Sep 27, 2009

Surprising Jobs that Pay $25 an Hour

by Woodrow Aames,
Career websites typically compile a listing of jobs that pay $25 an hour. The list of professions -- and the career training you need to pass the muster of recruiters -- can be daunting. But you don't necessarily need a post-graduate degree to qualify for a job that pays several hundred dollars a day.
While it may be true that helicopter pilots, high-tech administrators, and civil engineers earn $25 an hour or more, so do many other professionals in careers that require only an associate or bachelor's degree to leap onto the playing field.

Of course, you add to your hourly earnings by continuing your education, taking certification courses or advanced degrees that ultimately boost on-the-job responsibilities along with earnings.

Seven careers you might have overlooked paid workers $25 an hour in 2008, meaning you may be able to earn more performing the same role today. These 2008 salaries may also rise by the time you complete an online degree or career training program to pursue future job openings. Let's look at the education you'll need to land a job:

Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technician
Companies that design, test, and sell electrical and electronics devices need professionals to staff their labs. You won't need a master's degree in engineering to earn good wages. Most engineering technicians complete associate degrees in engineering at trade schools or community colleges to prepare for the field. In 2008, the mean hourly wage for engineering technicians was $25.96, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Human Resources Recruiter
In many cases, you can earn more an hour placing people in jobs than the salaries they'll receive when hired. That's what you call economic irony. And, if you remain in your human resources (HR) job, you may be able to build a hefty network and open your own personnel consulting company. To get going, enroll in an associate's or bachelor's degree program in business or human resources. In 2008, HR recruiters took home $25.90 an hour.

Paralegal or Legal Assistant
Attorneys that represent clients in local, state, and federal courts are swamped with research and paperwork duties. Hence, jobs for paralegals are expected to grow by 22 percent during the 2006-2016 decade. You can prepare by attending an online associate's or bachelor's degree program in paralegal studies. In 2008, paralegals earned just below $25 an hour ($23.46). However, top earners took home $73,450 for the year, making this a solid investment in a two-year education.

Respiratory Therapist
Breathe easy. Depending on the employer, many a respiratory therapist can land a job with as little as a two-year degree. More often, however, hospitals are looking for a bachelor's or master's degree to advance in the profession. All states require licensing. Job openings are projected to grow by 19 percent from 2006-2016. In 2008, respiratory therapists earned $25.55 an hour.

Police Officer
The physical requirements for a police officer's job are now legendary, thanks to the entertainment media. But with most agencies requiring new recruits to take departmental training, the baseline classroom training provided by an online associate's degree in law enforcement or criminal justice can greatly improve your chances of landing a job. In 2008, police officers and sheriff's deputies earned $25.39 and hour. And that's not counting shift differential compensation or overtime.

Advertising Sales Agent
With Americans becoming more cautious about their spending, companies are relying more than ever on well-placed advertising. Advertising sales agents take jobs with agencies, media companies, and corporate promotions departments. If you love closing a deal and being compensated for it, then enroll in an undergraduate degree program in advertising, journalism, public relations, business, communications, or new media. In 2008, advertising sales agents took home $25.56 an hour.

Interior Designer
More than 25 percent of all interior designers are self-employed. You're the boss and set your own hours. Jobs for the other 75 percent of working interior designers are predicted to rise by 19 percent during the 2006-2016 decade. You can prepare for the role by enrolling in an associate's or bachelor's degree program at a college or professional trade school. Or shoot for the stars and take classes in interior set design to work in the entertainment industry. Hourly pay for interior designers in 2008 averaged $24.53, just below the $25/hr mark.

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