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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
  11. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 11 – Electrical Lineworker
  12. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12 – Software Developer and “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 12.1 – Software Developer
  13. “Getting a Good Job in America” Part 13 – Cybersecurity

“The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain published this week

The Doomsday Book” by Marshall Brain is 2020’s breakthrough book analyzing 25 of the biggest natural and man-made threats that humanity faces. is the companion website for the book providing additional multi-media content and breaking doomsday news. “The Doomsday Book” is available now – You can order the book from Amazon and other fine retailers.

You will never look at “Climate Change” in the same way again after reading this book, because Climate Change results in many different effects that are all doomsday scenarios unless humanity takes immediate action:

In the same way, you will never look at asteroids in the same way again. Or terrorism. Or drones. Or robots/automation. The Blog covers doomsday events and doomsday scenarios as they unfold in real time.

My New TEDx talk on Elon Musk’s Mars Colony

Here on you can find the free book:

I was able to do a TEDx talk on this topic on October 3, and the video just became available on the TEDx Youtube channel today:

Imagining Elon Musk’s Million-Person Mars Colony | Marshall Brain | TEDxYouth@BriarWoodsHS

I was given 8 minutes for the talk – for lots more detail on Elon Musk’s Mars Colony please see the book. A synopsis of the book would be:

This book introduces a new economic system that aims to eliminate all of the poverty, inequality, hunger, slums and so on found on Earth today. This new system is introduced as a thought experiment within the context of the million-person Mars colony recently announced by Elon Musk. This new system will radically improve the quality of life for the vast majority of humans living on planet Earth today.

Will 2020 be seen as the tipping point year for Artificial Intelligence? Two Examples

Artificial Intelligence has been making great strides over the past decade on many different fronts. Here are three notable achievements:

  • IBM’s Watson beat the best human players at Jeopardy in 2011
  • Self driving cars and trucks have been getting better and better, to the point where Tesla seems to think the whole problem will be solved shortly
  • Tools like Alexa and Siri have become a part of normal life with their speech capabilities.

A lot of this feels like the inevitable march of progress and not that consequential, yet. But as described in Robotic Nation and The Second Intelligent Species there is going to come a point where AI starts to have a real impact of jobs, especially white collar jobs. And I wonder if we are going to look back and see 2020 as the tipping point year for that.

This video is fascinating. It describes AI designing and then building a car in great detail:

A.I. Designed this Car
Czinger 21C: the world’s first 3D printed hypercar | Top Gear

The advantages are so compelling that this kind of AI tech is going to take over the car industry. And this is the first company of this kind. Imagine what it will look like in a few years when the big players start adopting the technology.

Then there is this amazing article this week in Wired:

Give These Apps Some Notes and They’ll Write Emails for You – Entrepreneurs are building tools that create emails or marketing copy using GPT-3, text-generation technology released earlier this year.

GPT-3 is showing so much promise/potential, and is proving able to do so many amazing things, that it is mind blowing. These two videos try to explain what is happening:

From Essays to Coding, This New A.I. Can Write Anything
OpenAI GPT-3 – Good At Almost Everything! 

There is a graph in the second video where GPT-3 is getting close to human-level functionality in certain realms. It really starts to make you wonder about how many things AI will be taking over and how many jobs will be lost in the not-too-distant future. For more info see: