Tuesday, August 31, 2010

50 jobs that pay $50,000

Many of you tell us that you’ll take any job as long as it pays the bills. Here’s one way this tool might fit in. Say you need to earn $50,000 to support yourself and your family. Type in your location and that number and — voila! — you’ll receive a list of jobs that match that pay an average of $50,000 in your area.

While we’re on the subject, we thought we’d give you a list to start with. Here are 50 jobs that pay an average of $50,000 annually in the United States:

  1. Millwrights
    Annual average earnings: $50,040*
  2. Mechanical engineering technicians
    Annual average earnings: $50,070
  3. Industrial engineering technicians
    Annual average earnings: $50,130
  4. Vocational education teachers, middle school
    Annual average earnings: $50,150
  5. Food service managers
    Annual average earnings: $50,400
  6. Vocational education teachers, postsecondary
    Annual average earnings: $51,020
  7. Dietitians and nutritionists
    Annual average earnings: $51,540
  8. Pile-driver operators
    Annual average earnings: $51,650
  9. Aircraft mechanics and service technicians
    Annual average earnings: $51,960
  10. Court reporters
    Annual average earnings: $52,150
  11. Chemical plant and system operators
    Annual average earnings: $52,160
  12. Construction and building inspectors
    Annual average earnings: $52,240
  13. Elementary school teachers, except special education
    Annual average earnings: $52,550
  14. Lodging managers
    Annual average earnings: $52,570
  15. Middle school teachers, except special and vocational education
    Annual average earnings: $52,650
  16. Police and sheriff’s patrol officers
    Annual average earnings: $52,950
  17. Forensic science technicians
    Annual average earnings: $52,970
  18. Special education teachers, preschool, kindergarten, and elementary school
    Annual average earnings: $53,090
  19. Tax examiners, collectors, and revenue agents
    Annual average earnings: $53,100
  20. Boilermakers
    Annual average earnings: $53,110
  21. Sound engineering technicians
    Annual average earnings: $53,150
  22. Respiratory therapists
    Annual average earnings: $53,170
  23. Advertising sales agents
    Annual average earnings: $53,230
  24. Radiologic technologists and technicians
    Annual average earnings: $53,410
  25. Appraisers and assessors of real estate
    Annual average earnings: $53,460
  26. Educational, vocational, and school counselors
    Annual average earnings: $53,540
  27. Vocational education teachers, secondary school
    Annual average earnings: $53,760
  28. Employment, recruitment, and placement specialists
    Annual average earnings: $53,960
  29. Insurance appraisers, auto damage
    Annual average earnings: $53,990
  30. Electrical and electronic engineering technicians
    Annual average earnings: $54,050
  31. Medical and clinical laboratory technologists
    Annual average earnings: $54,120
  32. Real estate sales agents
    Annual average earnings: $54,700
  33. Librarians
    Annual average earnings: $54,750
  34. Training and development specialists
    Annual average earnings: $54,840
  35. Music directors and composers
    Annual average earnings: $54,840
  36. Special education teachers, secondary school
    Annual average earnings: $55,140
  37. Surveyors
    Annual average earnings: $56,030
  38. Property, real estate, and community association managers
    Annual average earnings: $56,280
  39. Aerospace engineering and operations technicians
    Annual average earnings: $56,560
  40. Engineering technicians, except drafters, all other
    Annual average earnings: $56,660
  41. Legal support workers
    Annual average earnings: $57,060
  42. Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists
    Annual average earnings: $57,080
  43. Editors
    Annual average earnings: $57,300
  44. Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators
    Annual average earnings: $57,630
  45. Funeral directors
    Annual average earnings: $58,820
  46. Public relations specialists
    Annual average earnings: $59,030
  47. Sales representatives, services
    Annual average earnings: $59,150
  48. Transportation inspectors
    Annual average earnings: $59,650
  49. Arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators
    Annual average earnings: $59,780
  50. Instructional coordinators
    Annual average earnings: $59,830

*National data according to the BLS

By Kate Lorenz

Sunday, August 29, 2010

They Are Hiring This Week. Hurry Up For Catch This Opportunity.

For the past several months we’ve been highlighting available positions in different regions of the country every Tuesday. Although we mostly write about job and workplace advice, we realize many of you are also looking for jobs for a variety of reasons.

We also read all of the feedback you give us. You liked seeing a list of companies hiring but some people didn’t like waiting a few weeks until it was their location’s turn again. We adapt and are willing to try new things all the time. So we’re trying something a little different today. These are 10 companies hiring right now, and they have a significant amount of available positions–many across the country. With this method we hope to make finding a job easier for everyone, so that someone on the West coast doesn’t have to wait until next week because we’re only featuring Southern jobs this week.

Here are 10 companies that are looking to hire right now. Click on the company names to see a full list of their available positions across the country.

Brown Mackie College
Industry: Education
Sample job titles: IT instructor, student accounting advisor

The Nielsen Company
Industry: Data and research
Sample job titles: Business analyst, senior software developer

General Mills
Industry: Manufacturing
Sample job titles: Manager of social media, reliability engineer

Pitney Bowes
Industry: Business communications
Sample job titles: Competitive sales specialist, customer service associate

JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Industry: Finance
Sample job titles: Financial advisor associate, information risk analyst

URS Corporation
Industry: Construction and engineering
Sample job titles: Maintenance test pilot, contracts administrator

Furniture Row Companies
Industry: Furniture retail
Sample job titles: Sales manager trainee, warehouse team member

Averitt Express
Industry: Transportation
Sample job titles: CDL-A dedicated truck driver, part-time dock associates

Industry: Biotechnology/ pharmacy
Sample job titles: Principal investigator, paramedic, associate director of clinical data management

Saks Fifth Avenue
Industry: Retail
Sample job titles: Sales consultant, manager of database marketing, marketing director

We’ll be tweaking these companies hiring lists over time, so your feedback is always welcome.

