Waiter or Waitress Job Description

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  • On average, waiters and waitresses make $7.14 an hour
  • Tips usually make up most of waiters' and waitresses' pay
  • Waiter and waitress jobs are great for people with outgoing personalities

Are you the type of person who can charm even the grumpiest of old men? Could you carry a hot bowl of soup through a hurricane without breaking a sweat? Then you’ve got what it takes to be a great waiter or waitress. Most waiters and waitresses, also called servers, work in full-service restaurants. They greet customers, take food orders, bring food and drinks to the tables and take payment and make change.

Waitress and waiter job descriptionCasual dining restaurants and caf?s will expect you to be quick, efficient and friendly. Casual dining restaurants can be small family-owned restaurants or larger chain restaurants like Applebee's and Cracker Barrel . You may have to make drinks, salads and desserts all while serving several tables at one time.

Upscale restaurants will require a little more of you. You may need to know about wine and food pairings, understand how each dish is prepared and be able to make food recommendations to customers. Some fine dining restaurants even require servers to prepare specialty food items at a customer's table.

Make no mistake, being a waiter or waitress is hard work. You will have to deal with rude customers, screaming children and people who don't tip. You will roll a lot of silverware and clean a lot of ketchup bottles. Your feet will hurt. But it's a great career for someone who likes to work with people, and waiting tables can be great money for someone with the right mix of personality and serving skills.

How much do waiters and waitresses make?

Since most of your pay will likely come from tips, the better a server you are, the more money you'll make. But on average, waiters and waitresses make $7.14 an hour. The minimum a restaurant can pay you is $2.13 an hour - the rest of your pay will come from tips. However, if you score a job in a busy, expensive restaurant, you can make upwards of $20 an hour on a good night. Beware, though: if you get stuck with bad tippers or a bad shift you can end up walking out with little or no money.

Education requirements

You'll be getting a lot of on-the-job training as a server, but for the most part, no formal education is required. Some do require that you have a high school diploma. Having a bachelor's degree is always a plus - especially if you want to end up in a fine dining restaurant or eventually enter management.

Career paths for waiters and waitresses

After working your way up to a coveted shift at your first waiter or waitress job , it's likely that you'll move on to a better-paying server position at a different restaurant. After working there for a few years, you may transition into a managerial role. Some restaurants have a formal manager training program, while others require several years of experience before promoting servers.

The future of waiter and waitress jobs

People like to go out to eat, and that's not going to change anytime soon. According to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), there will be nearly 2.6 million waiter and waitress jobs available by the year 2016, which is 13 percent more than are available now.

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Telemarketer Job Description

  • Telemarketer job descriptionOn average, telemarketers make around $10.50 per hour
  • Job opportunities for telemarketers are decreasing
  • Most telemarketers need a background in sales

What do telemarketers do?

Telemarketers get a bad rap as the annoying sales people that call during the middle of your dinner. While they may interrupt your delicious Salisbury steak and mash occasionally, the largest portion of telemarketing is done during normal business hours directly to businesses.

Telemarketers contact people to solicit sales by reading scripts and describing products. It's just like normal selling, only with telemarketing the shopping experience comes right to you. The end goal is the same: you pitch a product to a customer so well that they want to buy it. The rub here is that sometimes customers don't want the particular product you're advertising brought to them.

If telemarketing is in your future, you're going to need tough skin. When customers feel their privacy or personal time has been invaded, they can become frustrated and angry, so being able to defuse an explosive situation is an important part of the job.

How much do telemarketers make?

The average hourly pay for all telemarketers is about $10.50 per hour, but will vary by experience and location. Experienced telemarketers who successfully sell high-priced products can expect to earn up to $18 per hour.

Education requirements

Education requirements will vary based on the company and product being sold. Some companies may require a bachelor's degree and extensive sales strategy training, while others may substitute relevant work experience for education.

Career paths for telemarketers

Advancement in the telemarketing field depends mostly on how successful you are in your position. Telemarketers who meet and exceed sales targets can be eligible for promotions into training and management positions.

The future of telemarketers

The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) is expecting average growth for telemarketer positions. Because many companies prefer a more personal sales strategy, telemarketing has fallen out of favor. Job growth will remain steady for smaller and independent companies, because unlike larger manufacturers, they won't outsource sales positions.

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Teacher Assistant Job Description

  • Teacher assistant job descriptionOn average, teaching assistants make around $10.50 per hour
  • About 40 percent of assistant teachers work part time
  • You'll probably have summers off

What do teacher assistants do?

