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Sunday, January 30, 2011

50 Happiest Companies in America – 2011

The leading online career community helping people find joy and success at every step in their careers, announces the 50 Happiest Companies in America for 2011 based on more than 91,000 reviews by actual employees. Those on the list include many different types of organizations, from well-known and iconic companies such as Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, and The Walt Disney Company, to more industry-specific titans such as DTE Energy and Baker Hughes. Leading the way in the 50 Happiest Companies in America is the Internet icon, Google, which beat out thousands of companies for the coveted number one spot. Regardless of where a company ranked in the top 50, CareerBliss reveals that there are multiple ways employees can find happiness within an organization.

Unlike other work-place recognitions, the 50 Happiest Companies in America list offers employees an intrinsic view of how people feel about their work environment. “This data is invaluable to job seekers, competitors, employers and to Human Resources Professionals who are trying to not only attract top talent, but retain their best employees,” says Heidi Golledge, co-founder and CEO of CareerBliss.

The Top 10 Happiest Companies in America are:

3M Company 4.31
DTE Engery 4.17
Qualcomm 4.11
US Military (all 4 branches combined) 4.07
LSI Corporation 4.04
Charles Schwab 4.03
Pricewaterhouse Coopers 4.03
TRW 4.01
Johnson & Johnson 3.96
*Happiness Rating: One to five scale – with an average rating over eight aspects of job happiness

Full list of the 50 Happiest Companies in America

Rank Company Average Salary Job Listings
1 Google $73,946 1976
2 3M Company $76,029 357
3 DTE Energy $64,482 27
4 Qualcomm $81,221 312
5 U.S. Military - -
6 LSI Corporation $80,200 53
7 Charles Schwab $72,897 494
8 PricewaterhouseCoopers $76,734 1212
9 TRW $64,120 147
10 Johnson & Johnson $81,814 4143
11 Ameritech $55,532 20
12 Baker Hughes $66,393 194
13 Abbott Laboratories $72,405 105
14 The Boeing Company $76,071 620
15 Cisco Systems $95,633 287
16 Texas Instruments $78,292 106
17 Wyeth $82,163 0
18 City of Los Angeles $54,498 3
19 Marriott International $56,639 2215
20 First American Title $49,961 83
21 Fidelity Investments $72,679 604
22 GTE $63,180 1
23 Ericsson $84,742 181
24 Wells Fargo Bank $52,732 853
25 General Electric Company $87,339 331
26 Kaiser Permanente $68,745 1178
27 McKesson $67,628 1213
28 Novartis Pharmaceuticals $77,679 988
29 Raytheon Company $80,932 882
30 Costco Wholesale $40,250 96
31 Amgen $82,452 300
32 Microsoft $90,947 2192
33 Blue Cross Blue Shield $53,803 353
34 The Walt Disney Company $74,506 163
35 Sony Pictures Entertainment $71,894 89
36 Albertsons $35,443 11
37 Booz Allen Hamilton $90,563 1054
38 Automobile Club of Southern California $50,543 13
39 Lockheed Martin $75,560 579
40 General Electric $70,870 446
41 American Heart Association $51,528 143
42 Caterpillar $60,282 69
43 ADP $59,432 1463
44 Waste Management $53,668 1091
45 Deutsche Bank $86,001 29
46 Sun Microsystems $101,662 0
47 Verizon Wireless $48,938 1087
48 Intel $77,973 713
49 JP Morgan Chase $60,275 195
50 FedEx $46,088 1188

Every company on the 50 Happiest Companies in America list tells a different story about work-place happiness. Examples include:

#1 Google the internet search giant, which ranks number one overall in growth opportunities and career advancement, may be a great company for employees seeking to move up in the world. However, Google employees rate their benefits lower than most companies in the Top 50. Google ranks 30th overall on benefits.

 Sample Employee Review:
"Innovation and Google are connected in every aspect of their existence.” 2010 Review by Media Coordinator

#7 Pricewaterhouse Coopers For employees who put a high value on their senior management team, career advancement and job security, this might be the company for them. One of the Big Four auditing firms, Pricewaterhouse Coopers rates high for job security and career advancement. These positives appear to be at the expense of work-life balance, where employees rate this factor 48th out of the Top 50.

#31 Amgen For employees who value compensation as a leading driver for their career happiness, Amgen rates number one in this category. However, factors such as work-life balance and senior management rate at 40th and 41st in the Top 50, respectively, which indicates this is a company ideal for those who value compensation above all else.

Sample Employee Review:
“They are generous to their people.” 2010 Review by Amgen Tech Lead

A company which rated well across the board is the California based provider of innovative silicon and software technologies LSI Corporation, which rated 6th overall. Employees rate LSI in the Top 10 on the following factors: company benefits, career advancement, compensation and career growth. For employees who value a well-rounded company, LSI Corporation may be a good fit.

“Job satisfaction is very important in attracting and retaining the best employees,” said Gautam Srivastava, Senior Vice President, Human Resources at LSI. “Our combination of benefits and challenging work in a fast-paced industry provides employees with an environment in which they can thrive, and we’re gratified to be recognized by current and past employees with our high ranking on this index.”

