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

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