What Employers Want From the Class of 2017

We found out what qualities and skills recruiters are looking for in new graduates during hiring season.

Summer is near, and for the class of 2017, that means it’s about time to get a grown-up job.

While we’re sure you’re all charming and talented, we wanted to help you by asking jobs experts what recruiters want to see from new graduates this summer. Hopefully these tips can help you polish your resume or change your approach to interviews and land that post-graduation job.

What Skills Are Most in Demand?

Monster, the employment website, recently released data on entry-level job postings that showed the top “hard skills” employers want are computer-related, including quality assurance, structural query language and Java. Other skills in high demand are pediatric specialization and knowing another language.

If those skills aren’t already in your toolbox, don’t fret. Monster also compiled the most sought-after “soft skills.” They include oral and written communication, marketing, Microsoft Office, being detail-oriented and problem solving (pro tip: these key words should be in your resume if you have these skills).

Applicants can demonstrate good communication skills through impeccable cover letters and resumes, said Vicki Salemi, career expert for Monster. Also, prepare well for interviews and speak clearly.

Keep your cover letter succinct to ensure it “pops” for recruiters who might spend only seconds reading it, she said.

“Think of your resume as a sheet of paper and you have a yellow highlighter,” Salemi said. “What two or three things would you highlight to show a recruiter that you’re an incredible candidate?” Once you know that, you know what your cover letter should focus on, she said.

If they’re not proficient in Microsoft Office, Salemi recommended taking online tutorials. Don’t take this lightly: Some recruiters test candidates to make sure they’re proficient in Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Where Are Employers Hiring?

Monster’s data also included the cities that had most entry-level job postings. Salemi said new graduates should certainly consider applying where the jobs are, but also make sure to have a plan to get to far-flung cities quickly if they need to attend an interview or, even better, get hired.

“Hiring can actually happen quickly as many times as it may feel like it’s dragging,” she said.

While cities like New York and Washington have plenty of jobs, there is also plenty of competition, Salemi said. Depending on the industry, some graduates should also be sure not to ignore suburbs where employers might have more trouble attracting young applicants.

What Recruiters Like

Be likable, Salemi said. Yes, it sounds obvious, but as when she worked as a recruiter, and two candidates left were identical on paper, it came down to who seemed like they would fit better in the company interview.

That means be respectful, but be yourself. When it comes time for small talk, make sure your personality shines through.

“The top thing they’re looking for is someone we can see fitting in there,” Salemi said. That means someone who won’t stress out while dealing with a tight deadline, someone they wouldn’t mind working late hours with and someone who has more to chat about at the water cooler than work.

And if the job search doesn’t pan out right away, recruiters want to see that applicants haven’t wasted their summer. Employers are looking for resilience and an openness to change, according to Marc Cenedella, CEO of Ladders, a career site. There’s no better time to demonstrate that than during a dryer-than-expected job search.

“They want to see that you’ve done something with your time,” Salemi said.

Salemi recommends volunteering or taking local classes to keep your skills sharp and build your network. Getting part-time work during the job search might also help those who need to start paying back student loans. (You can see how student loan debt affects your credit with a free credit report snapshot from Credit.com.)

Image: FangXiaNuo

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The Best (& Worst) Cities for New Graduates Seeking Work

Graduation is coming up soon. We narrow down the best and worst places to find jobs for graduates.

Graduation season is around the corner, which means it’s time to put that degree to work.

Many graduates have little to tie them to any particular place, so they can choose to start their careers where jobs are available. But which cities have the most jobs?

Data provided by Monster, the employment website, show the best and worst cities for job seekers, based on the number of openings. Monster used the CEB TalentNeuron tool to analyze all entry-level job ads posted online from January 1 to March 22, 2017 that require a bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degree.

Where to Look for Work

Monster also released data on the occupations with the most openings (physical therapist was tops), and that offered the highest entry-level pay (software developers). Those first paychecks are increasingly important for new graduates, who face a growing mountain of student loan debt. (Wondering how student loan debt is affecting your credit? Check out a free snapshot of your credit report on Credit.com.)

Check out the 10 best cities for new graduates to find work and the five worst. Locations on the list are all in metropolitan statistical areas with populations of at least 200,000 or counties with populations of at least 15,000.

10th Best: Philadelphia

8,304 job postings

9th Best: Houston

10,021 job postings

8th Best: Seattle

10,512 job postings

7th Best: Atlanta

10,937 job postings

6th Best: Washington, D.C.

11,132 job postings

5th Best: San Francisco

11,244 job postings

4th Best: Boston

11,498 job postings

3rd Best: Los Angeles

11,933 job postings

2nd Best: Chicago

15,503 job postings

Best: New York

31,682 job postings

10th Worst: Prescott, Arizona

178 job postings

9th Worst: Lynchburg, Virginia

169 job postings

8th Worst: Yakima, Washington

161 job postings

7th Worst: Chico, California

156 job postings

6th Worst: Tyler, Texas

140 job postings

5th Worst: Merced, California

134 job postings

4th Worst: Longview, Texas

128 job postings

3rd Worst: Bellingham, Washington

122 job postings

2nd Worst: Bayou Cane, Louisiana

121 job postings

Worst: Laredo, Texas

114 job postings

Image: digitalskillet 

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7 Perfect Jobs to Stoke Your Wanderlust

If exploring the world is a priority for you, consider these seven jobs that pay you to travel.

The average American only gets 10 vacation days after a year on the job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And 23% of Americans get no paid vacation time at all.

It’s tough to fit in a trip to Europe or Asia when you’re only allotted two weeks of vacation a year. If exploring the world is a priority for you, consider jobs where you can get paid to travel. Check out these seven jobs that allow you to travel the world. (And when you start globetrotting, this list of 28 ways to save for your next big adventure may come in handy.)

1. English Language Teacher

As the international language of business, English is a hot commodity across the world. Private and public schools across the globe seek native English speakers to teach the language. Several governments — like Korea, Japan, and France — hire college graduates as classroom assistants.

If you’re interested in becoming a head teacher, get a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate. You can take a 120-hour course full-time for a month or part-time on weekends. A TEFL certificate opens doors to teaching jobs that let you travel across the world.