By Anthony Balderrama

Saturday, August 28, 2010

2 Part-time Jobs or a One Full-time?

Would you rather have two jobs or one?

Now, I realize that reactions will probably fall into two categories:

1. "In this economy I'd be happy if I could find one job!"

2. "I barely have time to do one job, let alone two."

Both good points, but they also bring up two reasons many workers are choosing two jobs over one: the economy and time.

For many job seekers, a full-time, permanent position is an ideal solution to their job woes, but the economic situation has put many employers on a hiring freeze. Even if they want and need full-time employees, they don't have the budgets to bring someone on board. They're turning to an alternative solution: part-time (and possibly temporary) positions.

If you're averse to the 9-to-5 grind that monopolizes your weekdays, part-time jobs can offer you the flexibility you need. Today, plenty of people are doing this and they're finding it a better alternative than being unemployed or stuck in a job they hate.

Survival strategy

Scott Rutt works two jobs, although they're technically classified as full-time positions. In today's economy, he takes comfort in having at least one job to rely on if he loses the other.

"I split my time between a business intelligence software company by day and a major financial reporting Web site by night," Rutt says. "I've found it very beneficial since both companies have downsized in recent months. I was able to avoid the layoff in both cases, but took a lot of comfort in knowing that I'd still be able to at least make the mortgage."

Aside from financial security, two jobs can also offer you the comfort of a smooth transition into a new field or business venture. You can't always land a full-time job in a new industry, but with a second job, part-time job you have the flexibility to try new things. This is especially true if you want to be an independent worker or start your own business.

"This is a great opportunity for people who have ambitions of being their own business to take advantage," says Jill Lazar of Everything Events, an event-planning company. "If you can't find a full-time job right away, contract your work out to small businesses that can't afford to hire someone full time." She runs her own small business and works as an event planner. Her partner does the same.

"She enjoys both the security of the job and still receives health benefits, yet gets to be in business for herself as well. Sounds like the best of both worlds," Lazar says.


If you're supposed to clock in at 9 a.m. and clock out at 5 p.m. (or later), your personal life and obligations have to be squeezed into weekday evenings and weekends. While that may be fine for many workers, it's not simple for everyone. Life doesn't always work around your 40-hour schedule.

Heidi Waterfield has two part-time jobs at SFBags.com and Square Two Designs, both as communications director, and she finds the flexibility refreshing. This includes the freedom to concentrate on the more pressing job of the moment.

"I can also focus my efforts on the job that is at that time most in need of my time," she says. "Sometimes when both jobs heat up, it gets pretty busy, but I'm gaining many more new skills by having two jobs than I would by having only one of them."

Her latter point is also worth thinking about from a job-seeking perspective. In a competitive job market, you want to outshine the other candidates. A work history that proves you're the ultimate multitasker and allows you to acquire new skills faster than other job seekers? Not too shabby.

You can expect find more employers open to these types of opportunities, says Robbie Kellman Baxter, a strategy consultant for consulting firm Peninsula Strategies.

"One of the great things about this down turn is that companies are getting serious about flexible work. It's in their interest and the employee's interest," she says. Employers need help but don't have the financial freedom to hire whomever they want and job seekers need a paycheck and a job that's suitable for their lifestyles.

"Two part-time jobs? Three part-time jobs? Short-term roles? Remote? It's all fair game," Baxter says. "Everyone is thinking more creatively and flexibly about their careers. Most jobs can incorporate flexibility around the scope of your role, the distribution of the hours you work, the location of work and the duration of your role."

If you feel like your current situation isn't working for you as well as it could, finding part-time work might be the way to solve your problem.

By Anthony Balderrama

Friday, August 27, 2010

6 Steps to a Schedule With Flexible Hours for Working Moms.

Do Your Homework

Just one in five working mothers with minor children say full-time work is the ideal situation for them, according to a Pew Research Center survey. Most want flexible hours.

But it's hard to find part-time work unless you're a sales clerk or preschool teacher. Indeed, the best way to get a satisfying, well-compensated part-time position is to negotiate a more flexible schedule with your current employer. You may not even need to reduce your workweek if you can complete your duties through telecommuting. Or, perhaps you can shift around work hours to accommodate doctor's appointments and school events.

Follow these six steps to achieve a flexible schedule at your current job:

Talk to friends and colleagues with flexible schedules. Ask them what they like or dislike about the arrangement. See whether it's hurt their career or earning potential. Make sure to think about the full range of possible schedules.

  • a compressed work week means four longer days, but you get Fridays off
  • working a 6 or 7 hour day in the office and finishing up after the kids are asleep
  • job sharing may be the best solution for time-intensive professions, like law
  • reducing your hours can be tough in client-driven fields; you don't want to get paid less and end up working full-time because of the pace of the industry

Think About Your Needs

Decide what schedule will work for your personal life. As much as you'd like to work less, you may not be able to afford the pay cut that comes with part-time work. Make sure you understand whether your employer reduces benefits for people who work less than full time.

Also, look at your work style and child care realities. Working from home may sound great until you're trying to concentrate on a report with three screaming kids underfoot. It can also be isolating, especially for introverts who need the encouragement of close quarters to interact with their co-workers.

Investigate childcare options. If your children are still little, see what you would save by cutting back on child care. Some centers don't really discount part-time care, so you might want to continue full time to retain the flexibility at work. If you have a babysitter, gauge how open she would be to a more flexible schedule with possibly fewer hours.

Make sure you have a backup for personal responsibilities, such as the inevitable sick child. Have a frank discussion with the people in your life to get them on board, whether it's your husband, mother or school carpool buddy.