“There is a lot to be learned from this truly exceptional group of 50 Happiest Companies in America. As opposed to many other Best Companies lists or awards, we rely heavily on employees to give us the inside scoop on companies. We are proud to report that in many different ways, these companies were able to demonstrate that their employees truly feel CareerBliss,” says Golledge of CareerBliss.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

5 Exciting Jobs That Pay $40K And Up! .. Don't miss it

These jobs fast paced, requiring quick feet and thinking.

I think we should have a boring job to make good money?

Good news: There are many great paying jobs out there that allow you to do exciting work in a fast paced environment.

Here's a closer look at five jobs faster pace to pay $ 40,000 and above.

Job # 1 - Registration / Emergency Room Nurses

The Job: To provide medical care to patients as a result of car accidents, fires, labor, and shootings. It may also be responsible for the conduct and analysis of diagnostic tests and provide treatment and medicines.

Quick factors:
emergency room (ER) nurses - also known as trauma nurses - in situations of life and death almost every day. Should provide quick and accurate assessments of incoming patients and care for them under stress.

Education: A trio of educational paths can lead to a career as a registered nurse in an emergency room - a bachelor's degree in nursing, associate degree in nursing or a nursing degree. Continuous training and education can benefit from a nurse to work in an emergency room. For registered nurses seeking to benefit from careers in the emergency room, not the Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) certification, offered by the Board of Certification in Emergency Nursing (BCEN).

Salary: $ 65,130

Job # 2 - Meeting and Convention Planners

Work: Planners are responsible for everything that happens in the meetings and conventions to attend. As a planner, his work would involve tasks such as searching by guest speakers and hotels and negotiating contracts.

Quick factors: Because they are often juggling many tasks at the same time, meeting and convention planners should be able to think - and move - quickly. mental alertness and ability to multi-task also musts in this profession.

Education: A bachelor's degree is usually preferred by employers for entry-level positions, but most training is done informally on the job. Education Funding in the hotel and hospitality management, business and business administration, public relations and marketing avenues have proven to work planning.

Salary: $ 47,500

Job # 3 - Cyber Security Workers

Work: Protect data and computer systems connected to the Internet. As cyber security worker, you may find the computer systems of control or product development to ensure and enhance security.

Quick factors: Computer security specialists often work on call and are expected to respond rapidly to network security breaches. His responsibilities have increased in recent years, cyberattacks have become more frequent.

Education: bachelor's common for computer security workers are computer science, software engineering and information systems.

Salary: $ 69,570

Job # 4 - Executive Chef Chef

Work: Implement the efforts of the kitchen staff and food preparation guide. As executive chef or chef who would be their job to determine the size of the portions, develop menus, order food supplies, and carrying out the kitchen.

Quick factors: Executive chefs and cooks are constantly in motion, monitoring the delivery of food early in the day, menu planning, and preparation of menu items during busy dining hours.

Education: The employers prefer those with training beyond high school. Search in culinary training programs, which can last from several months to two years or more.

Salary: $ 42,410

Job # 5 - Court Reporters

Work: Creation of transcripts of court proceedings, meetings, speeches and other events with various methods, especially stenographic. As a court reporter, who would work to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the transcripts.

Quick factors: The job of a court reporter requires a high degree of speed and accuracy. Working for the federal government, will have your typing speed to 225 words per minute.

Education: Students in general, training in post-secondary level vocational and technical schools and universities or programs reporting court certified by the National Association of Court Reporters (NCRA).

$ 51,960

Friday, January 28, 2011

Six Business Skills Needs to Develop Every New Graduate

If you think you have nothing to learn after all the books cracked in college, think again. There is a variety of business skills is probably not taught in class, even if you were a big business. As a recent graduate, be sure to brush up on these six essential job skills needed to succeed in the workforce.

People Skills
people skills are incredibly valuable no matter what your job entails. Here are three that you want to develop.  
  • Public Speaking, "Too many recent graduates are not equipped to present the company by phone or in person at social events, business meetings, etc.," says Graham Chapman, account coordinator and director of new business at 919 Marketing, a public relations and marketing in Holly Springs, North Carolina. "If you can not talk [or] occur, it is difficult to help a business unit of the company." Look for volunteer activities where you can practice public speaking in front of small groups. Attend meetings and public comment. Think of the most important thing that you want the audience to know (including two or three important points) and what you want done, then talk.
  • Time Management Interactions: "tension-filled conversations are served almost every day at work, and those who lack the capacity to effectively manage have a difficult time," says Kerry Patterson, co-author of crucial talks. The key is to focus on results, not emotions. "Try to see others as human beings reasonable, rational and decent - even if they have a view that is strongly opposed," he says. "When people feel respected and trust his motives, let down our guard and begin to listen, even if the topic is unpleasant. [Then] confidence to share their views and invite someone else to do. If you are open to hearing other points of view, they will be most open to theirs. "
  • Teamwork: "The reality of working with a team where colleagues have a variety of thoughts and ideas that must be respected, it is often new to the graduates," says Bettina Seidman, founder of Seidbet Associates, a firm management career in New York. "The disadvantage of not having these skills can be very serious, including gaining a bad reputation at work, and finish, even." Accept that you may have to play a secondary role to those with more experience. Listen more than talk, and be respectful of others when you have an opposing view. More importantly, ask your supervisor that the best players in the team are in your company or department and make their models.