To locate a position, use a job placement agency or search on a job board like Dave’s ESL Cafe. Just remember to start the process early. You’ll need time to make travel arrangements and obtain a visa from a local embassy.

Salaries vary across the world. South Korea and Japan have some of the highest paychecks for English teachers. According to Go Overseas, private school teachers in South Korea make between $1,600 and $1,940 a month. Public school teachers make between $1,265 and $2,500.

Note that some schools will cover round-trip airfare, visa expenses and housing. Between those perks and a potentially lower cost of living, you could live a high quality of life and save money. (That extra savings could even help you pay off your student loan debt ahead of schedule.)

2. International Sales Representative

Do you have a nose for business? Companies hire sales consultants and managers to connect with clients around the world. These positions require a strong understanding of a company’s products and clients’ needs. You’ll develop quarterly goals and work hard to meet them.

Your job will involve a lot of international travel, but you won’t necessarily get to choose where you go. International sales representatives make a median salary of $69,928, according to Salary.com. These roles typically require a bachelor’s degree, excellent communication skills and experience.

3. Flight Attendant

If you’re comfortable flying through the skies, then you could travel the world as a flight attendant.

Flight attendants look after passengers, plus they know everything about safety protocols. As a flight attendant, you’ll get the chance to travel the globe. However, you probably won’t get a regular schedule.

“Every other month I alternate between a set schedule and an on-call schedule, which means you have to be near the airport and ready to head into work on short notice if you’re called in,” one flight attendant told Cosmopolitan.

She adds that flights attendants typically work on holidays. Plus, they have to sleep in strange places, like bunk beds above the passenger area. Flight attendants make between $23,000 and $78,000 a year, according to Payscale, with the average salary coming in at $38,000.

4. Government Employee

The U.S. Defense Department, State Department, and other bureaus employ thousands of people in overseas positions across the globe.

The Department of State, for instance, hires foreign officers to work in many public diplomacy tracks. It also hires students and post-graduates for professional fellowships.

You can browse thousands of jobs opportunities at the State Department or Department of Defense. Salaries and skill sets vary widely, but most government employees can expect full benefits and some tax advantages.

5. Online Freelancer

If you have a service to offer online, like writing or web design, then you could work remotely from wherever you want in the world. Remote work is a growing trend, with many industries looking to hire remote workers over the next year.

Websites like Freelancer and Upwork connect freelancers to employers. You can build your portfolio while working from anywhere with internet access. You could even eventually start your own online business.

Note that you may have to account for time zone differences. If your work involves meetings, then you may have to keep strange hours if you’re traveling across the globe.

6. Tour Guide

One of the most straightforward ways to get paid to travel is to work in the tourism industry. As a tour guide, you can live abroad while showing other people around your favorite new city.

Work as a guide for tourists, or take groups of high school students on overseas trips. Companies like Broad Reach and Winterline hire seasonal guides.

If you’re outdoorsy, work for an outdoor adventure company, like Adventures Cross Country (ARCC). If you’d rather travel with adults, join a globetrotting company like Remote Year.

Note that tour guide jobs are not always full-time or year-round. You may have to supplement seasonal work with other employment during your off time.

7. Cruise Ship Employee

The Disney Dream cruise ship has 14 decks, 1,250 staterooms and three pools.

Needless to say, this 130,000-ton ship needs a lot of employees to keep everything up and running.

Cruise ships hire all types of workers, from group guides and photographers to dishwashers and entertainers. You’ll get paid to travel on the cruise and explore new places on your days off.

Rumor has it, the pay is low and hours are long. But you’ll have most of your needs covered, like food and housing, so you’ll be able to put your income straight into your savings.

Plus, working on a cruise ship is a great way to explore the world and meet new people as you figure out the next step in your career. You can find a huge directory of cruise ship jobs at AllCruiseJobs.com or official company websites.

How to Get Paid to Travel

If your feet are itching to wander the globe, you can find lots of jobs that let you get paid to travel. Some people work abroad for a year or two after graduation before moving into an entirely new career field. Others build careers that involve lifelong international travel.

Whatever you choose, you’ll develop skills of global awareness and cross-cultural communication, and your international skills and experiences can help you advance your career. And if you’re traveling abroad, you may want to consider getting a credit card with no foreign transaction fees or a rewards program for frequent travelers. This guide to the top credit cards for international travelers is a good place to start looking.

Curious about how to discuss your skills with an employer? Check out this guide to learn how to make yourself marketable for post-college jobs.

Image: RossHelen

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The 15 Best Jobs for Young People All Pay at Least $40,000

CareerBuilder ranked the top 15 best jobs for people between the ages of 19 and 24, based on the share of young workers in the field, average wage, and projected job growth.

You might love watching reruns of Law & Order, but just because you get a kick out of watching people duke it out in a courtroom on TV doesn’t mean you should go to law school. Yet 25% of high school students choose their future career based on something they saw on TV or in a movie, according to research from CareerBuilder.

Choosing a college major or career because it seems cool can backfire. A third of full-time workers come to regret their college major, CareerBuilder found. But by the time they realize they’ve made a mistake, doing a career reset is costly and complicated. Better to pick right the first time than have to start all over again in your 20s or 30s once you realize you’re not really cut out to be (or can’t make it as) a software engineer, salesperson, or screenwriter. But how to choose?

“There is a world of opportunity open to younger workers in business, technical and creative fields,” Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder, said in a statement. To narrow down the choices, you need to consider both your own passions and the potential salary and available job opportunities, Haefner added. “The more informed you are about your options and what it takes to get to where you want to be, the better the outcome,” she said.

To help college and high school students choose their path in life, CareerBuilder ranked the 15 best jobs for people between the ages of 19 and 24, based on the share of young workers in the field, average wage, and projected job growth. All pay about $40,000 – or more – annually, and they include jobs in tech, healthcare and the arts. Some require a bachelor’s degree, but others you can get with just a certificate or associate degree (check out numbers 12 and 4 on our list).

First up, a career for anyone who’s always glued to their laptop screen.

