“Getting a Good Job in America” Part 10 – Nursing and other medical Jobs

There is an article from US News and World Report this week that describes the 100 best jobs in America:

100 Best Jobs

According to the article, here is how “best” is defined:

“No single job suits all of us, but many of the best ones have a few attributes in common: They pay well, challenge us year after year, match our talents and skills, aren’t too stressful, offer room to advance throughout our careers, and provide a satisfying work-life balance. Whether the position is in demand is also a consideration among job seekers. U.S. News uses these qualities to rank the 100 Best Jobs of 2021.”

One thing about the list is the prominence of medical jobs at the top of the list:

The thing about the Nurse Practitioner is that: a) it pays well, b) there are a lot of openings (more than 100K), c) the requirements are much lower than those to become a physician, and d) you can approach it incrementally.

What does incrementally mean? This post from Reddit this week demonstrates the process:

From custodian to nurse practitioner

  • Step 1- start as a custodian (janitor)
  • Step 2 – become a registered nurse
  • Step 3 – become a nurse practitioner making 6 figures

It is not a trivial path, but there is a path and plenty of job openings if you are planning to go to college anyway.

One path would be to get a bachelor degree in nursing and become a registered nurse. You could do this at a college like ECU:

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Then move up from there to nurse practitioner:

Family Nurse Practitioner

Associate degree in Nursing

Or a lower cost option would be to start through a community college with something like this associate degree:

Associate Degree Nursing – AAS

The associate degree is described in this way, and would give you an entry point:

“The Associate Degree Nursing curriculum provides knowledge, skills, and strategies to integrate safety and quality into nursing care, to practice in a dynamic environment, and to meet individual needs that impact health, quality of life, and achievement of potential. Course work includes and builds upon the domains of healthcare, nursing practice, and the holistic individual. Content emphasizes the nurse as a member of the interdisciplinary team providing safe, individualized care while employing evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and informatics. Graduates of this program are eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). Employment opportunities are vast within the global health care system and may include positions within acute, chronic, extended, industrial, and community health care facilities.”

100 Best Jobs is a great article to get other job ideas. Some of them only require a high school diploma.

More Jobs Articles

Easy directory of all of Marshall Brain’s Jobs-related blog posts:

  1. Introduction to “Getting a Good Job in America”
  2. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 2 – How do you gain skills?
  3. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 3 – Newsweek weighs in with 19 jobs
  4. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 4 – Driving a Truck
  5. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 5 – Information Technology (IT) and Cybersecurity jobs
  6. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 6 – Google Career Certificates
  7. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 7 – Becoming an Engineer
  8. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 8 – Making the most of entry-level sales jobs
  9. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 9 – Jobs to Avoid
  10. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 10 – Medical jobs like Nurse Practitioner

“Getting a Good Job in America” Part 9 – Jobs to Avoid

I will be the first to admit that this is a disheartening article, and depressing. The idea that so many millions of people are caught in this place is extremely uncomfortable. On the other hand, finding ways to get out of these situations is what this series of articles is about:

She Works 2 Jobs. Her Grocery Budget Is $25. This Is Life Near Minimum Wage.

The article contains this paragraph, which is essentially a map of the jobs in America to avoid:

Home and health aides are among the lowest-paid jobs in America. Also on that list are cooks and cashiers, file clerks and janitors, drivers and construction workers. The most common low-wage work is in retail.

We can probably add a few more jobs that are typically minimum wage to the list, like fast food restaurants. Not to be totally negative, if you are caught between a rock and a hard place and simply need any money you can find, these jobs are better than nothing. But it would be difficult to build a life in America around the job categories listed in the article.

But note that the map is not 100% accurate. As we have seen in previous posts, long-distance truck drivers can make great money, and so can certain types of more skilled construction workers (e.g. plumbers).