As a teaching assistant you'll be providing support for classroom teachers in K-12 or preschool education. This support includes instruction (the actual teaching), paperwork (like grading) and sometimes things like lesson planning. Ever heard the saying, "there's no such thing as a free lunch?" It applies here. Even during your lunch break, you'll be supervising children and keeping them out of food fights.

To be successful at this job you'll have to, you know, like kids. Not necessarily all kids, but at least the age group that you're overseeing. This might be particularly difficult for assistant teachers in middle school, because no one likes 7th-graders. Around 40 percent of teacher assistants work part time, and almost all work the traditional nine or 10-month school year. Can I get an "amen" for summers off?

How much do teacher assistants make?

The average hourly pay for all teaching assistant roles is around $10.50 per hour, but will vary by experience and location. Teaching assistants with a significant amount of experience can expect to earn up to $16 per hour.

Education requirements

Many teacher assistants need only a high school diploma and on-the-job training. However, a college degree or related coursework in child development may lead to more job opportunities.

Career paths for teacher assistants

In order to make your way up the ladder, you'll need some additional education and work experience. If you're working for a local school district, they'll probably offer tuition reimbursement to help you earn your bachelor’s degree and get your teaching license. The degree and license will allow you to move into a teaching position, but you could end up owing the school some fixed amount of time teaching to return the favor.

The future of teacher assistant jobs

According to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), job opportunities for assistant teachers aren't growing like crazy. Still, job opportunities will be available if you've got the right training, or if you specialize in special education or English as a second language (ESL).

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Tax Preparer Job Description

  • Tax preparer job descriptionOn average, tax preparers make around $9.50 per hour plus commission
  • You don't need a college education to be a tax preparer
  • You may need certification through the IRS

What do tax preparers do?

Tax preparers, like car mechanics, are people everyone wants to know. Every person with a job has to pay taxes, and every person who pays taxes dreads doing the paperwork. Enter the tax preparer.

To be an awesome tax preparer you'll have to greet customers and conduct interviews with potential clients. Company policy dictates the questions you'll need to ask, so no need to practice your interviewing skills every night before bed. Once you gather information from clients, you'll recommend the right products and services, and complete (or audit) any related tax forms. This process is almost always handled electronically, so you'll need to know your way around a keyboard.

How much do tax preparers make?

The average hourly pay for all tax preparers is around $9.50 per hour, but will vary by experience and location. Almost all tax preparers are paid a combination of base salary, commission for completed returns, bonuses based on performance and other incentives for selling products like IRAs.

Education requirements

You'll need at least a high school diploma or GED. Computer training and a reasonable comfort level with numbers is also important. The employer will teach you about applicable tax law and how to navigate their computer systems, but an overall familiarity with the tax industry is a definite plus.

Career paths for tax preparers

Tax preparation is extremely seasonal. It peaks in February and March but stays busy through April 15th. In order to make a career of tax preparation, you will need additional education and licensure. Tax preparation is an excellent gateway into most accounting and finance careers.

The future of tax preparer jobs

According to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), job opportunities for tax preparers and accountants are growing. More complex tax laws and population growth will continue to create demand in a recession-proof industry. Taxes will be due every year, so tax preparers will always have clients.

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Stock Clerk Job Description

  • Stock clerk job descriptionStock clerks average around $10 per hour.
  • Jobs as a stock clerk offer decent job security.
  • You'll need to be hard-working, physically fit and an independent worker.

What do stock clerks do?

Have you ever wondered how all the cans of green beans get on the shelves at the grocery store, or where store employees go when you ask them to "check in the back?" If you enjoy working behind the scenes, being a stock clerk just might be the perfect job for you.

A stock clerk is responsible for stocking shelves and maintaining the overall appearance of the store. That means you'll have to unload trucks and move the merchandise to the floor quickly and efficiently. You may be responsible for planograms (setting up the shelves according to company specifications), which means you'll need a good eye for detail. This is also the kind of job where your boss probably won't be looking over your shoulder. If you work well independently and you can motivate yourself to complete an assigned task from start to finish (without getting distracted), this will be perfect for you.

Some of these tasks can be completed when the store is open, but others have to happen early in the morning or late at night. Shifts are typically available around the clock, so this job offers is perfect for someone needing scheduling flexibility.

To be a stock clerk, you'll also need to physically be able to perform the tasks assigned to you. This means some heavy lifting, stooping, bending, and even climbing ladders. If you have a bad back, or if you're afraid of heights (10 to 20 feet), this probably isn't the job for you.

Employers will expect you to be hard-working and good with customers (especially if you work a day shift). You will be in the aisles stocking the shelves, so you'll be the very first person customers ask when they need to know what aisle the canned rutabaga is on (aisle 12, second shelf on the right).

