Median U.S. household income in 2012 was $51,017, according to data by the U.S. Census Bureau released last September. This number is down significantly from the 1999 peak of $56,080, but to the nearly 47 million Americans living in poverty, the current median income would be a godsend.
There are many high-paying, respectable jobs out there that virtually anyone can have if they\’re willing to take the initiative to get there. Here are three options that you can qualify for in two years or less:
Medical Records And Health Information Technicians
Federal legislation has not only encouraged health care providers to go digital with their records, but also has increased the demand for health information techs. These individuals are a vital cog to the smooth operation of doctor\’s offices and hospitals.
Health information techs review, manage, and organize patient records using various codes and systems to ensure accuracy, completeness, and confidentiality. They work closely with nurses, physician\’s assistants, and others to ensure patient records are precise. Health information techs also work closely with insurance companies to ensure proper reimbursement for services.
A diploma in medical billing and coding can be earned in less than a year through online schools like Penn Foster. The median annual salary for health information techs was $34,160 in 2012, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $56,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment opportunities are expected to grow by 22 percent through 2022, faster than most all other occupations.
Its a dirty job, but one that is quite lucrative to the savvy business person. Plumbers are perpetually in high demand and the path to become one is competitive, but attainable. In the old days, high schools across America offered vocational courses in plumbing. This is virtually non-existent today, but the necessary skills can still be learned quickly and at minimal expense.
Plumbers must complete a high school diploma or GED, with further requirements varying by state. Employers and unions are particularly interested in candidates who are proficient in mathematics, but this is not a requirement. Enroll in plumbing courses at a local community college or technical school. Make certain you cover all state-mandated requirements through said course work. An apprenticeship is required in all states, but the hours required will vary. They offer on-the-job training where you\’ll earn while you learn.
Several states, including Minnesota, Georgia and Texas, have pathways to become master plumbers (the top certification) in five years or less. The median salary for plumbers was $49,140 in 2012. Those who are self-employed earned more. Master plumbers can make upwards of $200,000 per year.
Real Estate Broker
Regardless of housing market conditions, real estate brokers can make an excellent living helping others realize their dreams of home ownership. Brokers are different from agents in that they can manage their own businesses, whereas agents work directly for brokers. Most people start as agents and become brokers once they\’ve been in the business a few years and have attained some capital.
Requirements to become a broker vary by state, but most require you be 18 years of age with a high school diploma. You must also pass a state licensing exam. Many top real estate companies offer in-house preparation courses, while community and online colleges also offer programs in real estate.
The median hourly wage for brokers in 2012 was $28.05.