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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Fifty-Dollar-an-Hour Earning Power

magine that every hour you spend on the job makes you fifty dollars richer; two hours, and you're up to three figures; a year of full-time work, and you've got a six-figure salary. Fifty-dollar-an-hour careers net eight times the federal minimum wage. Only five percent of Americans command this kind of money. With the right online degree, you can be one of them.

The following career paths will give you $50-an-hour earning power.

1. Pharmacist
Earnings (2007): $48.31/hour $100,480 salary

Health care workers are gaining earning power by the day, as an aging population boosts demand for qualified professionals. Pharmacists play a critical role in long-term care regimens, dispensing medications and advising patients about their use, possible side effects, and interactions with other drugs. Demand for pharmacists is expected to grow by twenty-two percent through 2016.

A licensed pharmacist holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. The qualification, which has replaced the bachelor's degree in Pharmacy, is much more accessible than a medical or doctoral degree. It begins with the standard two-year undergraduate core curriculum, followed by four academic years (or three calendar years) of professional pharmacy career training. About a quarter of the Pharm.D. program is dedicated to hands-on training in a clinical setting. If six years of college education seems daunting, consider embarking on a pharmacy technician career with a two-year associate's degree, and pursuing your Pharm.D. online while you work.
2. Actuary (Management & Technical Consulting)
Earnings (2007): $51.48/hour $107,080 salary

In the wake of two major economic bubbles--the 2001 tech revolution and the 2008 mortgage crisis--better risk analysis suddenly looks like a good idea. The private sector is already putting renewed emphasis on calculating and hedging risk. Actuaries specialize in risk assessment, analyzing statistical data to calculate the probability of different outcomes and forecast risk.

Numbers are the basis of an actuary's job. A bachelor's degree combining mathematics and business courses offers the best preparation for actuarial work. Some online degree programs offer a specialized program in actuarial science, but a bachelor's degree in statistics, corporate finance, economics, or business will also offer the appropriate career training. Job opportunities look strong through 2016, with 24 percent growth predicted across the industry. The Department of Labor indicates the most optimism for health care and consulting firm jobs, where demand and earnings are highest.
3. Marketing Manager
Earnings (2007): $54.52/hour $113,400 salary

While engineers and industrial designers develop a company's goods and services, marketing managers determine how to make money from these products. Marketing professionals develop pricing strategies, monitor market trends, and oversee the presentation of the product. They are, in effect, the liaison between the company's product or services and its customer base. As a marketing manager, expect to add management and leadership skills to your job description.

Marketing managers may enter the field in a junior position with a bachelor's degree, preferably in business administration. But to advance to the $50-an-hour club, head onward to a master's degree in business administration. The MBA is widely available online to accommodate working professionals. Many aspiring managers will start on the ground floor as a marketing associate and gradually build the experience and qualifications for a management role.

4. High School Principal
Earnings (2006): $44.70/hour $92,965 salary

K-12 education administrators enjoy the perks of a teaching career--helping students, summers off--without the "labor of love" salaries. In fact, the administrators at the pinnacle of their profession earn close to six figures. High school principals develop and coordinate the school's program, implementing a curriculum, monitoring students' progress, and managing the school's budget.

Administrators often start their careers as teachers and work their way up to a leadership role as they gain the necessary experience and credentials. A master's degree in education administration (M.Ed.) is the standard qualification for a principal's job. These degrees are available online, making them accessible to working teachers.

5. Petroleum Engineer
Earnings (2007): $54.75/hour $113,890

Engineers command the highest starting salary among bachelor's degree holders--and petroleum specialists rank at the upper end of the engineering salary spectrum. Demand for qualified petroleum engineers is expected to soar in coming years, as energy issues dominate the national agenda. Petroleum engineers create and optimize methods of extracting and processing oil and gas.

A four-year bachelor's degree in engineering is all that stands between you and a petroleum engineering career. Look for a program with a specialized energy or petroleum engineering curriculum. Hands-on design and development training offers the best preparation for a $50+/hour career in R&D.

Many industries offer the promise of $50 and up at the top of the career ladder. Online programs are making it easier than ever to join the elite ranks of your profession. Earn while you learn, and you'll be on track to make every minute on the job count.

Thanks for yahoo education



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