Management Skills Training-
These career management skills will help you land your first job and position themselves for a promotion:
  • Humility and Patience: "Managers want to promote individuals who are willing to prove themselves against those who expect things handed to them from the beginning," says Julie Rulis, senior recruiter in the Western Union Group acquisition talent. Having a great title or salary from the start or go fishing for a promotion soon a detour and can earn a reputation for being too big for their pants. Rulis speaking with leaders of organizations that I admire so develop a greater appreciation of how others successfully moved over time. "In most cases, you will learn how other leaders had to roll up their sleeves and prove themselves like everyone else," he says.
  • Stay informed: "Teachers do not emphasize the importance of reading the news," says Tom Gimbel, CEO of Red La Salle, a Chicago area professional staffing and recruiting firm. "There is nothing more impressive than a candidate who can speak knowledgeably about the news and current events related to your industry or job. After a graduate has secured work email news or press releases to cut your head is beyond awesome. " Read a series of publications to broaden their knowledge. "If you're in the business world, read, Inc., Fast Company and The Wall Street Journal" he says. Ask your boss to industry publications and blogs are required reading.
  • Time management: "A recent graduate may feel compelled to say yes to everything, making it even more difficult to manage their time," says Susan Fletcher, a psychologist and an expert on time management area with Smart Solutions Plano, Texas. You may end up neglecting the core business or stretching it to breaking point, she says. Time-management skills involve the management of its energy and attention. Ask your boss to help you set priorities and to advise on operational goals. "Be intentional about what we are committed to," says Fletcher. "Ask yourself if the compromise is in line with its overall strategy and approach to getting a job, get promoted or improve their professional skills."
Proactively assessing skills and abilities against any shortfall to make better qualified to present their initiative. Keep your professional development is by asking your manager and others who admire what skills they believed to be built to be even more successful.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The 10 Hottest Private Companies in Tech

SecondMarket, a firm that facilitates alternative investments, has shared with Mashable (Mashable) a list of private companies its buyers and potential buyers were most interested in this year. The list is based on the percentage who indicated they were interested in each company.
  • 1. Facebook (): More than 25% of the firm’s buyers and potential buyers indicated that they were interested in Facebook. With the company reportedly on track to bring in $2 billion in revenue this year and attracting 81% of Gen Yers daily, it’s easy to see why.
  • 2. LinkedIn (): Last month, the professional social networking platform announced that it was adding a member every second to its 85 million-person community. Earlier this year, estimates placed LinkedIn’s valuation at $2 billion.
  • 3. Twitter (): Twitter finally tried to make money this year with promoted tweets, and it bodes well that beta testers are finding the new marketing channel valuable. The company just raised another $200 million that values it at a reported $3.7 billion.
  • 4. Zynga: The New York Times pondered whether Zynga might be the “Google () of Games” this year. The company has more than 45 million active users on its social games like FarmVille and Mafia Wars.
  • 5. Craigslist (): Craigslist makes money on recruitment listings, and it used to make money on adult services listings. Alas (for Craigslist, at least), the questionably legal section that expected to comprise about 30% of its revenue was shut down yesterday.
  • 6. Groupon: Google was willing to pay $5.3 billion for the group-buying company, which has about an $800 million annual gross revenue run rate.
  • 7. Yelp (): This year Yelp took new funding and challenged Foursquare () and Groupon with new features.
  • 8. SecondMarket: Given that the investors who indicated SecondMarket was an interest were signing up to buy through SecondMarket, this one isn’t a surprise.
  • 9. Pandora (): Pandora reported its first profitable quarter — and $50 million in revenue — at the end of 2009. Earlier this year, a Wall Street analyst predicted the company’s 2010 revenue would reach $100 million.
  • 10. Bloom Energy: Building a refrigerator-sized box that can power a whole house with sand-based fuel cells will inevitably attract some attention from investors. Before the Bloom Box launch, it’s rumored that the company had already won more than $400 million in funding.
Do you agree with SecondMarket’s users? What companies would you add to this list? Tell us in the comments below.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Top 25 Cities for Your Career Boost – Just curious to see where your city ranks?

Now more than ever, it’s important to get the best bang for your buck. And there’s no question about it when it comes to value, not every U.S. city is created equally.

Why chase a great salary if your rent swallows most of it, unemployment is skyrocketing and you spend two hours a day just to get to and from work?

So, which cities offer the most overall value this year?

Excelle has come up with the top 25 and some may surprise you! After examining various city lists, weighing the rankings and taking note of our personal opinions, we’ve produced a list of cities that’s sure to offer something for everyone.

Our Criteria:
We looked at cities' growth rates, average salaries and costs of living.

We factored in average commute time which, according to experts, has a colossal impact on your overall happiness.

We looked not only at unemployment figures, but also at the rate that unemployment has actually increased.

Thinking of relocating for better job prospects? Need to compare two top contenders? Just curious to see where your city ranks? We’ve got you covered. Read on!

