Whether you’re a student or someone interested in a new career path, there is much to consider when looking for a job. In general, a few broad categories might help you narrow down what you’re looking for. One of these categories is called “white-collar” jobs. But what does that mean? It goes back to the early 1900s when many workers in administrative or similar jobs wore white shirts with white collars (and usually a tie!) to work.
White-collar workers perform jobs that often require their analytical skills and formal education. They include professionals such as accountants, lawyers, and business analysts.
This article will tell you a lot about white-collar jobs. We have a big list of over 41 types of these jobs to share with you. We’ll also discuss other job types, like “blue-collar” and “pink-collar.” We’ll discuss how robots and computers, part of AI, might change these jobs.
Lastly, we’ll help you consider whether a white-collar job could be a good fit for you. Enjoy analytical thinking, continuous learning in a specialized field, or the prospect of earning a competitive salary after a formal education. White-collar jobs might be worth considering.
What are White-Collar jobs?
You usually do white-collar jobs in an office, not a factory or construction site. These workers don't use big tools or get their hands dirty. Instead, they often work on computers, have meetings, and think about big ideas.
Some examples are people who manage money, like accountants, or those who make plans for businesses. People have tried to make lists of the best white-collar jobs, but it’s really up to you as an individual, what you enjoy, and what you are good at.
The rise of clerical jobs in the 20th century, such as secretaries and typists, marked one of the first major entries of women into the white-collar world.
More recently, white-collar jobs were among the first to embrace telecommuting or remote work, especially with the rise of the internet. This has led to "digital nomads" working remotely worldwide.
Fun fact: The modern office culture around coffee breaks can be largely attributed to white-collar jobs. The coffee break became a cherished ritual for many office workers that people still do today!
Why is it called “White Collar”?
The term "white collar" goes back to the early 20th century when what you wore to work stood out. Before that, most people worked in agriculture or artisan trades, so there wasn't a strong line between manual and non-manual labor.
People who worked in offices, like managers or accountants, usually wore shirts with white collars. They didn't do heavy, dirty work, so their shirts stayed clean. While white collars defined a certain class of workers, the suit and tie became a universal symbol for professional men in white-collar jobs during the 20th century.
But, as you probably know, women entered the workforce, and technology changed, so the term grew to mean more things. Now, the title “white collar” doesn’t usually mean that the people in those jobs have to wear white shirts with ties, but rather has come to encompass a variety of workplaces and clothing choices.
Let’s dive into some examples of white-collar jobs.
Disclaimer: The salaries mentioned in this article for various white-collar jobs are provided as general estimates. Actual compensation can vary widely based on location, state or country-specific economic conditions, individual qualifications, years of experience, and employer policies. It's essential to consult local job market data, industry-specific salary surveys, or career professionals for precise and up-to-date salary information tailored to specific regions or circumstances.
Salary: $55,000 - 119,000 (source)
If you have a knack for working with numbers and an eye for detail, the accounting world might be calling your name. Accountants are the unsung heroes behind the financial scenes of companies, ensuring that the money flows smoothly and everything adds up just right.
So, what's a day like for an accountant? They're responsible for examining financial statements, ensuring they're accurate and that taxes are paid properly and on time. They'll also review records and advise businesses on reducing costs, enhancing revenues, and improving profits.
While some days might be about poring over spreadsheets, others could involve meeting with clients to provide financial advice. And not all accountants do the same thing – some specialize in areas like tax, audit, or forensic accounting, which is like being a financial detective!
You'll typically need at least a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field to venture into this field. But if you're aiming for the top or want to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), you'll need additional coursework and work experience, and you'll have to pass a national exam.
Places where accountants keep the financial world spinning:
- Accounting firms (like Deloitte or PwC)
- Corporate finance departments
- Government agencies
Ever heard of Bob Newhart? Before lighting up the entertainment world as a comedian and actor, he started his career as an accountant!
Salary: $68,000 - 160,000 (source)
If you're a fan of numbers and love predicting the future (at least in terms of risks and costs), then the actuary world might be right up your alley. Actuaries are like the fortune-tellers of the financial world. They use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to study uncertain future events, especially concerning insurance and pension programs.
Imagine being the person who figures out how much an insurance company should charge a 20-year-old for car insurance versus a 40-year-old. That's an actuary's job! They analyze data to estimate the probability and likely economic cost of accidents, sickness, and natural disasters. Based on their findings, businesses can then make informed decisions.
A day in the life of an actuary might involve analyzing statistical data, estimating probabilities of certain events occurring, and creating reports to explain findings. And while it may sound all about numbers, actuaries also need good communication skills since they often present their findings to non-experts.
To be an actuary, you'll need a strong foundation in mathematics and a bachelor's degree in a related field. But here's where things get specific: to qualify as an actuary fully, you'll need to pass a series of exams. These are challenging but can also be spread out over several years.