15. Web Developers

You wouldn’t be able to read this article if it weren’t for web developers, the people who design and create websites. It’s the perfect job for tech-savvy young people, especially since you don’t always need a bachelor’s degree to get your foot in the door. Many web developers have two-year degrees, while others are self-taught. More technical positions might require a bachelor’s degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Web developers earn an average of $34.09 an hour, or $70,907 per year. The number of jobs in this field grew by 19% between 2013 and 2017, and 8% of people in the field are younger than 24.

14. Public Relations Specialists

After presenters at the Oscars mistakenly handed the Best Picture statuette to the wrong film, you can bet there was a team of public relations specialists working behind the scenes at damage control. PR pros work to shape public opinion about the organizations for which they work, collaborating with journalists, managing social media and more. Most have a bachelor’s degree in public relations, communications or a related field. Entry-level PR specialists might write press releases, field media requests and help organize events. As you advance, you might be put in charge of managing public relations for an entire company or brand.

PR specialists earn $31.66 an hour, or $65,853 annually. The number of jobs increased by 7% over the last five years, and 9% of PR pros are under 24.

13. Sound Engineering Technicians

Did the band sound great at the last concert you went to? Thank the sound technician. They’re the ones responsible for maintaining and operating the sound equipment for concerts, radio shows, recording sessions and more. Some people land a job in this field and learn while they work, while others complete non-degree training or earn an associate degree. People with experience may be able to move up to bigger jobs (say, from a small local radio station to a bigger market) or to supervisory positions, according to the BLS.

Sound engineering technicians earn $29.87 an hour, or $62,130 per year. The number of people working in this field is relatively small – a little more than 15,000 – but the number of jobs increased by 8% from 2013 to 2017. Eleven percent of sound engineering technicians are under 24.

12. Surgical Technologists

When it comes to job growth, healthcare may be the hottest field. The U.S. added 374,000 healthcare jobs in 2016 alone, according to the BLS, and many of them don’t require a college degree. Surgical technologist – aka a scrub tech — is one. You can get a job in this fast-growing field after earning an associate degree or completing a certificate program from an accredited school.

Surgical technologists earn $22.17 an hour, equivalent to $46,114 per year. The number of jobs grew by 7% over the past five years, and 11% of people working in the field are between 19 and 24.

11. Automotive Service & Maintenance Technicians

Given that more than half of Americans don’t know how to change their car’s oil or fix a flat tire, let alone perform more complex maintenance, it’s no wonder that the number of jobs for automotive service and maintenance technicians is growing. These car repair gurus keep vehicles humming along, and they don’t need a degree to do it. Vocational training combined with on-the-job experience gets you in the door, making this field a good choice for people who don’t think college is the right choice for them.

Automotive service technicians earn $19.65 an hour on average, or about $40,872 per year. More than 650,000 people work in this field, and the number of jobs grew by 7% in recent years. Twelve percent of automotive techs are younger than 24.

10. Electronic Home Entertainment Equipment Installers & Repairers

Electronic home entertainment equipment installers and repairers install and repair home sound systems and entertainment systems. You don’t need a college degree to do this job, though you will need to complete some specialized training, usually at a community college or technical school.

Electronic home entertainment equipment installers make $19.12 per hour, or about $39,770 per year, just under the $40K threshold. The number of jobs grew by 7% from 2013 to 2017, and 13% of people in this field were 24 or younger.

9. Film & Video Editors

If you watch television or movies, you’ve benefited from the work of a film or video editor. Film editors assemble footage into a coherent sequence. The job typically requires a bachelor’s degree, and it’s one of the best-paying creative jobs out there, with top film editors earning more than six figures annually.

Film and video editing is a small but growing field. The number of jobs grew by 18% from 2013 to 2017, and there are now roughly 30,000 people working in this industry. With an average wage of $38.89 an hour, or $80,891 per year, it’s also one of the best-paying jobs for young workers. Thirteen percent of film and video editors are younger than 24.

8. Biological Technicians

Science-loving college students might want to consider a career as a biological technician. This job involves helping scientists conduct lab tests and experiments. Most have a bachelor’s degree in biology or a similar field, and they need hands-on lab experience to get the job. Some biological technicians become full-fledged scientists after earning a master’s or doctorate degree, according to the BLS.

The number of jobs for biological technicians grew 5% from 2013 to 2017. Of the roughly 76,000 people in this field, 14% are under 24, and they earn $21.77 an hour on average, or $45,282 a year.

7. Physical Therapy Assistants

Physical therapy assistants, or PTAs, work with physical therapists to help patients recover from injuries. To land the job, you’ll need an associate degree from an accredited program. You’ll also need to be licensed. A minority of PTAs eventually go back to school and become physical therapists, a job that requires an advanced degree, according to the American Physical Therapy Association.

Jobs for physical therapy assistants increased 13% over the past five years. About 15% of the 87,000 people working in this field are younger than 24, and they earn an average wage of $26.59 per hour ($55,307 per year).

6. Camera Operators

Camera operators capture images for television, film, and video. Most camera operators earn a bachelor’s degree in film or broadcasting. Roughly half of camera operators work in either the film or television industry, but others might film weddings or corporate events. Thirty percent are self-employed.

The nation’s 20,616 camera operators earn $27.85 an hour, or $57,928 per year. Jobs in this specialized field grew by 7% from 2013 to 2017, and 15% of workers are younger than 24.

5. Forensic Science Technicians

On shows like CSI and Forensic Files, forensic scientists solve crimes using DNA, fingerprints and other evidence. While the real-life job might not be as dramatic as it is on TV, there’s a growing demand for people trained in forensic science. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree in a field like chemistry or biology, and you might take specific courses in forensic science, according to the BLS. In addition to being able to analyze evidence, forensic scientists need to be very detail-oriented and good communicators, since they’ll sometimes have to testify in criminal cases.

Forensic science technicians earn an average of $29.04 per hour, equivalent to a salary of $60,403. Eighteen percent of the roughly 15,000 people working in this field are under 24. The number of jobs for forensic science technicians grew by 12% from 2013 to 2017.

4. Environmental Science Protection Technicians

You can thank environmental science protection technicians for the clean water you drink and the fresh air you breathe. These professionals monitor pollution and contamination and inspect businesses and public spaces for environmental hazards and violations. To get the job, you’ll need an associate degree or other post-secondary training in environmental health or sciences.