1. Austin, TX

Population: 743,074
Average Salary: $41,330
Cost of Living Rank (in a 1-100 list): 51
Average Commute Time: 21.9 minutes
Job Growth Rank (in a list of 372 Highest Growth Cities): 6
Unemployment Rate: 6.3

Austin tops our list with robust projected job growth and one of the lowest changes in unemployment rate since the onset of the recession. The city has enjoyed a recent explosion of high-tech entrepreneurism, and its two largest employers the state government and the University of Texas are expected to add a couple thousand jobs this year. A “best cities” list veteran, Austin’s our top pick!


2. San Antonio, TX:

Population: 1,328,984
Average Salary: $34,610
Cost of Living Rank (in a 1-100 list): 29
Average Commute Time: 22.5 minutes
Job Growth Rank (in a list of 372 Highest Growth Cities): 20
Unemployment Rate: 6.0

The second largest city in Texas (and on our list!), San Antonio has one of the most solid salary to cost of living ratios in the country and has seen the lowest change in unemployment rate since the onset of the recession. Its projected job growth is extremely promising and consistently high-performing, with plenty of opportunity in the education, health care, manufacturing, government and service sectors. Famous for its River Walk, the Alamo and Tejano culture, San Antonio’s tourism also continues to thrive despite a down economy.


3. Salt Lake City, UT

Population: 180,651
Average Salary: $39,590
Cost of Living Rank (in a 1-100 list): 41
Average Commute Time: 23.4 minutes
Job Growth Rank (in a list of 372 Highest Growth Cities): 36
Unemployment Rate: 5.2

Service-oriented Salt Lake City is not only home to the headquarters of the Mormon Church but is also the nation’s largest industrial banking center. With stimulus from seasonal outdoor recreation tourism and a recent rebound in information-sector jobs, Salt Lake City has high expectations for job growth both now and after the economy recovers.

Offering better employment conditions than most other large cities, Utah’s biggest city boasts the lowest unemployment rate and the second lowest average commute time on our list boosting it right near the top.


4. Oklahoma City, OK

Population: 547,274
Average Salary: $35,970
Cost of Living Rank (in a 1-100 list): 15
Average Commute Time: 18.7 minutes
Job Growth Rank (in a list of 372 Highest Growth Cities): 44
Unemployment Rate: 5.6

Ranked by Forbes magazine as 2008’s most recession-proof American city, Oklahoma City is still bustling with the prospect of significant job growth. With last year’s up trend in the leisure and hospitality sector as well as employment increases in natural resources, wholesale, mining and construction, Oklahoma’s capital city has managed to hold steady with an impressively low change in unemployment rate since the recession’s outbreak. Our #4 pick remains a center for government and energy exploration while also continuing to foster positive working environments, boasting an exceptionally low average commute time for workers and a sensible income to cost of living ratio.


5. Raleigh-Cary Metropolitan Area, NC

Population: 497,602
Average Salary: $40,840
Cost of Living Rank (in a 1-100 list): 46
Average Commute Time: 20.9 minutes
Job Growth Rank (in a list of 372 Highest Growth Cities): 38
Unemployment Rate: 8.8
One of the nation’s top areas for overall growth, Raleigh-Cary shines with expected job growth in technology, tourism and academia. Home to one of the largest high-technology R&D centers in the world, our #5 pick is becoming a preferred location for cutting-edge technology and manufacturing firms. Its relatively low income to cost of living ratio and potential for growth definitely place it in the top tier.


6. Seattle, WA

Population: 594,210
Average Salary: $49,890
Cost of Living Rank (in a 1-100 list): 79
Average Commute Time: 25.7 minutes
Job Growth Rank (in a list of 372 Highest Growth Cities): 34
Unemployment Rate: 8.7

The home to many prominent corporate headquarters including those of Starbucks, Nordstrom, Microsoft and Seattle is Washington state’s largest city and the region’s major economic, cultural and educational center. While the cost of living is a little on the high side, our #6 city has a particularly promising job outlook in alternative energy development and software engineering.

Bonus fun fact: Seattle buys more sunglasses per capita than any city in the US.


7. Rochester, NY

Population: 206,759
Average Salary: $40,660
Cost of Living Rank (in a 1-100 list): 3
Average Commute Time: 19.4 minutes
Job Growth Rank (in a list of 372 Highest Growth Cities): 137
Unemployment Rate: 8.5

Rochester is home to several Fortune 1000 companies including the largest wine company in the world, Constellation Brands, and photo experts Eastman Kodak  as well as several national and regional companies. With the second best income to cost of living ratio on our list as well as boasting the lowest commute time, this city is a solid choice.

Bonus fun fact: Rochester is known as the world capital of imaging.


8. Portland, OR

Population: 550,396
Average Salary: $43,370
Cost of Living Rank (in a 1-100 list): 58
Average Commute Time: 22.4 minutes
Job Growth Rank (in a list of 372 Highest Growth Cities): 55
Unemployment Rate: 10.7

Historically, Portland has had a long-standing association with high-tech industries. According to, more than 1,200 tech companies currently operate in Portland, and, in 2004, microcomputer components manufacturer Intel was the city’s largest employer. The city has also seen consistent growth in the education and health-services sectors, helping the area maintain its high growth ratings despite significant decreases in employment in the natural resources, mining and construction sectors.
Bonus fun fact: Portland has the largest independent book store in the world.


