In love with love? 7 romantic jobs

For some people, romance is signified by a candlelit dinner and a bouquet of roses. For others, it's about sexy lingerie and racy reads. Here's a list of jobs that allow you to enjoy a life of year-round romance. Go ahead and spread some love.

1. Chocolatier

"Not only is chocolate itself sensual, but so is the process of making it," says Tish Boil, editor-in-chief of Chocolatier magazine, a publication for those who make, sell or just love chocolate. "Your body gets into a rhythm as you stir and temper the warm, oozing chocolate and pour it over the soft filling, using precise, gentle movements." According to the National Retail Federation, half of all celebrants (50.5 percent) will buy candy this Valentine's Day. "There's something about giving chocolate that's romantic; it assumes an expectation of intimacy," Boil explains. "After all, it melts in your mouth and intoxicates the senses in a very sensual way."

2. Romance novelist

What could be more romantic than spending your days writing love stories? Romance novelists create characters filled with passionate impulses. "For me, this is the best part of my job: I get to fall in love, again and again, with every new set of characters," says romance novelist Debra Salonen. The profession is not only romantic, but also potentially lucrative: The Romance Writers of America, a national writers association, reports that romance titles generate $1.36 billion in sales each year.

3. Lingerie salesperson

For some couples, nothing says romance more than a silky garment meant only for the boudoir. Lingerie salespeople help customers make the perfect purchase, thereby playing a hand in orchestrating countless amorous trysts. Naturally, lingerie sales spike around Valentine's Day as lovers and would-be-lovers hunt for sexy gifts.

4. Romance expert

L.A. Hunter, a romance expert and the author of "Romeo's Playbook," a romance guide for men, offers tips and relationship advice to people looking to ignite (or reignite) the passion in their relationships. In other words, as Hunter says, her days are spent helping others "spice up their love lives." "I just love romance," Hunter says. "The feeling I get when I feel warm and loved, sexy and wanted, mysterious and playful ... [I want] to have everyone experience these feelings."

5. Florist

Pun intended: Romance blooms in floral shops. From small sweetheart bouquets to elaborate wedding arrangements, flowers are a universal sign of affection. According to the NRF, consumers will spend $1.8 billion on flowers this Valentine's Day. So if you really want to interact with people in the throes of love, it pays to have a green thumb.

6. Wedding planner

What better way to make a career out of romance than by planning weddings? "Being around people in love who are about to make a major commitment to one another is very romantic," says Ali Phillips, professional wedding coordinator and founder of Engaging Events by Ali Inc. in Chicago. While Phillips admits that the wedding planning process -- setting up meetings with bands and caterers, researching design elements and settling the occasional dispute between a bride and her mother -- isn't always romantic, the actual wedding day is inevitably full of many tender moments. "There's nothing better," Phillips says, "than looking at a bride right before she goes down the aisle, telling her to take a deep breath, and puffing the train of her dress."

7. Wedding officiant

If you're swept up by the romance of weddings, but planning isn't your cup of tea, consider becoming a wedding officiant. An officiant performs the ceremony itself, legally uniting a couple in marriage. The Universal Life Church Monastery ( is a non-denominational organization that ordains ministers and is open to people of all religious backgrounds. After filling out an instant online ordination form, you can legally officiate a marriage anywhere in the U.S. A career built around hearing the words "I do" should be music to your romantically-inclined ears.

Source: careerbuilder

8 professions with surprising paychecks

Susan Ricker,

Paychecks can vary based on factors including industry, location and company, though there's generally a standard pay range for every job function. Yet, many people have a preconception of what workers in certain fields earn, such as the assumption that all doctors and lawyers have high incomes. However, not every job earns the high -- or low -- pay you may expect. 

Here are eight professions with annual wages that may surprise you:

1. Air traffic controller*
2010 median pay: $108,040
What they do: Air traffic controllers coordinate the movement of air traffic to ensure that planes stay safe distances apart.
Why the surprise: While the excitement may be on the planes with the pilots and flight attendants, the big salaries are in the air traffic control towers. Airline and commercial pilots get paid $92,060 annually, and flight attendants make $37,740, though the coordination, organization and attention to detail needed by air traffic controllers give them a major pay bump.

2. Announcer
2010 median pay: $27,010
What they do: Announcers present music, news and sports and may provide commentary or interview guests about these topics or other important events. Some act as a master of ceremonies or DJs at weddings, parties or clubs.
Why the surprise: Celebrity announcers and emcees may have the coveted paychecks, but theirs are usually due in part to their celebrity status. Events and parties often require announcers, no matter the size, and the paycheck tends to get bigger as your talent and notoriety grow.

3. Legislator
2010 median pay: $19,260
What they do: Legislators are elected officials who develop laws for the federal government or for local or state governments.
Why the surprise: Legislators and politicians often have a reputation for being wealthy, though this median pay would suggest otherwise. While each state has its own standard for paying its legislators, many lower salaries are supplemented with a per diem, meaning they are given an allowance for daily expenses.

4. Model
2010 median pay: $32,920
What they do: Models pose for artists, photographers or customers to help advertise a variety of products, including clothing, cosmetics, food and appliances.
Why the surprise: TV and magazines would have us believe otherwise, but working as a model doesn't necessarily come with free travel opportunities and six-figure paychecks per photo shoot. Many models work part time and most experience periods of unemployment. This role requires spending a considerable amount of time on self-promotion by putting together and maintaining portfolios, printing composite cards and traveling to meet potential clients.

