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Does increasing your salary by 75 percent or more in just a few short years sound like a dream? It doesn’t have to be. With a little creative thinking and a few simple steps, you can transfer your skills into a more rewarding (and higher-paying) career choice. Check out these five career plan examples of the best future career choices below, then make your career change.
From Human Resources Assistant
Average salary: $31,732
Job description: Record data for each employee, such as address, weekly earnings, absences, amount of sales or production, supervisory reports on ability, and date of and reason for termination. Compile and type reports from employment records. File employment records. Search employee files and furnish information to authorized persons.
To Compensation, Benefits, or Job Analysis Specialist
Average salary: $48,670
Job description: Conduct programs of compensation, benefits, and job analysis for employer. May specialize in specific areas, such as position classification and pension programs.
Make the Career Change: The first step of a career change to an HR specialist is earning a bachelor’s degree. Then, ask your employer if you can shadow a specialist and work on projects in a particular area, like compensation, benefits, or job analysis. Do a little research to see what HR software your dream employer uses (like ADP Resource or PeopleSoft), and study up on important HR-related laws such as the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act.
From Medical Assistant
Average salary: $26,096
Job description: Perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of physician. Administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing, and coding for insurance purposes. Clinical duties may include taking and recording vital signs and medical histories, preparing patients for examination, drawing blood, and administering medications as directed by physician.
To Registered Nurse
Average salary: $53,628
Job description: Assess patient health problems and needs, develop and implement nursing care plans, and maintain medical records. Administer nursing care to ill, injured, convalescent, or disabled patients. May advise patients on health maintenance and disease prevention or provide case management.
Make the Career Change: As a medical assistant, you likely have a basic understanding of anatomy and are comfortable around patients, both of which will help you make a career change to becoming a registered nurse, says Marian Erler, program facilitator for Nursing 2000, an educational organization that promotes careers in nursing. The two most popular education options are an associate of science in nursing and a bachelor of science in nursing.
From Payroll Assistant
Average salary: $31,464
Job description: Calculate, key, total, and balance substitute payrolls. Communicate with employees regarding changes in salary and benefits. Handle voluntary and involuntary deductions. Enter changes to employee payroll records. Create reports for information pertaining to retirement and payroll.
Average salary: $41,803
Job description: Analyze financial information and prepare financial reports to determine or maintain record of assets, liabilities, profit and loss, tax liability, or other financial activities within an organization.
Make the Career Change: Your attention to detail and math skills will translate to a career as an accountant, but, according to Randy Multack, a CPA in Bellevue, Wash., an accountant “needs to be able to see the big picture as well.” If you have what it takes, go for a bachelor’s degree and look for further certifications to advance your career.
From High School Math Teacher
Average salary: $41,084
Job description: Instruct students in secondary public or private schools in one or more subjects, including mathematics.
To Electrical Engineer
Average salary: $65,276
Job description: Design, develop, test, or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, or systems for commercial, industrial, military, or scientific use.
Make the Career Change: According to Paul Kostek, vice president of communications for the US chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE-USA), backgrounds in math and technology provide good foundations for career choices in electrical engineering. Your next step is to get a bachelor of science in electrical engineering.
Average salary: $18,153
Job description: Perform a variety of food preparation duties other than cooking, such as preparing cold foods and shellfish, slicing meat, and brewing coffee or tea.
To Retail Store Manager
Average salary: $41,151
Job description: Retail store managers supervise sales workers in a retail establishment or department. Duties may include management functions, such as purchasing, budgeting, accounting, and personnel work, in addition to supervisory duties.
Make the Career Change: There are some high-paying careers that don’t require a degree, and if you have great customer service skills, you could be a perfect candidate for a retail store manager, says Roberta Chinsky Matuson, president of Human Resource Solutions in Northhampton, Mass. If you think you might be interested in retail, Matuson suggests shadowing someone in the field. And, although a bachelor’s degree isn’t a requirement for all retail store manager positions, it could still put you ahead of the competition and provide more opportunities.