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Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

 CareerAverage
Salary
Importance
(out of 100)
Job Zone
Nuclear Equipment Operation Technicians $66,910
($32/hr)
100 3
Museum Technicians and Conservators $40,750
($20/hr)
100 4
Audio and Video Equipment Technicians $41,310
($20/hr)
100 3
Broadcast Technicians $38,070
($18/hr)
100 3
Histotechnologists and Histologic Technicians $54,050
($26/hr)
100 3
Veterinary Technologists and Technicians $29,850
($14/hr)
100 3
Municipal Fire Fighters $45,700
($22/hr)
100 3
Forest Fire Fighters $45,700
($22/hr)
100 2
Fish and Game Wardens $56,030
($27/hr)
100 4
Parking Enforcement Workers $34,020
($16/hr)
100 2
Security Guards $25,840
($12/hr)
100 2
Dining Room and Cafeteria Attendants and Bartender Helpers $18,140
($9/hr)
100 1
Dishwashers $17,750
($9/hr)
100 1
Pest Control Workers $31,040
($15/hr)
100 2
Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers $24,860
($12/hr)
100 1
Animal Trainers $31,190
($15/hr)
100 2
Baggage Porters and Bellhops $23,170
($11/hr)
100 2
Tree Trimmers and Pruners $31,450
($15/hr)
100 2
Couriers and Messengers $25,100
($12/hr)
100 2
Agricultural Equipment Operators $24,490
($12/hr)
100 2
Nursery Workers $19,280
($9/hr)
100 1
Farmworkers and Laborers, Crop $19,280
($9/hr)
100 1
Farmworkers, Farm and Ranch Animals $22,920
($11/hr)
100 1
Fishers and Related Fishing Workers $28,460
($14/hr)
100 1
Hunters and Trappers N/A
(N/A)
100 1
Forest and Conservation Workers $26,110
($13/hr)
100 3
Fallers $34,180
($16/hr)
100 1
Logging Equipment Operators $32,780
($16/hr)
100 1
Boilermakers $53,100
($26/hr)
100 2
Brickmasons and Blockmasons $47,740
($23/hr)
100 2
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ...

* Average wage data for U.S.
N/A = Information not available

Job Zone 1 - Little or no preparation needed

Overall Experience
No previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed. For example, you can become a general office clerk even if you haven't worked in an office.

Education
These occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate. Some may require a formal training course to obtain a license.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.

Examples
Bus drivers, forest and conservation workers, general office clerks, home health aides, and waiters/waitresses.

These occupations often involve following instructions and helping others.

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Job Zone 2 - Some preparation

Overall Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience maybe helpful in these occupations, but usually is not needed. For example, a drywall installer could benefit from experience in installing dry wall, but an inexperienced person could learn the job fairly easily.

Education
These occupations usually require a high school diploma and may require some vocational training or job related course work. In some cases, you may need an associate's or bachelor's degree.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees.

Examples
Drywall installers, fire inspectors, flight attendants, pharmacy technicians, retail salespersons, and bank tellers.

In these occupations you can often use your knowledge and skills to help others.

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Job Zone 3 - Medium preparation

Overall Experience
Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have gone through an apprenticeship program or several years of vocational training to perform the job.

Education
Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related job experience, or an associate's degree. Some may require a bachelor's degree.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training, including both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers.

Examples
Dental assistants, electricians, fish and game wardens, legal secretaries, personnel recruiters and recreational workers.

These occupations often involve using communication and organization skills to manage and train others.

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Job Zone 4 - Preparation needed

Overall Experience
A minimum of two to four years of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant needs four years of college and several years of accounting work to be considered qualified.

Education
Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Examples
Accountants, chefs and head cooks, computer programmers, historians, and police detectives.

These occupations often involve coordinating, supervising, managing, and/or training others.

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Job Zone 5 - Extensive preparation

Overall Experience
Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of medical school and up to an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to do their job.

Education
At a minimum, a bachelor's degree is required for these occupations. However, many also require a graduate school degree such as a Master's, Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

Job Training
Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations require that you already have the necessary skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Examples
Lawyers, instrumental musicians, physicists, counseling psychologists, and surgeons.

These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising or managing the activities of others. Very advanced communication and organization skills are required.

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