5. Multimedia artist and animator
2010 median pay: $58,510
What they do: Multimedia artists and animators create animation and visual effects for television, movies, video games and other media. They create two- and three-dimensional models and animation.
Why the surprise: Multimedia artists are most often hired by the motion picture and video industries, followed by software publishers, computer systems design and related services and advertising, public relations and related services industries. While these industries may be known for big budgets, the Hollywood-worthy salaries usually go to on-camera stars. Also, the pay may be a surprise considering that 59 percent of multimedia artists and animators are self-employed.

6. Pharmacist
2010 median pay: $111,570
What they do: Pharmacists dispense prescription medications to patients and offer advice on their safe use.
Why the surprise: Education levels often make a big difference in job responsibilities and paychecks. Pharmacists require a doctoral degree and can make six-figures, while pharmacy technicians, who help licensed pharmacists dispense prescription medication, require a high school diploma or equivalent and make $28,400.

7. Political scientist
2010 median pay: $107,420
What they do: Political scientists study the origin, development and operation of political systems. They research political ideas and analyze the structure and operation of governments, policies, political trends and related issues. Many people with a political science background become professors and teachers.
Why the surprise: While the subject matter may differ, sociologists, who study society and social behavior by examining the groups, cultures, organizations, social institutions and processes that people develop, also often become professors and teachers. Yet they don't see the six-figure paycheck of political scientists, making a notably lower $72,360 a year.

8. Technical writer
2010 median pay: $63,280
What they do: Technical writers, also called technical communicators, produce instruction manuals and other supporting documents to communicate complex and technical information more easily. They also develop, gather and disseminate technical information among customers, designers and manufacturers.
Why the surprise: When it comes to salaries for writing jobs, technical writers are at the top of the food chain, earning almost $10,000 more than other writers and almost twice as much as reporters. Editors earn a median pay of $51,470, writers and authors make $55,420, and reporters, correspondents and broadcast news analysts make $36,000.

Do you have one of America's most dangerous jobs?

Every year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases data on workplace fatalities, including industries with the highest fatality rates. While some sectors that made the list aren't surprising due to the nature of the work -- transportation and mining, for example -- others, such as professional and business services, may be more unexpected.

According to the most recent report, 4,609 fatal work injuries were recorded in the U.S. in 2011. While it's difficult to find good news in this type of report, this preliminary number was down from 4,690 in 2010.
Industries known for high fatality rates also saw a downward trend in year-over-year deaths. The number of fatal work injuries in the private construction sector declined by 7 percent in 2011.

Economic conditions, which caused the delay or termination of construction projects, may explain some of this decline. Fatal coal mining injuries also declined sharply, from 43 in 2010 to 17 in 2011; the 2010 number reflected a spike caused by the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster. However, fatal work injuries in the professional and business services sector, a less obvious group that includes marketing, human resources and payroll services, were up 16 percent.

10 sectors with the highest fatal work injury rates (per 100,000 full-time workers):
1. Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting

Fatal work injury rate: 24.4

Number of fatal work injuries: 557

2. Mining

Fatal work injury rate: 15.8

Number of fatal work injuries: 154

3. Transportation and warehousing

Fatal work injury rate: 15.0

Number of fatal work injuries: 733

4. Construction

Fatal work injury rate: 8.9

Number of fatal work injuries: 721

5. Wholesale trade

Fatal work injury rate: 4.9

Number of fatal work injuries: 189

6. Utilities

Fatal work injury rate: 4.2

Number of fatal work injuries: 39

7. Professional and business services

Fatal work injury rate: 2.9

Number of fatal work injuries: 424

8. Other services (e.g., equipment and machinery repairing, promoting or administering religious activities, grant-making)

Fatal work injury rate: 2.9

Number of fatal work injuries: 177

9. Government

Fatal work injury rate: 2.2

Number of fatal work injuries: 495

10. Manufacturing

Fatal work injury rate: 2.2

Number of fatal work injuries: 322

10 occupations with high fatal work injury rates (per 100,000 full-time workers):
1. Fishers and related fishing workers

Fatal work injury rate: 121.2
2. Loggers

Fatal work injury rate: 102.4
3. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers

Fatal work injury rate: 57.0
4. Refuse and recyclable material collectors

Fatal work injury rate: 41.2
5. Roofers

Fatal work injury rate: 31.8
6. Structural iron and steel workers

Fatal work injury rate: 26.9
7. Farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers

Fatal work injury rate: 25.3
8. Driver/sales workers and truck drivers

Fatal work injury rate: 24.0
9. Electrical power-line installers and repairers

Fatal work injury rate: 20.3
10. Taxi drivers and chauffeurs

Fatal work injury rate: 19.7
The report also includes information on the causes of these workplace fatalities. Topping the list is transportation incidents, which accounted for more than two out of every five fatal work injuries. Also high on the list? Workplace violence, with 458 homicides and 242 suicides recorded in 2011.

