need a job? try being an apprentice

Our friends at career publisher JIST just send us this interesting info.

Career Expert Laurence Shatkin Reveals the Best Apprenticeable Jobs

As the availability of student loans shrink, people may want to consider an apprenticeship instead of a college degree as an entry route to their career.

“You don’t have to shell out tens of thousands of dollars in tuition or endure basic training in a distant boot camp to get entry into your career. An apprenticeship provides job training in which you can become a highly skilled worker through a combination of worksite learning and minimal classroom learning,” says Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., co-author of the recently released book 200 Best Jobs Through Apprenticeships, Second Edition.

“An apprenticeship is sometimes called ‘the other four-year degree’ because it often takes four years and it results in a nationally recognized credential that can open the door to income and job security that can be as good as or better than what college graduates enjoy,” he adds.

To open people’s eyes to which apprenticeships offer the most promise, Shatkin crunched data from the U.S. Department of Labor to identify the best apprenticeable jobs. The following occupations topped the list:

Paralegals and Legal Assistants
Annual Earnings: $44,990
Percent Growth: 22.2 percent
Annual Openings: 22,756

Computer Support Specialists
Annual Earnings: $42,400
Percent Growth: 12.9 percent
Annual Openings: 97,334

Construction and Building Inspectors
Annual Earnings: $48,330
Percent Growth: 18.2 percent
Annual Openings: 12,606

Radiologic Technologists
Annual Earnings: $50,260
Percent Growth: 15.1 percent
Annual Openings: 12,836

Police Patrol Officers
Annual Earnings: $49,630
Percent Growth: 10.8 percent
Annual Openings: 37,842

Correctional Officers and Jailers
Annual Earnings: $36,970
Percent Growth: 16.9 percent
Annual Openings: 56,579

Licensed Practical and Vocational Nurses
Annual Earnings: $37,940
Percent Growth: 14.0 percent
Annual Openings: 70,610

Pipe Fitters and Steamfitters
Annual Earnings: $44,090
Percent Growth: 10.6 percent
Annual Openings: 68,643

Annual Earnings: $44,090
Percent Growth: 10.6 percent
Annual Openings: 68,643

Surgical Technologists
Annual Earnings: $37,540
Percent Growth: 24.5 percent
Annual Openings: 15,365

200 Best Jobs Through Apprenticeships, Second Edition, is available at all major bookstores and from the publisher ( or 1.800.648.JIST). Co-author Laurence Shatkin has also written several other titles, including 150 Best Recession-Proof Jobs, 10 Best College Majors for Your Personality, and 50 Best Jobs for Your Personality.

How to explain getting laid off or fired

We’ve inserted a series of career breaks into our stream. This week they’re all about how to explain getting laid off to potential employers.

The advice in these 1 minute breaks come to us from various professionals we asked to call-in with their suggestions. They represent a good mix of tips and perspectives so we hope you enjoy them. These career breaks are something we’ll be doing all year so stay tuned for many more!

Here’s one of those you can play on demand.

best job: mathematician

Gee, who knew?CARLSBAD, CA. (January 6, 2009) – “I’m a Lumberjack and I’m OK” is a tune made famous by the Monty Python comedy troupe. In 2009, lumberjacks are far from OK. Mathematicians, on the other hand, couldn’t be happier. These are among the nation’s best and worst jobs compiled in the new “2009 Jobs Rated Report,” an in-depth look at 200 jobs by
The editors at, the nation’s newest job portal, wanted to answer two key questions in thi s economic downturn: What are the best jobs out there, and what are the worst? Not in terms of glamour, or just in terms of salary. But in terms of things like job security, emotional stress, hiring outlook and basic physical safety.When you’re working in a job that you don’t particularly enjoy – or if you’ve recently lost your job after many years – it’s easy to imagine that the grass may be greener for people in other careers. But unless you pepper those people with questions, it’s hard to find out what their work is really like. How stressful is their job, what’s the work environment like and is there room for growth?
The criteria used by researchers to determine the most—and least—appealing career opportunities include environment, income, employment outlook, physical demands, security and stress. Each occupation is ranked20using data from such sources as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau, as well as information provided by a wide range of trade associations and industry groups. The upshot: secure, well-paying office jobs, like mathematician, landed high. Physically demanding, high-risk jobs like lumberjack brought up the rear.Based on these factors, here are the nation’s 10 best and worst jobs.




For more information, visit and

changing jobs, 1 in 5 say they will in 2009

Even with slower hiring predicted for 2009, 19 percent of workers say finding a new job is on their list of New Year’s resolutions and the same amount say they actually plan to leave their current job before the end of the year, according to’s latest survey. The survey, titled “2009 Job Forecast,” was conducted from November 12 through December 1, 2008, and included more than 8,800 workers. Additionally, six-in-ten workers say the economy and the tightening job market are not making them hold off on their plans to change jobs.

