It’s a good idea to look at the top careers in the United States. But these can change over time. For example, in the 1980s and 1990s, you could get a great job if you went to college for petroleum engineering. But now, the demand for this position has gone down because cars are more fuel-efficient today.
The point is that there are other careers out there that may not be on everyone’s radar yet but are growing fast and will offer opportunities as we move into the future. These may be good options if you’re not interested in one of the offbeat fields. Or if you’re looking for something outside of what others would expect from someone with your degree.
Because let’s face it, people who have a degree in engineering shouldn’t necessarily be limited to working only in engineering. Here are some of the best offbeat career opportunities one can pursue after graduation in the US:
• You’re a math wizard.
• You can analyze data better than anyone else in the room.
• You hold a talent for explaining complex ideas to people who don’t know anything about math.
If these statements hold for you, you might have what it takes to be an actuary. While these characteristics aren’t things most people would have in common, they’re all necessary for becoming an actuary. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, here’s what you need to know.
Actuaries analyze statistical data, including birth and death rates, investment returns, and expenses for insurance companies—and then predict how likely certain events are to occur so that the company can plan accordingly and charge the correct prices for their policies. An actuary’s job goes beyond crunching numbers. It’s also about communicating with non-mathematicians about how likely specific events will happen.
As an art director, you’ll lead a team in creating visual designs for various media. You’ll oversee the work of designers, illustrators, and photographers to create pieces that communicate a cohesive message. The advertising and marketing industries draw many art directors. If you enjoy bringing ideas to life and working with others, this might be the right career for you.
To become an art director, you need to be organized enough to handle large-scale projects while keeping track of many moving parts. You should be able to use your talent with aesthetics while also managing budgets effectively and know how best to delegate tasks so that your team can work efficiently and in a way that expresses their creativity.
Chemical engineers design processes and equipment for large-scale manufacturing. A chemical engineer designs a process to produce a desired chemical product in most cases. For example, the chemical engineer may design a device that converts the oil into gasoline through a process known as cracking. They also work on processes to convert coal into gas or natural gas into other products such as plastics or fertilizer.
Chemical engineers are involved in producing chemicals, fuel, drugs, food, and many other products. Their job duties include designing and conducting research experiments to test the viability of potential products. They are responsible for supervising the operation of industrial plants where chemicals are produced and ensuring that production runs smoothly and efficiently.
If you’re mechanically minded and enjoy helping people, being a maintenance technician may be the job for you. As a maintenance tech, you will be responsible for maintaining equipment and facilities, as well as troubleshooting problems and repairing them.
Some of the daily tasks of a maintenance technician include:
• Inspecting equipment to ensure that it is working correctly
• Conducting routine preventative maintenance on equipment to ensure that it runs efficiently
• Performing minor repairs or adjustments on equipment or fixtures, such as changing light bulbs or unclogging drains
• Responding promptly to service requests from employees
In addition, some facilities have heating and air conditioning systems that require regular servicing by a professional technician.
Firefighter, EMT Paramedic, or Fire Investigator
Depending on where you live in the US, many different career paths could lead to a career as a firefighter, EMT paramedic, or fire investigator. Firefighters and EMTs are first responders to fires and other emergencies, and most firefighters also have advanced training in emergency medical services. While they’re both considered promising careers, depending on where you live, some EMTs may be reluctant to work with firefighters due to their proximity.
Forensic pathology is a field of medicine with an extensive range of work available to fit various lifestyles. If you’re interested in getting more medical experience and working on a team, consider joining the thousands of people using their expertise to provide evidence-based health care at local hospitals and crime scenes nationwide.
A career as a forensic pathologist requires an undergraduate degree in the biological sciences, physical sciences, or even chemistry. This can be obtained from community colleges or major universities offering degrees in these disciplines. The education required for this career is generally a four-year program that includes classes, such as microbiology, anatomy and histology, parasitology, immunology, genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry/biotechnology, statistics, and testing/forensic science. You will also have to complete courses in computer science (for processing data) and forensic chemistry (for toxicological research).
If you have a good idea and passion for something, you may have the ability to survive and thrive in it. Passion is what keeps you going through tough times, like when things don’t work out or there are setbacks.
Dig deep into what interests you and then find something within that category that you love but haven’t explored as much as others. For example, if you love animals, try volunteering at an animal shelter instead of working with your hands at a zoo.