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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Security Guard Job Description

  • Security guard job descriptionOn average, security guards make $21,530 a year
  • A high school education is preferred but not always required
  • Some security guard jobs can be dangerous

What do security guards do?

Does going undercover to nab bad guys sound like a dream job to you? Then you might be surprised to learn that you can score a job catching thieves, terrorists and arsonists - and you don't even have to be a police officer.

Security guards are hired by businesses, casinos, hospitals, stores, banks, nuclear power plants and other organizations to help deter illegal activities. You might be watching a bank of TV monitors all night, looking for suspicious activity. Or you might be stationed at a building's front door, checking IDs and greeting people who walk in. As a security guard you'll need to know the law, know your employer's rules and be able to enforce both.

Most companies hire security personnel to work around the clock, making this a great part-time job with flexible hours . In fact, many law enforcement officials work as security guards during their time off. Having law enforcement experience can come in handy, as security guards have to interact with police officers, interview witnesses and sometimes even testify in court.

There are some downsides to having a security guard job . It can be dangerous work, especially for armored car guards. The threat of being robbed or worse is all too real for most security guards. This is why many security guards receive firearm, hand-to-hand combat and emergency response training. Also, in some instances, security guards are instructed to let petty shoplifters go - a fact that might not sit well with the law-abiding side of your personality.

How much do security guards make?

Surprisingly, armored car guards make only $20,000 a year, even though their jobs are considered dangerous. On average, medical hospital guards and elementary and secondary school guards make the most, taking home more than $26,000 a year.

What are the education requirements to be a security guard?

A high school education is usually preferred but not required if you want to be a security guard. You'll get a lot of on-the-job training, especially if you're going to be a guard at a nuclear power facility. Nuclear power facility guards undergo several months of training before going on duty, especially with the increased threat of terrorism. Most other guards receive much less training. Even though a degree is not required, different security guard jobs still may require specific certifications.

Career paths for security guards

The best way to advance as a security guard is to receive additional training. Those with certifications in fields like gaming security or an associate's degree in criminal justice usually get paid more and promoted faster. The more you learn about security, the easier it will be for you to enter management or start your own security business, a common choice for many security guards.

The future of security guard jobs

Safety and the threat of terrorism are growing concerns for many companies, and as a result, job prospects look good for those of you wanting to become security guards. According to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), the number of available security jobs will increase faster than average over the next few years. Gaming security jobs in casinos will see the largest jump - but in order to score one of these jobs, you're going to have training and experience.

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Maid Job Description

  • On average, maids make around $9 per hour plus tips
  • Many residential housecleaners work for small businesses
  • You'll need to seriously love cleaning all types of messes

What do maids do?

The number one thing you hear from owners of cleaning companies is that it's just not enough to like to clean your house once a week. It's a very different thing to clean up after your own family than cleaning up after a complete stranger. Cleaning eight hours a day is hard work, no two ways about it.

Maids usually work individually or on small cleaning teams by traveling from house to house on a fixed schedule. Cleaning rates are usually set by the hour, where you're responsible for completing a set number of tasks in a fixed time frame. That achy feeling you get from cleaning your own house will only intensify when you do it all day. Maids need to be able to stand, stoop, lift and crawl for several hours at a time.

A large percentage of residential housecleaners work for franchised offices of companies like MaidPro or The Maids International. Opportunities at these companies can be a great learning and career opportunity because they provide employees the chance to work closely with the company owners. Small business owners are always looking for loyal and trustworthy employees who can be promoted into leadership positions.

How much do maids make?

The average salary for all maids is about $9 per hour. Maids with extensive experience, or those who work in areas with a higher cost of living, can make up to $16 per hour. Maids and residential house cleaners also rely heavily on tips to boost their income. In many cases the harder you work, the more money you'll make.

What are the education requirements to be a maid?

To work as a maid there are no strict education requirements. Many people working as residential house cleaners may decide to move into managerial roles or open their own business, both of which may require a degree.

Career paths for maids

The career opportunities for maids will vary based on the industry you work in. Many residential house cleaners work for small cleaning companies and franchises. In these roles there are positions available as team leads and supervisors, as well as office positions. For self-employed house cleaners, there is potential for expanded business and entrepreneurship.

The future of maids

The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) expects average growth in maid positions over the 2008-2018 decade. Most positions will be in hotel and casino jobs. But as fewer and fewer families have a stay-at-home parent in the household, the assistance of cleaning staff on a temporary basis could become a necessity.

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Landscaper Job Description

  • Landscaper job descriptionOn average, landscapers make around $11 per hour
  • Many landscapers choose to start their own business
  • You won't need more than a high school diploma to get started

What do landscapers do?

