2013's Rising Vocational Careers

By Holly Johnson

A vocational career can include a wide variety of jobs and occupations. Some of the most popular vocational professions are nursing, dental hygiene, cosmetology, computer programming, and video game design. A vocation is similar to other occupations. However, a vocational career is generally more focused on certain tasks and responsibilities, instead of a wide range of duties. For instance, dental hygienists may learn general dental care and how to properly assist a dentist without learning front office or administrative responsibilities. Schools that offer vocational training typically teach students a trade or specific career without a significant need for general studies that are required by traditional colleges or universities.

A vocational career choice can be beneficial for students who have a carefully mapped career plan. Studying a vocational profession could have the potential to make any student into an expert in their field, and becoming skilled at a trade or vocation may help an individual become more marketable to potential employers. Additionally, individuals who become certified in a vocational profession may also be able to take on other roles within their profession. Students who study a vocational profession may be able to move up in the ranks to become team leaders, managers, or supervisors.

Choosing a vocational career could beneficial in several ways. First, choosing to study a vocation at a technical school could keep college costs down and provide greater value for the degree earned. Second, vocational studies can often be completed in a shorter amount of time than conventional four-year degrees. Therefore, students learning a vocation could enter the job market and start earning an income much sooner.

Some professionals, such as dental hygienists, are paid generously considering the level of education required for employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national mean hourly wage for dental hygienists in May 2012 was $33.99 (bls.gov/oes, 2013). Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the field of dental hygiene will grow as much as 38 percent by 2020 (bls.gov/ooh, 2012). More available jobs can mean a higher demand for employees and higher pay, and it's important to note that the top 10 percent of hygienists earned up to $96,280 nationally in May 2012 (bls.gov/oes, 2013). Another vocation in high demand is nursing, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the national mean annual wage for registered nurses in May 2012 was $67,930 (bls.gov/oes, 2013).

While it's true that a vocational profession may require less formal education, highly trained vocational experts will probably always be needed in the workplace. Since vocational education typically costs less than traditional colleges and universities, it can create a great return of investment for students who desire to gain career skills and experience without spending more money or time than is usually required. A vocational profession may not be for everyone, but it may fit your needs if you are focused on a skill or profession that you are passionate about.

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"Dental Hygienists," Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292021.htm

"Dental Hygienists," Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-hygienists.htm

"Registered Nurses," Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291141.htm

"Registered Nurses," Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm

"What is a vocational education?," wiseGEEK, http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-vocational-education.htm

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