Places where actuaries showcase their predictive prowess:
- Insurance companies
- Consulting firms
- Government agencies
- Large corporations with big employee benefit programs
3) Advertising Executive
Salary: $49,000 - 61,000 (source)
Suppose you've been captivated by a catchy slogan, mesmerized by a TV commercial, or convinced by a billboard to buy something. In that case, you've witnessed the handiwork of an advertising executive. These are the creative and strategic brains behind the advertisements we see and hear daily.
An advertising executive's day is filled with excitement and innovation. They might start by brainstorming with their team about the next big ad campaign, liaising with clients to understand their brand vision, or collaborating with graphic designers and copywriters to bring an idea to life.
They'll also review market research to ensure their advertisements hit the right target audience and resonate effectively.
But what does it take to climb the ladder in the advertising world? Usually, a bachelor's degree in advertising, marketing, communications, or a related field is your ticket.
Experience matters a lot here, so internships or entry-level positions at advertising agencies can be a great starting point. Strong communication skills, creativity, and the ability to work under tight deadlines are all essential traits for success.
Places where advertising executives craft compelling campaigns:
- Advertising agencies (like Ogilvy or Saatchi & Saatchi)
- Media companies
- Large corporations with in-house marketing departments
- Digital marketing firms
And here's a fun tidbit: before dazzling the world with his literary prowess, F. Scott Fitzgerald worked in advertising, crafting slogans for streetcar placards!
Salary: $80,000 - 100,000 (source)
If you've ever marveled at a skyscraper, felt cozy in a well-designed home, or got lost in thoughts about creating spaces, then the world of architecture might be your playground. Architects are the visionaries who design the buildings and spaces we live, work, and play in, blending art with science and functionality.
What does an architect do all day? Well, it's not just doodling building designs on paper (although that can be part of it!). Architects meet with clients to understand their needs, create detailed building plans, and collaborate with construction teams to bring those designs to life.
Architects consider how people will use a space, ensure buildings are safe and sustainable, and often oversee the project from the initial design through construction.
Dreaming of designing? You'll need a professional degree in architecture, and most places will require you to complete an internship and pass a licensing exam. The rigorous educational journey combines art, science, math, and humanities.
Places where architects shape our world:
- Architectural firms (like Skidmore, Owings & Merrill or Gensler)
- Construction companies
- Government agencies
- Self-employed (some architects start their firms or work freelance!)
A name you might recognize from the architecture world is Frank Lloyd Wright. He's the genius behind iconic structures like Fallingwater and the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
Salary: $113,000 - 135,000 (source)
If you've ever been intrigued by courtroom dramas, passionate about rights and justice, or love debating to defend a point, stepping into the law world might be right for you.
Lawyers, often referred to as attorneys, are the champions of the legal system. They represent clients in court, offer legal advice, and ensure the wheels of justice turn fairly.
So, what might a day look like for an attorney? Well, it's not just dramatic courtroom scenes! Many lawyers research legal issues, write documents, meet with clients, and negotiate settlements. Depending on their specialty, they might be drafting a will one day, examining evidence for a criminal case the next, or advising a business on tax laws.
Now, getting into this profession requires dedication. You'll need a bachelor's degree and three years of law school to earn your Juris Doctor (JD) degree. After that, there's the bar exam, a challenging test you must pass to practice law in a specific state.
Places where lawyers champion justice:
- Private law firms (from small local offices to giants like Baker McKenzie)
- Corporate legal departments
- Government agencies (like the Department of Justice)
- Public interest or non-profit organizations
One famous face from the world of law? Former U.S. President Barack Obama was a lawyer before entering politics!
Salary: $58,000 - 70,000 (source)
If you've got an eye for detail, a knack for numbers, and a passion for ensuring everything adds up correctly, then the world of auditing could be where you shine. Auditors are like the financial world's superheroes, ensuring that companies are honest and transparent about their finances.
So, what does an auditor do? Simply, they examine financial statements to ensure they're accurate and comply with laws and regulations. Imagine being a detective, but instead of solving crimes, you're spotting errors or inconsistencies in financial reports.
An auditor's day might involve reviewing ledgers, working with financial documents, interviewing company employees, and writing reports on their findings.
You'll typically need a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field to step into this world. Many auditors also pursue certifications to enhance their credibility; the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation is popular in the U.S.
Places where auditors ensure financial clarity:
- Public accounting firms (like the "Big Four": Deloitte, PwC, EY, and KPMG)
- Government agencies (making sure public funds are used correctly)
- Large corporations (checking internal processes and finances)
- Independent consulting (for those who love freelance work)
Salary: $50,000 - 61,000 (source)
If you're intrigued by the world of finance, helping individuals achieve their financial dreams, or ensuring businesses have the resources they need to grow, then the banking world might be calling your name.
Bankers are essential in guiding and supporting individuals and businesses in their financial journeys.
Wondering what a banker's day looks like? It's a mix of meeting with clients, analyzing financial statements, and offering advice on loans, savings, and other financial products. If you become a personal banker, you might help someone get a loan for their first home. As a commercial banker, you could be aiding a business in expanding its operations.