Don't listen to what people tell you: having a green thumb is not genetic, and it isn't something that you can come by easily. Some people can't even grow weeds, so if you've been blessed with a green thumb, consider it a heavenly gift and embrace your talent.

Landscapers and groundskeepers do pretty much anything that involves a yard: raking, mowing, trimming, planting, digging, mulching and all sorts of other fun things. It's a landscaper's job to make every yard they touch as pretty as the cover of Better Homes & Gardens.

Many people use the terms landscaper and groundskeeper interchangeably, but you might be surprised to know they aren't the same thing. Technically speaking, a landscaper is someone who creates new landscapes outdoors (planting new flowers, bushes, trees, etc.) while a groundskeeper just keeps what's already there looking nice. Oh, and, if you maintain the grounds on a golf course, you're called a greenskeeper.

It should go without saying that landscapers work where the yards are, which is to say outside. Those with bad allergies, or an aversion to the outdoors, should avoid this job like the plague.

How much do landscapers make?

The average hourly pay for all landscapers is around $11 per hour, but will vary by experience and location. Landscapers with a significant amount of experience and who work for government agencies (which pay really well) can expect to earn up to $14 per hour.

What are the education requirements?

Most landscapers don't need more than a high school diploma to get started. On-the-job skills training will teach you the proper techniques and how to use commercial-grade mowers, sprayers and other equipment. Some of the equipment can be dangerous to operate, so safety training is usually included.

Career paths for landscapers

Larger companies usually have a supervisor overseeing a small group of landscapers. To get into one of these jobs, you'll need to be motivated and have at least a high school education. Many landscapers and supervisors choose to branch out and start their own business after a few years, so if you've got that entrepreneurial itch, this could be an excellent career choice for you. If you see yourself becoming a professional landscape architect or golf course designer, you'll need at least a four-year degree.

The future of landscapers

It's hard for busy working people to find the time to take care of their yard - and when they do have free time, they'd rather spend it relaxing with their family. This desire to reduce "yard" time will increase the need for landscapers and groundskeepers, resulting in an 18 percent growth in available jobs between 2008 and 2018 (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

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Janitor Job Description

Janitor job descriptionTake Note

  • No formal education requirements
  • Job opportunities are forecast to grow slowly

How much do janitors make?

  • $10.31 per hour
  • Around $22,000 average salary for full-time positions

It's a dirty job, but somebody's going to do it (and get paid for it)! Janitors and janitorial custodians are building maintenance professionals who keep offices, businesses, schools and stores clean. Sure, cleaning up spilled glitter in an elementary school art class isn't glamorous, but janitorial staff members provide a vital function. Without them, we would all work amid drifts of dust bunnies, shop in stores where the spills on aisle five were never cleaned and send our kids to schools full of overflowing trash cans and un-buffed halls.

Job opportunities are growing slowly at about four percent, but if you are looking for an entry-level job with flexible hours and good pay, consider looking into janitorial work.

Job Skills & Requirements

Education: There are no formal education requirements for janitorial staff members. Entry-level janitors are usual paired with a more experienced staff member and learn on the job, starting with simple tasks and moving on to more complex assignments that involve equipment like wet-dry vacuums, buffers and polishing machines.

Mechanical skill: Some janitors also complete light building maintenance and repair. Plumbing, electrical and other trade skills are extremely useful for janitors.

Endurance: This job means bending, walking, pushing and lifting all day. If you have physical limitations that make activity uncomfortable, you may want to consider a different profession.

Friendly demeanor: Janitors who work during operating hours take care of immediate issues (think spills, accidents and other clean up emergencies that endanger the people or pleasantness of the environment). If you aren't a people person, consider shifts that cover regular maintenance during off-hours when students, workers and customers aren't in the building.

Hours: Most janitorial companies operate during normal business hours or offer their services specifically during off-hours throughout the week. Some companies may also offer weekend hours. Either way, you can expect to work about 40 hours per week on average.

Dress the Part: Some employers distribute uniforms; others have a standard dress code you will be asked to follow. For interviews, arrive looking professional; wear slacks, button down shirt and a tie, or khaki's and a collared shirt.

Job Myth

“Janitor isn't an important job; I don't want to do something that doesn't make a difference.”

Hold it right there! Just because janitors don't have their own reality TV series doesn't mean they aren't important. If anyone ever doubts the value of their friendly office cleaning staff, they should imagine the fallout of flu season if there were no professional on hand to clean the doorknobs, desks and other surfaces that transmit illness-causing bacteria.

Without janitors and other cleaning professionals, we would probably be sick more often, less productive, have more accidents and generally be surrounded by a constant buildup of grime. That's why even if you don't become a janitor, you should be sure to thank the ones that you probably see every day.