9. Denver, CO

Population: 588,349
Average Salary: $45,610
Cost of Living Rank (in a 1-100 list): 47
Average Commute Time: 22.6 minutes
Job Growth Rank (in a list of 372 Highest Growth Cities): 113
Unemployment Rate: 7.9

Emphasizing employment in air transportation, telecommunications, aerospace and manufacturing, Denver is a major energy research center and the regional headquarters for government agencies. Its bustling downtown financial district is also considered the "Wall Street of the Rockies," housing both major national and international banks. And that’s not all Denver is 346 miles west of the exact geographic center of the country, placing it in a great spot for future economic development and growth.

Bonus fun fact: Denver is the only city ever to turn down the Olympics.


10. Honolulu, HI

Population: 588,349
Average Salary: $41,250
Cost of Living Rank (in a 1-100 list): 93
Average Commute Time: 22.3 minutes
Job Growth Rank (in a list of 372 Highest Growth Cities): 132
Unemployment Rate: 5.4

More than just sun, sand, surf and volcanoes, Hawaii’s capital city boasts the second lowest unemployment rate on our list. The city is heavily focused in government; trade, transportation and utilities; leisure and hospitality; and professional and business services. One-fifth of the land is actually zoned for agriculture and, despite ongoing residential and commercial development, diversified agriculture and aquaculture have seen steady upward trends in recent years.

Bonus fun fact: President Obama was born here.


11. Nashville, TN

Population: 590,807
Average Salary: $36,330
Cost of Living Rank (in a 1-100 list): 39
Average Commute Time: 20.7 minutes
Job Growth Rank (in a list of 372 Highest Growth Cities): 153
Unemployment Rate: 8.4

As a leader in finance and insurance, health care, music and entertainment, publishing, transportation technology, higher education, biotechnology, plastics, and tourism and conventions, the economic diversity of America’s country music capital strengthens itself from the inside out. Its income to cost of living ratio is close to the best, especially given the city’s larger size, while the rise in unemployment has remained decently low.
Bonus fun fact: Nashville once had the highest number of churches per capita.


12. Virginia Beach, VA

Population: 433,746
Average Salary: $37,550
Cost of Living Rank (in a 1-100 list): 37
Average Commute Time: 21.7 minutes
Job Growth Rank (in a list of 372 Highest Growth Cities): 160
Unemployment Rate: 7.2

This beachfront city is best known for its thriving tourism, but is also home to 208 city parks, a national wildlife refuge, long-protected beach areas, three military bases, two universities and numerous historic sites. Major employers include Geico car insurance, Amerigroup health care, Virginia Beach-headquartered Lillian Vernon and Navy Exchange Service Command, while a large agribusiness sector gives our #12 city an extra boost, keeping it just in the top half.
Bonus fun fact: The Guinness Book of World Records lists Virginia Beach as having the longest pleasure beach in the world.


13. Kansas City, MO

Population: 450,375
Average Salary: $37,970
Cost of Living Rank (in a 1-100 list): 25
Average Commute Time: 20.7 minutes
Job Growth Rank (in a list of 372 Highest Growth Cities): 164
Unemployment Rate: 8.4

Kansas City houses the headquarters of four Fortune 500 companies and several more Fortune 1000 corporations, providing a richly diverse economy with significant trade and transportation sectors, government programs and business services. Its cost of living has consistently been at or below the national average, boosting its rating on our list. Not only that, claims “there's a ‘zone of sanity’ across the middle of the country, including the region around Kansas City, Mo., that largely avoided the real estate bubble and the subsequent foreclosure crisis.”
Bonus fun fact: The city is well known for its contributions to jazz music as well as the blues.


14. Pittsburgh, PA

Population: 311,218
Average Salary: $38,190
Cost of Living Rank (in a 1-100 list): 9
Average Commute Time: 21.2 minutes
Job Growth Rank (in a list of 372 Highest Growth Cities): 169
Unemployment Rate: 7.6

With its former steel-manufacturing base and 446 bridges marking its skyline, Pittsburgh is unofficially considered both "The City of Bridges" and "The Steel City." Our #14 pick is historically known for its heavy industry, but today its leading industries are healthcare, education, technology, robotics, fashion and financial services. Boasting the third best income to cost of living ratio and third smallest drop in unemployment rate, Pittsburgh comes Excelle-approved and recommended!

Bonus fun fact: Beloved TV personality Mr. Rodgers’ real neighborhood was the Oakland section of Pittsburgh.


15. Charlotte, NC

Population: 671,588
Average Salary: $41,200
Cost of Living Rank (in a 1-100 list): 36
Average Commute Time: 25.2 minutes
Job Growth Rank (in a list of 372 Highest Growth Cities): 125
Unemployment Rate: 11.7
Home to the nation’s largest financial asset – Bank of America – as well as a number of Fortune 500 companies, this comfortable North Carolina city offers a solid salary to cost of living ratio. However, this has also left it more vulnerable to the economic downturn. It would have scored higher on our list, were it not for the drastic increase in unemployment since last year (up 6%).
Bonus fun fact: Charlotte has two nuclear power plants!