Fatal occupational injuries by major event:
  • Transportation incidents -- 41 percent
  • Violence and other injuries by people or animals -- 17 percent
  • Contact with objects and equipment -- 15 percent
  • Falls, slips and trips -- 14 percent
  • Exposure to harmful substances and environments -- 9 percent
  • Fires and explosions -- 3 percent

Source: careerbuilder

7 behind-the-scenes jobs at the Academy Awards

By Debra Auerbach,
To make sure the annual Academy Awards show goes off without a hitch, thousands of volunteers, employees and vendors work tirelessly to ensure that the audience and at-home viewers have an unforgettable experience.

Here's a list highlighting just seven of the many behind-the-scenes jobs at the Oscars.

1. Seat filler: Ever wonder how there never seems to be a seat left empty at an awards show? Surely stars need to use the bathroom or take a break from sucking in on-camera. Enter the seat fillers. Seat fillers are hired to fill empty seats so the audience always looks full. Awards shows work with outside vendors, such as Seat Fillers and More or While this is usually a volunteer position (translation: no pay), isn't it payment enough to rub elbows with some of the world's biggest stars? 

2. Talent escort: Another volunteer position that gets you close to celebrities is talent escort. Talent escorts are essentially celebrity guardians; they are assigned specific celebrities and are responsible for them from the moment their feet touch the red carpet. Escorts do everything from keeping celebrities on schedule to guiding them to their seats. If a star is presenting, the escort is responsible for getting him backstage and ready to present.

3. Associate director: While the show's director is the one who calls the shots, the AD sets up the shots. The AD is the assistant to the director, doing everything from choreographing the camera operators' moves to ensuring that the props and set are ready for each segment.

4. Stand-in: It takes several rounds of rehearsals to get the lighting, sound, cameras, flow and timing just right, and you can't expect celebrity presenters to give up precious time to attend every rehearsal. That's where celebrity stand-ins come in. This paid role involves standing in for the real celebrities and doing everything from walking on and off stage, running through lines and giving faux acceptance speeches. 

5. Security consultant: Not surprisingly, awards shows can be targets for people who want to commit harmful acts. With the thousands of people attending and working the show, not to mention the hordes of fans crowding around the theater, being part of the security team is one of the show's most important jobs. Security personnel begin working weeks, if not months, ahead of time, coordinating with the FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department, scoping out entrances and exits, locating areas of vulnerability, doing bomb sweeps and setting up security check-ins, among other duties. 

6. Accountant: As the commercials come to an end and the cued music begins, viewers wait with excitement to see who the next celebrity presenter will be, only to groan in disappointment when the announcer says, "Please welcome representatives from the accounting firm..." Sure, they may not be the most exciting folks to grace the stage, but accountants play a big part in ensuring the integrity of the awards. According to a press release from PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting and consulting firm that oversees the balloting process, "PwC's long-established balloting system involves the precise tallying of every single ballot at a concealed location to maintain the utmost level of accuracy, objectivity and confidentiality."

7. Stage manager: Stage managers are the backstage directors, so if you're backstage at the Oscars, you had better listen to what the stage manager tells you to do. The stage manager hangs out in the wings, directing traffic, ensuring that presenters are on their stage marks and keeping the show's timing on track, among other responsibilities.

Source: careerbuilder

13 of the best cities for jobs

Which cities have the lowest unemployment rates?

By Debra Auerbach,

Many factors contribute to making a city a desirable place to live. Proximity to family or friends, affordable cost of living, strong real-estate market and weather are just a few examples.Another reason someone might reside in a specific locale is career opportunity. While certain areas may have better prospects for specific fields or industries, others are stronger employment markets overall.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment rates were lower in January than a year earlier in 345 of the 372 metropolitan areas, higher in 16 areas and unchanged in 11. A total of 201 areas recorded January unemployment rates below the U.S. figure of 8.8 percent, 162 areas reported rates above it, and nine areas had rates equal to that of the country.

To get a sense of the cities with job markets that are recovering more quickly than others, here's a list of 13 cities with the lowest unemployment rates as of January 2013.

Best area unemployment rates*:
This list is ranked solely on jobless rates; job seekers should consider a variety of other factors when determining a good place for employment.

1. Lincoln, Neb.
Unemployment rate: 3.8 percent
Percent change from last year: -0.8
Mean annual earnings: $39,310

2. Bismarck, N.D.
Unemployment rate: 3.8 percent
Percent change from last year: -0.6
Mean annual earnings: $39,110

3. Midland, Texas
Unemployment rate: 4.1 percent
Percent change from last year: -0.8
Mean annual earnings: $44,660

4. Fargo, N.D.
Unemployment rate: 4.2 percent
Percent change from last year: -0.4
Mean annual earnings: $39,180

5. Ames, Iowa
Unemployment rate: 4.3 percent
Percent change from last year: -0.7
Mean annual earnings: $42,290

6. Iowa City, Iowa
Unemployment rate: 4.4 percent
Percent change from last year: -0.4
Mean annual earnings: $44,170

7. Sioux Falls, S.D.
Unemployment rate: 4.5 percent
Percent change from last year: -0.9
Mean annual earnings: $37,880

8. Logan, Utah
Unemployment rate: 4.6 percent
Percent change from last year: -1.1
Mean annual earnings: $34,950

9. Burlington-South Burlington, Vt.
Unemployment rate: 4.6 percent
Percent change from last year: -1.0
Mean annual earnings: $47,420

10. Rapid City, S.D.
Unemployment rate: 4.7 percent
Percent change from last year: -1.2
Mean annual earnings: $35,330

11. Columbia, Mo.
Unemployment rate: 4.8 percent
Percent change from last year: -2.0
Mean annual earnings: $37,780

12. Portsmouth, N.H.
Unemployment rate: 4.8 percent
Percent change from last year: -0.6
Mean annual earnings: $49,050

13. Odessa, Texas
Unemployment rate: 4.9 percent
Percent change from last year: -1.9
Mean annual earnings: $40,540

Source: careerbuilder

8 jobs for fashionistas

By Debra Auerbach,
It's been an exciting couple of months for the fashion industry. The kickoff of awards season in January had fashion lovers glued to their TV screens, critiquing the best- and worst-dressed on the red carpet. 