Environmental science protection technicians earn $22.28 per hour, or $46,342 per year. A fifth of the 35,352 people in this field are between the ages of 19 and 24, and the number of jobs grew by 7% over the past five years.

3. Adult Education & Literacy Teachers

If you have a passion for teaching but can’t picture yourself in an elementary or high school classroom, a career as an adult education or literacy teacher might be a good fit. These educational professionals work with adult students to help them master the English language, earn a high school diploma, or acquire other basic skills. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree to get a job in this field, and some people go on to earn master’s degrees in adult education or English as a second language.

People younger than 24 make up 22% of all adult education and literacy teachers. They earn $25.90 an hour on average, or $53,872 per year, and the number of jobs grew by 5% from 2013 to 2017.

2. Coaches & Scouts

Sports fanatics may find success as a coach or scout. To coach at the college or professional level, you’ll probably need a bachelor’s degree, according to the BLS, as well as playing experience. Scouts may have a degree in sports management or business. Younger people looking to break into the field might have part-time or summer jobs coaching at camps or youth sports programs.

Young people are well represented among the nation’s 233,107 coaches and scouts. Twenty-two percent are 24 or younger. They earn $19.50 an hour on average, or $40,560 per year. The number of jobs grew by 7% over the past five years.

1. Social Science Research Assistants

Social science research assistants help more senior-level scientists with surveys, data management, and preparing finding for publication. Many work in colleges and universities, others in the private sector. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree to get one of these jobs.

Twenty-eight percent of social science research assistants are younger than 24. They earn $21.96 per hour, or $45,677 per year. The number of jobs grew by 5% from 2013 to 2017, to nearly 30,000.

This article originally appeared on The Cheat Sheet.

Image: kali9

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12 Jobs Working With Animals (That Actually Pay Pretty Well)

If you love animals and want to make a career out of it, one of these 12 jobs working with animals might be for you.

“When I grow up I want to be a veterinarian,” some children say when you ask about their dream job. Of course, considering the level of schooling this career requires, coupled with the student loan costs and the level of commitment, that changes for some people once they become adults. But the love for animals and the desire to work with animals might remain.

One of the more difficult tasks job seekers face is finding a career that pays enough money, as well as one they will enjoy. The old saying, “Do what you love, and the money will come,” is true to a point. But money also matters, and like it or not, it has to be a priority. The key is finding a balance. That is, doing what you love for money, as opposed to doing what you love in hopes that you will earn money.

If animals are your passion — the field that makes you want to get up and do something — then you can certainly achieve this balance. The typical job working with animals brings in about $55,775, according to 2015 U.S. Census data. Aside from a veterinarian career, there are a variety of jobs working with animals that also pay decent wages. These jobs bring in close to that median income or even higher. (Note: While your income doesn’t impact your credit scores directly — these are the five factors that do — but making higher wages can certainly help you pay for the items you need. Want to see how your credit is doing? You can see two of your credit scores for free, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.)

Here are 12 jobs working with animals that could pay the bills.

1. Groomer

  • Median Salary: $21,260
  • Salary Range: $17,160 to $34,780
  • Minimum Qualifications: high school diploma or equivalent

Groomers help pets look their best by cleaning them and trimming fur. Those who make the highest salary earn more than $34,000 a year. Groomers who work in Hawaii, California and Rhode Island typically make the most money.

How to Become One: Animal caretakers must have at least a high school diploma. Most training takes place on the job, but some choose to study at a grooming school. Employers generally prefer candidates to have some experience working with animals. If you want to care for animals in a zoo, you will likely be required to have a bachelor’s degree in animal science, biology or a similar field.

2. Kennel Attendant, Pet Sitter & Dog Walker

  • Median Salary: $21,260
  • Salary Range: $17,160 to $34,780
  • Minimum Qualifications: high school diploma or equivalent

Kennel attendants, pet sitters and dog walkers care for pets while owners are traveling or unavailable. The highest-paid workers usually earn up to $34,780 a year. Those who work in states including Hawaii, California and Rhode Island usually earn the most.

How to Become One: Generally, most kennel attendants, pet sitters and dog walkers must a obtain a minimum of a high school diploma. They learn additional skills on the job. Most employers prefer candidates to have previous experience taking care of pets. Those who work in kennels or shelters can learn more about the job by taking classes through the Humane Society of the United States and the American Humane Association. Pet sitters can obtain additional education through the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. The organization offers courses, such as caring for parrots, dogs and dealing with pet behavioral issues.

3. Veterinary Assistant

  • Median Salary: $24,360
  • Salary Range: $18,060 to $36,690
  • Minimum Qualifications: high school diploma or equivalent

Veterinary assistants work in a clinic or animal hospitals, helping veterinarians care for animals. They are responsible for helping veterinarians with routine tasks. The best-paid veterinarian assistants earn $36,690 a year. Those who work in states such as Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maine tend to earn the most.

How to Become One: If you want to become a veterinary assistant, you should at least have a high school diploma. It also doesn’t hurt to love animals. Most veterinary assistants learn their trade on the job. Certification isn’t required, but it may help you get promoted or obtain an advanced position.

4. Laboratory Animal Caretaker

  • Median Salary: $24,360
  • Salary Range: $18,060 to $36,690
  • Minimum Qualifications: high school diploma or equivalent

Laboratory animal caretakers work in labs with animal scientists, biologists or veterinarians. They feed, care for and monitor the well-being of lab animals. The best-paid laboratory animal caretakers can earn as much as $36,690 a year. Those who work in states such as Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maine, earn the most.

How to Become One: Laboratory animal caretakers are required to at least have a high school diploma. Most laboratory animal caretakers learn their trade through on-the-job training. Certification isn’t required to become a laboratory animal caretaker, but some employers prefer it. Having a certification could also help you get promoted or obtain an advanced position.

5. Trainer

  • Median Salary: $26,610
  • Salary Range: $18,160 to $57,170
  • Minimum Qualifications: no formal education requirements

Animal trainers are responsible for training animals for tasks, such as riding, performance, obedience or assisting the disabled. They also help animals become more comfortable with human interaction. The highest-paid animal trainers can earn an annual salary of up to $57,170. Those who work in states such as Minnesota, New York and California can make the most money.

