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11 jobs that pay $55,000 a year

Debra Auerbach, CareerBuilder Writer

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While every worker has a different income goal, many would be happy reaching the $55,000 mark. As of 2010, the U.S. median household income was $49,445, so a job paying $55,000 is on the higher end of household earnings.

If you'd like to make $55,000 a year, check out this list of 11 occupations that pay around that amount. These jobs vary in education level required, industry and type of work, so there's something for almost everyone.

1. Anthropologist and archaeologist
What they do: Anthropologists and archaeologists study the origin, development and behavior of past and present humans. They examine the cultures, languages, archaeological remains and physical characteristics of people in various parts of the world.
Typical education level needed to enter the occupation: Master's degree
Median annual pay: $54,230

2. Boilermaker
What they do: Boilermakers install, maintain and repair boiler systems, a physically demanding and often dangerous job. Many workers travel to worksites and live away from home for long periods of time.
Typical education level: High-school diploma or equivalent
Median annual pay: $54,640

3. Cartographer and photogrammetrist
What they do: Cartographers and photogrammetrists measure, analyze and interpret geographic information to create maps and charts for political, cultural, educational and other purposes. Cartographers are general mapmakers, while photogrammetrists are specialists who use aerial photographs to create maps.
Typical education level: Bachelor's degree
Median annual pay: $54,510

4. Electrical and electronic engineering technician
What they do: These technicians help engineers design and develop computers, communications equipment, medical monitoring devices, navigational equipment and other electrical and electronic equipment. They test and evaluate products, using measuring and diagnostic devices.
Typical education level: Associate degree
Median annual pay: $56,040

5. Librarian
What they do: Librarians maintain library collections, help people find books and do other work as needed to keep a library operating.
Typical education level: Master's degree
Median annual pay: $54,500

6. Loan officer
What they do: Loan officers evaluate, authorize or recommend approval of loan applications for people and businesses. These officers often work for commercial banks, credit unions, mortgage companies or related financial institutions.
Typical education level: High-school diploma or equivalent
Median annual pay: $56,490

7. Police officer and detective
What they do: Police officers enforce laws to protect people and property. Detectives gather facts and supportive evidence to help uncover and solve crimes.
Typical education level: High-school diploma or equivalent
Median annual pay: $55,010

8. Radiologic technologist
What they do: Radiologic technologists perform diagnostic imaging examinations on patients. They work with radiologists to determine if other scans or images need to be taken.
Typical education level: Associate degree
Median annual pay: $54,340

9. Subway and streetcar operator
What they do: Subway and streetcar operators transport passengers in urban and suburban areas via vehicles that travel underground, on above-ground and elevated tracks, on streets or on separate tracks. These workers are most often employed by the local government.
Typical education level: High-school diploma or equivalent
Median annual pay: $56,880

10. Telecommunications equipment installer and repairer (except line installer)
What they do: Also known as telecom technicians, these workers set up and maintain devices or equipment that carry communications signals, connect to telephone lines or access the Internet.
Typical education level: Postsecondary nondegree award
Median annual pay: $54,710

11. Writer and author
What they do: Writers and authors develop content for books, advertisements, movies, music, websites, digital and print publications and other media.
Typical education level: Bachelor's degree
Median annual pay: $55,420

*Job descriptions, median annual pay and typical education level 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: 27/09/2012 - 4:19 PM


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