To dive into banking, a bachelor's degree in finance, business, or economics is a solid start. Depending on your role, you might also pursue further certifications or licensing, especially if diving deep into investment or financial planning.
Places where bankers make financial dreams come true:
- Major commercial banks (like JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, or Wells Fargo)
- Investment banks (like Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley)
- Community banks (local institutions serving specific areas)
- Credit unions (member-owned financial cooperatives)
A household name in the banking world? Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, is one of the most recognized figures in modern finance.
8) Brand Manager
Salary: $94,000 - 117,000 (source)
If you're passionate about storytelling, connecting with audiences, and love guiding a product's image, the exciting world of brand management awaits you.
Brand Managers are the guardians of a product or company's image, ensuring it stands out and connects with consumers in a crowded market.
What's a day in the life of a brand manager? Picture this: brainstorming campaign ideas in the morning, analyzing market research over lunch, and meeting with the creative team in the afternoon to review the latest advertisement visuals. It's all about ensuring a consistent and compelling brand message across different channels.
A bachelor's degree in marketing, business, or a related field is a great starting point to enter this role. As you progress, having a master's in business administration (MBA) can be a plus. Experience in advertising, market research, or public relations can also be beneficial.
Places where brand managers make a mark:
- Consumer goods companies (like Procter & Gamble or Unilever)
- Tech companies (like Apple or Google, where product branding is crucial)
- Advertising agencies (helping various clients shape their brands)
- Start-ups (building a new brand from the ground up)
A familiar figure in the world of branding? Think of Steve Jobs from Apple. Though not strictly a "brand manager," his vision and emphasis on branding played a significant role in making Apple the iconic brand it is today.
9) Business Analyst
Salary: $73,000 - 90,000 (source)
If you're the kind of person who loves diving into details, spotting patterns, and finding solutions to complex problems, then the world of business analysis might be your playground. Business Analysts, often called BAs, are the detectives of the business world. They analyze and understand a company's needs, and then find ways to meet them effectively.
So, what's an average day for a Business Analyst? It can vary widely, but it might involve meeting with department heads to understand their challenges, poring over data to spot trends, or working with IT teams to implement a new system. The key is understanding the business's needs and crafting the best solutions.
To wear the BA hat, a bachelor's degree in business administration, information technology, or a related field is a good start. Many BAs also earn certifications, like the Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) designation, to boost their skills and credibility.
Places where Business Analysts uncover insights:
- IT and software companies (like Microsoft or IBM)
- Management consulting firms (like McKinsey & Company or Boston Consulting Group)
- Financial institutions (like Citibank or Goldman Sachs)
- Healthcare organizations (analyzing patient data and improving care)
10) Business Consultant
Salary: $64,000 - 95,000 (source)
Ever dreamed of swooping into companies, identifying their problems, and giving them expert advice to help them shine? If that sounds like your kind of mission, then you might be a future Business Consultant. These pros are like the doctors of the corporate world, diagnosing problems and prescribing solutions to help businesses perform at their best.
Wondering about a day in the life of a Business Consultant? Picture jet-setting to client locations, hosting workshops, analyzing data, and presenting findings to big-shot executives. One day, you might advise a start-up on its growth strategy, and the next, helping a big corporation streamline its operations.
Getting into the consulting realm typically requires a bachelor's degree in business, economics, management, or a similar field. However, many consultants also have master's degrees, especially MBAs. Plus, specialized training or certifications often depend on the consultancy's focus.
Places where Business Consultants work their magic:
- Major consulting firms (like Bain & Company, Deloitte, or Accenture)
- Niche consultancies (focusing on specific industries or issues)
- Independently (for those who've built a strong reputation and want to go solo)
- Inside large corporations (as internal consultants)
11) Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Salary: $622,000 - 1,000,000 (source)
Suppose you've daydreamed about leading a company, steering its vision, and being the top decision-maker. In that case, you might be looking at a future as a Chief Executive Officer, or CEO for short. These folks sit at the very top of the corporate ladder and are responsible for a company's overall direction and success.
Imagine a day for a CEO: mornings might start with news updates and market trends, followed by strategy meetings with top execs. Afternoons could include investor calls, public relations tasks, or mentoring upcoming leaders. It's a challenging role, blending big-picture thinking with handling daily challenges and unexpected curveballs.
The journey to CEO often begins with a bachelor's degree, but many CEOs also hold advanced degrees like an MBA. It's not just about formal education; becoming a CEO typically requires climbing the corporate ranks, showing leadership, and demonstrating a deep understanding of business.
Places where CEOs lead the charge:
- Global corporations (like Apple, Amazon, or General Motors)
- Start-ups (where they might also be the founders)
- Non-profit organizations (like the Red Cross or World Wildlife Fund)
- Public sector institutions (like hospitals or universities)
Think of Elon Musk (CEO of Tesla and SpaceX) or Mary Barra (CEO of General Motors). Both are leading figures in their industries and have a big say in the future direction of their companies.
12) Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Salary: $325,000 - 550,000 (source)
Imagine being the person who holds the purse strings of a big company, making sure everything financially makes sense and setting the company up for success. If that sounds intriguing, you might have a future as a Chief Financial Officer, commonly known as a CFO. These are the folks who oversee everything money-related in a company, from financial planning to risk management.
So, what does a typical day look like for a CFO? Mornings might involve diving into financial reports, checking the company's performance, and spotting any irregularities. Afternoons could be packed with strategy meetings, working with the finance team on forecasts, or discussing potential investments or mergers.
Getting into this top financial role often starts with a bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, or business. Many CFOs also hold advanced degrees like an MBA or are certified as CPAs (Certified Public Accountants). Experience in accounting, financial planning, and leadership roles is essential.
Places where CFOs mastermind the numbers:
- Multinational corporations (like Coca-Cola, Microsoft, or Nike)
- Growing start-ups (helping them manage finances as they expand)
- Government agencies (overseeing public funds)
- Non-profit organizations (making sure donations and funds are used efficiently)
Regarding standout CFOs, think of Ruth Porat, who's been influential in her role at Google's parent company, Alphabet.
13) Chief Information Officer (CIO)
Salary: $87,000 - 160,000 (source)
Picture being the person who ensures that a company's technology strategy aligns with its business goals, leading the charge in the world of IT. Sound exciting? That’s the world of a Chief Information Officer or CIO. These tech leaders are responsible for overseeing the technological direction of a company, ensuring it stays innovative, secure, and efficient.
So, what might a CIO be up to on a typical day? Perhaps they'd start reviewing the company's IT projects and then jump into meetings about digital transformation initiatives or cybersecurity measures. Later, they might brainstorm with their team about integrating the latest tech trends, like AI or blockchain, into the company's operations.
You'd likely need a bachelor's degree in information technology, computer science, or related fields to get the CIO title. Many CIOs also have master's degrees, especially in business administration (MBA), with a focus on technology. Having solid experience in IT management and understanding business strategy is also crucial.
Specific places where CIOs play pivotal roles:
- Tech giants (like Apple)
- Banks (such as JPMorgan Chase)
- Healthcare institutions (like the Mayo Clinic)
- Retail chains (Walmart)
A CIO you might have heard about is Atish Banerjea of Meta (previously Facebook). He’s been at the forefront of evolving the tech strategy for this social media behemoth.
14) Compliance Officer
Salary: $75,000 - 113,000 (source)
Do you know how to understand rules and ensure everyone sticks to them? Well, you might be looking at a future as a Compliance Officer. These are the unsung heroes of the corporate world, ensuring that businesses follow laws and regulations and keeping them out of hot water.
So, what's a day in the life of a Compliance Officer? It could start with reviewing updates in industry regulations, followed by training sessions for employees on the "do's and don'ts." Then, they might audit some company processes or discuss rules with other departments to ensure everyone's on the same page. When issues arise, they're on the frontline, figuring out solutions and ensuring mistakes don’t happen again.
You’d usually need a bachelor's degree to become a stellar Compliance Officer. The field of study can vary, but law, business, or finance are common choices. Depending on the industry, you might also need specific certifications. For instance, those in banking might seek a Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM) designation.
Specific places where Compliance Officers are essential:
- Banks and financial institutions (like Goldman Sachs or Bank of America)
- Pharmaceuticals (Pfizer or Merck)
- Energy companies (like ExxonMobil)
- Tech firms (companies like Google or Amazon)
15) Corporate Trainer
Salary: $50,000 - 64,000 (source)
Do you love sharing knowledge, guiding folks, and watching them grow? Well, the world of Corporate Training might be calling your name.
Corporate Trainers are a bit like school teachers, but instead of classrooms, they operate in the business world. They ensure employees are well-equipped with the necessary skills, whether training on new software, enhancing leadership skills, or understanding company procedures.
Imagine a day in their shoes: A Corporate Trainer might kick off their morning with a workshop on effective communication for new hires. Post-lunch, they could set up an online module for remote employees or perhaps have one-on-one coaching sessions. They also design training materials, evaluate programs, and get feedback to improve their sessions!
Most Corporate Trainers have a bachelor's degree in human resources, education, or business. Certifications can be a plus, like the Certified Professional in Training Management (CPTM) or certifications from the Association for Talent Development (ATD). Of course, excellent communication skills and a passion for teaching are must-haves.
Where do Corporate Trainers weave their magic?
- Tech companies (Microsoft or Salesforce)
- Retail giants (Target or Starbucks)
- Banks (Chase or Wells Fargo)
- Healthcare institutions (Cleveland Clinic or Johns Hopkins)
16) Data Scientist
Salary: $128,000 - 156,000 (source)
If you've a passion for numbers and patterns and diving deep into heaps of data to uncover secrets sounds thrilling, you might be thinking about a future as a Data Scientist. These brainy pros turn massive amounts of raw data into meaningful insights businesses can use to make smarter decisions.
