Popular Vocational Careers

Finding and developing a successful career path does not always require a college or university education.

Choosing a vocational career path over one that requires a traditional education can be quite lucrative and, depending on the career, can actually provide higher pay. Many jobs in vocational careers offer competitive salaries, as many kinds of skilled workers are in demand. For example, nurses are needed at all levels and capacities, as there are not enough trained nurses throughout the country to fill open positions. Due to the shortage of nurses, positions typically offer higher pay and incentives in order to attract skilled workers. Many other vocational fields work similarly, as most fields have a shortage of skilled workers.

Although vocational careers do not require a four-year degree, most do require some kind of education or vocational training. Vocational education and training programs typically last up to two years but can be shorter depending on the program or the school offering it.

Health Sciences Careers

The most popular and rewarding vocational career paths are found in the health sciences. Vocational Health science careers offer competitive pay, as well as high career satisfaction, without the need for a long and expensive medical school education. Those who are searching for a rewarding and well-paying vocational career where they have the opportunity to help others may want to consider a career in the health sciences.

Of all the careers in the health sciences, jobs in nursing are the most in-demand, often making them the most highly paid jobs in the field. There are many different levels of nursing positions available, depending on the level of education required. Some positions require more training than others, especially for specialized nursing jobs, such as a certified registered nurse anesthetist or a clinical nurse specialist. Nursing is a great vocational career for those who enjoy lifelong learning, as advancing in a nursing career requires staying up-to-date on the latest medical research and training.

Medical technicians, such as radiation therapists or phlebotomists, are also highly sought after and are well paid. Positions for medical technicians vary in the amount of education they require. Much more technical jobs, like radiation therapy, typically require a two-year associate’s degree. Other jobs may require less education or vocational training. Those who prefer a faster-paced work environment outside of the hospital or clinical setting often choose a career as a paramedic or emergency medical technician. While this kind of work can be demanding, it is lucrative and can be very rewarding.

Skilled Trades

Those who enjoy more technical or hands-on activities can make a good living in a skilled trade. Skilled Trade jobs, such as for plumbers, electricians and carpenters, have a reputation of being poorly paid blue-collar jobs. However, jobs that require skilled technicians are often high-paying and often give workers the opportunity to be gainfully self-employed. For example, plumbers can choose to work for a plumbing company, work as an independent contractor or start their own local plumbing business.

Most career paths in skilled trade require some sort of formal training, either through a vocational school or other training programs, such as apprenticeships. These training programs usually provide certification or licensure needed to work in the field. Some manufacturers offer training and certification programs for those who wish to specialize in repairing machines of a specific brand.

Business and Legal Careers

Choosing a vocational career does not always have to mean working outside of the office. Those who prefer more traditional, corporate jobs have vocational routes they can take to the business or legal career of their dreams. While most careers in the business and legal fields require formal education or training, vocational training for a job in either field does not require more than a two-year community college education.

Careers in bookkeeping are great for those who are good with numbers and have a high level of organization skills. Bookkeeping is similar to accounting but does not require the high level of education a career in accounting does. While most employers prefer some work experience or a formal education in finance, entry-level positions can be found with just a high school diploma. Paralegal careers are similar to careers in bookkeeping. Paralegals keep track of legal documents and file court documents on behalf of the attorneys that employ them. However, paralegals require good writing skills, as opposed to the math skills required for jobs in bookkeeping.

Jobs in sales can also be lucrative, especially for those who prefer to work for themselves or who want to own their own business. Real estate agents and event planners can work through a company or alone to sell their services to clients. Private investigators also have the option of being self-employed, although some choose to work with law enforcement or private companies.

Technology and Design Careers

Careers in technology and design are steadily becoming more lucrative as the demand for technology in the home and workplace increase. While jobs in the fields of technology and design require a diverse set of skills, many jobs require as little as an industry certification and some work experience or a portfolio of work. Some career paths require a more technical background, such as careers in computer support or information technology. Other career paths, such as web design, graphic design and architectural drafting, require knowledge of specific software or coding languages.

While many of the skills needed for careers in technology and design can be learned independently, completing a vocational or career school program can make the learning and training process simpler, especially for specific jobs that require certification or licensure. Formal training through a vocational school is not required for every career in technology and design, but most employers give preference to job applicants that have received proper training through a postsecondary program.

Consumer Service Careers

With an ever-expanding population, careers in the consumer service sector have become incredibly important. Those who enjoy creative jobs that allow them to serve others may find the career of their dreams in consumer services. Jobs in the culinary field are a great option for those who would like to cook professionally. Working as a chef or a cook can be lucrative, and work in the food service industry is always available.

Those who like the idea of working in hospitality but would rather stay out of the kitchen can build a career in hotel management or as a travel agent. The fields of hospitality and tourism can be exciting to work in, especially in areas that are highly frequented by tourists. While hotel management jobs can be found without any specific education or training, more and more, larger establishments are requiring degrees. Those looking for work as a travel agent may also have a hard time beginning their careers, as the demand for travel agents has decreased with the advent of the internet. However, some travel agencies that specialize in certain kinds of travel are always in need of good travel agents.

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