16 jobs that pay $40,000


Numbers are an important part of our lives. Just consider all of the numbers we think about or recite on a regular basis: our birthday, address, social security number, phone number and paycheck. As to that last number, sometimes it's the one we count on the most.
Everyone has a different idea of what they'd like the number on their paycheck to be. Many workers would find that an annual salary of $40,000 would allow them to meet their own financial obligations or provide for their household. For jobs with a wide range of responsibilities and education levels, check out any of these 16 jobs that pay around $40,000 a year.

Job description: Athletic trainers specialize in preventing, diagnosing and treating muscle and bone injuries and illnesses. They work with people of all ages and skill levels, from young children to soldiers and professional athletes.
Typical education level: Bachelor's degree
Median annual pay: $41,600


Job description: Biological technicians help biological and medical scientists conduct laboratory tests and experiments. They also set up, maintain and clean laboratory instruments, gather and prepare samples, conduct biological tests, document their work, analyze experimental data and write reports.
Typical education level: Bachelor's degree
Median annual pay: $39,020


Job description: Broadcast and sound engineering technicians set up, operate and maintain the electrical equipment for radio and television broadcasts, concerts, sound recordings and movies and in office and school buildings.
Typical education level: High school diploma or equivalent
Median annual pay: $39,870


Job description: Carpenters construct and repair building frameworks and structures -- such as stairways, doorframes, partitions and rafters -- made from wood and other materials. They also may install kitchen cabinets, siding and drywall.
Typical education level: High school diploma or equivalent
Median annual pay: $39,530


Job description: Chefs and head 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.
Typical education level: High school diploma or equivalent
Median annual pay: $40,630


Job description: Construction equipment operators drive, maneuver or control the heavy machinery used to construct roads, bridges, buildings and other structures.
Typical education level: High school diploma or equivalent
Median annual pay: $39,460


Job description: Correctional officers are responsible for overseeing individuals who have been arrested and are awaiting trial or who have been sentenced to serve time in a jail, reformatory or prison.
Typical education level: High school diploma or equivalent
Median annual pay: $39,020


Job description: Diesel service technicians and mechanics inspect, repair or overhaul buses, trucks and anything else with a diesel engine.
Typical education level: High school diploma or equivalent
Median annual pay: $40,850


Job description: Environmental science and protection technicians do laboratory and field tests to monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution, including those affecting health. Many work under the supervision of environmental scientists and specialists, who direct their work and evaluate their results.
Typical education level: Associate degree
Median annual pay: $41,380


Job description: Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses provide basic nursing care. They work under the direction of registered nurses and doctors. They typically monitor patients' health, administer basic nursing care, discuss health care with patients and keep patient records.
Typical education level: Postsecondary nondegree award
Median annual pay: $40,380


Job description: Machinists and tool and die makers set up and operate a variety of computer-controlled or mechanically-controlled machine tools to produce precision metal parts, instruments and tools.
Typical education level: High school diploma or equivalent
Median annual pay: $39,910


Job description: Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists help people manage or overcome mental and emotional disorders and problems with their family and relationships. They listen to clients and ask questions to help the clients understand their problems and develop strategies to improve their lives.
Typical education level: Master's degree
Median annual pay: $39,710


Job description: Recreational therapists plan, direct and coordinate recreation programs for people with disabilities or illnesses. They use a variety of techniques, including arts and crafts, drama, music, dance, sports, games and field trips. These programs help maintain or improve a client's physical and emotional well-being.
Typical education level: Bachelor's degree
Median annual pay: $39,410


Job description: Sheet metal workers fabricate or install products that are made from thin metal sheets, such as ducts used for heating and air-conditioning.
Typical education level: High school diploma or equivalent
Median annual pay: $41,710


Job description: Surgical technologists, also called operating room technicians, assist in surgical operations. They prepare operating rooms, arrange equipment and help doctors and nurses during surgeries.
Typical education level: Postsecondary nondegree award
Median annual pay: $39,920


Job description: Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators manage a system of machines, often through the use of control boards, to transfer or treat water or wastewater.
Typical education level: High school diploma or equivalent
Median annual pay: $40,770

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