Workers cited a variety of reasons for wanting to leave their jobs in the new year, with the most workers, 49 percent, reporting that better pay and/or career advancement opportunities are the primary reasons they plan to leave their current positions. Fourteen percent are looking for an environment where they feel more appreciated and 10 percent want to work for a company that is making a difference. Seven percent of workers are electing to change careers entirely, while 3 percent say they are leaving their jobs because they want more flexibility or plan to go back to school.

Looking at key factors that influence job satisfaction and company loyalty, workers reported the following:

Pay – A quarter of workers are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their pay. Thirty-five percent of workers did not receive a raise in 2008. Of those that did receive one, 25 percent were given an increase of 2 percent or less. Sixty-three percent of workers did not receive a bonus.

Career Advancement – Twenty-six percent of workers are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the career advancement opportunities provided by their current employers. Eighty percent did not ask for or receive a promotion in 2008 and 20 percent felt they were overlooked.

Work/Life Balance – Eighteen percent of workers are dissatisfied with work/life balance and 54 percent report their workloads have increased over the last six months.

Training/Learning – Twenty-three percent of workers are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with training and learning opportunities provided by their current employers.

When applying for new positions, workers say the most important attributes they look for in employers are:

  • Company’s stability and longevity in the market (32 percent)
  • Good career advancement opportunities (20 percent)
  • Good work culture (14 percent)
  • Ability to offer flexible schedules (12 percent)

“January is typically one of the busiest job search months of the year and this year should be no exception with increased unemployment combined with workers who are putting their New Year’s resolutions into action,” said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at “Although seven-in-ten workers say they are satisfied with their jobs, some are always on the lookout for a greener pastures. In fact, 82 percent of workers said while they are not actively looking for a new position, they would be open to one if they came across the right opportunity.”

CareerBuilder job forecast says slower hiring ahead

CHICAGO, Dec. 30 /PRNewswire/ —, the nation’s largest online job site with more than 23 million unique visitors and over 1.5 million jobs, released the results of its latest survey, conducted by Harris Interactive(R), tracking projected hiring trends for 2009. The survey, titled “2009 Job Forecast,” was conducted from November 12 through December 1, 2008 among 3,259 hiring managers and human resource professionals in private sector companies.

“The job market of 2008 suffered as the U.S. economy weakened and entered into a recession,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of “Looking ahead, recruitment levels are expected to be lower in the new year, but employers are not out of the mix completely; instead they’re taking ‘a wait and see’ approach to hiring. Fourteen percent of employers, surveyed by, state they plan to increase full-time, permanent employees and 16 percent plan to decrease in 2009. The remainder of employers say they are unsure or don’t plan to make any changes to their headcount in the new year.”


Fourteen percent of employers plan to increase their number of full-time, permanent employees in 2009, compared to 32 percent who anticipated increasing headcount in 2008. Sixteen percent plan to decrease staff levels in 2009 while 56 percent expect no change. Thirteen percent are unsure.


Eight percent of employers plan to increase their number of part-time employees in 2009, down from 21 percent who expected to do so in 2008. Fourteen percent plan to decrease headcount in 2009, 62 percent expect no change and 15 percent are unsure.

Hiring By Region

Staff expansions are expected to be strongest in the South and West in 2009. Eighteen percent of employers in the South and 14 percent of employers in the West plan to add full-time, permanent employees compared to 13 percent in the Midwest and 11 percent in the Northeast. Employers in the Northeast are projecting one of the largest amounts of staff decreases at 19 percent, followed by 17 percent in the Midwest, 16 percent in the West and 14 percent in the South.

Hiring By Industry

Comparing select industries, job creation in Professional and Business Services and Information Technology is expected to carry into the new year. Twenty-eight percent of IT and 23 percent of Professional and Business Services employers plan to add full-time, permanent employees in 2009, followed by 20 percent of employers in Transportation and Utilities, 16 percent in Sales, 14 percent in Healthcare and 13 percent in Financial Services. Retail employers are also planning to expand staffs at 7 percent followed by 5 percent of Hospitality employers.


#1 Increased Salaries

Even as companies explore ways to cut costs, employers still plan to increase salaries in the coming year.

-- Sixty-six percent of employers report their companies will increase
       salaries for existing employees in 2009, down from 80 percent in 2008.
       Forty-six percent expect to raise salaries by 3 percent or more while
       10 percent anticipate increases of 5 percent or more.
-- One third of employers expect to increase salaries on initial offers to        new employees, down from 65 percent in 2008.  One-in-five (21 percent)        employers will raise salaries by 3 percent or more while 7 percent        anticipate increases of 5 percent or more. 

#2 Flexible Work Arrangements

Close to one third (31 percent) of employers say they plan to provide more flexible work arrangements in 2009. These arrangements include:

-- Alternate schedules -- come in early and leave early or come in later        and leave later -- 70 percent
-- Telecommuting options -- 48 percent
-- Compressed workweeks -- work the same hours, but in fewer days -- 40 percent
-- Summer hours -- 19 percent
-- Job sharing -- 13 percent
-- Sabbaticals -- 7 percent

#3 Green Jobs

Employers plan to become more environmentally aware in the new year. Thirteen percent of employers say they plan to add “green jobs” in 2009, compared to one-in-ten who say they added them in 2008. “Green Jobs” are positions that implement environmentally conscious design, policy, and technology to improve conservation and sustainability.