Think About Your Employer

This is probably the most important step. It's really up to you to figure out how to cover your job responsibilities with the schedule you want. If others in your department are looking for better balance, they might be open to a group schedule that would give each person more time off while making sure all work is covered.

Determine which tasks must be completed in the workplace, which can be done on your own schedule, and which can be eliminated or delegated to another person. If you plan to go part-time, you will either have to eliminate certain duties or produce at a slower pace.

Write down your proposal. Ask co-workers with flexible schedules to share any documents they have, or look for templates on the Internet. Be sure to specify how work emergencies and crunch times would be handled.

Make Your Pitch

Take a deep breath. Now ask your boss to consider the new schedule. Again, it's up to you to make the case for how it helps the business.

If the initial reaction is frosty, ask your supervisor to simply consider the idea, or perhaps implement it on a trial basis. Try to work with your employer.

Implement the New Schedule

Communicate your new schedule to your superiors, colleagues and any customers. But don't go overboard. If you're planning to regularly check email and voicemail, only inform people who would need to reach you urgently.

The first few months may require some fine tuning for you to get the workload right. Try to set realistic deadlines and expectations, so you're not working overtime unnecessarily. Differentiate between urgent tasks and those you can delegate or delay.

Succeed With Flexible Hours

It's not a win just because they say yes. You need to stay in close touch with your boss, colleagues, and clients to make sure everything continues to go smoothly.

Remember that flexibility works both ways. Be willing to cover job emergencies, but make sure to take back the time off when work is slower. Nobody else will set those boundaries for you.

Be prepared for some resentment from others who want better work-life balance themselves. If confronted, gently remind them of the sacrifices you make for the schedule, whether it's checking email from home or earning less money. Don't apologize, or your co-workers will conclude that you have something to feel guilty about. Instead, be confident and perhaps they'll follow your example.

By ,

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Why Recruitment Consultants Exist?

Also known as the agency, they hate to be called that, as they’d like to consider themselves more sophisticated.

Typically, the Recruitment Consultant exists to fill the jobs of their client’s.

What will normally happen is that recruitment consultant will call companies asking if they have any jobs that he/she can fill. They finally get one and then the set the wheels in motion to finding the candidate.

Normally they’ll advertise the job and search through their database. This is why you get calls out of the blue.

The sole factor for the agent to exist is simply the agency acts as a forum for employer / employees in much the same way as a dating agency works.

Although the recruitment consultant never gives any guarantees that:

  1. you will find a job or

  2. the company will find the employee.

Candidates get the raw deal.

Candidates tend to get the worst of the service as they are perceived as the customer as they don’t pay for the service

If you have ever looked for a job you will know, unless you work in a very specialised field, that it is very difficult to think of, say, 100 companies would be able to employ you.

Recruitment consultants do know this, good ones read news papers, keep themselves up to date with what’s happening in their local area or specialist field.

If you are currently working you will find out how time consuming finding a job is. Firstly you need to identify the companies you wish to target, and then you need to find the person you need to speak to. Then the hard part, you need to speak to that person and find out if they are looking for someone like you, 9 times out of 10 the answer will be "no".

Speculative CV's

Posted speculative CVs are rarely filled for viewing later when they are there is usually no mechanism for a company to retrieve that CV. I.E. a database.

Once they have said "yes", then no doubt want you to sell yourself a little, most people feel a little nervous about this. Hence the recruitment consultant steps in, as it is easier for a third party to do the "selling". Everyone hates talking about themselves, there are even recruitment consultancies that recruitment consultants can use - these are called Rec to Recs.

The reason companies use them is purely for convenience since they charge anything between 15% to 20%; so they are expensive but as any employer knows placing a job in the paper is a costly affair.

Not simply the actual cost of the advert but managing the response, writing the ad copy and spending time getting the advert just right to portray the company in the best light etc. It is far easier to give the job to an agency and then look at 3 or 4 CVs rather than 100-200 inappropriate ones.

This is for permanent employees - for temporary or contract employees it is a totally different kettle of fish, in that it would be time consuming and expensive to advertise a job that was only going to last a few weeks anyway. Also if it’s urgent, you may need to get some one who can start tomorrow, in comes the Recruitment Consultant.

So until Jobseekers have either the time or the confidence to get jobs for themselves and until employers stop using Recruitment Consultants for convenience, the Recruitment Consultant is here to stay.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Are you aware of Ten most overpaid jobs in the U.S Market? (Commentary: If only such largesse flowed to all of us)

Almost no one in America would admit to being overpaid, but many of us take home bloated paychecks far beyond what we deserve.

"Fair compensation" is a relative term, yet HR consultants and executive headhunters agree some jobs command excessive pay that can't be explained by labor supply-and-demand imbalances.

And while it's easy to argue chief executives, lawyers and movie stars are overpaid, reality is not that cut and dried.

Corporate attorneys earn $500-plus an hour and plaintiffs lawyers pocket a third of big personal-injury settlements, but local prosecutors and public defenders get paid little in comparison. Specialty surgeons may earn $1 million or more, while some family-practice doctors are hard-pressed to pay off medical-school loans.

Hollywood stars making $20 million a movie or $10 million per TV-season qualify for many people's overpaid list. But for every one of those actors and actresses, there are a thousand waiting tables and taking bit movie parts or regional theater roles awaiting a big break that never comes. Join the "Shades of Green" discussion.

"A lot of people are overpaid because there are certain things consumers just don't want screwed up," said Bill Coleman, senior vice president of compensation for Salary.com. "You wouldn't want to board a plane flown by a second-rate pilot or hire a cheap wedding photographer to record an event you hope happens once in your lifetime.

"With pro athletes, one owner is willing to pay big money for a star player and then all the other players want to keep up with the Joneses," Coleman said. "The art with CEO pay is making sure your CEO is above the median -- and you see where that goes."

