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How to Choose a Career Path

At some point in all of our lives, the time comes to buckle down and choose a career. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to decide. It can seem downright impossible for the indecisive among us. After all, it’s the rest of your life you’re deciding on. Between your hopes and ambitions, you don’t have time to waste working dead-end jobs.

Everybody does what they have to do to pay the bills, but smart individuals understand the potential for stable and lucrative jobs for anyone willing to put in a bit of work. What kind of career are you looking for? If you’re a young individual feeling lost on your path to secure employment or someone looking for a mid-life change, it’s worth figuring out exactly what you want and need out of a new career.


When Choosing a Career, Consider Flexibility

As you figure out how to choose a career, think about the hours you want to keep. Are you someone who likes to burn the midnight oil and be wherever — and whenever — the action is? That alone can dictate what careers are suitable for you. You’ll spend the majority of your waking hours at work, so make sure you’re happy with them. Let’s take a look at a few excellent career options for those who like a livelier schedule.

Consider becoming a massage therapist

Massage Therapist. Life can be stressful. Relieving part of that stress can be a dream career for people who like to lend a helping hand. Massage therapists work in all kinds of places, from private practices to cruise ships across the world. If you’re interested in the mechanics of the human body, consider attending an accredited massage therapy program. In some cases, you can have a diploma in hand in less than a year, allowing you to find employment helping people recover from injuries, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve circulation and general health.

You’ll learn anatomy, physiology, multiple forms of massage techniques, and the nuts and bolts of business practice and ethics. You’ll emerge with the capability to set out in pursuit of a business of your own, or take your pick of work the world over. As a massage therapist you use your skills to heal, and make good money doing it. The average massage therapist earned $41,790 in 2014, and job openings are expected to skyrocket up to 23% by 2022.

Personal Trainer. If you have a knack for instruction and an eye for proper technique, you could consider becoming a personal fitness instructor. Their opportunities for employment are significantly wider than most people realize. Personal trainers can be found in gyms universities, resorts, and even country clubs. Self-employed fitness trainers can set their own hours and work with clients in whatever setting they choose.

To become an effective training machine, it’s advised that you build your knowledge base with a solid diploma program. You should learn about instruction and exercise techniques, as well as physiology and kinesiology, program design, diet and nutrition, and leadership, business, and sales.

Fitness instructors play a huge part in the lives of the people they work with. If you’re ready to put your motivational muscle to the test at a job where you set your own hours, a certification in fitness instruction may be for you. Add the perks of encouraging personal development to the average $31,720 annual salary, and you’ve got the makings of a fun and fulfilling career.

Both of these careers offer financially solid employment with flexibility. If you’re like most people, you value work-life balance. You have the opportunity to work as much or as little as you’d like, while still enjoying a fulfilling career. If you want to be your own boss, a general business administration program is an excellent first step toward starting your own business.

Careers for the People Person

Some people don’t feel satisfied with their work if they don’t experience face-to-face interaction with clients or coworkers. If that sounds like you, a career where you’re near the center of the office network is likely what you crave, so can contribute to it in meaningful ways. There are several options for the socially savvy worker — let’s take a look.

Consider working as an HR Generalist

Human Resources Generalist. When it comes to business, human resources is there to put a face to everything related to the workers. They develop policies about employee training and conduct, as well as perform some other essential functions, such as developing and implementing compensation and benefits packages, creating training protocols and developing morale and motivation programs

These workers are the human face of business. They make sure everything goes smoothly. If you enjoy making sure rules are organized and followed, but know the benefits of good communication and a friendly demeanor, you might make a great human resources generalist.

To become one, you’ll likely need at least an associate’s degree in a human resources program to begin your new career. You’ll learn HR essentials that will equip you to practice effective communication between managers and employees.

Maintaining smooth communications and hiring processes is a challenging and satisfying career track, but the deal gets even sweeter when you factor in the $49,692 median salary for human resources generalists.

Dental Assistant. We’ve all seen comedy gags about the dentist — and some of us may feel uneasy around them as well — and that’s why dental assistants are so important. These folks are the front line when it comes to dentist appointments, setting out doctor’s tools, talking to patients, and assisting in routine procedures.

Successful dental assistants have a knack for helping patients get comfortable, and they don’t mind getting up close and personal with other people’s mouths. If that sounds like you, consider getting your dental assistant diploma. In the right conditions, you can be on your way to a career in the dental industry in under a year!

To earn your diploma, you’ll become familiar with subjects such as:

  • Preventive dentistry
  • Dental office management
  • Dental radiology

Once you’ve completed a program, you can be indispensable in a dentist’s office setting. If hands-on work with an important face-to-face element isn’t enough for you, consider the other perks of being a dental assistant — like the pay and the stability. The average dental assistant earns $34,500 annually, and the job’s growth rate is significantly higher than average. By 2022, over 74,400 dental assistant jobs will have been created — don’t miss out on yours!