#4 Recruitment Tools

As recruitment budgets tighten, more employers are leveraging the Internet as a vehicle for finding potential employees. While nearly one quarter (23 percent) of employers say their overall hiring budgets will decrease for 2009, however, they plan to increase their recruitment spend on the following:

-- Online recruitment sites
-- 19 percent
-- Newspaper classifieds
-- 15 percent
-- Career fairs
-- 12 percent
-- Staffing firms and recruiters
-- 12 percent
-- Social networking sites
-- 7 percent

#5 Retaining Retirees

A quarter of employers surveyed report concern over the loss of intellectual capital at their organizations as a large number of baby boomers approach retirement age.

– Nearly one-in-five employers (17 percent) say they are likely to rehire retirees from other companies in 2009. Another 12 percent are likely to provide incentives for workers at or approaching retirement age to stay on with the company longer.

#6 Diversity Recruitment

When asked if there is a particular segment of diverse workers they plan to target more aggressively in 2009, employers pointed to Hispanic workers, women, African-American workers and mature workers.

– Nearly nine-in-ten (88 percent) employers report they will be placing the same or greater amount of emphasis on recruiting bilingual candidates in 2009.

#7 Freelance or Contract Hiring

As the nation waits for the economy to bounce back, employers are turning to freelance or contract workers to help support their businesses.

– Twenty-eight percent of employers anticipate hiring freelancers or contractors in 2009.



Seventeen percent of employers say they increased their headcount in the last three months. Twenty-two percent reduced headcount while 60 percent reported no change. One percent were undecided.

In the first quarter of 2009, 16 percent of employers say they plan to add employees. Sixteen percent will decrease headcount while 62 percent anticipate no change and 6 percent are undecided.

$100k job seekers can save time with RiseSmart Concierge Service

If you are a 100k executive in the job hunt check out this service to outsource your search.

RiseSmart is a job site that offers a unique Concierge Service for job seekers who are looking for positions in the 100k+ salary range. Once a job seeker signs up with RiseSmart, they enter their job preferences in their “RiseSmart Search Profile”. Then a RiseSmart Concierge will review the profile and begin a search of job openings in the area specified. By using the time-saving RiseSmart web site, people who are looking for that perfect high-level job can do so without having to do all the work themselves.

The cost for job seekers is $43.95 a month.

The Concierge Service is where RiseSmart differs from other job search sites. Once you have completed your profile, it is sent to a Concierge, a real person, who will review it and get an understanding of what type of position you are looking for. With that background knowledge, the Concierge will sort through the hundreds of job opportunities to find the ones that match what your background. The list of job openings that the Concierge selects will be sent to you for your review; new lists will be sent weekly. The ones you like, you can apply for, the ones you do not, you can take off the list.

Mike Ramer gives 7 job search strategies

“If you’re worried about your job or looking for a new one, you’re not alone,” says Mike Ramer, America’s Career Coach and president of Ramer Search Consultants. “The challenge for professionals today is finding a job to advance their career.”

After 20 years in executive search, Ramer developed and launched a job search consulting service for the career-minded. His “Seven Strategies” include:

1) Assess your situation. If you’re employed, what’s the chance you’ll lose your job? Talk to your manager, be upfront and express your concern. If there’s a high probability you could lose your job, start planning now.

2) Evaluate your strengths. Write down what you do best. List your top skills and abilities. Think about ways you can add value for a future employer. Get feedback by asking a trusted friend or co-worker.

3) Discover your passions. In your current job, what do you enjoy most? When you’re not working, how do you spend your time? What are your hobbies? What topics engage you in conversation? Again, write it down.

4) Craft your resume. Customize it with your unique background, skills and experiences. Quantify your accomplishments. Your resume is a reflection of you, so make it stand out. Be professional, yet personal.

5) Research the possibilities. Use the web and talk to others. Your ideal job is the intersection of what you do best (skills/abilities) and what you want to do (passions). This should fit your parameters (location, compensation, lifestyle, etc.)

6) Get the word out. Now go after the job you want. Build a contact list to include names, titles, websites, phone numbers and emails. When making contacts and networking, be memorable and aim to arrange meetings.

7) Stick to the plan. Stay focused and upbeat. Create activity everyday. Depending on your industry and experience, a job search could take three to twelve months. It’s always smart to have a contingency plan.

For help with your job search, consult with a career coach or job search professional. In today’s times, keep positive and remember this: “If you find a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

Career tip of the day

Here’s a good tip we overheard on

Volunteer to run your professional association’s job board. Get involved with the local chapter of a professional association you’d like to join. Not only is it good for networking but most associations have a web site and/or job section. If you volunteer to run it, you’ll get first shot at those jobs!

To find professional associations check out or this Yahoo directory link.