And if you took a fast food job with the intention of becoming the store manager, that could also work out well:

Chipotle Salary Can Top $95,000 Annually

It is an older article, but still true (see also Reddit comments here). It contains this paragraph:

You might not think slinging burritos is the most glamorous job out there, but apparently it’s possible to make a heck of a lot of money doing it. Climbing the ladder at locations of the fast food chain Chipotle Mexican Grill can result in some big bucks, according to CBS Los Angeles. One employee interviewed by the network, Lidia Castillo, said she worked her way up from a service manager all the way to restaurateur (Chipotle’s title for a general manager) within a year, a position with an average salary of $99,000 annually. That’s significantly more than the median annual salary for fast food workers of around $18,230, according to Daily Finance.

Also note that this kind of pay is completely typical for managers:

That said, according to Salary.com, the median expected salary for a retail franchise manager in the U.S. is $95,764 per year.

What is Chipotle looking for in an employee?

To ensure success, job-seekers would do well to embody the 13 qualities of an ideal Chipotle employee, which Castillo told CBS Los Angeles were “conscientious, respectful, hospitable, high energy, infectiously enthusiastic, happy, presentable, smart, polite, motivated, ambitious, curious, and honest.”

Those qualities would be true for any job.

More Jobs Articles

Easy directory of all of Marshall Brain’s Jobs-related blog posts:

  1. Introduction to “Getting a Good Job in America”
  2. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 2 – How do you gain skills?
  3. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 3 – Newsweek weighs in with 19 jobs
  4. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 4 – Driving a Truck
  5. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 5 – Information Technology (IT) and Cybersecurity jobs
  6. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 6 – Google Career Certificates
  7. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 7 – Becoming an Engineer
  8. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 8 – Making the most of entry-level sales jobs
  9. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 9 – Jobs to Avoid
  10. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 10 – Medical jobs like Nurse Practitioner

“Getting a Good Job in America” Part 8 – Making the most of entry-level sales jobs

This is a notable post from several years ago that appeared on Reddit:

Some thoughts on how to make real money when young and uneducated

There are several valuable perspectives contained in here, but the sales theme is especially interesting.

Let’s start at the beginning, with the authors setup:

“I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic, driven by the common sentiment I see a lot from people my age about the job market for young, uneducated, inexperienced, and often underqualified folks, and I wanted to throw together some thoughts based on my experiences and those of my friends. I really do believe that there is a formula for making great money under these conditions, and it doesn’t involve, like, starting a company, working in Multi-Level-Marketing, or blogging for a living. I’m going to use specific examples, citing specific dollar amounts and experiences…. None of us have a degree, none of us did well in high school (3 have GEDs), and all of us came from poor families. Additionally, no one has any highly rare, marketable skills; or at least we didn’t to begin with. We’re all between 24-29, and we will all end this year over 120k.”

When it comes to sales, here is what the author has to say. First he describes two friends that he names as Dan and Carl:

“There are some jobs that this isn’t necessary for, as they’ll hire pretty much anyone. These industries (often sales driven), usually have incredibly cut-throat entry level positions, and that’s how our other two examples got started (we’ll call them Dan and Carl). Dan started selling gym memberships, and Carl worked in a call-center environment for a third-party purchasing company. Both paid minimum wage with some okay incentives for reaching certain goals. Both had very high turnover and were pretty intense. Both of them also got those roles around 18-19.”

According to the author, the key next step is to excel in terms of metrics. Therefore:

“The beauty of sales is that the skills are universal. Sales managers don’t care what you sold as long as you sold it well. Dan worked for a nationwide gym that published sales leaders every month. In the 3 years he worked there, among thousands of salesmen on the list, he was top 10 every month except for the first one. He also worked close to 80 hour weeks. Carl wasn’t so blatantly successful, but he was sure to have clear communication about expectations from his managers and hit the important metrics, which was net margin in his case. So he had sales people around him selling way more in terms of gross revenue, but cutting deals too much, so he focused on keeping his margins solid and management loved him for it.”