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week had fashionistas everywhere going gaga over designers' fall 2012 ready-to-wear collections. And while the average fashion lover doesn't get to hobnob with celebrities at awards soirées or rub elbows with fashion's finest at designer runway shows, that doesn't mean a career in fashion is unattainable.

If you have a passion for fashion, consider pursuing one of these eight jobs, which cover a variety of fields.

1. Retail salesperson: A good way to get some fashion experience is to start by working as a salesperson at a clothing store. As a salesperson, you have exposure to the buying, styling and customer-service sides of the business. And while having a background in retail can help when pursuing other fashion-related jobs, it's not to say you can't build a successful career in retail. Salespeople can go on to management or corporate positions within the company.
National average salary: $25,557*

2. Visual merchandiser: If you have a good eye and are interested in how a visual display can help sell a product, consider a career in visual merchandising. According to occupational information source O*Net, visual merchandisers plan commercial displays, develop and create window decorations and coordinate with the communications and sales teams to ensure cohesion across all campaigns, among other duties. Education usually includes either a bachelor's or associate degree in visual or fashion merchandising. Prior experience in retail is also helpful.
National average salary: $36,865

3. Stylist: If you're a fan a Rachel Zoe or her former-assistant-turned-stylist-competition Brad Goreski, you have a sense of what a stylist is. As a fashion stylist, you may be in charge of such things as identifying the location for a photo shoot, picking the wardrobe for a magazine's fashion spread, and pulling outfits for clients to wear at events. Most stylists start by becoming an assistant or apprentice to an independent stylist or a company. Once they have more experience, many become independent stylists themselves. While a degree in fashion design or marketing is helpful, having prior retail or fashion work experience can also help you get a foot in the door.
National average salary: $66,986

4. Personal shopper: According to the retail section of, the typical job of a personal shopper involves being up on the latest trends while also having a deep understanding of their clients' style. Personal shoppers need to establish and foster relationships with their clientele to ensure they get repeat business, and many rely on word of mouth from satisfied clients to grow their business. Personal shoppers may own their own company or work for a retail or department store that offers such services.
National average salary: $38,514

5. Writer for fashion website, magazine or blog: If you love both writing and fashion, consider seeking out opportunities with a fashion magazine, website or blog. In this role, you could do anything from interviewing designers, to writing trend reports, to attending and reviewing fashion shows. One way to dip your toe into this field is to pursue freelance work. With media outlets shrinking the size of their staffs, they've had to rely on freelancers to help fill their pages or posts. The education of a fashion writer may include a bachelor's degree in journalism, with some previous fashion background or experience.
National average salary: $60,493 (writer at a magazine)

6. Fashion-focused public relations specialist: Another way to satiate your fashion craving is to conduct public relations work for a fashion label or clothing store. Such roles can be found in the marketing or communications department at a fashion company or at a public relations agency. Some agencies specialize in fashion PR, while others have a variety of clients, including fashion and retail. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the public relations field is expected to grow much faster than average, but competition for entry-level jobs is high.
National average salary: $60,379

7. Fashion photographer: A photograph, whether used in advertising or editorial, has the power to define a brand, state a point of view and sell a product. As a photographer for the fashion industry, assignments may vary from magazine editorial photo shoots, to print advertisements for a brand, to images for a company's catalog or look book. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "photojournalists or industrial or scientific photographers generally need a college degree. Freelance and portrait photographers need technical proficiency, gained through a degree, training program or experience."
National average salary: $52,499 (general photographer)

8. Interior designer: Interior designers need many of the same skills as someone in fashion -- a creative eye; an understanding of how to mix colors, shapes and styles; and the ability to bring a client's vision to life. According to O*Net, interior designers, "plan, design and furnish interiors of residential, commercial or industrial buildings. Many specialize in a particular field, style or phase of interior design."
National average salary: $58,779

14 secure jobs with a high percentage of workers age 55-plus

By Debra Auerbach,
Different types of jobs attract different types of people. For instance, introverts might prefer behind-the-scenes positions, while extroverts might be more attracted to client service or communications-related jobs. Demographics can also affect career choices -- age, sex, location and other factors may play a role in influencing the types of jobs people pursue.

In his book "150 Best Jobs for a Secure Future," author Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., shares some of the most secure jobs by demographic -- jobs that tend to attract a high volume of certain types of workers. In one such list, Shatkin reveals the best secure jobs with a high percentage of workers age 55 and over.

To create this list, Shatkin first identified the 150 most secure jobs based on various data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Next, he sorted those jobs in order of the list's primary criterion: workers age 55-plus. He then sorted the list further using earnings, growth rate and number of openings.