What follows is a list of the 10 most overpaid jobs in the U.S., in reverse order, drafted with input from compensation experts:

1) Mutual-fund managers

Everyone on Wall Street makes far too much for the backbreaking work of moving money around, but mutual fund managers are emerging as among the most reprehensible.

This isn't kicking 'em when they're down, given the growing fund-industry scandal. They've been long overpaid. Stock-fund managers can easily earn $500,000 to $1 million a year including bonuses -- even though only 3 in 10 beat the market in the last 10 years.

Now we discover an untold number enriched themselves and favored clients with illegally timed trades of fund shares. That's a worse betrayal of trust than the corporate scandals of recent years, since they're supposed to be on the little person's side.

Put aside what fund managers earn and consider their bosses. Putnam's ex-CEO Lawrence J. Lasser's income rivals the bloated pay package that sparked New York Stock Exchange President Dick Grasso's ouster. Lasser's take: An estimated total of $163 million over the last five years.

2) Washed-up pro athletes in long-term contracts

Pro athletes at the top of their game deserve what they earn for being the best in their business. It's those who sign whopping, long-term contracts after a few strong years, and then find their talents vanish, who reap unconscionable sums of money.

NBA player Shawn Kemp, for instance, earned $10 million in a year he averaged a pathetic 6.1 points and 3.8 rebounds a game. Atlanta Braves pitcher Mike Hampton earned $9.5 million -- in the second year of an eight-year, $121 million contract -- while compiling a 7-15 won-loss record for the Colorado Rockies with a pitiful earned-run average of 6.15.

Thank the players' unions for refusing to negotiate contracts based on performance -- and driving up the cost of tickets to levels unaffordable for a family of four, especially for football and basketball. They point to owners as the culprits, yet golf star Tiger Woods and tennis champ Serena Williams earn their keep based on their performance in each tournament

3) CEOs of poorly performing companies

Most U.S. chief executives are vastly overpaid, but if their company is rewarding shareholders and employees, producing quality products of good value and being a responsible corporate citizen, it's hard to take issue with their compensation.

CEOs at chronically unprofitable companies and those forever lagging industry peers stand as the most grossly overpaid. Most know they should resign -- in shareholders' and employees' interest -- but they survive because corporate boards that oversee them remain stacked with friends and family members.

The ultimate excess comes after they're finally forced out, usually by insiders tired of seeing their own stock holdings plummet. These long-time losers draw multimillion-dollar severance packages as a reward for their failed stewardship.

4) Orthodontists

For a 35-hour workweek, orthodontists earn a median $350,000 a year, according to the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics. General dentists, meanwhile, earn about half as much working 39 hours a week on average, in a much dirtier job.

The difference in their training isn't like that of a heart surgeon vs. a family-practice doctor. It's a mere two years, and a vastly rewarding investment if you're among the chosen: U.S. dental schools have long been criticized for keeping orthodontists in artificially low supply to keep their income up.

This isn't brain surgery: Orthodontists simply manipulate teeth in a growing child's mouth -- and often leave adjustment work to assistants whose handiwork they merely sign off on. What makes their windfall egregious is that they stick parents with most of the inflated bill, since orthodontia insurance benefits cover nowhere near as large a percentage as for general dentistry.

5) Motivational speakers and ex-politicians on the lecture circuit

Whether it's for knighted ex-Mayor Rudy Guiliani or Tom "In Search of Excellence" Peters, corporate trade groups pay astronomical sums to celebrity-types and political has-beens to address their convention audiences.

Former President Reagan raised the bar back in 1989 when he took $2 million from Japanese business groups for making two speeches. Bill Clinton earned $9.5 million on 60 speeches last year, though most of those earnings went to charity and to fund his presidential library.

The national convention circuit's shame is that it blows trade-group members' money on orators whose speeches often have been warmed over a dozen times.

6) Real estate agents selling high-end homes

Anyone who puts in a little effort can pass the test to get a real estate agent's license, which makes the vast sums that luxury-home agents earn stupefying.

While most agents hustle tail to earn $60,000 a year, those in affluent areas can pull down $200,000-plus for half the effort, courtesy of the fatter commissions on pricier listings.

Luxury home agents live off the economy's fat, yet many put on airs as if they're members of the class whose homes they're selling, and eye underdressed open-house visitors as if they're casing the joint.

7) Skycaps at major airports

Many of the uniformed baggage handlers who check in luggage at curbside at the busiest metro airports pull in $70,000 to $100,000 a year -- most of it in cash.

On top of their salaries, peak earners can take in $300 or more a day in tips. Sound implausible? That amounts to a $2 tip from 18 travelers an hour on average. Many tip more than that.

While most skycaps are cordial, a good many treat customers with blank indifference, knowing harried travelers don't want to brave counter check-ins, especially in the post 9/11 age.

8) West Coast longshoremen

In early 2002, West Coast ports shut down as the longshoremen's union fought to preserve generous health-care benefits that would make most Americans drool. The union didn't demand much in wage hikes for good reason: Its members already were making a boatload of money.

Next year, West Coast dockworkers will earn an average of $112,000 for handling cargo, according to the Pacific Maritime Association, their employer. Office clerks who log shipping records into computers will earn $136,000. And unionized foremen who oversee the rank-and-file will pull down an average $177,000.

Unlike their East Coast union brethren who compete with non-union ports in the South and Gulf of Mexico, the West Coast stevedores have an ironfisted lock on Pacific ports. Given their rare monopoly, they can disrupt U.S. commerce -- as they did during the FDR years -- and command exorbitant wages, even though their work is more automated and less hazardous than in the days of "On the Waterfront."