Then there is the payoff, after proving yourself in the entry-level roles:

“Dan brought his 3 years of proof of dominating in gym membership sales to the sales job of his choice; he sells windows, roofs and gutters, usually runs 1-2 90 minute appointments per day, and rakes about 150k. He golfs a lot. He’s 27. Carl, upon not getting the appreciation for his contributions that he felt owed, made a few hops through other technical sales roles, always excelling and gaining a wealth of industry knowledge that he then leveraged to get a job selling telecom services to a high-dollar provider for enterprise customers. He’ll do about $140k this year, and far more in the future, and is 26.”

The post garnered hundreds of comments, many of them valuable in their own right. One example:

“SALES: anyone who doubts these numbers has obviously never been in a sales job. The money is there, and the sky really is the limit. Car sales is a great example with low barriers to entry and INCREDIBLY high potentials. I’ve worked with 20 year old car guys (those who are 20 and those who’ve been doing it for 20 years) who are clearing $90-150k/year with commission (Copart Auto Auction, Ford, Honda/Accord). If you’ve got sales chops, you can make however the fuck much you can sell. You can go sell door to door and make $100k if you’ve got the dedication (once again, have worked door to door, I’ve seen the W2’s. Solar and local security systems). Translate this into more specific and technical sales positions, carve out a niche, and you’re fine.

tl;dr sales- if you can sell, you can make however much you want, no education and no formal training.

In-N-Out Burger (fast food. DISCLAIMER- I know this isn’t true for the majority of fast food, but its a very real opportunity to those in CA/AZ/NV): start at $11.50 as a snot nosed kid in high school when you’re 16. Level up (literally. Its what they call their internal promotions, trained on more positions within the restaurant). Lower management within 2 years, $30-50k. Assistant manager 2-4 years ($50-80k). Store manager 4-10 ($100-250+. Yes, you can make $250k as a store manager at in n out).”

One point from this post is clear – under the right circumstances, it is possible to start in an entry level job, excel in that role, and then move up. Sales jobs are especially conducive to this because companies are happy to pay high dollars for good sales people. A good sales person is bringing money directly into the company, and bringing in money is a key activity for any company.

A Second Example

There was a post yesterday that is related:

My partner (18) and I (17) started a sales business in January and we do around $45k a month in revenue…

“Think of us as an external sales team that works for other businesses. We work purely of commission at the moment and our goal is to increase the customer and sales numbers of the businesses we work with.”

They are doing the same kind of thing, where they are turning sales into dollars and making their clients happy.

More Jobs Articles

Easy directory of all of Marshall Brain’s Jobs-related blog posts:

  1. Introduction to “Getting a Good Job in America”
  2. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 2 – How do you gain skills?
  3. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 3 – Newsweek weighs in with 19 jobs
  4. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 4 – Driving a Truck
  5. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 5 – Information Technology (IT) and Cybersecurity jobs
  6. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 6 – Google Career Certificates
  7. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 7 – Becoming an Engineer
  8. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 8 – Making the most of entry-level sales jobs
  9. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 9 – Jobs to Avoid
  10. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 10 – Medical jobs like Nurse Practitioner

“Getting a Good Job in America” Part 7 – Becoming an Engineer

I am not saying that this path is for everyone, and I am not saying that this path is easy, but…

If you are in high school right now and you are planning to go to college, consider an engineering degree as your course of study. The advantage of engineering degrees right now is that:

  1. There is strong demand
  2. The jobs pay well right out of college ($70,000 per year right after graduation is not uncommon)
  3. While some engineering degrees require a lot of math, not all of them do.
  4. There is a lot of variety in engineering

Variety in engineering

North Carolina State University (NCSU) is a well-known engineering school. For in-state residents, an engineering degree at NCSU is relatively inexpensive (and we will see a way to lower the cost even more below). The College of Engineering at NCSU has all of these different departments:

With all of this variety, there may be some engineering specialty that you find interesting.

Several of these specialties have particularly high demand at the moment.