Shatkin is not implying that workers in this age range should consider these jobs based solely on their inclusion on this list. The list is just meant to provide a different perspective on the types of jobs that are popular among workers in this demographic. Mature workers might be drawn to these positions for different, personal reasons. Certain roles, such as chief executives, often require a significant amount of experience. If this list makes you consider a potential job that you might have otherwise overlooked, you'll find yourself in good company.

Here are 14 secure jobs with a high percentage of workers age 55-plus.

1. Clinical, counseling and school psychologists
Percent age 55 and over: 41.9
Median annual salary: $67,880*
2. Psychologists, all other
Percent age 55 and over: 41.9
Median annual salary: $90,010
3. Chief executives
Percent age 55 and over: 35.5
Median annual salary: $166,910
4. Physicists
Percent age 55 and over: 33.8
Median annual salary: $106,360
5. Urban and regional planners
Percent age 55 and over: 33.8
Median annual salary: $64,100
6. Management analysts
Percent age 55 and over: 32.3
Median annual salary: $78,490
7. Education administrators, elementary and secondary school
Percent age 55 and over: 32.2
Median annual salary: $87,470
8. Education administrators, postsecondary
Percent age 55 and over: 32.2
Median annual salary: $84,280
9. Education administrators, all other
Percent age 55 and over: 32.2
Median annual salary: $76,730
10. Administrative services managers
Percent age 55 and over: 31.9
Median annual salary: $79,540
11. Instructional coordinators
Percent age 55 and over: 31.9
Median annual salary: $59,280
12. Writers and authors
Percent age 55 and over: 31.9
Median annual salary: $55,870
13. Transportation inspectors
Percent age 55 and over: 31.3
Median annual salary: $62,230
14. Social and community service managers
Percent age 55 and over: 30.8
Median annual salary: $58,660

*Salary figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Source: careerbuilder

10 jobs that have grown more than 30 percent in the past year

Staying up-to-date on economic trends is essential in a job search. An occupation you may be interested in could be declining in growth, while another job might be popping up at companies everywhere.
Pulling data from national employment resources, CareerBuilder's Supply & Demand Portal has compiled a sample of occupations for which job listings have increased more than 30 percent since this time last year. "The world's dependency on technology, the pervasiveness of social media and the need to drive sales and expand into new markets are all driving double-digit growth across a variety of fields," says Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder.

Here are 10 occupations that have experienced more than 30 percent growth in job listings since last year.

1. Software engineer*: Software engineers and developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or other device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or control networks. With the proliferation of smart devices and the Internet, and the race to get innovations to market first, tech-savvy workers are in high demand.

Increase in year-over-year job listings: 74 percent

2. Customer-service representative: Customer-service representatives interact with customers on behalf of an organization. They provide information about products and services and respond to customer complaints. Some also take orders and process returns. Companies continue to invest in strengthening customer loyalty and extending sales opportunities across industries.

Increase in year-over-year job listings: 50 percent

3. Social-media manager: A position that didn't exist in many companies five years ago, social-media managers are being added to employee rosters as companies tap into the power of Facebook, Twitter and other venues to increase visibility, market their products and manage brand perceptions.

Increase in year-over-year job listings: 48 percent

4. Truck driver: Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers transport goods from one location to another. Most tractor-trailer drivers are long-haul drivers and operate with a capacity of at least 26,001 pounds per gross vehicle weight. They deliver goods over intercity routes, sometimes spanning several states. An uptick in manufacturing activity and the demand for goods and services are keeping the roads busy.

Increase in year-over-year job listings: 45 percent

5. Pharmacy technician: Pharmacy technicians help licensed pharmacists dispense prescription medication. An aging population and a sharp increase in the number of Americans with access to medical care are driving demand across health-related professions.

Increase in year-over-year job listings: 43 percent

6. Training and development manager: Training and development managers plan, direct and coordinate programs to enhance the knowledge and skills of an organization's employees. They also oversee a staff of training and development specialists. Despite a tough job market, one-third of employers currently have positions for which they can't find qualified candidates, and half of all employers reported they have plans to hire and train workers who have no experience in their industries. They need training managers to help fill the gaps for high-skill positions and get employees up to speed.

Increase in year-over-year job listings: 41 percent

7. Financial analyst: Financial analysts provide guidance to businesses and individuals making investment decisions. They assess the performance of stocks, bonds and other types of investments. Still recovering from one of the deepest recessions felt across the globe, companies need individuals who can provide guidance on market trends and investment decisions.

Increase in year-over-year job listings: 39 percent

8. Video editor: Film and video editors and camera operators record images that entertain or inform an audience. Editors construct the final productions from many different images that camera operators capture. Forty-eight hours of video are uploaded on YouTube every minute. Companies continue to invest in ways to take their messages and initiatives viral. Video has become integral in the way that organizations share news externally and internally.

Increase in year-over-year job listings: 36 percent

9. Sales representative: Sales representatives sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses, government agencies and other organizations. They contact customers, explain product features, answer any questions that their customers may have and negotiate prices.

Increase in year-over-year job listings: 35 percent

10. Chef/cook: Chefs and cooks oversee the daily food preparation at restaurants or other places where food is served. They direct kitchen staff and handle any food-related concerns. Restaurant and food-service jobs are increasing as the economy improves and households have more flexibility in spending.