How to Become One: There are no formal education requirements to become an animal trainer. Those who work in the animal-training field usually receive on-the-job training. In addition, animal trainers can receive education through organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States.

6. Veterinary Technicians

  • Median Salary: $31,800
  • Salary Range: $21,890 to $47,410
  • Minimum Qualifications: an associate degree

Veterinary technicians perform medical testing with the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. They help diagnose an animal’s injury or illness. Veterinary technicians who are in the 90th percentile of earners take home an annual salary of more than $47,000. Those who work in states such as Alaska, Massachusetts and New York earn the most.

How to Become One: Those who desire to become veterinary technicians are required to complete a college-level program with the American Veterinary Medical Association. Candidates must enroll in either a two- or four-year program. Technicians are required to pass an exam and become registered, licensed or certified, depending on the state where they are employed.

7. Animal Control Worker

  • Median Salary: $33,450
  • Salary Range: $20,830 to $53,190
  • Minimum Qualifications: varies by location

Animal control workers help ensure the proper treatment of animals, investigate cases of mistreatment, and locate abandoned animals. Those who are among the top earners can make more than $53,000 a year. Animal control workers who work in states, such as Nevada, California and Washington, earn the most.

How to Become One: Animal control workers are required to have a minimum of a high school diploma or the equivalent. Additional training usually takes place on the job. The National Animal Care & Control Association offers training programs. In addition, some states require certification in animal control.

8. Conservation & Forest Technicians

  • Median Salary: $35,430
  • Salary Range: $25,430 to $54,860
  • Minimum Qualifications: high school diploma or equivalent

Conservation and forest workers keep track of wildlife, gather data, suppress forest fires and work to improve the health of forests. The top earners make more than $54,000 a year. Those who work in states such as Massachusetts, New York and Georgia earn the most.

How to Become One: A valid driver’s license and a high school diploma are the minimum requirements to become a forest and conservation worker. Most workers receive on-the-job training, such as the proper procedure for planting or thinning trees. They also learn how to safely operate and maintain forestry equipment. Some employers prefer candidates to have an associate degree in forestry technology or a related field. Programs should be accredited by the Society of American Foresters. In addition, some states require that employees receive training and sometimes obtain a license in the appropriate use of commercial pesticides.

9. Breeder

  • Median Salary: $39,380
  • Salary Range: $20,430 to $75,210
  • Minimum Qualifications: high school diploma or equivalent

Breeders select and breed animals according to characteristics and genealogy. The top earners make more than $75,000 a year. Those who work in Ohio, South Dakota and Kentucky earn the most.

How to Become One: Animal breeders are required to have a minimum of a high school education. In addition, breeders learn their skill through short-term on-the-job training. Those who want to breed zoo animals are required to have a bachelor’s degree in veterinary science and, depending on one’s career goals, postgraduate study in zoology.

10. Biological Technician

  • Median Salary: $41,650
  • Salary Range: $26,610 to $69,180
  • Minimum Qualifications: bachelor’s degree

Biological technicians help medical scientists in the laboratory. They are responsible for the setup, operation, and maintenance of laboratory equipment. They also monitor experiments. The top earners make more than $69,000 a year. Those who work in states, such as California, Connecticut and Massachusetts earn the most.

How to Become One: Biological technicians generally need a bachelor’s degree in biology or a similar field. Technicians must also acquire laboratory experience. In addition, it’s important to take computer classes because laboratories have computers and other high-tech equipment.

11. Zoologists & Wildlife Biologists

  • Median Salary: $59,680
  • Salary Range: $39,180 to $97,390
  • Minimum Qualifications: bachelor’s degree

Zoologists and wildlife biologists study animals and wildlife and how they interact with their environment. The top earners make more than $100,000 a year. Those who work in states such as Maryland, Connecticut and Rhode Island earn the most money.

How to Become One: A bachelor’s degree is necessary for those seeking entry-level positions. A master’s degree is usually required for advanced or scientific positions. Those who want to lead independent research or work at a university must have a doctoral degree.

12. Conservation Land Managers

  • Median Salary: $60,220
  • Salary Range: $37,380 to $91,830
  • Minimum Qualifications: bachelor’s degree

Conservation land managers work with conservation groups, landowners or other entities to protect specific wildlife and land. The top earners tend to make more than $90,000. Those who work in states such as Alaska, Rhode Island and New Jersey make the most money.

How to Become One: Conservation land managers must obtain a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, preferably in natural resource management. In addition, experience can be gained through internships and volunteer work. Some states require those desiring to become foresters to obtain a license.

This article originally appeared on The Cheat Sheet.

Image: M_a_y_a

The post 12 Jobs Working With Animals (That Actually Pay Pretty Well) appeared first on Credit.com.

Here’s A Quick Way to Find Out if You’re Getting Paid Enough

Candid picture of a business team collaborating. Filtered serie with light flares and cool tones.

“Am I earning what I deserve?” It’s the question every worker has asked herself at least once. How do you know you’re being paid fairly given your experience and what your peers are earning? You could ask around the office, but even in 2016, salary discussions are still a taboo topic around the water cooler.

Jobs marketplace Glassdoor.com has developed a new tool to help employees estimate their own job market value. The “Know Your Worth” tool is intended to help you cut through the fog, and get a pretty decent estimate of your true earning potential.

“[Know Your Worth] is all about empowering people to do their research and really know what their market value is,” Scott Dobroski, a spokesperson for Glassdoor, told MagnifyMoney. Dobroski said Glassdoor hopes the release of the tool will encourage employers to be more transparent with their employees about how their pay is determined.

How It Works

The “Know Your Worth” tool is free to use. The tool ask for five pieces of information: your title, employer, salary, location, and years of work experience. The tool then uses an algorithm to tell you the median base salary you could earn in your location — and, most important, whether you’re overpaid or underpaid and by how much.

The market value estimates are not perfect, and everyone will not be able to get a result from the tool, Glassdoor admits. The company relies on millions of pieces of data collected from Glassdoor users over the years, as well as its own proprietary research of supply and demand for jobs in a range of fields.

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Who the Tool Is Best For

The tool has its limitations. So far, the Mill Valley, Calif.-based company says it has enough data to deliver results to roughly 55% to 60% of the U.S. workforce. However, the tool will “learn” more as more Glassdoor users continue to submit their salary and job information.