As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities for highly interactive people to make use of their extroversion in the work world, in multiple industries. Businesses are ultimately driven by people, so if you’re a people person it’s time to put your talents to work in whatever new career you choose.

Opportunities in Tech: What Major is Right for Me

There’s always room in the workforce for those who understand what makes things tick. Businesses can’t run without their machinery and technology, so people with a talent for tech and mechanical arts would do well to look into careers where hands-on work is valued. If you’re into finding solutions, consider a career in the technology field.

HVAC Technician

HVAC Repair & Installation. If there’s one thing society will always need, it is heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Qualified HVAC technicians and installers come to the rescue when things go wrong with temperature or air quality in buildings, and they set up new systems as needed. It’s a great job for anyone looking for variety in terms of work sites, since it involves daily travel. It’s a perfect choice for people with above-average troubleshooting skills.

HVAC repair and installation may also be the right job for you if you’re interested in ongoing education. HVAC systems are constantly being improved and overhauled, so staying abreast of the latest developments is key to success in the field.

If you’re interested in starting a career as an HVAC technician, the place to start is a program that can impart the fundamentals of installing and servicing air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration units. With the basics under your belt, you can get an apprenticeship that may be the beginning of a long and fulfilling HVAC career. The average HVAC technician makes an impressive $43,640 per year and doesn’t have to worry about job security with a projected growth rate of 21% by 2022.

IT Technician. If your abilities are more technical than mechanical, you may find yourself drawn to a career in information technology — and for good reason. As our world continues to run on newer computer information systems, the demand for qualified and knowledgeable technicians is great. If you have an analytical mind and an eye for problem-solving, your talents would be put to excellent use as a computer support specialist or other IT technician.

Luckily, you don’t need a four-year degree to dive into the world of information technology — in fact, you can complete an IT diploma program in under a year. To become proficient at IT work, you’ll learn about network and systems administration, computer repair, and technical support.

With a foundational knowledge of the IT world, you’re well on your way to making $48,900 a year as a computer support specialist. You won’t have to worry about career stability because 123,000 new IT jobs are slated to open up by 2022.

If you’ve always been interested in technology and mechanics, why not pick a job track that puts those hobbies to work for you? Get a foothold in this rapidly growing industry by getting the education you need for the career you want.

The Administrative Angle

Are you a stickler for rules? Do you have a color-coded, well, anything? You may find that looking into jobs with a more administrative element reveals the right career for you. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to land great administrative jobs without an eternity in school — here are a couple to consider.

Accounting Clerk

Business Accounting. Money makes the world go round, and those who are familiar with it are in a good position for gaining employment. Attention to detail and a mind for figures are all you need to get started on the road to a successful job in a financial capacity. With an associate’s of business management in accounting, you can fulfill a number of roles, such as an accounts receivable clerk, accounting assistant, or billing or payroll clerk

The versatility of business accounting is part of why choosing to enroll in an accredited program is such a smart plan in the long term. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the median pay for accounting clerks is over $35,000 a year. It’s also an ideal career track if you prefer a job with regular hours because most financial business takes place on a typical Monday through Friday, 9 to 5 schedule.

Paralegal. Ever wonder how lawyers do all the work necessary to move things along in legal matters? Well, the answer in most cases is that they don’t. Paralegal assistants are completely essential for most lawyers — if they want to get anything done, that is. Paralegals perform a variety of functions for their employers, including research pertaining to the case, preparation of documents, briefings and files, and communication with clients, other people in the law field, and other people involved with the case, such as witnesses.

If you’re highly organized and have an eye for details, the paralegal life may be for you. It doesn’t require years in school to work as a legal professional — just an associate’s degree that you can obtain in as few as 70 weeks. If you’re willing to put in a little work, you can find yourself working in the prestigious field of law for an average of $46,990 per year. It’s also a quickly growing field, with openings expected to increase by 17% when 2022 rolls around.

If you’re the type of person to take charge when chaos strikes, it’s an excellent idea to find a career where you can help impose order for the benefit of all. Keeping an eye out for the small details is essential for these careers, but the effort certainly pays off in the long run.

How to Choose a Career? Steps to Success

The question “what career is right for me?” can have many answers, depending on who you ask. Luckily, the only opinion that can make the final difference is your own. Taking a balanced look at your strengths and weaknesses is the best way to evaluate how you would do in a particular career. Though it helps to build on skills you already have, it’s important to remember that if you want to enter a particular field, you simply need to put in the work and gain the education for it.

You don’t always need to obtain a four-year degree to land your dream job — but you do need to find an educational partner that understands and cares about your needs.

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