Lowering the cost of an engineering degree

Four years at an engineering school can get expensive. One way to lower the cost of a place like NCSU is to do part of your time at a community college. In many cases, the first 2 years of an engineering degree can be done at a community college, with most or all of the credit hours transferring over. With NCSU, a student can work at the local community college called Wake Tech, and the cost of the first 2 years drops considerably. Many other engineering schools have similar programs.

More Jobs Articles

Easy directory of all of Marshall Brain’s Jobs-related blog posts:

  1. Introduction to “Getting a Good Job in America”
  2. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 2 – How do you gain skills?
  3. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 3 – Newsweek weighs in with 19 jobs
  4. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 4 – Driving a Truck
  5. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 5 – Information Technology (IT) and Cybersecurity jobs
  6. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 6 – Google Career Certificates
  7. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 7 – Becoming an Engineer
  8. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 8 – Making the most of entry-level sales jobs
  9. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 9 – Jobs to Avoid
  10. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 10 – Medical jobs like Nurse Practitioner

“Getting a Good Job in America” Part 6 – Google Career Certificates

The last post (#5) was about IT jobs. Related to this is the idea of “Google Career Certificates” at https://grow.google/. If you go to the page, you will see a section that looks like this:

This page claims:

  • That there are “1,300,000 in-demand job openings across certificate fields”
  • That $63,600 is the “average salary for entry-level roles across certificate fields”
  • That is takes about 6 months at 10 hours per week to complete a certificate. YMMV.

The certificates are available in fields like:

  • IT Support
  • Data Analytics
  • Project Management
  • UX Design
  • Android Development

There is a spectrum here, where IT Support is likely to be easier than Android Development to attain.

On this page, Google offers free introductory sessions learn more.

See also:

Thousands of Free Certificates from Google, Microsoft, Harvard, and others

See also:

IT CERTIFICATIONS – Certifications to accelerate your career

More Jobs Articles

Easy directory of all of Marshall Brain’s Jobs-related blog posts:

  1. Introduction to “Getting a Good Job in America”
  2. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 2 – How do you gain skills?
  3. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 3 – Newsweek weighs in with 19 jobs
  4. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 4 – Driving a Truck
  5. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 5 – Information Technology (IT) and Cybersecurity jobs
  6. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 6 – Google Career Certificates
  7. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 7 – Becoming an Engineer
  8. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 8 – Making the most of entry-level sales jobs
  9. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 9 – Jobs to Avoid
  10. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 10 – Medical jobs like Nurse Practitioner

“Getting a Good Job in America” Part 5 – Information Technology (IT) and Cybersecurity jobs

If you don’t like the idea of getting your hands dirty, or you don’t like the idea of working outdoors, and truck driving is not your thing, then one possibility is a job in Information Technology, also know as IT. This job category can take many forms, but in all its forms you will be working with computers in one way or another.

When I go to Indeed.com this morning and look at this page, I see this range of average incomes in the IT field:

These averages are much better than minimum wage, and chances are that any room containing computers is indoors and air conditioned.

To become an IT professional, you will likely need some training, and you will need to get one or more certificates (which you get by taking a test in a testing center). You need training so that you can learn all of the vocabulary, tools and techniques of the trade. Your local community college may have less-expensive (sometimes free) ways to receive this training. There are also a number of for-profit schools that will happily take your money in return for training and, sometimes, a promise of job placement.

You can start your search for training with a simple search like this:

https://www.google.com/search?q=it+training

You will see a lot of ads, and a lot of options. There are many different ways to receive training, as these examples show:

You will also start to notice some specialties getting extra emphasis. One of these is cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity IT

Right now there is a shortage of people who can help companies and government agencies secure themselves from cyberthreats – everything from teenage hackers to cyberterrorists to foreign governments bent on cyberwarfare.