Increase in year-over-year job listings: 34 percent

Source: careerbuilder

17 jobs for nerds

In a memorable episode of "Star Trek," Gandalf said, "Use the force, Harry." Whether or not you're a nerd, you most likely know that four separate movies and TV shows actually contribute to that joke. "Nerd" used to be a negative social label, but now it can be used to describe anybody with an over-enthusiastic interest in technology, TV shows, books or games who has a talent for science, math and analytical skills. If you're a nerd and proud of it, you may flourish in any of these 17 jobs.

What they do: Archivists appraise, edit and maintain permanent records and historically valuable documents. Many perform research on archival material.  
Median annual pay: $45,200

2. Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerk

What they do: Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks produce financial records for organizations. They record financial transactions, update statements and check financial records for accuracy.
Median annual pay: $34,030

3. Chemist and materials scientist

What they do: Chemists and materials scientists study the structures, compositions, reactions and other properties of substances. They use their knowledge to develop new and improved products, processes and materials.
Median annual pay: $69,790

4. Computer support specialist

What they do: Computer support specialists provide help and advice to people and organizations using computer software or equipment. Some, called technical support specialists, support IT employees within their organization. Others, called help-desk technicians, assist non-IT users who are having computer problems.
Median annual pay: $46,260 

5. Curator, museum technician and conservator

What they do: Curators oversee collections, such as artwork and historic items, and may conduct public service activities for an institution. Museum technicians and conservators prepare and restore objects and documents in museum collections and exhibits.
Median annual pay: $42,310

6. Desktop publisher

What they do: Desktop publishers use computer software to design page layouts for newspapers, books, brochures and other items that will be printed or put online. They collect the text, graphics and other materials they will need and then format them into a finished product.
Median annual pay: $36,610

7. Electrical and electronics engineer

What they do: Electrical engineers design, develop, test and supervise the manufacturing of electrical equipment such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems and power generation equipment. Electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment, such as broadcast and communications systems -- from portable music players to global positioning systems.
Median annual pay: $87,180

8. Epidemiologist

What they do: Epidemiologists investigate the causes of disease and other public health problems to prevent them from spreading or from happening again. They report their findings to public policy officials and to the general public.
Median annual pay: $63,010

9. Forensic science technician

What they do: Forensic science technicians help investigate crimes by collecting and analyzing physical evidence. Most technicians specialize in either crime scene investigation or laboratory analysis.
Median annual pay: $51,570

10. Graphic designer

What they do: Graphic designers create visual concepts, by hand or using computer software, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform or captivate consumers. They help to make an organization recognizable by selecting color, images or logo designs that represent a particular idea or identity to be used in advertising and promotions. 
Median annual pay: $43,500

11. Historian

What they do: Historians research, analyze, interpret and present the past by studying a variety of historical documents and sources.
Median annual pay: $53,520

12. Home entertainment equipment installer and repairer

What they do: Home entertainment equipment installers and repairers set up and fix household audio and video equipment, such as televisions, stereo components and home theater systems.
Median annual pay: $32,940

13. Information security analyst, Web developer and computer network architect

Information security analysts, Web developers and computer network architects all use information technology to advance their organization's goals. Security analysts ensure a company's information stays safe from cyberattacks. Web developers create websites to help companies have a public face. Computer network architects create the internal networks all workers within organizations use.
Median annual pay: $75,660

14. Librarian

What they do: Librarians help people find information from many sources. They maintain library collections and do other work as needed to keep the library running.
Median annual pay: $54,500

15. Psychologist

What they do: Psychologists study mental processes and human behavior by observing, interpreting and recording how people and other animals relate to one another and the environment.
Median annual pay: $68,640    

16. Software developer

What they do: Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or other device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or control networks.
Median annual pay: $90,530

17. Survey researcher

What they do: Survey researchers design or conduct surveys and analyze survey data. Many groups use surveys to collect factual data, such as employment and salary information, or to ask questions that help them understand people's opinions, attitudes, beliefs or desires.
Median annual pay: $36,050

Source: careerbuilder

10 occupations in high demand

As the unemployment rate hovers at 8.2 percent, job seekers -- especially those who have faced long-term unemployment -- may be thinking the jobs just aren't there. Yet jobs are available, and some companies are even struggling to fill positions. A recent CareerBuilder survey found that nearly two in four hiring managers say they have open positions for which they cannot find qualified candidates.

Yet much of today's economic news focuses on the lack of jobs, so job seekers may not know where to turn for information on fields that are experiencing a hiring surge. Or they may not think they have the right skills to pursue a career in one of the growing fields.

That's why programs such as the Clinton Global Initiative are making an impact. Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the CGI convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges -- including unemployment.

Connecting job seekers with jobs
CareerBuilder has made a major commitment to the CGI with the goal of providing current and future workers with information and new skills. CareerBuilder's commitment provides CareerOneStop centers, sponsored by the Labor Department, with CareerBuilder's Supply & Demand data. The S&D data enable CareerBuilder to help job seekers discover occupations that are in high demand and hone their skills for areas with great growth opportunities.
Using the S&D data, CareerBuilder has compiled lists of the top occupations with the most demand and least supply in each center's local area. The lists will be sent to the centers in the top 20 cities with the highest number of unemployed workers.