“An employee should not see [their results] and just go and ask for more money,” Dobroski said.

MagnifyMoney asked about a dozen workers in various cities across the U.S. to test-drive the beta version of the tool. The majority of workers, each of whom requested to remain anonymous, were able to get estimates successfully. Two workers were told the tool could not offer them a market value yet — one, a 23-year-old landscaper based in Atlanta, Ga., and the other, a 31-year-old hospital scheduling specialist in Onalaska, Wis.

One person who used the tool, a project supervisor working in New York, N.Y., said he was surprised by his results. Based on his market value, the Glassdoor tool informed him he was underpaid by 3.3%.
“I thought I was overpaid,” said the worker. Another worker, an entry-level sales representative in Buckhead, Ga., said he was surprised by his results as well. The tool alerted him that he was underpaid by 7.2%. He balked.

“I know what my peers make because we all graduated with the same degrees and went into sales with different companies,” said the worker, 24. “My base [salary] is the highest among the people I know.”
People with more straightforward and common job titles in more densely populated cities might have an easier time getting accurate results.

“I would definitely use this tool before my next interview,” said Jazmine Calhoun, a 24-year-old freelance writer based in Atlanta. “It was an effective tool for the millennial just starting to enter the workforce without knowledge of their true value.”

As the tool gathers new data, it will update your market value on a weekly basis. Your market value is also plotted on a 12-month chart. Logically, it should go up as time goes on and you gain more job experience, but shifts in supply and demand for your given field could also alter your market value.
You can also compare your “worth” to the median pay that others receive for doing similar work in your area.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

It’s free

Who doesn’t like free things? To top that, no cost makes the tool a good fit for a cash-strapped individual looking for a simple way to get a rough estimate of their market value.

You can use the tool to weigh potential job offers

One of the tricky parts about salary negotiations is knowing how much or how little to ask for. If you have multiple offers, you might be able to use the Glassdoor tool to find out if one job’s offer is on par with what people in your field and at your experience level are currently earning. If it’s way low, you might want to ask for more or at least do more research.

You can apply directly to better-paying jobs
The results page presents you with the salaries and links to apply for jobs with similar titles in your location, or for jobs that might be a common next move for those in your field. That could be helpful if you’re thinking of making a career shift soon.

A 21-year-old assistant media planner at an advertising agency in New York discovered she was underpaid by 24%, but wasn’t surprised. “I was warned of my company’s low salary rates, but I was striving to get my foot in the industry door,” she said.

Cons:

Missing about 40%-45% of occupations
As we mentioned, at this time the tool can only give an estimated market value for about 55% to 60% of the U.S. workforce. If the tool can’t give you your market value, try using Glassdoor’s salary explorer instead. This tool lets you play with a variety of pay factors and other types of jobs in the market.

Doesn’t factor in compensations or other benefits
All of the other things that go into a person’s pay such as bonus compensations or benefits aren’t considered in the calculation, so the base pay may not be reflective of the total compensation a worker gets. Perhaps you are underpaid on your base salary, but you are given generous benefits like a 401(k) match, 100% employer-paid health care, or several months’ paid maternity and paternity leave. Those benefits have true monetary value that can add to your base salary.

Glassdoor says as the learning algorithm gets smarter it plans to add variables like benefits to the model.

No cost of living comparison
There’s a feature on the bottom of the results page that lets you tinker with your inputs to see what you would be paid if you lived in another city, or had more job experience, etc. It gives you a base pay estimate, but doesn’t reflect the city’s cost of living to give an idea of whether or not your lifestyle would change if you moved. For now, you can use PayScale’s Cost of Living Calculator to get around that.

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Final Verdict

The tool is a great starting point for those who are looking to negotiate their pay or who are on the job hunt currently. But it shouldn’t be the only factor you consider before you decide to ask for more pay or switch jobs. Ask colleagues or mentors for guidance about how much you should expect to earn. Also, ask your employer or human resources department for information about how raises and promotions typically work, ideally before you take the job. Some employers have more structured salary guidelines than others.

Ultimately, it’s up to you whether or not knowing that you are underpaid is enough motivation to ask for a raise or switch jobs. A lot of the time, that decision could depend on whether or not you like your job, as it did for a 22-year-old project manager working in Santa Monica, Calif. The tool said he was underpaid by 20%, but it wasn’t enough to scare him off. The company has been struggling financially, but he’s happy enough with his current job to stick around.

“I feel like I haven’t learned everything from this job just yet,” he said. “I have a lot to learn from all of the people that are above me in [management] positions that are like mine before I move on to the next thing.”

The post Here’s A Quick Way to Find Out if You’re Getting Paid Enough appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

TRUMP VS. CLINTON: Where the Candidates Stand on Job Growth, Taxes, and Housing

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With the election a month away, presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have just a few weeks left to woo voters across the U.S.

If you’re still on the fence about which candidate to vote for, your final decision may hinge on how their policy ideas could potentially impact your wallet.

We have simplified and broken down each candidate’s stance on three key issues — job growth, taxes, and housing — to help you understand exactly how each candidate’s proposals could affect your wallet.

Jobs

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Hillary Clinton plans to create new jobs by investing $50 billion in programs that promote youth employment, small business growth, and re-entry programs for the formerly incarcerated. She plans to invest another $50 billion in the Rural Infrastructure Opportunity Fund, a publicly funded initiative that seeks to invest in public infrastructure in rural areas to attract more businesses and, as a result, more jobs for the under- and unemployed.

Clinton is also a supporter of the “ban the box” movement to get rid of the box on applications that requires job seekers to select whether or not they have a criminal past. She has proposed banning such questions on applications for federal employees and contractors. She will also require companies to only consider criminal history when it is related to the job applied for and grant the right of appeal to those who are rejected because of a criminal past.

Clinton says she will invest $25 million in small business and private investment. She wants to do that through mentorship programs and by expanding federal funding for programs that target small business development.

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Donald Trump has said he plans to relax federal regulations in order to lower the cost of doing business for major corporations in the U.S., an effort he hopes will dissuade them from moving their business (and jobs) overseas.