Career Paths

  • Janitorial staff supervisor (Averages $16.30/hour)
  • Maintenance worker (Averages $16.50/hour)

Similar Positions

Extra Perks

  • Flexible hours
  • Staying active while you work

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Housekeeper Job Description

Housekeeper job descriptionJob overview

  • The average hourly wage for housekeepers is $9.76
  • It's a physical job; you'll have to be a hard worker
  • You'll have to be able to do a good job without supervision

What do housekeepers do?

Do you love to clean? I mean LOVE to clean. If the sound of a vacuum motor really gets you revved up and you live for that squeaky-clean feeling, chances are you'd make an awesome housekeeper. Whether you work as a maid, housecleaner or housekeeper, you will be scrubbing, sweeping and folding your way into a brighter, cleaner world.

Hotels and cleaning companies will expect you to be efficient and hardworking with a good eye for detail. You'll have to work well without direct supervision, whether you're working solo or with a team of other housekeepers.

You shouldn’t assume this will be the perfect job for you just because you like to clean your house once a week. Housekeepers and maids clean up other people's messes for their entire shift, so you've got to really love the satisfaction that a freshly made bed and a stack of bleached towels brings to your life. Often you will be on your hands and knees, and you'll need to be able to lift things (up to 50 lbs.) on a regular basis, so being physically fit will be important.

You'll have to sweep up every speck of dust, so if you have allergies, this might not be the right job for you. It's also good to remember that if you're in someone else's home or hotel room you'll probably have to interact with their pets, so being an animal lover won't hurt.

How much do housekeepers make?

While the work might be dirty, the pay is far from it. According to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), the average hourly pay for maids and housekeepers is $9.76. Depending on where you work, who you work for, and how much experience you have, you could make as much as $15.98 per hour. On top of that, many housekeepers are tipped for a job well done.

What are the education requirements?

While a high school education isn't required, it certainly doesn't hurt. You should be able to perform simple arithmetic and be able to follow instructions. Employers often look for bilingual team members so that could be a huge advantage (especially Spanish/English fluency). Most training will be provided by the employer, including how to use equipment safely.

Career paths for housekeepers

From an entry-level cleaning position, you'll usually be promoted into a supervisor or team leader role. If you discover you have a passion for cleaning and an entrepreneurial spirit, you could even become your own boss with a cleaning franchise like The Maids Home Services, MaidPro or Maid Brigade.

The future of housekeeping jobs

While housekeeping positions are expected to grow, this growth is closely linked to the economy. Think about it: if people are worried about spending money, luxuries like maids and vacations are typically the first to go. You'll have to prove your worth and be a very hard worker to keep this job long-term.

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Counter Attendant Job Description

What is a counter attendant job?On average, counter attendants make around $8.50 per hour. Part of counter attendants' hourly wage is based on tips they receive, and most counter attendants work nights and weekends.

What do counter attendants do?

Counter attendant is a term used to describe the job of those who stand behind a counter and take your order (usually food). These jobs are most commonly found at movie theaters, specialty food stores (like ice cream shops) or cafeterias.

Those working counter attendant jobs are often required to handle food and beverages throughout their shifts. Often these items are ready made or easy to assemble. To be a successful counter attendant, you'll need to be able to take orders from customers and deliver them back to the customers accurately.

Counter attendants are required to stand on their feet for their entire shift and occasionally lift heavy boxes, so being physically able to complete these aspects of the job is necessary.

How much do counter attendants make?

The average salary for all counter attendants is about $8.50 per hour, but the total varies based on tips received. Counter attendants with a higher hourly base wage and generous tipping customers can earn up to $12 per hour.

What are the education requirements?

Counter attendants do not have any specific education requirements. To be promoted into supervisory positions, you will need a high school diploma or GED. All of the tasks and job functions can be learned quickly with on-the-job training.

Career paths for counter attendants

You don't have to want to be a counter attendant forever, or even work in the industry to work as a counter attendant. Many people use jobs as counter attendants to acquire valuable customer service and cashiering skills for other jobs. If you do find a company you really like to work for as a counter attendant, managerial roles are often available for those who excel in their starting positions.

The future of counter attendants

The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) expects an increase in counter attendant positions over the 2008-2018 decade corresponding to population growth. This normal growth will be compounded by the increasing popularity of families to choose take-out over dine-in restaurants.

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Florist Job Description

Florist job descriptionJob highlights

  • Florists earn an average of $23,230 per year
  • Floral design is one of the only creative jobs that requires no formal training
  • Most florists work weekends and holidays

What do florists do?

