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7 jobs for people who aren't afraid of confrontation

Susan Ricker, CareerBuilder Writer

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Are you someone who lives life a little differently than everyone else? Maybe you don't mind telling somebody he can't cut in the grocery line. Perhaps you've intervened to settle a friend's argument. Or maybe you've addressed a co-worker who has repeatedly stolen your Diet Coke from the office fridge. Bottom line: You can handle situations where confrontation and stress are certain to occur.

Here are seven jobs for people who aren't afraid of confrontation. Could you handle one of these jobs?

1. Chefs and head cooks*
Could you handle it? Chefs and head cooks direct kitchen staff and oversee the daily food preparation for their establishment. Most work in tight spaces, with a lot of interaction in a fast-paced environment. Menus can change daily and so can the kitchen team. The customer is always right, even if he sends back the dish you spent 30 minutes preparing. If you can't handle the heat, this kitchen's not for you.
Median annual pay: $40,630

2. Emergency medical technicians and paramedics
Could you handle it? EMTs and paramedics respond to medical emergencies first and remain cool under pressure. Rushing to car accidents, responding to 911 calls and providing immediate medical attention are standard in this fast-paced profession. While job training and experience are huge assets to this position, a natural confidence for handling confrontation well is a major plus. Being able to administer help and lead in a chaotic situation could mean the difference between life and death.
Median annual pay: $30,360

3. Human-resources specialists
Could you handle it? Human-resources specialists recruit, screen, interview and place workers at companies. However, they're best known for handling employee relations and payroll. On a daily basis, you'll need to manage confrontation, disagreements, ex-employee social-media rants and medical-benefits arguments. Remaining professional and handling the situation calmly are key.
Median annual pay: $52,690

4. Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists
Could you handle it? Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists supervise and assist offenders in rehabilitation, working toward a normal, crime-free life. You can help those you work with make positive changes in their lives, and you will need the ability to enforce rules and expectations. Offenders may come with a lot of baggage, and you'll need to inspire them to commit to a new way of life.
Median annual pay: $47,200

5. Registered nurses
Could you handle it? Aside from providing and organizing health care for patients, registered nurses also offer emotional support to patients and their families. Being able to comfort, console and cheer on patients and their loved ones while also controlling chaotic situations is crucial. Emotions will run high, and handling confrontation well makes the patients', families' and the nurse's experience easier.
Median annual pay: $64,690

6. Social workers
Could you handle it? Direct-service social workers help people work through their everyday life issues, while clinical social workers treat mental, behavioral and emotional problems. Both types interact with people who are under stress and dealing with overwhelming problems. Handling confrontation is necessary for patients to progress. Addressing deeper issues with clients starts with confronting their behavior and problem-solving.
Median annual pay: $42,480

7. Umpires, referees and other sports officials
Could you handle it? Umpires and referees preside over competitive athletic events and decide penalties for rule violations. Confrontation will come from all directions: Athletes, coaches, fans and spectators will vocalize their opinions on how the game is being officiated. Angry spectators yelling, parents screaming and athletes and coaches disputing your call will be a part of every game, so handling confrontation and remaining fair are necessary.
Median annual pay: $22,480

*Job descriptions and median annual pay from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Susan Ricker 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: 02/08/2012 - 12:53 PM


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