Using the same S&D data, here is a list of 10 of the most in-demand occupations nationwide, all with strong growth and earning potential:

1. Computer specialists
Most common job titles: Project manager (information technology), Java developer, Web developer, .NET developer, SharePoint developer, PHP developer
Median entry-level salary: $56,750
Education: High-school plus equivalent experience or bachelor's degree plus experience; certifications are available for both entry-level and experienced workers
2. Marketing managers
Most common job titles: Product manager, business development manager, product marketing manager, marketing manager/director, account manager, marketing communications manager
Median entry-level salary: $66,000
Education: 84 percent have a bachelor's degree
3. Network and computer systems administrators
Most common job titles: Systems administrator, network engineer, network administrator, system administrator, systems engineer, SharePoint administrator, Linux systems administrator
Median entry-level salary: $55,000
Education: High-school plus equivalent experience or bachelor's degree plus experience; certifications are available for both entry-level and experienced workers
4. Medical and health services managers
Most common job titles: Director of nursing, clinical manager, medical director, nurse manager, nursing home administrator, practice manager, director of pharmacy, program manager rehab
Median entry-level salary: $73,000
Education: 52 percent have a bachelor's degree; 41 percent have a master's degree
5. Industrial engineers
Most common job titles: Quality engineer, quality manager, process engineer, manufacturing engineer, project engineer, test engineer, design engineer, product engineer
Median entry-level salary: $60,000
Education: 62 percent have a bachelor's degree
6. Occupational therapists
Most common job titles: Occupational therapist, OT
Median entry-level salary: $60,000
Education: 85 percent have a master's degree
7. Merchandise displayers and window trimmers
Most common job titles: Merchandiser, retail sales merchandiser, retail project merchandiser, reset merchandiser, master merchandiser
Median entry-level salary: $35,000
Education: 77 percent have a high-school diploma or the equivalent
8. Medical scientists, except epidemiologists
Most common job titles: Clinical research associate or coordinator, research scientist, clinical laboratory scientist
Median entry-level salary: $57,000
Education: 81 percent have a doctoral/professional degree
9. Occupational therapist assistants
Most common job titles: Occupational therapy assistant, certified occupational therapy assistant, occupational therapist assistant
Median entry-level salary: $53,000
Education: 96 percent have an associate degree*
10. Physical therapist assistants
Most common job titles: Physical therapy assistant, PTA
Median entry-level salary: $49,500
Education: 71 percent have an associate degree

Source: careerbuilder

17 temporary and contract jobs with the most growth

In this post-recession era, employers are looking for opportunities to grow their businesses and to stay ahead in the recovering economy. Job seekers are also navigating the competitive job market and looking for ways to keep their careers moving forward. For everyone in the workforce, evolution is key because the old workplace rules have changed. Gone are the days when workers found a job right out of school and had a simple career path until retirement. Today, temporary work is helping both employers and job seekers stay flexible while working toward long-term goals.

In CareerBuilder's 2013 Job Forecast, 40 percent of employers say they intend to hire temporary and contract workers, which is a 4 percent increase over 2012. Of those businesses that are hiring temporary workers, 42 percent intend to transition these new contract and temporary workers into full-time, permanent positions. For businesses, temporary workers are essential to succeeding.

For many workers, breaking into an industry or a specific company can be the hardest part of getting hired. To help job seekers take those first steps toward a permanent role, CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists have put together a list of jobs for which workers are being hired at an accelerated rate. The jobs on this list show that hiring is happening across different fields, from manufacturing to human resources.

Here are 17 temporary and contract occupations showing the most growth.

Team assembler
Number of people employed*: 128,096
Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 21,529
Growth rate: 20 percent
Median hourly pay: $13.25
Office clerk
Number of people employed: 132,264
Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 21,219
Growth rate: 19 percent
Median hourly pay: $13.18
Customer service representative
Number of people employed: 76,445
Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 12,334
Growth rate: 19 percent
Median hourly pay: $14.90
Human resources, training and labor relations specialist
Number of people employed: 59,597
Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 11,893
Growth rate: 25 percent
Median hourly pay: $26.44
Registered nurse
Number of people employed: 66,844
Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 8,766
Growth rate: 15 percent
Median hourly pay: $32.10
Nursing aide, orderly and attendant
Number of people employed: 31,975
Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 5,155
Growth rate: 19 percent
Median hourly pay: $11.91
Home health aide
Number of people employed: 27,308
Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 4,786
Growth rate: 21 percent
Median hourly pay: $9.96
Maintenance and repair worker
Number of people employed: 24,238
Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 3,917
Growth rate: 19 percent
Median hourly pay: $16.94
Heavy and tractor-trailer truck driver
Number of people employed: 22,701
Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 3,700
Growth rate: 19 percent
Median hourly pay: $17.96
Inspector, tester, sorter, sampler and weigher
Number of people employed: 21,458
Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 3,414
Growth rate: 19 percent
Median hourly pay: $16.63
Sales representative, services
Number of people employed: 21,485
Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 3,336
Growth rate: 18 percent
Median hourly pay: $24.60
Computer support specialist
Number of people employed: 16,197
Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 2,574
Growth rate: 19 percent
Median hourly pay: $23.58
Computer programmer
Number of people employed: 11,487
Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 1,821
Growth rate: 19 percent
Median hourly pay: $34.48
Accountant and auditor
Number of people employed: 10,855
Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 1,689
Growth rate: 18 percent
Median hourly pay: $30.04
Business operations specialist
Number of people employed: 10,528
Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 1,677
Growth rate: 19 percent
Median hourly pay: $30.82
Number of people employed: 7,657
Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 1,245
Growth rate: 19 percent
Median hourly pay: $23.64
Sales representative, wholesale and manufacturing
Number of people employed: 7,028
Jobs added from 2010 to 2012: 1,143
Growth rate: 19 percent
Median hourly pay: $25.55

20 Odd Jobs

Do you ever wonder whose job it is to do some of the less desirable things in life? If you think about it, there’s a job doing almost anything, no matter how exciting, disgusting or just plain weird it may seem.