16. Boston, MA

Population: 599,351
Average Salary: $51,730
Cost of Living Rank (in a 1-100 list): 80
Average Commute Time: 27.3 minutes
Job Growth Rank (in a list of 372 Highest Growth Cities): 118
Unemployment Rate: 7.4
The unofficial "Capital of New England" is home to 21 four-year colleges and universities, making it a national center for higher education. These schools add to the local economy, not just by creating jobs but by attracting loads of high tech industries to the city. And at an average salary of $51,730, Boston boasts one of the highest incomes on our list. Living costs, however, are on the higher side, which pushes this iconic city farther down the list.

Bonus fun fact: The first telephone call was made in Boston.


17. Buffalo, NY

Population: 272,632
Average Salary: $38,640
Cost of Living Rank (in a 1-100 list): 1
Average Commute Time: 19.4 minutes
Job Growth Rank (in a list of 372 Highest Growth Cities): 174
Unemployment Rate: 9.6

Known for an abundance of greenery, a historic waterfront and a diverse cuisine, Buffalo has a lot to offer in terms of overall value. New York’s second largest city topped the list for cost-of-living per income ratio, and boasts one of the lowest average commute times in the nation. Unfortunately, this city also has one of highest unemployment rates on the list, so this year it ranks in the bottom half.

Bonus fun fact: Not surprisingly, buffalo wings were invented here!


18. Columbus, OH

Population: 747,755
Average Salary: $40,770
Cost of Living Rank (in a 1-100 list): 17
Average Commute Time: 20 minutes
Job Growth Rank (in a list of 372 Highest Growth Cities): 178
Unemployment Rate: 7.9
Named after Christopher Columbus, the largest city in Ohio is also one of the largest cities on our list. The city boasts a robust economy, ranking in the top 10 in the nation. Government jobs provide the largest source of employment here, followed by its large higher education institutions. Columbus offers a relatively low cost of living and also boasts the lowest unemployment rate of all the 25 best value cities on this list.
Bonus fun fact: 50% of the United States population lives within a 500-mile radius of Columbus.


19. Indianapolis, IN

Population: 795,458
Average Salary: $39,840
Cost of Living Rank (in a 1-100 list): 12
Average Commute Time: 21.7 minutes
Job Growth Rank (in a list of 372 Highest Growth Cities): 197
Unemployment Rate: 8.2

Formerly a manufacturing-heavy city, Indianapolis has shifted to encompass a much more diversified economy today, its key industries include education, healthcare, tourism and finance. And if you love sports, Indianapolis may just be the place for you. The city hosts several major sporting events, including the Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400 and men’s and women’s NCAA championships. It is also the fourth largest city on this list – below Philadelphia, San Antonio, and San Diego.

Bonus fun fact: Indianapolis has the largest children’s museum in the world.


20. St. Louis, MO

Population: 354,361
Average Salary: $40,630
Cost of Living Rank (in a 1-100 list): 23
Average Commute Time: 21.5 minutes
Job Growth Rank (in a list of 372 Highest Growth Cities): 179
Unemployment Rate: 9.2

Known as the city that marks the divide between the Eastern and Western United States, St. Louis is often called the "Gateway City." It’s home to some of our nation’s largest public and privately held corporations  Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Scottrade, Energizer and Anheuser-Busch Breweries are just a few of its best known local companies. And it didn’t just make our own short list of great cities this charming city ranks among the whole world’s top 100 cities in terms of quality of life.

Bonus fun fact: The ice cream cone was invented in St. Louis.


21. Hartford, CT

Population: 124,563
Average Salary: $48,650
Cost of Living Rank (in a 1-100 list): 74
Average Commute Time: 33.2 minutes
Job Growth Rank (in a list of 372 Highest Growth Cities): 199
Unemployment Rate: 8

Nicknamed the "Insurance Capital of the World," Hartford is home to some of the world’s largest insurance company headquarters. It also boasts some of our nation’s oldest institutions the oldest art museum, park, and continuously published newspaper all hail from Hartford. With a high average salary and a relatively low cost of living, it’s no wonder this picturesque city made our cut.

Bonus fun fact: Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) was discovered in Hartford.


22. Louisville, KY

Population: 256,231
Average Salary: $37,410
Cost of Living Rank (in a 1-100 list): 16
Average Commute Time: 21.5 minutes
Job Growth Rank (in a list of 372 Highest Growth Cities): 204
Unemployment Rate: 10

Louisville is a charming southern belle of a city with a derby full of galloping job opportunities.  Ranked at #16 for cost of living, Louisville offers country charm and city amenities.  The job growth is pacing around the national average, and the unemployment rate has gone up a reasonable 4.2% since the recession began.

Bonus fun fact: 90% of the United States’ disco balls are produced in Louisville.


23. Cincinnati, OH

Population: 332,458
Average Salary: $40,540
Cost of Living Rank (in a 1-100 list): 14
Average Commute Time: 21 minutes
Job Growth Rank (in a list of 372 Highest Growth Cities): 207
Unemployment Rate: 8.9

Procter & Gamble, Sunny Delight, and Chiquita Brands International are amongst the impressive list of 10 Fortune 100 companies based in the this all-American, river-front city.  Its unemployment rate has not grown as much as other former industrial cities, gaining only 3.6% since before the economy collapsed.  With solid job growth potential, Cincinnati's big Fortune 100 companies are slowly pulling the city back into a positive economic reality.

