Career Options in the Service Industry that Pay Well
Though many people think jobs in the service industry do not pay as well as salaried positions, there are hourly wage service jobs that offer good pay and benefits, if workers are willing to obtain the required education and experience and to work full-time. This article provides job descriptions, education and experience requirements and median wages for several service jobs that pay well. Several of the occupations discussed are projected to add jobs at a faster than average rate in the future.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2014-2024)*|
|Real Estate Brokers & Sales Agents||$46,410||3%|
|Wholesale and Retail Buyers, Except Farm Products||$53,340||6%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Career Information for Well Paid Service Jobs
Registered nurses educate and care for patients in environments such as hospitals, doctor's offices, schools, prisons, clinics and the military. To become a registered nurse, you can do one of three things: complete a nursing program, earn an associate's degree in nursing, or earn a bachelor's degree in nursing. Nurses must also obtain a license before they can practice. With a median wage of almost $33 per hour in 2016, nursing is a very well-paid service job.
Real Estate Brokers and Sales Agents
Real estate brokers and sales agents, both of whom must be licensed, at least 18 years old, and have a high school diploma, help their clients buy, sell and rent property. Brokers, who earned a median salary of $56,790 in 2016, have a license to manage and run a real estate business, while agents (median 2016 salary of $44,090) must work under a supervising broker. The education required to become a real estate agent or broker varies by state; each state requires prospective agents and brokers to complete a certain number of hours of coursework. This is a great service job that pays very well: brokers earned a median $27.30 per hour, while top brokers earned as much as $78.01 per hour in 2016. In the same year, agents earned a median hourly wage of $21.20, with the top 10% making almost $55 per hour.
Lodging managers work at hotels and motels to make sure that guests have a positive experience. They manage the staff and oversee daily operations to ensure things are run smoothly. To become a lodging manager at some establishments you need only a high school diploma and several years of experience in the industry, with perhaps a certificate in hotel management or operations. At larger and more upscale resorts and hotels one may need a bachelor's degree in hospitality or hotel management. With a median wage of roughly $24 an hour, a lodging manager is a great-paying service job.
Sales managers train, lead and manage teams of sales representatives for businesses. They also analyze sales data and set goals for their organization's sales force. To become a sales manager, one usually needs a bachelor's degree as well as professional experience working in sales. At a median of $56.71 per hour, this is one of the highest paying service jobs.
Wholesale and Retail Buyers
Another service job that pays well is non-farm product wholesale or retail buyer: the median wage for such positions is $25.65 an hour. Wholesale and retail buyers purchase goods to resell to consumers at wholesale or retail prices. They work in many industries, including: grocery, electronics, paper and paper products, clothing, hardware, plumbing and heating equipment, books and computers. They may also analyze consumer spending trends and habits, research prices and the quality of different commodities and goods, and introduce new products to salespeople. Some wholesale and retail buyer positions require a bachelor's degree, but many require only experience in and knowledge of a particular industry and a high school diploma.