“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

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