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Want a big pay raise? Consider these 13 jobs

10/25: MoneyWatch
Obamacare premiums will soar next year, and other MoneyWatch headlines 01:06

Stagnant personal income may be a defining characteristic of the post-recession years, but not every occupation is witnessing the trend.

Workers in some fields are witnessing faster-than-average wage growth, thanks to factors such as societal demand and a shortage of trained workers in a particular field, according to a new survey from employment site Glassdoor. Some of the jobs that are seeing big pay bumps require years of training, which may limit the number of Americans who are wiling to commit to that job path, but others are open to entry-level positions.

Most of the jobs experiencing big pay gains require a college education, however. That limits the pool of workers who are qualified for these jobs, since only one out of three Americans are college graduates. The economic gulf between college graduates and those with only high school degrees has been widening in recent years, with Georgetown University researchers finding that college graduates have grabbed three-quarters of the almost 12 million jobs created since the recession.

The top 13 jobs with the heftiest pay hikes have witnessed income growth between 5 percent to 11 percent during the past year, compared with the national average of a 2.5 percent salary increase.

Americans are getting back on track after years of stagnant growth, but households are still earning 2.4 percent below what they brought home at their income peaks in 1999, according to Census data released earlier this year.

For workers who are curious about whether their salary is fair or if they could make more money elsewhere, Glassdoor has a new tool called “Know Your Worth,” which provides customized salary estimates.

Below are the top 13 jobs for big pay increases:

1. Certified nursing assistant: 11 percent

Certified nursing assistants witnessed a pay increase of 11 percent during the past 12 months, with their median base pay jumping to $50,000 in 2016, Glassdoor found. Nursing assistants don’t have to have a college degree, but do need to complete an accredited CNA program to receive credentials to work in the field. Their daily jobs include feeding and bathing patents, taking vitals, and helping with medical procedures.

2. Sales manager: 11 percent

Sales managers saw an 11 percent pay hike in the past year, with their annual median base income rising to $73,000 in 2016. Sales managers oversee sales reps, making sure that their teams meet sales goals. The job generally requires a college degree and between one to five years of experience as a sales rep.

3. Implementation consultant: 7 percent

Implementation consultants received a 7 percent pay hike in the last year, with their median base pay reaching $75,000 this year, Glassdoor says. These info-tech workers help install software and hardware, and often travel to new client sites to train clients on how to use the new technology. These workers need to be able to simplify technical information for people who might not have technical expertise. A bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field as well as several years of experience is typically required.

4. Recruiter: 7 percent

Recruiters are earning 7 percent more this year, with their median base pay rising to $45,000, Glassdoor says. Recruiters find qualified candidates for job openings. They often have a bachelor’s degree in human resources.

5. Registered nurse: 7 percent

The median base pay for registered nurses has increased 7 percent to $68,000 in 2016, Glassdoor says. While a bachelor’s degree isn’t necessary, RNs must have an associate’s degree in nursing and must pass the national license exam. RNs provide medical treatment to patients and assist physicians.

6. Media planner: 7 percent

Media planners’ median base pay has jumped 7 percent, reaching $45,000 in 2016. They work at advertising agencies and create media plans that help clients decide where to market their products, through forecasting outcomes and estimating costs, for instance. They must have a bachelor’s degree, Glassdoor says.

7. Data analyst: 7 percent

Data analysts’ median base pay rose 7 percent to $65,000 this year, Glassdoor says. They sort through company data and glean insights from it, helping the business to make better decisions. Most have a bachelor’s degree in an analytical subject, such as applied math or statistics.

8. Admissions representatives: 7 percent

Admissions representatives have seen their median base pay rise 7 percent to $44,745, Glassdoor said. These workers visit college fairs and schools to help recruit students to their educational institutions, such as universities and colleges. They should have a bachelor’s degree and experience in admissions, customer service, education or sales.

9. Claims adjuster: 6 percent

Median base pay for claims adjusters rose 6 percent to $47,500 in 2016. These employees inspect property damage at homes or businesses or on vehicles, and decide how much an insurance company should pay. They need a bachelor’s degree in finance, insurance or business, and need to pass a licensing exam.

10. Marketing coordinator: 6 percent

Marketing coordinators have seen a 6 percent bump in median base pay, rising to $45,000 in 2016. These employees work with marketing managers in creating marketing campaigns for clients or employer. They typically have a bachelor’s degree in marketing.

11. Case manager: 6 percent

Case managers’ median base pay has increased 6 percent to $45,000 in 2016. These healthcare workers provide action plans or guidance for people dealing with health situations. They can be social workers, registered nurses, or other types of health-related workers. This job is open to people with high school degrees, but they typically have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in human services or social work, Glassdoor says.

12. Underwriter: 5 percent

Underwriters, who work on mortgage applications, have seen a 5 percent increase in their median base pay, rising to $60,000 in 2016, Glassdoor found. They typically have a high school degree and have passed what’s known as the SAFE Mortgage Loan Originator test.

13. Communications manager: 5 percent

Communications managers’ median base pay has increased 5 percent to $84,000 in 2016, Glassdoor says. They typically work on a company’s internal and external messaging, such as handling press releases or writing speeches. Most have a bachelor’s degree in communications, as well as several years of experience. 

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