If you've just graduated and are struggling to find a job, you're probably worried about that first loan bill coming in the mail, and now thinking about enrolling in grad school. Or, you're finding that you're not really that interested in the field that you just spent the past 4+ years studying and preparing for. You might want to consider putting your technical skills to use in another field in the mean time. You never know where it might lead you.
Solar Homes Installer
According to the Solar Reserve, "This growth in solar jobs will bring new training and skills to keep U.S. workers competitive in ever increasing globalized markets." Most of these jobs are entry-level, including solar installation jobs. In this role, you're responsible for installing and troubleshooting all mechanical systems and electrical systems for a complete solar photovoltaic installation. College degrees and concentrations are not usually required, as just a HS diploma or GED will suffice. However, understanding of NEC codes and knowledge of roofing will usually improve your marketability. These jobs pay around $15-25 an hour and usually come with on-the-job training and NABCEP certification.
Social Media Specialist
Wikipedia describes social media as, "the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks." As a matter of fact, more social and professional networking occurs online through avenues such as LinkedIn and Facebook than in person. This is where technical skills come into play. If you already have a working knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite and SEO or blogging, you can market yourself for entry-level social media jobs and internships. If not, you might want to acquire some SEO or basic web design skills online via sites such as Lynda.com and YouTube. It takes some time to learn these very beneficial skills, but it's necessary to be strong competitor in your game, and the payoff is great. According to Direct Marketing News, social media specialists can expect to earn an average of $76,900 a year, while digital marketing managers can earn up to $82,600 annually.
AA's can do it all in order to benefit their team - from taking notes to scheduling events to writing reports and answering calls. Today, the more technical skills you can showcase on your resume, the more marketable you are. AA's are needed in a variety of sectors, so tweak your resume accordingly. For example, if you're applying within a real estate agency, you might want to showcase your graphic design skills. If you're looking for an entry-level position to a company you're interested in working for, a job as an AA is a great place to start. In this field, you'll begin to learn the ropes of the company, interact with numerous administrators, and be a valuable asset. Also, the salary can range depending on the firm you're applying with, but Indeed does report an average annual salary of $32,000.
Proofreader (or Copy Editor)
With the growth of web content and expansion of web-based businesses comes an increasing demand for proofreaders. In this job, you're basically the extra set of eyes that catches mistakes in pre-published content. Skills required usually include knowledge of blogging, social media, grammar, and word processing software. If you're truly entry-level to this field, you may want to consider landing a few freelance gigs from sites like Elance and FlexJobs. If you received high honors in your studies, showcase this in your resume, along with your knowledge of APA, MLA, Chicago, or other writing formats. Then, you can work your way to full time (and even remote) proofreading jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that proofreaders, on average, make $17/hour in part time jobs and $35,000/year in full time positions.
When the housing market and employment rates are low, apartment rentals grow in demand. Leasing consultants greet potential residents, show vacancies, market vacancies, collect rent, and more. Because of the high amount of client interaction involved, strong communication skills are required. Also, if you have previous customer service experiences or web marketing knowledge, be sure to highlight them in your resume. Some of these jobs will require a bachelor's degree in business or related (especially larger and more upscale complexes) but most only require a high school diploma or GED. Salary.com reports that the average annual salary is $27,295. Also, the benefit is the potential to move into an Apartment Manager position, which normally comes with complimentary housing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 15 percent job growth in this field between 2006-2016. Perhaps now's the perfect time to get your feet wet.
Hopefully by now you've broadened your horizons a bit and are beginning to feel more hopeful about securing a steady income soon enough. The most important thing, of course, is that you have to like the company you're working for so do some research and apply within a department that you hope to grow in.