Are you looking for a work environment that's cheerful, encourages creativity and smells fantastic? Florists enjoy one of the only design jobs that don't have to come wrapped up with a college degree or additional training. Floral designers use their talents to create beautiful flower arrangements and help their customers select gifts.

Of course, being a florist isn't always a bed of roses. You'll need to lift heavy containers when sorting stock and avoid cutting yourself on the many sharp tools of the trade (and sometimes the flowers!), all while serving your customers. Customer service is a big part of the floral industry; floral designers are present for some of the most important moments in people's lives. In addition to creative flair, you'll need to have a gift for empathizing with others, whether they are a bubbly bride, nervous date or grieving family member.

How much do florists make?

Floral designers earn around $11 per hour. Florists employed by flower shops typically earn slightly less than those working at grocery stores or floral outlets. Additional training, location and employer can all have an impact on the hourly wages earned by florists.

What are the education requirements?

Floral designers in seasonal, entry-level positions (like arrangement assembly) do not require experience or formal education. Employers looking to hire a full-time florist will usually look for high school graduates with talent and enthusiasm for working with flowers. Want to improve your design abilities to prepare for a job in floral design? Taking high school art classes or community center art programs can help with the basics. Private floral schools and trade schools are available to floral designers who want to pursue certification.

Career paths for florists

Career growth is limited; most florists work for several years and either advance onto supervisor positions or open their own shop. Floral designers who are interested in opening their own shop often seek certification from trade schools, and classes in business administration may also be useful. Independent florists should also consider training in event management; more floral shops are offering event coordination services to compete with the lower prices offered by floral wholesale businesses.

The future of florists

The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) expects demand for florists to decline slowly (by 3 percent) from 2008 to 2018. Job opportunities should still be good for new floral designers as current florists pursue other professions. Grocery stores, internet florists and other discount florists are becoming more popular and are likely to have more available positions.

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Construction Worker Job Description

Construction worker job descriptionJack of all trades; always the first person to break out a toolbox. Other people see a pile of two by fours; you see a stack of pure potential. Sound familiar? Then grab a hard hat and seriously consider a job as a construction worker!

Construction jobs offer a wide variety of opportunities; whether you like building things or taking a sledgehammer to them, there's probably a construction job that will appeal to you. Highway construction, tunnel excavation, residential construction, commercial projects and demolition are just a small sample of the many positions available.

Each job comes with unique working conditions; from simple loading and unloading, to challenging heights, or exposure to hazardous materials, construction workers need to be prepared for anything! While projects can pause for inclement weather, you will need to be willing to work in heat, cold, rain, and just about anything else Mother Nature can throw at you. In return, you get a rewarding career that offers incredible variety, and provides plenty of opportunities to pursue the specialties that interest you.

Job Skills & Requirements

Education: There are usually no specific educational requirements for entry level construction workers. Apprentice laborers are often expected to have a high school diploma or General Equivalency Diploma (G.E.D.). If you plan to pursue construction, classes in English, math, physics, shop and welding can come in handy; many high schools and community colleges offer these courses.

Coordination: Balance, depth-perception and eye-hand coordination are all critical to keep you steady on high beams and your fingers clear of chop saws.

Strength and Endurance: You'll need to keep up and pull your weight (and then some) day after day. Make sure you're physically up to the task before you sign up!

Expected Hours

Hours vary by job, location and season. Indoor gigs might run year-round, whereas outdoor construction may have to pause for winter. Highway construction often happens during the night shift, while new home construction will have you working a more nine-to-five schedule.

Dress the Part

For construction interviews, khaki's and a collared shirt are a good idea. On the job you'll likely be wearing jeans, a t-shirt and layers in case of cold weather. Don't forget sunscreen and bug spray if you'll be working outside, they might be the most important thing you put on that day.

Job Myth

“Construction is a dead-end job.”

Welding, scaffold erecting, concrete finishing and other special trade certifications are available for construction laborers who want to pursue particular areas within the industry. If you have a firm grasp of project estimates, computer skills, and you can communicate effectively with subcontractors and clients, then you may have a future as a general contractor or labor supervisor. An ability to communicate in both English and Spanish is becoming important for all construction workers (particularly supervisors) as the number of Spanish-speaking workers grows.

Career Paths:

  • Electrician (Averages $22/hour)
  • HVAC Technician (Averages $20/hour)
  • Plumber (Averages $22/hour)
  • Maintenance Worker (Averages $16/hour)
  • Forklift Driver (Averages $15/hour)



Similar Positions

Electrician, Plumber

Extra Perks

Staying active - This job will keep you on the move throughout the day

Learning opportunity - You'll have a chance to check out many different trade skills

Low investment – typically there are no educational requirements for entry-level positions

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