Top 5 Technical Careers for 2014 Based on Salary

Our Pick for the top 5 technical careers in 2014 are based on demand in the workplace, pay for the amount of schooling required to get a degree in the many technical fields open to students, and also the amount of students targeting the fields of interest.

Registererd Nurse

The salary for a registered nurse is: $64,690 per annum. The bottom-most quartile of these professionals has a median annual pay of $44,190 while the top-most quartile earns $95,130. The entry-level income for this profession is around $48,274 in a year. Individuals who have rendered their service for 1 to 4 years in the industry are paid $58,295 on average while the ones who have 5 to 9 years of work experience make $66,293 annually.

School Required: Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN), Master’s Science of Nursing (MSN) or an Associate’s degree. A bachelor’s degree course takes 4 years to complete while an associate’s degree course will require 2 years. Certification may also be mandated by some states. Some voluntarily completes the program to get a National Certified School Nurse (NCSN) credential.  To be able to enroll in any nursing course, you must have a high school diploma or a GED equivalent. You must also take up subjects like biology, English and chemistry.

The average cost of schooling of a registered nurse is: $20,000 for an associate’s degree course at a community college. The price can be doubled if you take up a bachelor’s degree course. The tuition alone is not costly. It is the clinical fees that make the amount go up a notch. For example, if the tuition per semester is $1,400 then the clinical fees should be around $4,000.

Top accredited list for schools providing registered nurse courses are:

  • Lincoln Technical Institute
  • Kaplan University
  • Everest Institute

Expected Job Demand for today and next 10 years is excellent. The demand is predicted to grow by 22 percent from the year 2008 to 2018.

Pharmacist

The average salary for a pharmacist is: $106,410 in a year with the middle 50 percent earning between $92,670 and $121,310. The upper 10th quartile has a median annual wage of $131,440 while the lower 10th quartile makes $77,390. The starting salary for this profession is $81,000. But once you get at least 5 years of work experience, your base pay can get up to $97,000 per annum.

School required: Pharm.D. degree from any accredited school of pharmacy. This program has replaced the Bachelor of Pharmacy degree which is no longer offered in any college or university. However, you must complete at least 2 years in college before you can enroll for this coursework. An ample background in subjects such as chemistry, biology and social sciences is also required.

Average cost of schooling for pharmacists: $3,000 to $20,500 per year for public schools and $18,700 to $40,000 per year for private schools.

Top accredited list for schools providing pharmacy courses:

  • University of California in San Francisco
  • University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill
  • University of Minnesota in Minneapolis

Expected Job Demand for today and next 10 years is: good. The employment rate is expected to grow by 17 percent from 2008 to 2018. The tremendous growth is due to the advancements in technology – invention of new drug products, development of pharmaceutical equipment, etc.

Medical Assistant

The average salary of a medical assistant is: $29,712 every year. The top-most quartile earns an average of $35,002 per annum while the bottom-most quartile makes $24,851. The starting salary for this profession is around $27,000. After 1 to 4 years in the industry, your mean annual income will come up to $28,734. The average salary of those who have 5 to 9 years of work experience in this field is $30,779 per annum.

School required: a formal training program from any vocational school and local university. This program should last for about 1 to 2 years and grants a certificate or an associate’s degree. You should at least have a high school diploma or a GED equivalent upon application. Also, you must complete subjects like biology, physiology, English and a lot more.

Average cost of schooling for medical assistants is: around $1,200 to $4,200. The amount depends on the school, the length of the program, the classes included and the type of externship involved. A one-year certificate program in a technical school has a tuition range of $2,500 to $10,000 while a 2-year associate’s degree can cost $5,490 to $10,800 per year.

Top Accredited list for schools providing medical assistant courses are:

  • Brown-Mackie College
  • Sanford-Brown Institute
  • Globe University

Expected Job Demand for today and next 10 years is: predicted to grow faster than the average demand for other careers. The BLS has noted that there would be a 34 percent increase in the employment demand from 2008 to 2018.

Physical Therapist

The average salary of a physical therapist is: $74,399 per year. The top-most sector earns $84,648 while the bottom-most sector receives $63,885 per annum. Employees who have 2 years of work experience have a yearly pay check of $45,000 to $60,000. Those who have 5 to 7 years in the industry earn an average of $70,000 annually while the ones with 8 to 10 years behind them make $75,000 or more.

School Required: aspiring physical therapists must obtain a graduate degree in the field. Some employers even require their workers to obtain a doctorate degree in physical therapy. In addition, there are states that mandate their PTs to get a license before working. To acquire their license, they must have a passing score on the National Physical Therapy Examination.

Average cost of schooling for a physical therapist is: dependent on the length of the coursework and the type of training program. Public schools also have cheaper rates than private ones. A master’s degree has a tuition range of $12,500 to $32,000 for out-of-state students. A 3-year doctorate program, on the other hand, can cost up to $75,000.

Top accredited list for schools providing physical therapy courses are: 1. University of Southern California 2. University of Pittsburgh 3. Washington University in St. Louis

Expected Job Demand for today and next 10 years is: overall excellent. The BLS noted that there will be a 30 percent increase in the employment demand from 2008 to 2018.

Occupational Therapist

The income of an occupational therapist is: $73,064 per annum. The top 10th percentile has a mean income of $85,333 while the bottom 10th percentile gets $62,082 in each year. The entry level salary for this profession is $24.79 per hour. Those who have 1 to 4 years of work experience earn $25.91 per hour while the ones with 5 to 9 years behind them make $29.58 per hour.

School Required: Master’s degree or higher in occupational therapy. Subjects included in this field focus on the physical, biological and behavioral sciences. Aspiring occupational therapists must also complete a 6-month supervised fieldwork and must have a passing score on both national and state administered examinations. They must also have taken high school courses in biology, physics, health, etc.

Schooling for an occupational therapist is: around $12,000 to $20,000. However, the cost will depend on a number of variables. There are universities that charge $200 per credit and there are also those that charge $133 per credit. It really depends on the school, type of program and location.

Top accredited list for schools providing occupational therapist courses are:

  • University of Southern California in Los Angeles
  • University of Illinois in Chicago
  • Tufts University – Boston School of Occupational Therapy in Medford

Expected Job Demand for today and next 10 years is: quite promising. The job opportunities are expected to increase by 26 percent from the year 2008 to 2018.

Runners Up:

Ultrasound 

  • Median Annual Salary for Ultrasound Technicians in the U.S $66,360
  • Hourly: $31.90 based on a work week consisting of 40 hours
  • Highest paying states include: New York, Mississippi, and Massachusetts
  • Job Outlook: Very promising. Over 23,000 new jobs expected to become available over the next 10 years