9) Major airline pilots

While American and United pilots recently took pay cuts, senior captains earn as much as $250,000 a year at Delta, and their counterparts at other major airlines still earn about $150,000 to $215,000 - several times pilot pay at regional carriers - for a job that technology has made almost fully automated.

By comparison, senior pilots make up to 40 percent less at low-fare carriers like Jet Blue and Southwest, though some enjoy favorable perks like stock options. That helps explain why their employers are profitable while several of the majors are still teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.

The pilot's unions are the most powerful in the industry. They demand premium pay as if still in the glory days of long-gone Pan Am and TWA, rather than the cutthroat, deregulated market of under-$200 coast-to-coast roundtrips. In what amounts to a per-passenger commission, the larger the plane, the more they earn - even though it takes little more skill to pilot a jumbo jet. It's as much the airplane mechanics who hold our fate in their hands.

10) Wedding photographers

Photographers earn a national average of $1,900 for a wedding, though many charge $2,500 to $5,000 for a one-day shoot, client meeting and processing time that runs up to 20 hours or more, and the cost of materials.

The overpaid ones are the many who admit they only do weddings for the income, while quietly complaining about the hassle of dealing with hysterical brides and drunken reception guests. They mope through the job with the attitude: "I'm just doing this for the money until Time or National Geographic calls."

Much of their work is mediocre as a result. How often have you really been wowed flipping the pages of a wedding album handed you by recent newlyweds? Photographers who long for the day they can say "I don't do weddings" should leave the work to the dedicated ones who do.

If only we were all so fortunate.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

America's 10 Most Dangerous Jobs (According To CNNMoney.com)

Last year was the safest year in the American workplace, but heights, weather and heavy equipment still put many people at risk. Which 10 jobs are the worst?

The American workplace is safer than ever despite some recent job-related disasters, such as the West Virginia coal mining explosion and the Gulf oil-rig catastrophe.

Only 4,340 people died on the job last year, down 16.8% from 2008, according to new data released Thursday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That's a rate of 3.3 deaths per 100,000 workers -- the lowest ever reported by the BLS.

Here's a look at some of the most dangerous jobs and how workers keep themselves safe.

1. Fisherman

South Carolina shrimper Wayne Magwood.
Fatality rate: 200 per 100,000

Median wages: $23,600

The most perilous job in the U.S. is held by those who fish the waters in cold-weather states. Freezing water and icy boat decks can lead to horrific accidents, and storms can swamp small fishing vessels, sometimes claiming entire crews.

Compounding the danger is catch rules: By limiting fishing seasons, fisheries management creates a race to fish, according to the Environmental Defense Fund.

That forces fishermen out in dangerous weather and keeps exhausted crews on the water. In Alaska, the season for halibut and crab has been, at times, reduced to just three days.

Even warm-water fishers face hazards. Wayne Magwood has shrimped the waters off South Carolina for 40 years and says the biggest danger is heavy machinery, such as the power winches and cables that haul nets and other equipment.

"My dad taught me to keep my shirt tucked in," says Magwood. "Your clothes can get tangled up and you can get pulled overboard. One guy broke his neck recently."

Magwood also lost a friend when the crewman was answering nature's call and a sudden roll pitched him into the water.

"We brought him up in the net," Magwood said.

2. Logger

Washington State logger Roger Smith.
Fatality rate: 61.8 per 100,000

Median wages: $34,440

Logging takes an annual toll like few other occupations. The biggest hazard, according to Roger Smith of RL Logging in Olympia, Wash., comes from logging mountain slopes.

"You're working steep terrain with 70-degree, 80-degree grades with rocks and sliding logs," he says.

About half the time, he's taking down 60- to 70-year-old trees with trunk diameters of 30 inches or more. If not felled correctly, these can go crashing down slopes, rolling over anyone in their paths.

"A lot of the time, what gets cutters is if they don't see something," Smith says. "Like trees growing together or snags."

The old forest canopies often have those snags, which are big dead branches that break off and can fall erratically when the tree comes down. Loggers call them "widow makers."

Even after the trees are cut, the job of loading them can be tough.

"Somebody just got killed here last Thursday," he says. "He was running a harvester and one of the teeth of the chain broke off and went right through the bulletproof glass window of his cab."

3. Airplane pilots

Airplane pilots
Alaska bush pilot Heidi Ruess.
Fatality rate: 57.1 per 100,000

Median wages: $106,240

When former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens died in a small plane accident recently, it underscored the hazards Alaskan bush pilots face.

That crash followed the script of many Alaskan accidents, where the most common cause of fatalities is "flying into terrain, under speed," according to the BLS.

Heidi Ruess, an Anchorage-based bush pilot with 40 years experience, says, "You can't compare Alaskan flying with the rest of the country."

Volatile Alaskan weather and vertical topography can cause pilots to lose visibility in fog and fly into steep mountainsides.She used to take tourists, hunters and fishermen out to remote locations until she flipped her Cessna 185. She had only three passengers -- the plane can take five -- but she was still over-loaded because, in addition to gear, they had packed up four or five caribou.

"We don't have roads [in Alaska] and you can't drive in to pick up the gear and the game," she says.

She also flipped a float plane a few years before as she landed to pick up duck hunters. She tried to use mud to brake but it was frozen and the plane hit a big ditch and sent her tumbling.

After that, she concentrated on teaching. She cautions her students that the two biggest reasons for flying accidents are physical conditions, which pilots can rarely do much about, and judgment, which they can.

4. Farmers and ranchers

Farmers and ranchers
Iowa farmer John Gilbert.
Fatality rate: 35.8 per 100,000

Median wages: $32,350

Both farmers and ranchers deal with many hazardous conditions in their workplace. In many cases, accidents result when workers get fatigued or hurry to complete a job.

"When you're tired, you may take shortcuts you shouldn't," says John Gilbert, who, along with his four brothers and eldest son, runs a big dairy and pork farm near Iowa Falls, Iowa. "Raising and harvested crops, you have short windows to get things done in the spring and fall. That leads to a lot of rushing around."

Many agricultural workers die one of three ways: being pinned in overturned tractors, truck collisions and animal incidents.

One of the biggest hazards for farmers around Gilbert's home ground is moving around augers that transfer grain from trucks or bins to silos.

"They're tall enough to get tangled in overhead power lines," says Gilbert. "Everybody knows about the hazard and is cautioned about it, but accidents happen anyway."

Almost as dangerous is taking to the roads on slow moving tractors or combines. Drivers inexperienced in rural travel may confuse the hazard lights and directional signals and think the farmer is turning left instead of right. That leads to farmers sometimes turning directly into the path of an oncoming car or truck.

Gilbert himself has been cautious, and lucky, never sustaining a disabling injury. And he does not consider farming a job: "It's a way of life," he says.

5. Roofers

Illinois-based roofer Kevin Coleman
Fatality rate: 34.7 per 100,000

Median wages: $33,970

Height increases danger -- and roofing is an occupation where elevation is part of the job description.

Kevin Coleman has been roofing safely for 24 years, since age 18. He works commercial buildings with mostly flat roofs, so the possibility of falling is lower. Although he has worked as high as a 70-story building in downtown Chicago.

One particular hazard is hot tar. The roofers work with big buckets of the stuff heated to as much as 525 degrees.

"I got hurt only once," says Coleman. "A guy's shirt with a lighter in the pocket fell into the tar and exploded. My face was covered." He escaped with only a few scars.

Safety has increased for roofers.

"When I started, it was `Get up on the roof and go,'" he says. "Now you take OSHA safety courses and there's more safety equipment, too."

Roofers can fall even off flat roofs with no wall height, so one innovation was to set up a line of flags, six feet from the roof's edge, like an outfield warning track.

There's also more protection, such as restraints and nets, to catch workers when they do fall. But the prime reason for a steady drop-off of injuries and fatalities is better training, according to Coleman.

6. Ironworkers

As with roofing, the heights are incredibly dangerous for ironworkers.
Fatality rate: 30.3 per 100,000

Median wages: $44,500

The men and women who build the skyscrapers and bridges of modern America have always been held in awe by the general public.

Images of them walking a four-inch steel beam hanging 500-feet above the street or sliding down an I-beam illustrate the conditions that would have lesser workers curling into a fetal position and crying for their mommies.

Steve Rank helped build downtown Houston in the 1980s and now works to improve ironworker safety via negotiated rule-making with OSHA.

One thing that has changed is the number of anchor bolts set in concrete has doubled. These bolts help hold beams steady as they go up. In the past, many bolts failed.

"The structure would fall like a house of cards," Rank says.

Site preparation is also a major issue. "Before, it would look like a scud missile hit, everything underwater in mud," Rank explains. "We'd be offloading steel and the truck wheels would sink, shifting the beams and crushing people."

Rank is still negotiating with OSHA to get better rules for reinforced-concrete buildings. These can be 20-story high constructions of poured concrete with steel rebar embedded in them.

Lax regulations governing them has contributed to more than 100 ironworker fatalities over the past few years, according to Rank.

"We want to do the same thing for reinforced concrete we did with structural steel to make the job site safer," he says.

7. Sanitation worker

Sanitation worker
New York City sanitation workers.
Fatality rate: 25.2 per 100,000

Median wages: $32,070

Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis Tenn., when he came to support black sanitation workers who were striking against unequal treatment.

Ironically, 40 years later, that conflict continues to have an impact on the health and safety of Memphis sanitation workers.

According to Warren Cole, the president of the union local, black workers were frozen out of the city pension plan years ago, leaving them only social security. Many have had to keep working at this demanding job much longer because they can't afford to retire.

"We lost one of our workers last week," said Cole. "Emmite Johnson had finished running his route. Memphis has been averaging about 100 degrees with high humidity, and he fell waiting for a bus. He was 70 years old."

Summer may be tough on sanitation workers, but they also endure hazardous wastes all year long. Cole said a new peril is from portable meth labs, which are set up in vans or automobiles.

Explosive bi-products are discarded in garbage bins or alongside roads, a lethal danger to sanitation workers.

There's also the heavy equipment, like compactors, that can grab and crush workers if they're not careful.

8. Industrial machinist

Industrial machinist
Industrial machinists can be easily crushed by large equipment.
Fatality rate: 18.5 per 100,000

Median wages: $39,600

One of the biggest hazards of working with industrial machinery is handling the heavy weights. Machines can buck or shift, easily crushing a fragile human being.

Machinery in use in unforgiving. Loose clothing or long hair can be caught by chains or gears and mangle workers before the equipment can be brought to a stop.

Fortunately, better safety equipment and more comprehensive training has made working with machinery safer, according to David Merrifield, a Missouri-based safety consultant.

"There are better standards for safety and training," he says. "A well-trained operator can avoid accidents and make the accidents that do happen less severe."

9. Truckers and drivers/sales workers

Truckers and drivers/sales workers
Kansas City-based trucker Mark Sutherland.
Fatality rate: 18.3 per 100,000

Median wages: $37,730

Mark Sutherland is a long-haul trucker with a track record of 2 million miles without an accident. But not all drivers can make that boast.More truckers and sales delivery men die on the job than any of the other top 10 occupations due to a moderately high fatality rate and a large number of workers.

Vigilance is vital but that can be hard to maintain, especially with truckers under pressure to produce. Government deregulation, according to Sutherland, has increased competition and squeezed profit margins. Some drivers and companies cut corners.

