Last updated on October 9, 2019
Hello! We’re talking a little more this week about U.S. News and World Report’s 100 Best Jobs of 2016 and how that relates to Dallas Community Colleges. Today’s subjects include jobs related to engineering and math, and what you need to do to get started in those industries.
A lot of the jobs we’re talking about will require a bachelor’s or even a master’s degree. You might be interested in that, or you might not, so we’ve tried to also include related jobs where an associate degree will usually be plenty.
24. Accountant & 35. Mathematician
Accountants are the “number cruncher” types of the business world, and they deal primarily with financial records. Most accountants have a bachelor’s or sometimes a master’s degree, and in Texas they make an annual mean wage of around $75,000. An associate degree in accounting from DCCCD can get you started working toward a bachelor’s degree in accounting, but it can also stand on its own and put you on the career path toward one of the following jobs:
|Job||Hourly Mean Wage in Texas||Annual Mean Salary in Texas|
|Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks||$17.90||$37,240|
|Payroll and timekeeping clerks||$18.98||$39,480|
|Financial clerks (all other)||$19.79||$41,160|
Along similar lines, a mathematician also usually has a bachelor’s or master’s degree, but you can pursue the same types of positions listed above by studying math through a college of DCCCD. A strong mathematics background can also lead to a career as an actuary (56) upon passing actuarial certification exams and potentially making an annual mean wage in the six-figure range.
Additionally, data analysis skills can come in handy in a number of other jobs. Data scientists, data analysts and statisticians develop or apply mathematical or statistical theory methods to collect, organize, interpret and summarize numerical data to provide usable information. Employment levels for data scientists are high in Texas, and nationally they make a mean annual wage of about $84,000.
Budget analysts, operations research analysts, market research analysts and digital marketers also perform data-driven tasks to help companies organize their finances, come to decisions with regard to complex issues and problems, help determine what kinds of products people want and will purchase, and how to best sell them. As you can probably tell by now: if you’re good with numbers, you’ll have a lot of options.
31. Financial Advisor, 63. Financial Manager, 82. Financial Analyst & 94. Compliance Officer
Financial advisors work with their clients to counsel them on their finances. It could mean creating budgets, working with retirement plans or giving advice on investing. Along similar lines, financial managers do the same sort of things, but usually for large corporations and agencies. Financial analysts help their clients by making recommendations in terms of when to buy and sell investments and by staying on top of economic trends. Last but not least, a compliance officer stays on top of laws, regulations, licensing and permits that companies and governing bodies have to abide by in order to meet regulatory requirements. A strong background in accounting will set you up for success in all of these positions, though you will probably need a bachelor’s degree in something like finance, economics or business administration to meet entry-level requirements for most companies. That being said, these jobs pay very well and you can expect the annual mean wage in Texas to look like the following:
|Job||Hourly Mean Wage in Texas||Annual Mean Salary in Texas|
|Personal finance advisor||$49.40||$102,760|
Logisticians make sure the necessary equipment, supplies and skill technicians arrive quickly and with the right tools. This could apply to emergency relief situations or it can focus on supply chains, identifying areas for improvement and developing strategies to minimize costs and maximize efficiency. Moving up in these jobs usually requires a bachelor’s degree, but you will still qualify for some positions with an associate degree or certificate in logistics technology. Texas is second for highest employment levels in this occupation, and the annual mean wage for these jobs is about $84,000.
Cartographers draw maps, often to help make sense of a complicated issue or to help visualize data geographically to find trends and patterns. Some real-world applications of cartography and geographic information systems might include identifying routes for the delivery of emergency aid, planning for homeland security, monitoring pollution and so much more. You may need to earn a bachelor’s degree to compete in this field, and cartographers in Texas make an annual mean wage of about $58,000. You can get started with an associate degree in geographic information systems technology and transfer to finish a bachelor’s degree, but another option with that associate degree might be to look into jobs as a surveying and mapping technician. Surveying and mapping technicians in Texas make an annual mean wage of about $40,000, which can put you well within reach of a living wage depending on your family size.
38. Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical engineers have an enthusiasm for solving problems – often you’ll find them researching, designing, developing, building and testing various devices. Some companies will hire a graduate with an associate degree in mechanical engineering, and some won’t. Fortunately, DCCCD has transfer compacts with several universities to help you earn a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering more easily, making you more competitive for entry-level positions. Mechanical engineers in Texas can expect to earn an annual mean wage of about $99,000.
Other entry-level positions to consider with an associate degree in mechanical engineering might be as a mechanical engineering technician or electro-mechanical technician. Electro-mechanical technicians and mechanical engineering technicians in Texas both make an annual mean wage right around $57,000.
Interested in learning more about Dallas Community Colleges?
- Learn about our Finance degree and certificate programs.
- Read more about our Engineering Technology degrees and certificates.