You can find hundreds of articles that describe the shortage like this:

As The End Of 2020 Approaches, The Cybersecurity Talent Drought Gets Worse

“The information technology industry has a real problem on its hands – and it’s only getting worse. While cybercrime grows exponentially, businesses are facing a severe cybersecurity talent drought. The supply of available, qualified security professionals is insufficient and the competition for services has dramatically increased.”

What this means is that cybersecurity IT jobs fetch a premium right now. If you start probing into the training possibilities, you will again see hundreds of options:

https://www.google.com/search?q=cybersecurity+training

An article like this shows a number of different options:

Best online cybersecurity courses of 2021: free and paid certification programs, degrees and masters

“One of the best ways to do this is by signing up for a free online taster course, which introduce some of the basics. These are a great way of seeing if this is the sort of career you’d like – but if you want to become an industry professional, then you’ll need to sign up for more advanced courses.”

You could also get a taste by simply searching for cybersecurity explainer articles in Google. Jump in with some relevant search terms and see what you find. Things like:

Whether you are interested in general IT or a more specific field like cybersecurity, there are a million options available online to help get you started.

More Jobs Articles

Easy directory of all of Marshall Brain’s Jobs-related blog posts:

  1. Introduction to “Getting a Good Job in America”
  2. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 2 – How do you gain skills?
  3. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 3 – Newsweek weighs in with 19 jobs
  4. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 4 – Driving a Truck
  5. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 5 – Information Technology (IT) and Cybersecurity jobs
  6. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 6 – Google Career Certificates
  7. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 7 – Becoming an Engineer
  8. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 8 – Making the most of entry-level sales jobs
  9. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 9 – Jobs to Avoid
  10. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 10 – Medical jobs like Nurse Practitioner

“Getting a Good Job in America” Part 4 – Driving a Truck

Is truck driving the perfect job? If you are married with kids and want to be home every night to see them, maybe not. But for lots of people who are more nomadic in personality, truck driving has several advantages. Truck drivers are currently in demand in the United States, and they can make good money because of that demand:

How Much Does a Truck Driver Make?

“There is currently a massive driver shortage within the United States. In 2019, there would need to be 1.1 million new drivers added over the next 10 years in order to keep up with demand. The e-commerce boom, competition from traditionally more “attractive” careers and an aging driver population all contribute to the shortage.”

If you want to learn more, this video is a great starting point:

Truck Driver Salary: Here’s What It’s REALLY Like to Be a Truck Driver!!

A person cannot become a truck driver instantly – it does require a bit of training as described above to get a commercial drivers license. However, if you look online with a search like:

https://www.google.com/search?q=truck+driving+school

What you will find is that you can get your license in as little as 4 weeks and at most a few months. Be sure to check local community colleges, as they may have programs. Shop around.

Be Aware of Scams

Be aware of certain scams in the trucking industry so you have your eyes open. For example:

How to Avoid Being the Victim of Trucking Scams

As well as lease/purchase scams:

https://www.google.com/search?q=truck+driver+scam+lease-purchase+truck

Good Jobs for Truck Drivers

The upside is that truck driving can be a good job. This article published today:

Old Dominion Freight Line on Push to Hire 800 Class A CDL Truck Drivers Over the Next Three Months

“All new truck driver hires will be non-union, full-time employees with average annual pay ranging from $73,000 for pick-up and delivery drivers and $99,000 for line haul drivers, additional benefits such as health insurance including an option at no cost to the employee, company sponsored 401(k) and paid time off. In some locations, Old Dominion is offering a $5,000 sign-on bonus for qualified Class A CDL truck driver candidates.”

This sounds pretty good compared to a minimum wage job.

