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Here Are Some of the Best Finance & Engineering Jobs to Have in 2017

Last updated on October 10, 2019

Hello! We’re talking a little more this week about U.S. News and World Report’s 100 Best Jobs of 2017 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.

Some 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.

A Brief Explanation of Living Wage

For our purposes, a living wage is the absolute minimum amount an individual must earn per year, working full time to support him- or herself and any dependents (if applicable). Obviously that’s going to vary based on how many adults are in the household, as well as how many children. Use the Living Wage calculator on our website to figure out what kind of wages you need to earn to meet your basic needs.

20. Mathematician & 39. Accountant

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 $80,000. 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 $19.38 $40,300
Payroll and timekeeping clerks $20.31 $42,240
Tellers $12.81 $26,640
Financial clerks (all other) $20.87 $43,420

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 (27) 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 $75,000.

Budget analysts, operations research analystsmarket 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.

26. Financial Advisor, 48. Financial Manager, 71. Financial Analyst

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. 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 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
Financial analyst $44.67 $92,920
Financial manager $71.86 $149,470
Personal financial advisor $55.46 $115,350

37. Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical engineers have an enthusiasm for solving problems — often you’ll find them researching, designing, developing, building and testing various devices. In order to specifically obtain the title of engineer, you’ll probably need a bachelor’s degree — but for some entry level positions and many technician jobs, a mechanical engineering associate degree will do the trick. Here are the types of job titles you should look for as a DCCCD mechanical engineering graduate:

Job Hourly Mean Wage in Texas Annual Mean Salary in Texas
CNC machine tool programmers $28.34 $62,500
Electrical and electronics drafters $33.45 $69,580
Drafters (all other) $28.82 $59,960
Electro-mechanical technicians $28.87 $60,050
Engineering technicians, except drafters (all other) $30.18 $62,760
Mechanical engineering technicians $31.35 $65,200
Civil engineering technicians $23.70 $49,300

If you’re still thinking you want to get a bachelor’s degree, you’re in luck: DCCCD has transfer compacts with several universities to help you earn a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering more easily, making you more competitive as an entry-level engineer. Mechanical engineers in Texas can expect to earn an annual mean wage of about $103,000.

45. Cartographer

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.

Most cartographers have a bachelor’s degree, but most cartographic technicians get by just fine with an associate degree or certificate in something like Geographic Information Systems Technology. Surveying and mapping technicians in Texas make an annual mean wage of about $44,000. Should you decide to finish a bachelor’s degree, your earning potential can increase by double digits — cartographers and photogrammetrists in Texas make an annual mean wage of about $63,000.

Engineering & Finance Jobs That Didn’t Make the List in 2017 (But Are Still Great Careers!)

Interested in learning more about Dallas Community Colleges?

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