"They do what it takes," says Sutherland, "and some of the terrible accidents you see are the result."

For truckers pushing the limits, speeding and driving too long without proper rest take a toll. Things happen quickly when a big rig is rolling down the road at 75 miles per hour and the driver's attention has wandered after 10 hours with only a short break or two.

"You have to constantly pay attention," says Sutherland. "You can't have enough eyes. You have to adjust to conditions."

His pet peeve is the drivers who come to a dead stop at construction zones for no reason. That, fog, ice and snow are the most hazardous physical conditions that truckers face.

10. Construction laborer

Construction laborer
Fatality rate: 18.3 per 100,000

Median wages: $29,150

Building sites contain many of the hazardous conditions present in many of the most dangerous jobs. Workers are outdoors in all sorts of weather conditions, often at great heights and exposed to heavy materials and machinery.

A laborer was killed at McCarren Airport in Las Vegas early in 2009 when an earth-moving shovel ran over him. Later in the year, a Michigan laborer died when a diesel tank exploded. In New Jersey a worker was killed after his clothing entangled in a rotating machine drilling pipe.

Safety has sometimes been an afterthought on some construction jobs, but government regulations and heightened awareness by companies and the workers themselves have helped to steadily pare down casualties.

By Les Christie, staff writer

Monday, August 23, 2010

Seven Ways to Stop "Um-ing" and "Ah-ing" Through Your Job Interview

interview-verbal-learningLizandra Vega, author of 'The Image of Success: Make a Great Impression and Land The Job You Want'

After months of seeking out jobs, hundreds of revisions to your resume, and going to every networking event you can, you've finally landed an interview. After brief small talk about how bad the traffic was or how slow the elevators are, the interviewer switches gears and begins her formal line of questioning.

"I see you currently work for our main competitor. What makes our company a more appealing choice for you?"

It's not a difficult question to answer. But suddenly you're tongue-tied and your answer comes out as: "Well, actually, it's like, um, you know."

What happened? This scenario is all too familiar to many job seekers. In stressful situations such as speaking in front of a group or interviewing for a job, people often revert to filler words such as "like," "you know," "basically" or "actually," and even sounds such as whistling, snorting, or giggling to patch over pauses before collecting their train of thought.

We're all guilty of throwing in one or two of these utterances during normal conversation, but the danger lies in how often they are repeated throughout your entire discourse. Sadly, it's when you rely on these interruptions as substitutions for actual words in order to express your thoughts that you diminish your image as an intelligent professional and viable job candidate. Subsequently, you may be perceived as an individual who has trouble focusing, or as someone who has difficulty organizing his or her ideas -- deficiencies that potential employers interpret as hindering your work performance.

Self-awareness is a fundamental step toward correcting such habitual speech patterns which disrupt the flow of conversation, so here are seven ways to pick up on when you're about to trip up.

Here are seven ways to eliminate common speech hurdles and increase your verbal fluency:

1. Evaluate your verbal communication skills by audio-and/or videotape yourself as part of a mock interview, suggests Leah Ross-Kugler, MS, CCC-SLP, a certified speech-language pathologist. This way you can go back and listen for where you stumble.

2. Prepare talking points about yourself and keep them tucked inside your writing portfolio. Discreetly refer to your points in order to keep the flow of conversation moving seamlessly.

3. Focus on your breathing by taking replenishing breaths between phrases so you can use complete words instead of sounds. Ross-Kugler explains this helps slow down your speech and allows you concentrate on what you're going to say next.

4. Modify a distracting behavior such as giggling by smiling. By using an action considered to be positive and engaging, you not only patch over a potential gaffes but also improve your connection with the hiring manager.

5. Designate a ring or a watch to a hand that is not routinely assigned to such accessories. They serve as reminders for avoiding nervous laughter during an interview, proposes Ross-Kugler.

6. Join a speaker's group such as the National Speaker's Association or Toastmasters International to practice and improve your verbal communication skills.

7. Keep an empty "filler sound jar" along with lots of pennies handy. Monitor your own number of filler sounds or enlist a friend or family member to do so. Similar to keeping a "swear jar," throw a penny inside the jar each time you use a word filler, snort, giggle or do anything that interrupts your flow of speech.

When you want to get the right message across, it's best to let the words flow. While you may not catch every "um" or "ah" at the next interview, you'll certainly reduce the number you say and come off as the clear, intelligent candidate you are.

By Lizandra Vega

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Top 10 Companies Hiring This Week (August 22 – 28 )

hiring now

We know that your job search can get quite frustrating these days with more people trying to find a job and less employment opportunities available.

To ease the burden, we've tracked down 10 top companies with the most job openings this week -- from sales jobs to finance jobs, full-time jobs to part-time jobs. We hope you find a job that's perfect for you.

Good luck job hunting!

01. Kraft Foods

We make today delicious in about 150 countries where we sell our products. And, our employees can be seen in action in more than 70 countries. At Kraft Foods, we relish innovative thinking and fresh ideas -- we invite you to consider having a seat at the table.

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02. Durham School Services

Durham School Services has a strong record of success and decades of experience in pupil transportation. With the support of National Express Group, a global leader in transportation, we are confident we can provide exceptional service to your district.

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03. Dunbar Armored

The Dunbar Companies continue to set the highest industry standards for service, integrity and innovation. Security is our heritage and our only business.

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04. Scholastic

For over 85 years, teachers and parents have recognized Scholastic as a trusted name in learning. The Company continues this successful history by remaining focused on encouraging children to learn to read and love to learn, helping teachers carry out their important jobs and supporting parents in their role as their child's first teacher.

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05. AAA

For over 100 years, we have been serving you and other AAA members on the road and around the world. Today, we offer our extensive services to you on the internet. Now, more than ever, AAA is able to help you around the clock with all your Cars & Driving, Travel, Insurance, Banking and Loan needs.

