16 jobs requiring postsecondary vocational training

Debra Auerbach, CareerBuilder Writer

  • Email


For job seekers interested in pursuing a nonacademic, trade-specific career, it may be worth considering postsecondary training at a vocational school. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupations in the postsecondary vocational training category are projected to grow by 13 percent through 2018.

So what are some of the best jobs available for workers with postsecondary vocational training? Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., has the answer in his recently released book, "Best Jobs for the 21st Century." In the book, career information expert Shatkin shares best-jobs lists at all levels of education and training, including postsecondary vocational.

Shatkin compiled these lists by sorting jobs in several categories from highest to lowest in terms of median annual earnings, growth rate through 2018 and number of annual openings, assigning a number to their relative position on each list. He then combined the job position numbers on the three lists, putting the job with the best total score at the top, followed by the job with the next-best total score, and so on.

Shatkin stresses that there are limitations to the data, and that not all jobs on this list will be right for everyone. Plus, it's important to remember that earnings may vary drastically based on level and years of experience, location and other factors. The list is meant to serve as a helpful guide on jobs that, on average, have higher pay, faster projected growth and more openings than most other jobs in the category.

Here are 16 jobs that made Shatkin's list of best jobs requiring postsecondary vocational training.

1. Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses
Annual median earnings: $40,380*
Percent growth: 20.6
Annual openings: 39,130

2. Business operations specialists
Annual median earnings: $62,450
Percent growth: 11.5
Annual openings: 36,830

3. Computer occupations
Annual median earnings: $79,240
Percent growth: 13.1
Annual openings: 7,260

4. Fitness trainers and aerobics instructors
Annual median earnings: $31,090
Percent growth: 29.4
Annual openings: 12,380

5. Surgical technologists
Annual median earnings: $39,920
Percent growth: 25.3
Annual openings: 4,630

6. Real estate sales agents
Annual median earnings: $40,030
Percent growth: 16.2
Annual openings: 12,830

7. Hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists
Annual median earnings: $22,760
Percent growth: 20.1
Annual openings: 21,950

8. Preschool teachers, except special education
Annual median earnings: $25,700
Percent growth: 19
Annual openings: 17,830

9. Commercial pilots
Annual median earnings: $67,500
Percent growth: 18.5
Annual openings: 2,060

10. Security and fire alarm systems installers
Annual median earnings: $38,500
Percent growth: 24.8
Annual openings: 2,780

11. Life, physical and social science technician
Annual median earnings: $43,350
Percent growth: 13.3
Annual openings: 3,640

12. Massage therapists
Annual median earnings: $34,900
Percent growth: 18.9
Annual openings: 3,950

13. Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists
Annual median earnings: $40,850
Percent growth: 5.7
Annual openings: 7,530

14. Architectural and civil drafters
Annual median earnings: $46,430
Percent growth: 9.1
Annual openings: 3,620

15. Health technologists and technicians
Annual median earnings: $38,460
Percent growth: 18.7
Annual openings: 3,200

16. Gaming dealers
Annual median earnings: $18,090
Percent growth: 19
Annual openings: 5,590

*Salary data based on figures from "Best Jobs for the 21st Century," which used figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Debra Auerbach is a writer and blogger for CareerBuilder.com and its job blog, The Work Buzz. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.



Last Updated: 27/02/2012 - 1:06 PM


Article Reprints
Permission must be obtained from CareerBuilder.com to reprint any of its articles. Please send a request to reprints@careerbuilder.com.