For example, remember when you stuck your wad of gum underneath the seat of a roller coaster so you wouldn’t choke? That sticky mess didn’t just disappear – a gum buster scraped it off, using a special steaming tool that removes gum stuck to various surfaces.

Think about all those times your golf ball didn’t make it over the water. Did you think the fish ate them? Nope, a golf ball diver, who scours the depths of bodies of water on golf courses to find lost golf balls to refinish and resell, got it.

Many Americans dominate the corporate working world, but don’t forget about those who took the road less traveled. Through photography in her books, “Odd Jobs” and “Odder Jobs,” Nancy Rica Schiff portrays people working jobs you probably won’t find in the Sunday classifieds.

They aren’t your run-of-the-mill doctors, lawyers and the like. Some are simple, some complex; some are common, some one in a million – but one thing’s for sure – they are all (extremely) unusual.

Here are 20 odd jobs portrayed in Rica Schiff’s books.

1. Breath odor evaluator
What they do: Odor judges smell nasty morning breath or breath “insulted” with strong scents, like garlic or coffee. They rate the breath on a scale from one to nine, one being the worst. To test odor-reducing products like gum or mouthwash, they smell the breath again and assign it a new rating.

2. Diener
What they do: Prepare cadavers for the pathologist before autopsies are performed in hospitals.

3. Ribbon candy puller
What they do: After a heated combination of sugar, corn syrup, water and coloring agent has cooled, batches of different colors are laid out side by side. Someone then pulls the candy thin until it’s about an inch wide. The final product is a multicolored hard candy.

4. Ocularist
What they do: In short, they paint artificial eyes. It sounds easier than it is, since as with real eyes, no two are exactly the same.

5. Flatulence smell-reduction underwear maker
What they do: Create underwear that protects against bad human gas for people who suffer from gastrointestinal problems. The underwear is made with various materials and filters to help remedy hydrogen sulfide gases, the main offender in foul smells.

6. Beer testerWhat they do: Taste – and spit out – beer all day to approve new and existing flavors.

7. Crack filler
What they do: Using a silicone sealant, they repair the wear and tear inflicted on monumental structures, like Mount Rushmore.

8. Ball testerWhat they do: Assess basketballs, footballs, volleyballs and soccer balls for air-retention, inflation, roundness, weight and reboundability.

9. Video game tester
What they do: For eight hours a day, five days a week, a group of males and females of all ages play video games. They repeat levels, games and characters, looking for any bugs and/or glitches in the software.

10. Tampon testerWhat they do: Check all sizes of tampons for absorbency and cord strength in accordance with Food and Drug Administration standards. Most testers check up to 125 pieces per day.

11. Gold reclaimer
What they do: Scour old teeth for fillings, melting the gold from them with broken gold jewelry into tiny gold pellets, which are then resold to jewelers.

12. Dog sniffer
What they do: Once a week, they analyze the odor of dogs' breath to test the effect of the animals' diet on their teeth. Breath is graded on a scale of zero to 10 and is categorized as sweaty, salty, musty, fungal or decaying.

13. Potato chip inspector
What they do: Search for overcooked or clumped chips to discard as they come down the assembly line.

14. Porta-potty servicerWhat they do: Like regular restrooms, portable toilets need maintenance, too. Once a week, service workers clean these single-stall facilities to achieve certain standards of sanitation.

15. Barbie dress designer
What they do: Fashion designers at Mattel Toys, the company behind Barbie, create hundreds of new styles for Barbie and her ever-expanding entourage.

16. Wax figure maker
What they do: Mold wax to create figures, often for, but not limited to, the human form. Figures are often made in the likeness of people who have achieved historical or celebrity recognition.

17. Safecracker
What they do: When combinations are lost or forgotten, safe-crackers use their ears and fingers to open the safe.

18. Wig maker
What they do: Put simply, they make wigs, but the process is anything but simple. First, wig makers create a plastic model of the wearer’s head and hairline, and then they transfer the mold onto a padded canvas similar to the client’s general head size, covering it with wig lace. Using a needle, they knot and pull thousands of hairs, one by one, through the mesh cap. Once all the hairs are in place, the wig is styled to the wearer’s preference.

19. Paper towel snifferWhat they do: Paper towel manufacturers prefer their products to be odorless before, during and after their use. Naturally, paper towel sniffers ensure that once a paper towel is used, there is no noticeable scent.

20. Foley artist
What they do: Use whatever they can find to create and record the noises used to make the sound effects in films, like heavy footsteps, rolling thunder or creaking doors.

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