Bonus fun fact: Cincinnati was home to the first night baseball game.


24. Philadelphia, PA

Population: 1,449,634
Average Salary: $44,460
Cost of Living Rank (in a 1-100 list): 59
Average Commute Time: 29.4 minutes
Job Growth Rank (in a list of 372 Highest Growth Cities): 176
Unemployment Rate: 8.0

The "City of Brotherly Love" and the largest city on our list has experienced a modest 3.1% uptick in unemployment, but has still maintained an unemployment rate much lower than that of comparable cities. A mecca for tourists and American history buffs, Philadelphia also promotes itself as a center for biomedical and pharmaceutical companies. In recent years, education and health sectors have emerged as principal drivers of the local economy, helping the city stay in our top 25.

Bonus fun fact: The lemon meringue pie was invented in Philadelphia.


25. San Diego, CA

Population: 1,266,731
Average Salary: $45,210
Cost of Living Rank (in a 1-100 list): 91
Average Commute Time: 23.4 minutes
Job Growth Rank (in a list of 372 Highest Growth Cities): 208
Unemployment Rate: 8.8

San Diego is a splashy surfers paradise in Southern California. If wealth were measured by sun and sand, San Diego would be the nation’s richest city. Unfortunately, the recession has burned San Diego with a 3.8% increase in unemployment. Still, the city enjoys a mean income of over $45,000 and a top-25 ranking amongst the nation’s best cities for job growth. So grab your board and your resume because San Diego remains a promising place to work and an even better place to play.


By Anna Hennings, Tania Khadder, Adam Starr, Alice Handley | Excelle of Monster 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Six Surprising Six-Figure Jobs: No Degree Required

How can you find a steady job that makes six figures without a four-year or associate's degree? You may think first of typical blue collar trades, like electrician or plumber. But, there are some other options that will surprise you. Would you believe that court reporters can make over $100,000 a year?

Online salary database has come up with a list of six no-degree, six-figure gigs that you might not have considered. PayScale's director of quantitative analysis, Al Lee, says, "All of these jobs require a lot of on the job training and experience to get to high levels of pay. But, if you're the kind of person who can't stand to sit in the seat in school, they may be a great way to get there."

Lee adds that the jobs below are all fairly resistant to the ups and downs of the economy. And, they serve up regular income, so you have the big earnings of a business owner without the risk of running your own business.

If finishing your college degree isn't something you either want to or can do any time soon, check out the list below for some inspiration on where to take your talents to fill up your bank account. The following list shows earnings for workers with at least five years of experience who are in the ninetieth percentile for median earnings among their peers.

1. Air Traffic Controller
Median Annual Salary: $159,000

Air traffic control work is often featured in films as high pressure and highly stressful. It is. It requires strong mental focus, a lock-tight memory and good decision-making skills. There are a number of routes to a career in air traffic control. To work for the FAA, as most controllers do, all applicants must pass through training at the FAA center in Oklahoma City, Okla. The process is rigorous and takes several months to complete. But, it can pay off. And, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects a wave of retirement in the coming years that should open up more positions to younger controllers.

-- Find Air Traffic Controller Jobs

2. Nuclear Power Reactor Operator
Median Annual Salary: $128,000

From brightly-lit computer screens to blinking street lights, your work as a power plant operator makes you a vital part of everyone's day. According to the BLS, you'll likely start as an equipment operator, eventually receiving more on-the-job training, getting licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and moving into a senior operator position. This job is also high pressure, as you are responsible for equipment that affects power to the reactor itself.

-- Find Nuclear Power Reactor Operator Jobs

3. Director of Security (Physical, Personnel, Grounds, et al.)
Median Annual Salary: $123,000

If you have a mind for thinking of the worst possible scenario and how to prevent or control it, you may be the right person for a career in security. Once you arrive at the director level, you're responsible for anticipating trouble before it comes and making sure that your staff is well-trained and managed. The BLS notes that competition for jobs at this level of security work is stiff and the conditions can be hazardous, but security management is likely to stay in demand in the future.

-- Find Security Jobs

4. Elevator Mechanic
Median Annual Salary: $109,000

Elevator mechanics may have some of the best job security around. Most people dislike heading for the elevator, only to see that it's broken and they have to take the stairs. And, this work cannot be outsourced. Elevator repair jobs are expected to be more and more in demand in the future, according to the BLS. Most repair people learn their skills through a four-year union apprenticeship.

-- Find Elevator Mechanic Jobs

5. Court Reporter
Median Annual Salary: $105,000

Like the jobs listed above, a court reporting gig requires you to take on a great deal of responsibility. Court reporters must prepare accurate and complete legal records of conversations, most commonly court proceedings. Job prospects for this work are expected to be good, as demand for closed-captioning and real-time translation services for the deaf and hard-of-hearing grows. This career requires a good deal of training, which can be had through a technical school or the National Court Reporters Association. Some states require licensure, according to the BLS, and others may require court reporters to be notary publics.