What might a Data Scientist do on a regular day? They could begin by collecting and cleaning up data (because messy data doesn’t help anyone!). Then, they'd use their statistical skills and tools to analyze this data, uncovering trends and patterns. Once they've got some findings, they might create visual representations (like graphs or charts) and share them with team members or higher-ups. They’re a bit like detectives, but they’re solving business puzzles instead of solving crimes!
To become a Data Scientist, you'd likely need a bachelor's degree in computer science, statistics, or physics. But many in the field also have master’s or Ph.D. degrees. Knowledge of programming languages (like Python or R) and tools (such as SQL) is crucial. Special courses and certifications are also available for those who want to delve deeper.
Where might you find Data Scientists at work?
- Tech companies (e.g., Google or Facebook, working on user behavior insights)
- E-commerce platforms (e.g., Amazon or Shopify, optimizing user recommendations)
- Banks (e.g., Citibank or Capital One, analyzing financial risks)
- Healthcare (Aetna or Kaiser Permanente)
A popular figure in this field is Dr. Fei-Fei Li, known for her work in artificial intelligence and her role at Stanford University.
17) Database Administrator
Salary: $87,000 - 111,000 (source)
If you love being in charge of vital information and ensuring everything runs smoothly in the digital world, the role of a Database Administrator (DBA) might be your calling. DBAs are the guardians of data, ensuring that databases are accessible, running efficiently, and kept safe from unauthorized access.
A Database Administrator's day often involves monitoring database performance, ensuring data can be retrieved easily and swiftly. They also handle backups so that data can be restored in emergencies.
Another significant task? Securing the database means setting up user permissions and ensuring unauthorized folks can't sneak in. And if there are any issues, from minor glitches to big crashes, guess who's on the front lines, ensuring everything gets back on track? That's right, our trusty DBA!
To become a DBA, you typically need a bachelor’s degree, often in fields like computer science or information technology. Plus, knowledge of database languages like SQL is a must. There are also certifications available for popular database management systems.
Companies and places that often hire Database Administrators:
Salary: $78,000 - 107,000 (source)
If you've ever been curious about why prices go up (or down), why jobs are lost (or created), or how the economy ticks, you might be on the path to becoming an Economist.
Economists study the production and distribution of resources, products, and services by collecting and analyzing data on economic issues.
On a typical day, an Economist might gather data, analyze trends, or forecast future economic conditions. They look at data to spot patterns, use mathematical models to project future trends, and then translate all that number magic into understandable insights. They could advise governments on economic policy or help businesses understand the market scenario.
To step into the world of economics, a bachelor's degree in economics, finance, or a related field is a good start. However, many roles, especially in research or academia, might require a Master's or even a Ph.D. Additionally, strong analytical skills and the ability to use statistical analysis software are essential tools in an Economist's toolbox.
Companies and institutions that frequently hire Economists:
- Federal Reserve
- World Bank
- International Monetary Fund (IMF)
One name that comes to mind when thinking of economists is Paul Krugman, who not only won the Nobel Prize but also pens columns for The New York Times.
Salary: $65,000 - 85,000 (source)
If you're the type who spots typos in books or gets excited about refining sentences until they shine, you might have the makings of an Editor. Editors work with content, whether books, articles, or online posts, to ensure it's clear, accurate, and engaging.
An Editor's daily grind is filled with reading, revising, and giving feedback. They'll review drafts to check for errors, ensure consistent style, and sometimes even collaborate with authors to help shape the structure or flow of a piece.
Editors also decide what gets published in magazines, newspapers, or websites. Some specialize in fiction, non-fiction, journalism, or technical writing, while others might work with video or audio content.
To become an Editor, a bachelor’s degree, often in English, journalism, or communications, is common. But the real key? A sharp eye for detail, a knack for storytelling, and an endless love for language. It’s also handy to be familiar with style guides like AP or Chicago Manual of Style.
Companies and organizations where Editors might work:
- Penguin Random House
- The New York Times
- National Geographic
20) Human Resources Manager
Salary: $103,000 - 131,000 (source)
If you have a knack for understanding people, helping them grow, and creating a happy workplace, then a Human Resources (HR) Manager career might be right up your alley. These champions work behind the scenes to ensure that companies have the best teams and that employees are satisfied and motivated.
An HR Manager might be interviewing potential new hires, addressing workplace concerns or disputes, organizing training sessions, and ensuring everyone follows company policies. They're the bridge between the employees and the company's leadership. They also help shape a company’s culture, ensuring a positive and productive environment.
To dive into HR, you'll typically need a bachelor's degree in human resources, business, or a related field. As you grow, you might consider certifications like Professional in Human Resources (PHR) or Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) to boost your credentials.
Companies and organizations where HR Managers are essential:
- Procter & Gamble
- Almost every medium to a large company, honestly!