Trump’s plan points to energy as a source for new jobs in the future. He says will make the U.S. the world’s dominant leader in energy production by scraping programs like the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, a 2015 initiative led by President Obama to reduce carbon emissions and increase regulations on coal-powered plants. The plan has been stalled since February, when the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that questions the constitutionality of the plan.

Taxes

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Clinton’s tax plan focuses on raising taxes on high-income taxpayers (the top 1%) and closing tax loopholes. Her plan also includes increasing estate and gift taxes. The majority of her proposed tax policies won’t affect the bottom 95% of taxpayers, according to the Tax Policy Center.

Part of Clinton’s plan is to raise taxes on higher-income taxpayers with a 4% “Fair Share Surcharge,” which would apply to those making $5 million or more annually. She also says she’ll close tax loopholes favored by the wealthiest earners in part by supporting the Buffett Rule, which would levy a 30% income tax on any individuals earning $1 million or more. The Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan research group, has warned that such a plan would provide a meager boost to tax revenue.

In addition, Clinton wants to restore the estate tax to its 2009 level. Doing so would increase taxes on multi-million dollar estates — to as much as 65% for an estate valued at more than $1 billion for a couple — and close loopholes that deflate the value of the estates.
According to the Tax Policy Center, a left-leaning think tank, which in March completed an analysis of Clinton’s tax proposal, the plan would generate an additional $1.1 trillion in tax revenue. Households earning less than $300,000 would see little to no change in their federal income taxes, according to the analysis.

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At the core of Donald Trump’s plan are tax cuts for everybody — with an emphasis on corporations and middle- and high-income Americans. Trump says he will reduce the number of tax brackets to three from the current seven.
Under his plan, the new tiers would be:

  • 12% (married filing jointly households earning less than $75,000)
  • 25% (married filing jointly households earning between $75,000 and $225,000)
  • 33% (married filing jointly households earning more than $225,000)
    *Brackets for single filers would be half of these amounts.

The Trump plan would also increase the standard deduction for joint filers to $30,000, from $12,600, and the standard deduction for single filers to $15,000. His plan would also eliminate the death tax (aka. the estate tax) and gift taxes.
Trump’s plan would reduce the nation’s income by about $4.4 trillion to as much as $9.5 trillion over the next decade, according to several independent research groups. It would also mean increased income for all income levels, with the largest gain going to the top 1%. The top bracket could see its average annual income boosted by as much as 16%, while the bottom 80% would see a 0.8% to 1.9% rise according to the Tax Foundation. The Tax Policy Center estimates that Trump’s plan could increase the national debt by as much as 80% if it isn’t counterbalanced with huge spending cuts.

Housing

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Hillary Clinton’s proposed policies include a $25 billion investment in housing. She plans to offer a federal match of up to $10,000 for savings going toward a down payment for people who earn less than the median income in their area. She also plans to increase access to “lending in underserved communities, support housing counseling programs and police abuse and discrimination in the mortgage market.”

Clinton says she will raise support for affordable rental housing and wants to motivate communities to try land-use strategies that may make it easier to build lower-cost rental housing near businesses. Clinton says she will also make efforts to expand living options for recipients of housing vouchers.

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Donald Trump doesn’t have a housing policy outlined on his campaign site.

Make sure to register to vote by Oct. 14.

Illustrations by Kelsey Wroten.

The post TRUMP VS. CLINTON: Where the Candidates Stand on Job Growth, Taxes, and Housing appeared first on MagnifyMoney.

A Few Extra Pounds Can Hurt Your Job Chances, Study Says, Especially for Women

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Getting soft around the middle may not just trigger a bout of self-consciousnesses — it could throw a wrench into your chances of landing a job. At least that’s according to a study recently published in the journal Plos One, which found weight gain can hamper a job applicant’s prospects, particularly if that applicant is female.

The team of Scottish and U.K. researchers, Dennis Nickson, Andrew R. Timming, Daniel Re and David I. Perrett, decided to explore whether a slight change in weight could turn employers off. What they found wasn’t pretty: “Employing a unique simulation of altering individuals’ BMIs (body mass index) and the literature on ‘aesthetic labour,’ the study suggests that, especially for women, being heavier, but still within a healthy BMI, deleteriously impacts on hireability ratings,” they concluded. Here’s how.

Methodology

In 2013, a group of 60 men and 60 women were asked to imagine themselves as company recruiters reviewing snapshots of applicants. Each photo showed four men and four women, all white and lacking expression, and at various, digitally enhanced weights. Though the various weights fell within healthy BMI ranges, the changes were apparent to the untrained eye. Still, participants were assured that the candidates all had ideal resumes.

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Image courtesy PLOS One

When asked to hire each, on a scale of 1 (extremely unlikely) to 7 (extremely likely), for customer-facing roles or more independent jobs, the “recruiters’ ” responses were striking. (Keep in mind, they were asked to go on their gut, unlike what most human managers would be advised, given legal precautions.)

Thinner faces were deemed more employable than fuller ones, especially for the customer-facing roles. What’s more, the ‘original’ versions received an average score of 4.84, while the corresponding heavier ones averaged 4.61.

Larger women received even more of a knock, being rated 0.66 lower on average, compared to 0.26 lower for men. “For women, it seems, even seemingly minute changes to the shape, size and weight of the body are important,” the researchers said.

The Takeaway

So what’s a woman to do? Countering societal expectations is hard enough, and women currently earn less than men, dollar for dollar. The gender pay gap for women of color and mothers is even worse, according to The American Association of University Women, a think tank focused on promoting equality and education for all women and girls.

Fortunately, you can research employers ahead of time to find ones that will judge you based on work and not on appearance. And you should always do your best to prove yourself on the merits of your work. Because some employers check a version of your credit reports during the application process, particularly for roles that require government security clearance, it wouldn’t hurt to get your finances in order. You can take steps to clean up your credit by pulling your credit reports for free each year at AnnualCreditReport.com and viewing your free credit report summary, updated every 14 days, for free on Credit.com.

Image: Jacob Ammentorp Lund

The post A Few Extra Pounds Can Hurt Your Job Chances, Study Says, Especially for Women appeared first on Credit.com.