How much do stock clerks make?

The average hourly pay for a stock clerk is usually around $10 per hour. This varies by industry, with warehouse and storage clerks making the most ($13.34 per hour) and department stores having the lowest hourly wage (around $9.29 per hour).

Education requirements

A high school diploma or GED is sufficient education for a stock clerk position. Most employers will offer short-term, on-site training so you can learn the job according to their specifications.

Career paths for stock clerks

Working in a large store (like a supermarket or department store) may lead to a wealth of growth opportunities in the store you work in and throughout the organization. Because each location consists of so many separate departments, there are lots of different management opportunities in each. For stocking positions there are typically shift supervisors and an operations or inventory manager assigning daily job functions. Each store will also have a general manager who oversees all aspects of the store; this position would likely require additional education (at least a bachelor's degree) and several years of job training.

The future of stock clerk jobs

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of stock clerks is expected to grow a little more than 7 percent between 2008 and 2018. Grocery and retail clerk positions are expected to grow the most and are among the only types of clerk positions that expect substantial growth. The position offers job security and growth opportunities.

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Retail Associate Job Description

  • post a jobOn average, retail sales associates make $9.50 an hour
  • One-third of retail sales associates work part time
  • Retail sales associates are usually required to work evenings and weekends

What do retail sales associates do?

They're everywhere you shop, assisting you with hard-to-find items, answering questions and ultimately getting you to buy what they're selling. They provide a variety of services, from helping you pick out items to ringing up your purchases. Like cashiers, retail sales associates use cash registers to process transactions and are responsible for keeping track of all the money inside. You might encounter retail sales associates several times a day without realizing it - they work at department stores, grocery stores, cell phone stores and even car dealerships.

You've got to have a lot of patience to make it as a retail sales associate because unfortunately, you will run into your fair share of difficult customers. The most successful sales associates are polite, friendly and have a very outgoing personality. If you're not a naturally happy person who likes to work with others, then retail sales is not for you.

As a retail sales associate you've got to know what you're talking about; if you sell cars, you'll need to know specifics about each car's features, your dealership's financing policy and warranty services. The same goes for people who sell TVs, mattresses and clothing.

Most retail sales associates work indoors - but don't be surprised to find yourself outdoors, sometimes in bad weather, if you decide to sell cars, lumber or gardening equipment. Retail sales associates are on their feet a lot, so comfy shoes are a must.

Long hours and weekends are the norm for retail sales associates. Since most retail stores are busiest in November and December, you'll be required to work nights, weekends and holidays during the busy season.

How much do retail sales associates make?

You can make some pretty good money if you've got the skills. If you score a job with a good commission program and have a knack for sales, you can make upwards of $19 an hour; most car salespeople are in this range. On average, retail sales associates make $9.50 an hour. Be aware that some entry-level jobs will start you out as low as minimum wage, which is just $7.25 an hour.

What are the education requirements to be a retail sales associate?

It's a good rule of thumb that the more education you have, the better. Most entry-level retail sales associate jobs don't require you to have a degree, but most places will require that you have at least a high school diploma. If you're interested in someday becoming a manager, a college degree may be required.

Career paths for retail sales associates

You probably won't get a job selling Porsches right off the bat. Many entry-level sales associates start off selling small-ticket items, such as cosmetics. As they gain experience they move up to bigger items, like electronics and jewelry. After that, it's common to see sales associates move into management positions. A college degree, especially one with a concentration in business, will help you out if you're hoping to be a retail sales manager.

The future of retail sales associate jobs

It's a good time to become a retail sales associate. According to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), over half a million jobs will be created in the retail sales industry by 2016. Many new jobs will be at supercenters and warehouse clubs as they become more and more popular.

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Product Demonstrator Job Description

  • Product demonstrator and event coordinatorOn average, demonstrators make around $11 per hour.
  • 54 percent of all demonstrators work part time.
  • You'll receive on-the-job training.

What do product demonstrators do?

"Would you like to try this new pizza pocket?"

"Don't mind if I do."

You might know demonstrators and product promoters by another name: angels, because there are few things in life better than store d'oeuvres. It adds excitement to an otherwise monotonous trip to the grocery store. These lovely people are the ones offering up the free eats at the end of the aisle to entice you to buy their delicious products.

You may not realize that the world of product demonstration extends far beyond the realm of frozen prepared foods. You'll be dazzling customers with the features (savory sauce, creamy cheese, spicy pepperoni) of all sorts of awesome treats.