21) Insurance Underwriter
Salary: $66,000 - 86,000 (source)
Ever wonder how insurance companies decide what to charge for coverage or whether to provide insurance to someone in the first place? That's where Insurance Underwriters come in. They're the experts who assess risks and determine the terms and costs of insurance policies.
An Insurance Underwriter spends their day reviewing insurance applications, determining potential risks based on various factors, and deciding the terms of coverage.
They might look at everything from medical records for health insurance to the age and condition of a car for auto insurance. Their goal? To ensure the insurance company doesn't take on too much risk but also offers fair terms to customers.
To become an Insurance Underwriter, you usually need a bachelor's degree, often in business, finance, or a related area. It's common for underwriters to pursue specialized certifications in their field, such as the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) or Associate in Commercial Underwriting (AU) designation.
Companies that often employ Insurance Underwriters include:
- State Farm
22) Investment Banker
Salary: $77,000 - 95,000 (source)
If the fast-paced world of high-stakes finance and big business deals sounds thrilling, then the role of an Investment Banker might be just what you're looking for. These financial pros work with companies, governments, and other large entities to help them raise capital, make strategic decisions, and sometimes buy or sell other companies.
On a typical day, an Investment Banker might analyze financial data, prepare reports, give presentations, or manage businesses’ portfolios. It can be intense, with long hours and high expectations, but the rewards can be significant in satisfaction and compensation.
Most Investment Bankers start with a bachelor's degree in finance, business, or economics. However, to move up the ladder, many also pursue an MBA. Beyond degrees, it's crucial to have strong analytical skills, a keen understanding of the financial markets, and the ability to handle stress well.
Major companies that hire Investment Bankers include:
- Goldman Sachs
- J.P. Morgan Chase
- Morgan Stanley
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch
23) IT Consultant
Salary: $74,000 - 94,000 (source)
If you love solving problems, keeping up with the latest in technology, and helping businesses thrive in the digital age, then a role as an IT Consultant might be the perfect match for you. These tech-savvy professionals offer advice, strategies, and solutions to companies to help them use technology to its fullest potential.
During a typical day, an IT Consultant could meet with clients to understand their technological needs, research the latest software or hardware solutions, or implement a new system to help a company run more smoothly. They might help with everything from setting up a more efficient network to recommending cybersecurity practices to keep a business's data safe.
A bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field is often needed to enter the IT consulting world. Depending on the specialty, various certifications, like those from Microsoft or Cisco, can also be beneficial to demonstrate expertise.
Companies that frequently hire or work with IT Consultants include:
Salary: $38,000 - 50,000 (source)
If you've got a curious mind and a passion for telling stories, then the role of a Journalist might be right up your alley. Journalists are the folks who keep us informed about what's happening in our community, country, and the world at large. They're the eyes and ears of the public, chasing the truth and sharing it with the masses.
In the life of a Journalist, no two days are the same. One day, they might be interviewing a local business owner about a new venture; the next, they could be reporting live from the scene of a major event. They research stories, interview sources, write articles, and sometimes even capture photos or videos to accompany their reports.
A bachelor's degree in journalism, communications, or a related field is typically required to become a journalist. Many journalists also have internships or work experience at newspapers, magazines, or broadcast stations to gain hands-on experience. Being tech-savvy, having strong writing skills, and being persistent in the search for the truth are all part of the job.
Major companies and outlets that hire Journalists include:
- The New York Times
- The Washington Post
- Al Jazeera
25) Medical Sales Representative
Salary: $58,000 - 70,000 (source)
If you like the idea of blending healthcare and business, the role of a Medical Sales Representative might be the perfect fit for you. These professionals are the bridge between pharmaceutical or medical equipment companies and healthcare providers, ensuring that doctors, hospitals, and clinics have the products they need to care for their patients.
A day in the life of a Medical Sales Rep might include meetings with doctors to introduce a new drug, demonstrating the use of a piece of medical equipment, or attending medical conferences to stay updated on the latest healthcare tech and treatments. It's about building relationships, understanding the medical field, and using that knowledge to make sales.
To become a Medical Sales Rep, many have a bachelor's degree, often in areas like business, biology, or healthcare. Some positions might require a deeper knowledge of a specific medical field, so a science background can be a big plus. Essential skills include strong communication abilities, a persuasive nature, and a knack for building relationships.
Major companies that hire Medical Sales Representatives include:
- Johnson & Johnson
Salary: $58,000 - 118,000 (source)
If you have a sharp mind, an eye for detail, and a passion for the legal world but aren't quite looking to become an attorney, then the role of a Paralegal might be perfect for you. Paralegals are the unsung heroes of law firms, providing critical support to attorneys in various ways.
A Paralegal's day can be quite diverse. They might be researching legal precedents for an upcoming case, interviewing witnesses, drafting legal documents, or organizing evidence for a trial. While they don't argue cases in court, their behind-the-scenes work is essential for the legal team's success.
To enter the world of paralegals, you'd typically need an associate degree in paralegal studies or a bachelor's degree in another field, followed by a certificate in paralegal studies. The ability to research thoroughly, strong organizational skills and excellent communication are all part of the job.
