> Median income: $19,780
> Total employed: 56,760
Legislators are elected officials and do not need to meet any training or educational requirements. A candidate for a legislative position typically must be a citizen and sometimes meet certain age requirements. Although not a requirement, most legislators have bachelor’s degrees. In state and federal positions, it is common for legislators to have graduate degrees in law or business as well. Advanced degrees in finance and public administration can be useful, according to the BLS, because legislators are often required to understand, analyze and communicate the affairs of the regions they represent. Legislators’ wages vary widely, depending on the level of government they are in, from the local to the national. In 2012, the bottom 10% of legislators earned less than $16,470.
2. Recreation Workers
> Median income: $22,240
> Total employed: 309,730
There were 309,730 recreation workers in 2012, 10% of whom made more than $38,750. However, the median salary was just $22,240, and the bottom earners made less than $17,000. The difference in annual wages is not huge, but recreation facilities employ a wide range of workers. Entry level camp counselors may be responsible for supervising children and going on hikes, while camp or park directors may sometimes serve as technical advisors and oversee budgets and park planning. Many recreation positions are seasonal and do not typically require a bachelor’s degree. Full-time positions, however, involve administrative, supervisory or other roles, such as providing services for people with special needs. For these, a bachelor’s degree or even a master’s degrees is very helpful.
3. Radio and Television Announcers
> Median income: $28,020
> Total employed: 31,340
Radio and television announcers do not just present information to the public. They also edit articles and stories, produce advertisements, conduct interviews and provide commentary. To become an announcer, only a high school diploma is mandatory, but according to the BLS, entry-level positions are competitive and serious applicants should have advanced degrees in communications, journalism or a related field. More than a third of announcers have at least a bachelor’s degree. In 2012, 25% of radio and television announcers made less than $19,530.
4. Library Technicians
> Median income: $30,660
> Total employed: 100,230
The median annual income of library technicians in 2012 was about $30,000. The bottom 10% earned $18,430 or less. Library technicians are responsible for a broad range of tasks, including clerical duties such as maintaining records and book loans, as well as more complex projects such as educating students on library technology and developing curriculums for teachers. Most library technicians have at least a bachelor’s degree, but, according to the BLS, smaller libraries have been known to hire technicians with only a high school diploma. It is also possible to advance to this position after succeeding as a library assistant.
5. Graduate Teaching Assistant
> Median income: $31,270
> Total employed: 120,160
Graduate teaching assistants typically need to be enrolled in a graduate program. So, although the skills required are advanced and the annual pay usually very low, employment in this occupation is short term, for the duration of the graduate program. Teaching assistants typically are responsible for grading papers, assisting a professor with research, instructing lower-level courses and meeting with students on a regular basis. About 30,000 graduate teaching assistants, approximately 25% of those employed in this occupation, earned less than $19,500 in 2012.
6. Proofreaders and Copy Markers
> Median income: $32,780
> Total employed: 11,300
Not only must proofreaders and copy markers have a mastery of the English language. In some cases, the editing process involves verifying factual information, and the proofreader must compare figures against data from other records and check references. According to the O*Net online, nearly 90% of proofreaders have at least a bachelor’s degree. There were only 11,300 proofreaders and copy markers in 2012. The median salary for the position was $32,780, but the bottom 10% earned less than $20,100 that year.
7. Rehabilitation Counselors
> Median income: $33,880
> Total employed: 104,070
Individuals suffering from personal, social and vocational problems can reach a point when outside help and rehabilitation is necessary. Rehabilitation counselors help their clients manage any emotional or physical problems in order to reintegrate them into society. This process involves maintaining records, documenting the client’s progress, arranging evaluations and devising plans for successful rehabilitation. The top tier of rehabilitation counselors earned at least $60,000 in 2012, but most of the more than 100,000 people employed in this occupation nationwide earned far less. The bottom 10% of counselors barely earned $20,000 annually.