If food isn't really your thing, there are less delicious products to demonstrate, like computers, software, cell phones, ShamWows and OxyClean. If you really have a knack for product demonstration, you might get to be the next Billy Mays (though that's a big beard to fill).

You'll need to be friendly and engaging to attract the attention of busy customers and passersby. About half of demonstrators work part time. The positions are highly seasonal, with demand for workers being higher during strong retail seasons (like the holidays).

How much do demonstrators make?

The average hourly pay for all demonstrators is about $11 per hour, but will vary by experience and location. Experienced demonstrators who sell high-priced products can expect to earn up to $20 per hour.

Education requirements

Not everyone is a pizza pocket aficionado, so most employers will teach you techniques to help you sell the product you'll be presenting. More complicated products like electronics or tools may require more extensive training, but this will also be provided by your employer.

Career paths for demonstrators

Many demonstrators are hired by third-party companies to fill a variety of different positions. Advancement within these companies can be difficult, because there are a small number of office positions overseeing a large number of demonstrators in a given area. These positions are best suited for workers looking for a second job, or temporary, part-time and seasonal work.

The future of demonstrators

The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) is expecting average growth for demonstrator positions. Because product demonstration is a powerful marketing tool, companies like to use a hands-on approach to sell their product whenever possible.

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Portrait Photographer Job Description

  • Portrait photographer job descriptionEntry-level portrait photographers make $8 to $10 per hour
  • The photography industry is highly competitive
  • Commercial photography is a great way to get your photography career started

What do portrait photographers do?

So you're thinking about getting into photography. It's what you love, and you've documented your entire life in 3"x5" snapshots (maybe 8"x10" for the really important stuff). But you probably already know that the photography field is highly competitive. So how do you get started?

Jobs in commercial photography, like portrait photography, are an excellent option. Portrait photography companies offer full-time and part-time positions, the pay is steadier than freelance work, and you can get great perks like benefits, store discounts and flexible scheduling.

Portrait photographers take pictures of individuals or groups and usually work in a commercially owned studio or on location (like at a school or amusement park). You'll need to be a multi-tasker, because in addition to taking pictures you'll probably have to schedule appointments, set up your equipment, keep records, and sometimes train new employees. Because most photography is done digitally, you'll also need to be good with technology, such as different kinds of digital cameras and computers. Physically, you'll need sharp eyesight or corrective lenses and good hand-eye coordination. Mentally, you'll need to be patient enough to deal with small children and difficult customers.

Employers will expect you to be comfortable working with all types of people, from infants to great-great-grandparents. Some of your time will be spent taking pictures, but even more of it will be spent trying to get the perfect smile and then helping your customers decide which pictures make them look the best.

How much do portrait photographers make?

A picture might be worth a thousand words, but a job taking pictures is worth a lot more. The average pay for a portrait photographer is usually around $8 to $10 per hour. If you get into portrait photography and love it, you'll have the opportunity to move up. Studio managers typically make between $15 and $18 per hour.

Education requirements

While many colleges offer degrees in photography, it's not really necessary for an entry-level portrait photographer position. Most employers will offer on-site training to familiarize you with the specific types of equipment they use. If you have some basic knowledge of how to use a camera (digital and film) and you feel comfortable learning new computer programs without a lot of difficulty, you should be fine.

Career paths for portrait photographers

If you're working for a large company like JC Penney Portrait Studios, Picture People, or SharpShooter Imaging, you'll likely have the opportunity to move up within the company into management roles. With several years of experience under your belt, you might be able to teach photography or open your own portrait studio. Skilled photographers charge thousands to shoot a wedding or other big event.

The future of portrait photographer jobs

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of photographers is expected to grow 12 percent between 2008 and 2018. That means there is no crazy growth spurt expected in available photography jobs. Keep in mind that the need for photographers may shrink as more and more people take their own pictures using digital technology.

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Plumber Job Description

  • Plumber job descriptionPlumbers earn an average of $21.94 per hour, making them one of the highest paid construction jobs
  • Plumbing jobs often require on call availability for emergencies on nights and weekends
  • Most states require plumbers to be licensed

What do plumbers do?

Anyone who has faced a busted pipe or broken toilet will tell you that plumbers are heroes. Plumbers install and repair water supply lines, waste disposal systems, and related appliances and fixtures to keep homes and businesses flowing smoothly.

Being a plumber is physically demanding. Strength, stamina, and an ability to work in a variety of environments are all assets you'll need before you decide to pick up a pipe wrench. Repairing a faucet in a plush office restroom while smooth jazz wafts over the intercom may sound like a sweet gig, but you might also spend your morning wedged in a frigid crawl space fixing a broken drainage line. It all needs to get done, and there is some serious compensation available for the people who are willing (and able) to do it.