-- Find Court Reporter Jobs

6. Fire Chief
Median Annual Salary: $121,000
To get to the position of fire chief, you'll likely need to put many years in to fighting fires, exposing yourself to dangerous, stressful situations and staying in tip-top shape. And, you're still not assured a chief spot because, as the BLS data shows, there are plenty of qualified applicants for firefighting jobs so the competition is tough. The BLS notes that fire fighter applicants with some postsecondary education are more and more preferred these days, but the opportunity is still available to candidates with only a high school degree.

By Bridget Quigg for

Sunday, January 23, 2011

30 jobs that pay $80,000 – (according to CNN)

Let's be honest: Sometimes you don't care about the job, you just care about the salary.

But it's awfully hard to look for a job that fits both your salary requirements and your skill set. Not to mention that we always tell you that your work and career should be something you love. Ideally, money is just an added benefit.

That being said, we're also realists. We know that times are tough and at this point, some people just need to get paid.

We went to the Bureau of Labor Statistics to look at the salary information for the United States and found 30 occupations pay in the $80,000 range based on national averages.

1. Administrative law judges, adjudicators and hearing officers
Do this: Conduct hearings to rule on government-related claims; determine penalties and liability; and help to craft settlements.
Get paid: $80,870

2. Biomedical engineers
Do this: Design and develop devices and procedures to help solve health-related problems. Projects might include information systems, artificial organs or artificial limbs.
Get paid: $81,120

3. Chiropractors
Do this: Diagnose and treat musculoskeletal conditions of the spinal column to prevent disease and alleviate imbalance, pain and pressure believed to be caused by interference with nervous system.
Get paid: $81,340

4. Atmospheric, earth, marine and space sciences teachers, post-secondary
Do this: Teach courses and research topics in the physical sciences, except chemistry and physics.
Get paid: $81,470

5. Agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes
Do this: Represent and promote their client's business while handling business matters and contract negotiations.
Get paid: $81,550

6. Materials scientists
Do this: Study the chemical composition of various materials and figure out ways to develop new materials and improve existing ones; also determine ways to use materials in products.
Get paid: $81,600

7. Physician assistants
Do this: Perform health-care services and provide treatment plans under a physician's supervision.
Get paid: $81,610

8. Medical scientists, except epidemiologists
Do this: Research and investigate human diseases and how to improve human health.
Get paid: $81,870

9. Physics teachers, post-secondary
Do this: Teach courses and research topics pertaining to the laws of matter and energy.
Get paid: $81,880

10. Atmospheric and space scientists
Do this: Study the effects the atmosphere has on the environment, most commonly through weather forecasting.
Get paid: $82,080

11. Management analysts
Do this: Figure out best practices of management by conducting studies and procedures to help companies figure out how to operate more effectively.
Get paid: $82,920

12. Producers and directors
Do this: Produce or direct, and make all creative decisions for stage, television, radio, video or motion picture productions.
Get paid: $83,030

13. Biological science teachers, post-secondary
Do this: Teach courses and research topics in biological sciences.
Get paid: $83,270

14. Materials engineers
Do this: Develop new uses for recognized materials, and develop new machinery and processes to make materials for use in specialized products.
Get paid: $84,200

15. Transportation, storage and distribution managers
Do this: Oversee transportation, storage or distribution activities in accordance with governmental policies and regulations.
Get paid: $84,520

16. Financial analysts
Do this: Assess the financial situations of an individual or organization.
Get paid: $84,780

17. Electrical engineers
Do this: Design, develop and test the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment.
Get paid: $85,350

18. Education administrators, elementary and secondary school
Do this: Oversee all activities of public or private elementary or secondary schools.
Get paid: $86,060

19. Industrial-organizational psychologists
Do this: Work with companies to solve problems within the company. You may help with policy planning; employee screening, training and development; and organizational development and analysis.
Get paid: $86,460

20. Computer software engineers, applications
Do this: Build computer applications software and code; ensure that all software projects adhere to a company's technology and business standards.
Get paid: $87,900

21. Economics teachers, post-secondary
Do this: Teach courses and research topics in economics.
Get paid: $88,330

22. Biochemists and biophysicists
Do this: Study the chemical composition and physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena.
Get paid: $88,450

23. Art directors
Do this: Create design concepts and presentation in artwork, layout design and copywriting for visual communications media.
Get paid: $88,510

24. Electronics engineers, except computer
Do this: Design, develop and test a wide range of electronic equipment, from CD players to global positioning systems.
Get paid: $88,670

25. Medical and health services managers
Do this: Supervise medical and health services in hospitals, clinics and similar organizations.
Get paid: $88,750

26. Chemical engineers
Do this: Design chemical plant equipment and create processes for manufacturing chemicals and products.
Get paid: $88,760

27. Geoscientists, except hydrologists and geographers
Do this: Study the composition, structure and other physical aspects of the Earth.
Get paid: $89,300

28. Veterinarians
Do this: Provide health care for family pets, livestock and zoo animals. Provide check-ups, treat diseases and advise caretakers on how to best raise their animals.
Get paid: $89,450

29. Construction managers
Do this: Oversee all activities concerned with the construction and maintenance of structures, facilities and systems.
Get paid: $89,770

30. Sales engineers
Do this: Sell business goods or services, the selling of which requires a technical background equivalent to a bachelor's degree in engineering.
Get paid: $89,770

By Rachel Zupek writer

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