Major law firms and organizations that hire Paralegals include:
- Baker McKenzie
- DLA Piper
- Jones Day
- Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
- Many local and state government agencies also hire paralegals for various departments.
Salary: $140,000 - 158,000 (source)
If you've ever been fascinated by how medications can help heal and improve lives, then the world of pharmacy might be where you belong. Pharmacists are not just the folks behind the counter at your local drugstore; they're medication experts and play a crucial role in the healthcare system.
A typical day for a Pharmacist involves more than just counting pills. They advise patients on how to take their medications, watch out for possible drug interactions, give flu shots, and sometimes even provide health screenings or advice on general health concerns. They're a go-to resource for any questions about medicine!
To embark on this path, you'd need to complete a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree from an accredited pharmacy school, and then you'll have to pass licensing exams. These exams ensure you're ready to practice safely and effectively. Strong attention to detail, excellent communication skills, and a deep understanding of medicines are crucial for this job.
Major companies and organizations that hire Pharmacists include:
- CVS Health
- Rite Aid
- Kaiser Permanente
28) PR (Public Relations) Specialist
Salary: $54,000 - 67,000 (source)
If you have a knack for storytelling, love building relationships, and are intrigued by shaping public perception, then the dynamic world of public relations (PR) might be calling your name. PR Specialists are the bridge between organizations and the public, helping to create a positive image and reputation for their clients.
Imagine being behind the scenes, managing how a company or individual interacts with the media and the general public. A PR Specialist's day can involve crafting catchy press releases, organizing events to promote a new product, coordinating interviews for company leaders, or even managing a crisis communication strategy when things are unplanned. It's all about making sure the client's best foot is always forward in the public eye.
A bachelor's degree in public relations, communications, journalism, or a related field is typically required to rock this role. Skills like excellent writing and speaking abilities, a keen sense of current events, and the ability to think on your feet are vital.
Major companies and firms that hire PR Specialists include:
- Weber Shandwick
29) Project Manager
Salary: $107,000 - 150,000 (source)
If you're the type of person who loves bringing order to chaos, ensuring that things run smoothly, and leading teams to success, then the role of a Project Manager (PM) could be your perfect match. PMs are the guiding stars of businesses and organizations, ensuring projects are completed on time, within budget, and to everyone's satisfaction.
Imagine being handed a big task, like launching a new product or building a new office space. As a Project Manager, it's your job to break down this big goal into smaller tasks, assign them to the right people, set deadlines, and ensure everyone stays on track.
It's like being an orchestra conductor, ensuring every instrument (or team member) plays their part at the right time. If challenges arise, you're there to find solutions and keep things moving forward.
A bachelor's degree in business or a related field is often required for this role. Some PMs also get a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Key skills include problem-solving, great communication, and leadership abilities.
Major companies and organizations that often hire Project Managers include:
Salary: $81,000 - 108,000 (source)
If you're intrigued by human behavior, emotions, and thoughts, and you have a deep passion for helping others navigate life's challenges, diving into psychology could be your calling. Psychologists study the mind and behavior, helping people understand and manage their emotions, relationships, and overall mental well-being.
Imagine spending your day listening to individuals, conducting therapy sessions, or perhaps researching human behavior.
There are many different types of psychologists. We have a whole list of careers in psychology.
A Psychologist's day could range from working with kids facing school challenges to adults dealing with stress or trauma to older adults facing life transitions. It's about understanding the "why" behind our feelings and actions and guiding individuals toward positive change.
To step into this role, you'd typically need a doctoral degree in psychology (Ph.D. or Psy.D.), although some positions only require a master's degree. Licensure is also essential, including completing an internship and passing a state exam. You need patience, excellent listening abilities, and a genuine desire to help others.
Places and organizations that commonly employ Psychologists include:
- Private practices
- Schools and universities
- Mental health clinics
- Government agencies
31) Real Estate Agent
Salary: $44,000 - 57,000 (source)
If you have an eye for properties, enjoy networking with people, and get a thrill from closing deals, then stepping into the world of real estate might be your thing. Real Estate Agents are the champions who help people buy, sell, or rent properties. From dreamy homes to slick office spaces, they know the ins and outs of the property market.
Imagine visiting homes, meeting clients, and discussing their must-haves for their next place. Or perhaps, hosting open houses where potential buyers can pop in and envision their future in a new home.
As a Real Estate Agent, you'll negotiate offers, complete paperwork, and ensure buyers and sellers are satisfied.
To embark on this journey, you usually need a high school diploma and must then complete a certain amount of real estate courses. Afterward, you'll need to pass a licensing exam. Great interpersonal skills, local property market knowledge, and a keen sense of negotiation are key to thriving in this field.
Companies and places that frequently work with Real Estate Agents include:
- Century 21
- Coldwell Banker
- Keller Williams
Salary: $44,000 - 65,000 (source)
If you have a knack for spotting potential in people, enjoy building relationships, and get satisfaction from matching job seekers with their perfect job, then the role of a Recruiter might be your calling.