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06. Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through almost 6,000 stores, the internet and other distribution channels across North America and internationally.

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07. Sears

Sears Hometown Stores were developed sixteen years ago to serve our customers in locations outside of major metroploitan cities. There are currently about 900 Hometown Stores throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. These stores carry all of the top home appliance brands, consumer electronics, tools and lawn and garden equipment.

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08. UPS

Founded in 1907 as a messenger company in the United States, UPS has grown into a $42.6 billion corporation by clearly focusing on the goal of enabling commerce around the globe. Today UPS is a global company with one of the most recognized and admired brands in the world.

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9. Comcast Cable

Comcast Corporation is the nation's leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services, with 24.4 million cable customers, 14.7 million high-speed Internet customers and 6.1 million Comcast Digital Voice customers.

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10. Rent-a-Center Stores

Our stores offer name-brand furniture, electronics, appliances and computers through flexible rental purchase agreements that generally allow the customer to obtain ownership of the merchandise at the conclusion of an agreed upon rental period. We offer same-day delivery, 90 days same as cash and an early purchase option. Should merchandise need repair while it is on rent, we repair it at no additional cost to the customer. We also offer our customers a product substitute to use while theirs is in service.

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By AOL Jobs

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hourly Wage: 10 Jobs that Pay $20 per Hour

Ready for a gig that pays an hourly wage of twenty dollars? There are many options out there. And, of the following list of ten jobs, less than half require school beyond a high school diploma. See which skills you might already have or are interested in and get started.

01. Drywall Finisher

Hourly pay: $17.99 - $30.41

Are you up for some careful work and plenty of physical activity? In this gig you prepare walls for painting by taping and finishing joints and imperfections. Though this construction trade can drop off when the economy suffers, it's a job skill that is lucrative when in demand. No degree is required to get started. Most dry wall finishers learn their skills through informal training programs or on the job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

02. Structural Drafter

Hourly pay: $18.52 - $23.66

Drafting work gets you into the fields of architecture and engineering, without all of the required coursework. Structural drafters prepare architectural and structural drawings, often using Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD) systems. They can develop specialized knowledge in specific materials, such as concrete or masonry, or in types of buildings, such as residential or commercial. Most employers look for applicants with at least a two-year degree. Armed Forces training can also prepare you for this job.

03. Carpet Installer

Hourly pay: $15.00 - $19.44

Here is another construction job that can be scarce in a down economy, but not as much as you'd think. It has the advantage of being a common, low-cost home improvement. According to the BLS, 35 percent of carpet installers are self-employed. You may work evenings and weekends for commercial jobs to avoid disturbing customers. Most installers learn their skills on the job. No formal education is required.

04. Fire Inspector

Hourly pay: $18.97 - $22.24

If you have an eye for detail and are willing to enforce the rules, you could find work as a fire inspector. Inspectors not only examine buildings to detect hazards and enforce local laws, they sometimes also investigate and gather facts to determine cause of fires and explosions. Most fire inspectors are employed by local governments, with the state of California paying best for their work, according to the BLS. Fire inspectors must take classes and pass exams to be certified in their profession.

05. Facilities Manager

Hourly pay: $19.68 - $22.27

The person in this job must be able to do a wide variety of tasks, all meant to ensure the care and upkeep of a property. These tasks can include scheduling janitors and landscapers, renting out spaces, collecting rent money, ensuring pools are cleaned and that users of the property follow regulations. Though facilities managers often have an office, they likely don't spend much time at their desk. No college degree is required, though some schooling may be preferred by employers if accounting or business transactions are required.

06. Tax Accountant

Hourly pay: $20.80 - $30.52

Don't want to go to the office every day? This job offers the potential for flexibility and a work-from-home arrangement. Tax accountants fall into a larger category of workers called public accountants. This person can either advise a business on the tax advantages and disadvantages of a decision, or complete individual tax returns. Many tax accountants have at least a bachelor's degree in an accounting-related field. Going on to get certified as an accountant can increase both your salary and your opportunities for employment.

07. Sheriff's Patrol Officer

Hourly pay: $20.64 - $31.07

If you can not only stay calm in a dangerous situation, but are willing to take on a leadership role, a career in law enforcement may suit you. You get you a secure, steady paycheck and opportunities for career growth. Sheriff's patrol officers work for local, county governments. Applicants must have at least a high school education, and some departments may prefer or require college coursework. Being bilingual or having military police experience will increase your chances of getting this job.

08. Music Therapist

Hourly pay: $18.67 - $25.56

Can Bach and Mozart help with mental health issues or healing from surgery? A music therapist uses tones, sounds, rhythms and songs of all kinds to help people heal whatever is ailing them. Sometimes their patients play music or other times they simply listen. To work as part of a medical team, music therapists usually need a bachelor's degree in a related field. Licensure may not be required, but is often preferred by employers.

09. Interpretor or Translator

Hourly pay: $22.38 - $44.99

As an interpreter, you could be a key player in the middle of court hearings or a complex discussion on medical issues. It is a role where you can help others and it offers opportunities for further career growth. The BLS predicts that this line of work will see an increase in demand over the coming years. And, you can create a flexible schedule for yourself since the majority of interpreters are self-employed. Certification in certain subject area is often required, as well as extra education beyond high school.

10. Personal Trainer

Hourly pay: $20.08 - $27.55

If you've watched the show "The Biggest Loser," you know a lot about the work done personal trainers. Unlike aerobics instructors or sports coaches, personal trainers offer customized, one-on-one physical training for their clients. They can help clients not only lose weight, but also develop specific strength training routines, eating schedules and routines for injury prevention. The job also offers the possibility of a flexible schedule.

By Bridget Quigg,

Best Career Tips

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