide you with a flashy new car, a chic apartment, and plenty of extra money for Coach purses or a Plasma TV. Instead, you dined on Ramen noodles every day, took the bus to work, and barely scraped savings together while living paycheck to paycheck every month.

If this scenario sounds familiar, you're not alone. Many young people enter the work force expecting to encounter a financial utopia, only to realize their paycheck barely covers the cost of rent, utilities and groceries, let alone any extras. In fact, recently conducted a survey that revealed 57% of workers blame inadequate compensation for why they want to leave their current job. It's not uncommon that these financially frustrated people are rookie professionals caught in low-paying jobs, due to their youth and inexperience in the career world.

Luckily, there are several opportunities for young people to earn big early, despite their age. According to Michael Farr and Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., authors of 250 Best-Paying Jobs, not only is it possible for young professionals to earn top dollars early in their careers, but high-paying job opportunities for young workers are actually growing.

"There are several reasons why young people have a relatively large presence in a high-paying occupation. In many cases, the occupation is very small and growing very rapidly -- almost as if the occupation were just invented -- therefore, it has a large number of young workers."

Farr and Shatkin sorted through hundreds of jobs with a high percentage of workers between the ages of 16 and 24 years old. Then they identified the best-paying jobs for young people, based on each job's annual earnings, percent growth and annual openings.

The following list features 10 best-paying job opportunities for young professionals:

1. Actuaries -- $81,640

Job Description: Analyzes statistical data, such as mortality, accident, sickness, disability, and retirement rates, and constructs probability tables to forecast risk and liability for payment of future benefits.
Percent Workers 16-24: 13%
Percent Growth: 23.2%
Annual Openings: 3,000

2. Physician Assistants -- $72,030

Job Description: Provides health-care services typically performed by a physician, under the supervision of a physician. Conducts complete physicals, provides treatment and counsels patients.
Percent Workers 16-24: 12.9%
Percent Growth: 49.6%
Annual Openings: 10,000

3. Administrative Services Managers -- $64,020

Job Descriptions: Plans, directs or coordinates supportive services of an organization, such as recordkeeping, mail distribution, telephone operator/receptionist, and other office support services. May oversee facilities planning and maintenance and custodial operations.
Percent Workers 16-24: 8%
Percent Growth: 16.9%
Annual Openings: 25,000

4. Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts -- $61,750

Job Description: Analyzes, designs, tests, and evaluates network systems, such as local area networks, wide area networks, Internet, and other data communications systems. Performs network modeling, analysis and planning.
Percent Workers 16-24: 8.7%
Percent Growth: 54.6 percent
Annual Openings: 43,000

5. Technical Writers -- $55,160

Job Description: Writes technical materials, such as equipment manuals, appendices or operating and maintenance instructions. May assist in layout work.
Percent Workers 16-24: 8.2%
Percent Growth: 23.2%
Annual Openings: 5,000

6. Program Directors -- $53,860

Job Descriptions: Directs and coordinates activities of personnel engaged in preparation of radio or television station program schedules and programs, such as sports or news.
Percent Workers 16-24: 9.5%
Percent Growth: 16.6%
Annual Openings: 11,000

7. Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers and Athletes -- $53,800

Job Description: Represents and promotes artists, performers and athletes to prospective employers. May handle contract negotiation and other business matters for clients.
Percent Workers 16-24: 13.9%
Percent Growth: 11.8%
Annual Openings: 2,000

8. Occupational Health and Safety Specialists -- $53,710

Job Descriptions: Reviews, evaluates and analyzes work environments and design programs and procedures to control, eliminate and prevent disease or injury caused by chemical, physical and biological agents or ergonomic factors.
Percent Workers 16-24: 8.2%
Percent Growth: 12.4%
Annual Openings: 3,000

9. Commercial and Industrial Designers -- $52,200

Job Description: Develops and designs manufactured products, such as cars, home appliances and children's toys. Combines artistic talent with research on product use, marketing and materials to create the most functional and appealing product design.
Percent Workers 16-24: 8.7%
Percent Growth: 10.8%
Annual Openings: 7,000

10. Credit Analysts -- $50,370

Job Description: Analyzes current credit data and financial statements of individuals or firms to determine the degree of risk involved in extending credit or lending money. Prepares reports with this credit information for use in decision-making.
Percent Workers 16-24: 10.3%
Percent Growth: 3.6%
Annual Openings: 3,000

(Excerpt from 250 Best-Paying Jobs by Michael Farr and Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D.)

Farr and Shatkin encourage young and aspiring professionals to prevent their age from becoming an obstacle between themselves and their career expectations, saying, "If you're a young person, the important point to glean from this list is that there are a good number of high-paying jobs where your age is not a barrier to entry."

Selena Dehne is a career writer for JIST Publishing who shares the latest occupational, career and job search information available with job seekers and career changers. Her articles help people find meaningful work, develop their career and life plans, and carry out effective job search campaigns.

© 2007 Selena Dehne

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