5. Elevator Installers and Repairers
> Median annual income: $75,060
> Total number of people employed: 19,900
> Total new jobs (2010-2020): 2,300
Elevator installers and repairers are responsible for the installation, maintenance and repair of the cables, motors, and the control systems used in elevators and escalators. There is some risk of injury involved, usually from falls, burns, and shocks. Another downside is that some workers must be on call at all hours. Many have completed a four year apprenticeship. For each year of the program, “apprentices must have at least 144 hours of related technical instruction and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training.” Elevator installers and repairers are often well-paid, as 75% earned more than $58,430 in 2011. However, apprentices start out making between 30% to 50% of what regular installers and repairers earn.
4. Nuclear Power Reactor Operators
> Median annual income: $76,590
> Total number of people employed: 5,200
> Total new jobs (2010-2020): 200
Nuclear power reactor operators monitor and adjust the various turbines, generators and other systems used to generate electricity from nuclear reactors. Though a high school diploma is often enough to work as an operator, becoming one usually requires completing “rigorous, long-term on-the-job training,” as well as passing a licensing exam. Those completing these prerequisites are frequently well-paid, as the top 25% of workers earned over $88,730 and the top 10% earned over $101,730 in 2011. The number of such jobs is expected to grow just 3.6% from 2010 to 2020, with these few jobs coming from the opening of new nuclear plants — the first since the 1990s.
3. First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives
> Median annual income: $77,890
> Total number of people employed: 106,100
> Total new jobs (2010-2020): 2,300
First-line supervisors of police and detectives are charged with monitoring and directing the activities of police officers. They supervise the work of uniformed police officers, who enforce laws and respond to calls, as well as of detectives, who investigate and collect evidence of crimes. Though salaries for local police departments are generally low, supervisors can be very highly paid — the top 10% of supervisors made over $126,130 in 2011. The total number of supervisory jobs is expected to rise just 2.1% by 2020, less than the 8.2% increase projected for police officers and the 2.9% increase expected for detectives and criminal investigators.
2. Administrative Services Managers
> Median annual income: $79,540
> Total number of people employed: 254,300
> Total new jobs (2010-2020): 36,900
Administrative services managers manage the supporting functions of organizations. Some handle the purchasing and distribution of equipment and supplies, while others oversee the operations of buildings and grounds. Some managers are very well compensated. In 2011, the top 25% earned over $106,030, while the top 10% earned over $139,170. To become an administrative services manager, education beyond a high school diploma is often not necessary. However, past work experience is needed, with background in purchasing and sales or in warehousing and shipping being especially valuable. The number of administrative services managers is expected to rise by 14.5% between 2010 and 2020, slightly above the projected national figure for all occupations.
1. Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers
> Median annual income: $80,860
> Total number of people employed: 98,600
> Total new jobs (2010-2020): 9,900
Transportation, storage, and distribution managers “plan, direct, or coordinate transportation, storage, or distribution activities in accordance with organizational policies and applicable government laws or regulations.” Though a formal education beyond high school may not be necessary, workers usually have at least five years of previous, related work experience. In 2011, the median annual income for such managers was higher than for biophysicists and biochemists, physical therapists and audiologists — professions that require a doctoral or professional degree. Wages for such managers were especially high for the top 10% of earners who made over $135,860 in 2011.
-By Alexander E.M. Hess and Michael B. Sauter