Great Jobs That Don’t Take a Lot of Training: How to Thrive in a Down Economy

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Career experts reiterate that the key for those looking to enter the job market is to gain valuable work experience even in a career that might not be a candidate’;s first choice. The best strategy is often to focus getting your foot in the door rather than finding the perfect job. Once you get in, you can decide what direction to go in.

Secretary or Administrative Assistant:

Handles variety of office tasks. In many fields, these jobs often are the proving ground for more advanced positions. Requires a high school diploma or vocational training, though executive assistants usually require a college degree. Pay: The median annual wage was $29,0050 in 2008. The middle 50 percent earned from $23,160 to $36,020.

Advertising Sales Agent:

Sell ads and commercial spots for print, broadcast and the Internet. They also offer a chance to network widely and see how business works. Requirements: High-school diploma or higher education degree. Pay: Teh median wage was $43,480 a year in 2008, though commissions and performance bonuses are often a big part of the pay package. The middle 50 percent earned between $30,750 and $64,320 annually.

Medical Assistant:

Performs admisistrative tasks to keep the offices of doctors, dentists, and chiropractors running smoothly. They also might draw blood, run basic tests or operate equipment. Requirements: A high-school diploma will suffice for some jobs, but some require a college degree. Pay: Varies. The median annual salary was $28,300 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $23,700 and $33,050 a year.

Home Health Aide:

Cares for people who are disabled, ill or have trouble getting around. The people skills learned in these jobs are readily transferrable. Requirements: At minimum, some high school. Licensure is requirede to work with Medicare or Medicaid patients. Pay: The median hourly wage wa $9.22 in 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $7.81 and $10.98 an hour.

Customer Service Representative:

Responds to questions and complaints about a company’;s products or services. These jobs are often good introductions to a company or industry. Requirements: High school diploma, though some positions require a college degree. Pay: Median hourly wages were $14.38 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned from $11.34 to $18.27 an hour.

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