If you, like many residents of Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Southern California, have had your livelihood disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, take a look at the following careers, which in recent reports were shown to be among the fastest-growing occupations in the region.
Remember Erin Brockovich? She was a paralegal! Paralegals and legal assistants provide support to attorneys in fields of specialty ranging from immigration to business, personal injury to real estate. Paralegals prepare legal documents, research precedents, and even get involved in investigative work. How much can they earn? A little under five years ago, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the average salary for paralegals in Nevada as just over $54,000 a year, with Arizona at just over $50K, New Mexico at just over $43K, and California at just over $59K. There are a variety of ways to end up with a career as a paralegal, but typically a bachelor’s degree is desired.
Teachers seem to always be in demand, and if you like being involved in building the minds of the future (and having summers off), education might be the career for you. In a popular piece called “21 Reasons to Quit Your Job and Become a Teacher,” an author cited reasons such as “to encourage children to dream big,” “to positively impact the future of our world,” and “to be a student for life” as some of the major benefits of this profession. Salary.com, a popular career research website, states that the average public school teacher in Nevada earns just over $60K. That’s better than Nevada paralegals, and law offices don’t usually shut down for a few months in the summer. If you’re thinking about transitioning to a teaching career, you might try an accredited online school such as Alliant International University, which offers both a California and an Arizona Teaching Certification program or a similar curriculum in Nevada or New Mexico.
Perhaps because a lot of seniors choose to retire in the warm, dry climates of the southwestern states, physical therapist technicians and other medical specialties will continue to be in demand. With average salaries in the sub-$30K range, physical therapy technicians typically earn a little less than some of the other jobs on this list; however, the education requirements involve a high school diploma (or GED) and on-the-job training. The medical and dental insurance benefits aren’t to be overlooked, either. A recent Nevada physical therapy technician job from a popular job listing website cited the following traits as desirable: excellent customer service, the ability to multitask, a self-motivated personality, attention to detail, and the desire to be mentored and trained. The minimum requirements included 1 – 2 years of physical therapy office experience, patient scheduling experience, proficiency in Microsoft Office, and excellent customer service and telephone skills.
Dealers are typically paid an hourly rate plus tips, and it’s the tips that make the job worthwhile. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nevada and California are the two states with the highest employment level for this occupation. Dealers typically work in hotels and other tourist-heavy establishments. If this is a career path you’re interested in, you can attend a trade school for a few weeks; sometimes, you can simply gain training from the place of employment itself.
Fitness trainers and aerobic instructors are in rising demand in the southwestern states, and if you love exercising and teaching other people to work out, it might be just the career field for you. The Bureau of Labor Statistics quoted the median pay in 2019 for fitness trainers and instructors as $19.42 per hour or $40,390 a year, with expected growth in the field of 15 percent over the next decade. That percentage is a lot faster than the average for all occupations, and training can typically be short-term or on-the-job training.