Take charge of your future and jump-start your career in 2011 with the right training.
By Yahoo! Education Staff
Was 2010 a rough year for you - professionally?
Good news: a new year is upon us and now is the perfect time to start training for a new career.
Keep reading to learn about eight exciting jobs you can jump-start in 2011.
Career #1 - Medical Assistant
If you want to start training for a rewarding career as a medical assistant you have two quick options. You can earn an associate's degree in medical assisting in two years, or a certificate or diploma in medical assisting in just one year.
[Search for Medical Assisting programs now]
About the job: As a medical assistant, your days will likely be spent working closely with patients, preparing them for exams, and explaining treatment procedures. You might also handle a variety of administrative and clinical tasks, like taking care of bookkeeping or recording vital signs.
Average salary: Medical assistants have an average annual salary of $28,300. The top 10 percent of medical assistants average at more than $39,570 per year.
[Jump-start your career. Find Medical Assisting training programs now.]
Career #2 - Dental Assistant
Start your dental assistant training now and you might soon be stepping into one of the fastest growing occupations in the country, according to the Department of Labor. Consider a one-year dental assisting certificate/diploma program or an associate's degree in dental assisting, which should take about two years to complete.
[Search for Dental Assisting training programs]
About the job: As a dental assistant, you'll interact with patients, keep the office clean and sterilized, and work alongside a dentist during procedures. Duties vary: You might make casts of teeth for temporary crowns, help with fillings, or keep patients comfortable during their time in the office.
Average salary: The average annual salary of dental assistants is $32,380, though top earners can make more than $46,150. More than half of dental assistants receive health benefits, according to a 2008 survey by the Dental Assisting National Board. In a time when health care costs are soaring, that's a huge benefit.
[Jump-start your Dental Assistant career. Find training programs now.]
Career #3 - Graphic Designer
Are you a creative person looking for the right career? If so, make 2011 the year you start training for your graphic design career. Most entry-level positions will require a bachelor's degree, but you can get started by earning your associate's degree in graphic design. This should qualify you to become an assistant to a graphic designer where you can gain hands-on experience in a graphic design firm.
[Search for Graphic Design schools near you]
About the job: Being a graphic designer is all about getting your message across in print and electronic media. As a graphic designer, you might work on layouts for magazines and web sites, make promotional materials for businesses, or even create the title sequences for movies or TV shows.
Average salary: Salaries will vary by job and experience. On average, graphic designers make $42,400 per year. According to the American Institute of Graphic Arts, entry-level designers earn an average of $35,000 while senior designers earn an average of $60,000.
[Start training for your Graphic Design career. Find schools now!]
Career #4 - Paralegal
If you want to work in law, but don't have the time or money to go to law school, you can train for a paralegal career in as little as one to two years. Consider earning either a two-year associate's degree or - if you already have a bachelor's degree - a paralegal certificate. Certificate programs can sometimes be completed in about a year.
[Search for Paralegal schools now]
About the job: As a paralegal you'll assist lawyers with their cases and help them prepare for hearings, closings, and trials. You might even prepare legal arguments and motions that need to be filed with the court. This is a savvy choice for job-seekers: According to the Department of Labor, paralegal jobs will grow by 28 percent between 2008 and 2018.
Average salary: Paralegal salaries vary depending on education, experience, location, and other factors. The average annual salary for paralegals is $46,120, with the top 10 percent averaging at more than $73,450.
[Prepare for this in-demand career. Search for Paralegal schools near you now!]
Career #5 - PR Specialist
If you want to start training to become a PR specialist, look into earning your bachelor's degree in PR/marketing/communications. Public relations is another field with much higher than average growth anticipated - 24 percent from 2008 to 2018 according to the Department of labor.
[Jump-start your career in Public Relations...Find the right school now!]
About the job: As a PR specialist, you may focus on generating buzz for your employer or motivating the public. If you're well versed with social media tools, this might be a great job for you, as more public relations firms are taking advantage of new technologies.
Average salary: Public relations specialists have an average annual salary of $51,280. The top 10 percent averaged at more than $97,910 in 2008.
[Search for Public Relations degree programs now]
Career #6 - Bookkeeping Clerk
If you're looking to switch to a job with long-term stability, bookkeeping might be just the ticket. According to the Department of Labor, over 212,000 new bookkeeping jobs are expected to be added during the next decade. An associate's degree in business or accounting is required for some positions.
[Search for Accounting and Business schools now]
About the job: As a bookkeeper, you may spend your days updating and maintaining all kinds of financial records. You might even handle payroll and keep track of overdue accounts.
Average salary: The average annual salary of bookkeepers is $32,510, while the top 10 percent earn more than $49,260.
[Search for Accounting associate's degree programs now]
Career #7 - Medical Biller and Coder
Health care jobs are on the rise industry wide, and the Department of Labor anticipates employment of health information technicians - like billers and coders - to grow by 20 percent through 2018. You can start training for this career in as little as one year by earning a diploma or certificate. Another option is to earn an associate's degree, which takes about two years to complete.
[Search for Medical Billing and Coding training programs]
About the job: As a medical biller and coder you'll be a crucial part of the health care industry, helping doctor's offices manage patient billing by assigning the correct codes to patients' medical tests. While you'll likely be working in a hospital or a doctor's office, you might not interact with patients directly.
Average salary: According to PayScale.com, medical billers earn $24,986-$35,023 per year while medical coders earn $25,072-$32,483. The Department of Labor reports the average annual salary of health information technicians as $30,610.
[Jump-start your Medical Billing and Coding career!]
Career #8 - Teacher
If you feel the calling to become a teacher, now is a great time to start training. To get started, you'll need at least a bachelor's degree in education. If you want to be a secondary school teacher, major in the subject you plan to teach while you take a program of study in teacher preparation. If you want to advance your career in the classroom, earn a master's degree in education.
[Search for Education and Teaching schools now]
About the job: As a teacher, you'll play an important role in the lives of children by planning lessons, grading tests, and working with kids in a classroom setting. You may use games, technology, or other hands-on techniques to help develop critical thinking skills.
Average salary: The average annual salary of kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers ranges from $47,100 to $51,180. According to the American Federation of Teachers, beginning teachers with a bachelor's degree earn an average of $33,227.
[Search for Teaching degree programs now]
Unless otherwise noted, all salary information is provided by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2008.