More Jobs Articles

Easy directory of all of Marshall Brain’s Jobs-related blog posts:

  1. Introduction to “Getting a Good Job in America”
  2. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 2 – How do you gain skills?
  3. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 3 – Newsweek weighs in with 19 jobs
  4. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 4 – Driving a Truck
  5. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 5 – Information Technology (IT) and Cybersecurity jobs
  6. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 6 – Google Career Certificates
  7. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 7 – Becoming an Engineer
  8. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 8 – Making the most of entry-level sales jobs
  9. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 9 – Jobs to Avoid
  10. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 10 – Medical jobs like Nurse Practitioner

“Getting a Good Job in America” Part 3 – Newsweek weighs in with 19 jobs

Today Newsweek ran an article that seems like it would be right in the sweet spot of this series:

19 Jobs that Pay More Than $70,000 a Year and Don’t Require a College Degree

This sounds great! However… As I mentioned previously, all articles like this need to be taken with a grain of salt. The article is helpful in that it lists the number of open positions nationwide, and also lists the credentials you would need. Let’s take a look at the Newsweek Nineteen…

The Newsweek Nineteen

  1. Gas Plant Operator
  2. Agricultural manager
  3. Transit or railroad Police Officer
  4. Electrical Power Line Installer/repairer
  5. Lighting Technician
  6. Railroad Signal and Track Switch Repairer
  7. Petroleum Operator
  8. First-line Supervisor
  9. Gambling Manager
  10. Transportation Inspector
  11. Mail Superintendant
  12. Power Plant Operator
  13. Criminal Investigator
  14. Elevator/Escalator installer and repair
  15. Commercial Pilot
  16. Power Distributor/Dispatcher
  17. First-line Supervisor of Police
  18. Transportation Supervisor
  19. Nuclear Reactor Operator

Let’s take the last one, Nuclear Reactor Operator (this is adjacent to Homer Simpson’s job BTW). You may not need a college degree, but there are two problems:

  • There are only 5,300 of these positions in the country, and the number is contracting, and…
  • You need “extensive on-the-job training and a license from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission”.

This is the grain of salt part – this really does not seem like a viable option for anyone not steeped in the industry. Power Plant Operator at #12 is a little better, but still difficult to break into without a long-term commitment.

These are not like the plumber and electrician and HVAC jobs described previously, where there are open slots and a demand for people. In any supervisor position seen above, for example, there is going to be a lot of applicants for each slot, not only from the people already working there, but people on the outside applying in. You will also need experience and perhaps certificates to be considered, and anyone with a college degree likely has a leg up, even if the degree is not required.

So this list is interesting, and several jobs in the list are intriguing enough to investigate further. But many of the jobs in this list are non-starters. So we will continue the search.

More Jobs Articles

Easy directory of all of Marshall Brain’s Jobs-related blog posts:

  1. Introduction to “Getting a Good Job in America”
  2. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 2 – How do you gain skills?
  3. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 3 – Newsweek weighs in with 19 jobs
  4. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 4 – Driving a Truck
  5. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 5 – Information Technology (IT) and Cybersecurity jobs
  6. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 6 – Google Career Certificates
  7. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 7 – Becoming an Engineer
  8. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 8 – Making the most of entry-level sales jobs
  9. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 9 – Jobs to Avoid
  10. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 10 – Medical jobs like Nurse Practitioner

“Getting a Good Job in America” Part 2 – How do you gain skills?

In this series we are going to look at many different types of jobs that are available in the U.S. economy. Some of them require special skills, some of them require a college degree… but what if you have none of that? What if you have no skills in particular, yet you do not want to work a minimum wage job? In the following video he opens with this question: “How do I get into the skilled trades when I have no skill?”

How To Start In The Skilled Trades | Who Makes The Most Money

He also talks about which trades make the most money. Around 8:10 he describes how plumbing, electrical and HVAC are three areas that pay well. He also mentions surface repair, countertops ($100/hour is mentioned).

Around 10:00 he talks about getting two certificates from a community college.

He then talks about coming in as a gofer, and then picking up knowledge osmotically and becoming more valuable each day.

Diving into the Handyman Channel

His channel is fascinating because he demonstrates many of the tasks he does in his line of handyman work. There are also these three fascinating videos on where a handyman path could take you:

You can see that the path he is describing is not instantaneous, but it is a path to a good job. Something to think about as you are considering ways to make more than minimum wage.