The Best Jobs for Entry-Level Workers

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With back-to-school season now in full swing, the last thing on students’ minds is finding a job. But with more college graduates being saddled with student loan debt, landing a job isn’t just a goal but an imperative. Student loan borrowers in the class of 2016 have an average debt of $37,172, which, as we reported earlier this year, is a record high.

On top of that, entry-level workers who may not have attended college may be on the lookout for a new gig now that the job market’s looking up.

SmartRecruiters, a recruitment-technology company, has released data showing the top available entry-level positions. Using data from 700 hiring companies, 1 million job listings and more than 100,000 hires, the company dug around to see which entry-level positions are opening up in greater numbers and in which industries. Turns out, sales tops the list of most available entry-level positions, snaring 14% of all available jobs:

  1. Sales (14%)
  2. Customer Service (12%)
  3. Administrative (6%)
  4. Business Development (6%)
  5. Marketing (5%)

SmartRecruiters also examined the top industries hiring entry-level workers. To no one’s surprise, the tech industry is doing the most hiring. (However, positions in Food & Beverage, for example, may be less-suitable for college grads.)

  1. Technology (21%)
  2. Healthcare (11%)
  3. Communications (9%)
  4. Retail (7%)
  5. Food & Beverage (7%)

Life After Graduation 

There’s no telling where students will wind up after graduation, be it from high school, community college or a four-year school, but one thing’s for sure: They don’t want to begin their adulthood burdened by debt of any kind. It’s important to learn good financial habits early, lest they come back to bite later, and research ways to cut back on expenses. For some college students, this may mean making meals at home, enrolling in the right meal plan offered through school, buying used textbooks or choosing a low-interest credit card. (You can see our expert guide to the best student credit cards here.)

And whether you’ve already taken out loans or are considering applying for them if you’re in college, be sure you know where your credit stands, as your scores can determine what types of rates and benefits you may qualify for. You can view a free snapshot of your credit report, updated monthly, on Credit.com.

Image: Png-Studio

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5 Signs You’re About to Get Fired

worried at desk jobWouldn’t it be great if there were some way to know ahead of time when bad news was coming our way? When it comes to our job security, there definitely are some telltale signs of trouble.

If you catch the signs early enough, it may not be too late to save yourself. Other times, such as a company-wide layoff, the decision will be entirely out of your control.

Here are a few of the ways you might be able to tell your job is in jeopardy.

You haven’t been given new projects in a while

If your boss has overlooked you for recent assignments, you might tell yourself it’s just a slow time for the business. But pay attention. If everyone else around you is still busy with deadlines and meetings, it might be time to start questioning why you aren’t. Here’s an even bigger red flag: Your boss has been delegating tasks that you typically handled to other employees.

What you should do: If your boss has decreased your duties, look for ways to regain her trust. Brainstorm a few ideas to improve efficiency in your department or drive revenue and send your boss a project proposal that includes the names of people you would like on your team to help accomplish these goals, suggests Roleta Fowler Vasquez, a professional resume writer and resume expert for CareerBuilder.com. Showing initiative like that could help your boss see you in a new light and make co-workers eager to work with you again, says Vasquez.

You’ve noticed a change in your co-workers

It’s not likely that your colleagues would know about you being fired before you would (at least they shouldn’t). But if you sense a colder-than-normal vibe from your workmates, it could signal that they’ve lost confidence in your work or have stopped considering you as a part of the team. Some companies rely heavily on peer reviews, whether formal or informal. When your coworkers aren’t on your side, it could spell trouble for your future.

What you should do: Be as much a team player as possible. Let your colleagues know that you notice what a good job they are doing, and that you are always there to help. If the vibe doesn’t change, take one of your colleagues aside and ask them candidly if there’s anything you should know about your performance. He or she might be willing to open up about issues other workers have mentioned about your work.

Your boss is avoiding you

If you’ve been trying to schedule a meeting with your boss for weeks to no avail, they could be avoiding you purposefully. Apart from ignoring meeting requests, your boss might stop assigning you the same types of tasks that she always has in the past, simply to avoid the uncomfortable feeling that comes with conflict, which she might know is coming.

What you should do: Make every effort to continue to greet your boss with a smile and pleasantries. If you do finally get your meeting, Vasquez suggests using it as an opportunity to reestablish how committed you are to your job. Talk about the different career paths you would like to pursue within the company, even if it means making a transfer to another department or office.  “More directly, you could say that you have heard your job worthiness is being questioned, and that you are seeking advice on how to either improve your stance — always making sure to add ideas of your own, like an independent study or classes — or on how to exit with their good graces and a solid recommendation,” Vasquez says.

Your job description seems to have changed

It’s not unusual for the needs of employees to change frequently with an ever-changing professional landscape. But if it seems that all your important responsibilities have been whittled down to nothing and you’re left with menial tasks or responsibilities, it may be a sign your job is being phased out.

What you should do: Go into survival mode. If your specific job duties are quite narrow, show your team that you have skills in other areas they may need. Your manager should be transparent if your job responsibilities have changed, so you’re within your rights to go to your supervisor or Human Resources and ask for an official copy of your new description. “Normally, you are asked to discuss this with a supervisor or HR, sign it and you’re given a signed copy,” Vasquez says. “This legally protects both of you. If the wording indicates a new lateral assignment or worse — a demotion — you need to ask why it happened, and what you can do to avoid it.”

You’ve been asked to justify your job

The truth is, sometimes positions that once were valuable simply fall out of use (especially when a company is looking for ways to scale back and there are quite a few people on staff who have the same role as you do). If you’ve been asked by a superior to put together a note detailing your value to the company or what you do on a daily basis, it may mean that they’re trying to decide where they can afford to cut what they deem to be superfluous roles in the business.

What you should do: When large corporations are planning a significant round of layoffs, they often have consultants come in to audit the office and suss out any personnel “redundancies.” They’re on the look out for workers whose jobs overlap. “It’s not always because of something you did or did not do, but your job will be in jeopardy if you fail to justify your position,” she says. If possible, ask your boss why this is happening. If layoffs are unavoidable, be sure to show your team why your services are essential to the company’s mission and organization — explain your job tasks and how you perform them, and show the auditor how you go beyond the call of duty to get your job done.

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