Unless it's for scheduled maintenance or installation, people who need plumbers usually need them right away. The good news is that urgency makes for excellent job security; the bad news is you might work more than 40 hours per week and be on call for nights and weekends. If you want a career with less potential for late hours, try pipelaying, pipefitting, sprinklerfitting and steamfitting, skilled trades often grouped with plumbing. These jobs require similar skills, but frequently offer more regularly scheduled hours.

How much do plumbers make?

The average salary for plumbing workers is $21.94 per hour. Apprentice plumbers can expect to earn around half the pay rate of a more experienced plumber in their area (with pay increases as their skills develop). Earnings also depend on the plumbing specialty; plumbers employed by their local government make about $20 per hour, while plumbers working in natural gas distribution take home an average of $26.27 per hour. Approximately one third of all plumbers, pipefitters, pipelayers, sprinklerfitters, and steamfitters employed in the United States belong to a union.

Education requirements

Training for plumbing jobs is available from trade schools, community colleges, and on the job as a plumbing apprentice. Apprenticeships typically span four to five years; involve paid on-the-job training and a minimum of 144 hours of classroom time per year.

Though requirements vary by location, two to five years of experience and successful completion of a test covering trade knowledge and local code is usually necessary before a license will be issued allowing a plumber to work independently.

Career paths for plumbers

Many experienced plumbers choose to go into business for themselves; others become contractors. If you would like to be a supervisor or contractor, being familiar with Spanish will give you an edge communicating with a workforce increasingly made up of Spanish-speaking workers. Plumbers can also earn 'green' trade certifications to pursue opportunities with environmentally friendly companies.

The future of plumbing workers

The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) expects faster than average growth in plumbing positions over the 2008-2018 decade. Many current plumbers, pipelayers, pipefitters, and steamfitters are expected to retire over the next decade, and some employers are already reporting a shortage of qualified applicants in the plumbing field. Skilled plumbers, particularly those with welding experience or environmentally friendly certifications, are well-positioned to be in demand.

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Pilot Job Description

  • Pilot job descriptionOn average, commercial pilots make around $65,340 per year
  • Having a military flying background can get you the job
  • Most airlines require a college degree for pilot jobs

What do pilots do?

"Can you fly this plane and land it?"

"Surely you can't be serious?"

"I am serious. And don't call me Shirley."

We'll call this the Leslie Nielsen memorial job description after his famous "Airplane!" movie character. There was perhaps no greater pilot since the Wright brothers.

Pilots aren't surrounded with the mystique of the 1960s and 70s, but they are still well respected and highly trained professionals. Airline pilots usually work in pairs and are responsible for all crew and passengers from boarding to landing. Flying around the world often results in jet lag and a ton of time away from home, so it's not for everyone. The airline will provide for all your out-of-town accommodations though.

The Federal Aviation Administration does limit the number of flight hours to ensure the safety of passengers and airline employees. Pilots can fly a maximum of 100 hours a month and 1,000 hours a year.

How much do pilots make?

The average salary for all pilots is about $65,000 per year. Commercial pilots' income varies based on experience, seniority, rank and the type of aircraft they fly. Pilots with extensive experience can make higher wages up to $129,000.

Education requirements

There are two major paths to pilot jobs: military and civilian. The military has always been a popular career avenue for many commercial airline pilots. The military produces highly trained, technically proficient and disciplined pilots with a track record of success, so it's a much lower-risk hire for airlines.

The civilian path requires a college degree and certification through the FAA. To get certified you'll need to be at least 18 years old, have a minimum of 250 hours of flight experience, pass a physical exam, 20/20 vision (glasses or contacts are okay), and pass a written and technical exam. To work for a commercial airline you'll need to be at least 23 years old and log 1,500 hours of flight time in a variety of conditions (night, day, cross country).

Career paths for pilots

Because pilots are so highly trained, their opportunities for promotion are usually only into other higher ranking flying positions. Lots of pilots start out as flight instructors and start flying charter planes as they acquire experience and log hours of flight time. Some also start flying corporate jets for company fleets. In commercial airline jobs, promotions are typically in title and rank only. Certainly not a bad thing, as they usually come with more money and better compensation packages.

The future of pilots

The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) expects average growth in pilot positions over the 2008-2018 decade. While there is some uncertainly about the fate of major airlines, the popularity of discount commercial airlines will keep demand for pilots high. Opportunities will always exist for pilots with lots of experience working for regional or discount airlines.

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