More Jobs Articles

Easy directory of all of Marshall Brain’s Jobs-related blog posts:

  1. Introduction to “Getting a Good Job in America”
  2. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 2 – How do you gain skills?
  3. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 3 – Newsweek weighs in with 19 jobs
  4. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 4 – Driving a Truck
  5. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 5 – Information Technology (IT) and Cybersecurity jobs
  6. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 6 – Google Career Certificates
  7. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 7 – Becoming an Engineer
  8. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 8 – Making the most of entry-level sales jobs
  9. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 9 – Jobs to Avoid
  10. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 10 – Medical jobs like Nurse Practitioner

Introduction to “Getting a Good Job in America”

Would you like to get a better job? It is an easy question, and it applies to a lot of different people in the United States today:

  • You might be a teenager in high school, and you know that you want something better than a dead-end minimum wage job
  • You may actually be in a dead-end minimum wage job and you are looking for something better
  • You may have gotten a college degree, but it turns out that you can’t get much of a job with the degree you have, so you are looking for something better.
  • You may have been pushed out of your job by the pandemic, or automated out of your job by robots, or downsized out of your job or whatever, and now you need to do something new.
  • You may be in the middle of your life and you simply want to try something new.

Whatever the reason, this series is going to look at the job landscape in America today and help you, dear reader, find sweet spots where the “good jobs” exist and there are openings to be filled.

There are many good jobs that go empty in America today

Let’s start the search with two videos from PBS that definitely set the stage:

Despite rising salaries, the skilled-labor shortage is getting worse
With millions looking for work, stigmas create a dearth of skilled tradespeople

The beginning of the first video is talking about $100K+ job opportunities. At the 2:45 point, electrician jobs are described at $90 an hour as fairly routine. And there is a lot of demand.

These videos are talking about “skilled trades”. But there are so many other jobs hidden throughout the economy that: A) pay way better than minimum wage, and B) have lots of openings.

A sample job

Just to get us started, let’s talk about a very simple, very easy-to-understand job opportunity in America today that everyone has heard about. In this case, the job title is “Plumber’s Helper”.

Is this a great job? No. But it is a good entry-level job. The advantage of this position is that a healthy person could walk into the job with no training, and then there is an obvious upward career path toward a solid middle-class lifestyle. If you watch the first video above and then look at a position like this, you can see the path. Getting a foot into the profession is a reasonable first step.

What if you do not want to be a plumber? Or what if you already have some kind of college degree? Let me give you another quick example. You can easily find articles like this in Google:

9 High-Paying Jobs That Require Little or No Experience

The jobs described here include:

  1. Transit and Railroad Police
  2. Claims Adjuster
  3. Web Developer
  4. Power Plant Operator
  5. Elevator Installer
  6. Nuclear Technician
  7. Radiation Therapist
  8. Construction Manager
  9. Air Traffic Controller

This article demonstrates that you have to take lists like this with a grain of salt. No one is going to get a “#8 Construction Manager” job with “little or no experience” as stated in the title. However, several of these jobs do fit the stated criteria.

Going forward, we will be on a search for the jobs in America that pay well – much better than minimum wage – without requiring a PhD or some sort of super-power.

More Jobs Articles

Easy directory of all of Marshall Brain’s Jobs-related blog posts:

  1. Introduction to “Getting a Good Job in America”
  2. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 2 – How do you gain skills?
  3. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 3 – Newsweek weighs in with 19 jobs
  4. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 4 – Driving a Truck
  5. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 5 – Information Technology (IT) and Cybersecurity jobs
  6. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 6 – Google Career Certificates
  7. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 7 – Becoming an Engineer
  8. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 8 – Making the most of entry-level sales jobs
  9. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 9 – Jobs to Avoid
  10. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 10 – Medical jobs like Nurse Practitioner

The Official Site for Marshall Brain