Recruiters are the super-connectors of the job world, ensuring companies have the right talent onboard to succeed.
Picture yourself scanning resumes, interviewing potential candidates, and being the first point of contact for people eager to start a new job. You'll get to know the ins and outs of various industries and the kind of talent they require.
It's your job to ensure that the match between a job seeker and a company is about skills, culture fit, and shared values.
To excel in this role, a bachelor's degree in human resources or a related field is often beneficial but not always required. What's more important is your ability to communicate effectively, judge character, and understand both the needs of companies and potential employees.
Companies and firms that frequently hire Recruiters include:
- Robert Half
33) Research Scientist
Salary: $76,000 - 114,000 (source)
If you're driven by curiosity, love diving deep into complex problems, and get excited about discoveries, then wearing the hat of a Research Scientist might be your destiny.
Research Scientists are the brilliant minds that explore the unknowns in our world, making breakthroughs in fields ranging from medicine to technology and from astronomy to environmental science.
Imagine spending your day in a lab, experimenting with new compounds, or maybe in front of a supercomputer, analyzing vast amounts of data. Your day could also involve reading the latest research articles or collaborating with fellow scientists worldwide. Research Scientists are the pioneers pushing the boundaries of human knowledge.
You'd typically need a Ph.D. in your chosen field to embark on this intellectually rewarding journey. But before that, a bachelor's and often a master's degree are essential steps. Critical thinking, persistence, and, most importantly, a relentless thirst for knowledge are vital in this role.
Companies and institutions that frequently hire Research Scientists include:
- Google DeepMind
- The Broad Institute
- Universities and research institutes globally
34) Software Developer
Salary: $74,000 - 98,000 (source)
If you enjoy solving puzzles, have a passion for technology, and like the idea of creating digital tools or games, then the role of a Software Developer might be the perfect fit for you. Software Developers are the tech-savvy creators behind almost every app, website, and software program we use.
Picture this: you're sitting at your computer, sipping your favorite drink, and coding a new feature for a popular app or perhaps crafting a fun video game.
Your day might also involve team meetings to brainstorm ideas, debugging code to fix sneaky issues, or collaborating with designers to ensure your software looks as good as it functions.
To step into the world of software development, you typically need a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field. However, some developers are self-taught or attend coding boot camps.
The key skills you'd need include proficiency in programming languages (like Python, Java, or C++), problem-solving abilities, and a continuous urge to learn since technology keeps evolving.
Companies that frequently hire Software Developers include:
35) Supply Chain Manager
Salary: $107,000 - 138,000 (source)
If you have a knack for organizing, love the idea of overseeing the journey of products from manufacturing to the customer's hands, and find satisfaction in efficient operations, the role of a Supply Chain Manager might be right up your alley.
Supply Chain Managers ensure that products move smoothly through each phase, from suppliers to factories and warehouses to stores or customers.
Imagine coordinating a vast network: ensuring raw materials arrive at a factory on time, overseeing their transformation into products, making sure those products get to warehouses, and finally, ensuring they reach the customer.
It's like conducting a grand orchestra where every section plays its part harmoniously. You'd work closely with various departments like production, purchasing, and transportation, ensuring everything runs like clockwork.
Most Supply Chain Managers have a bachelor's degree in business, logistics, or a related field. Some even pursue master's degrees or special certifications in supply chain management. Important skills include problem-solving, communication, and analytical thinking.
Companies that frequently hire Supply Chain Managers include:
- Procter & Gamble
36) Systems Analyst
Salary: $73,000 - 90,000 (source)
If you have a passion for technology, are good at solving problems, and like helping people, then the job of a Systems Analyst might be a good fit for you. Systems Analysts are the tech superheroes who ensure businesses' computer systems run smoothly and efficiently.
Your day as a Systems Analyst might include meetings with managers to understand their tech needs, troubleshooting problems with the company's computer systems, or recommending new software to make the company's work easier and more efficient.
You'd also spend time ensuring all the different tech systems in a company can talk to each other and work together.
Most Systems Analysts have a bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field. Some also have a business background because it's important to understand the company's tech and business side.
Skills important for this job include problem-solving, communication, and technical programming or data analysis skills.
Companies that frequently hire Systems Analysts include:
- Dell Technologies
- Cisco Systems
- JPMorgan Chase & Co.
37) Technical Writer
Salary: $62,000 - 82,000 (source)
If you have a way with words, a love for technology, and a talent for making complex things sound simple, you might find your calling as a Technical Writer.
Technical Writers bridge the gap between tech experts and the general public or non-tech-savvy users. They craft guides, manuals, online help systems, and other documentation to make tech products more user-friendly.
Imagine getting a new gadget or software. Often, it comes with a manual or an online guide. That's the work of a Technical Writer.
You'd spend your day collaborating with engineers, software developers, or product managers to understand the nitty-gritty of a product. Then, you'd write, edit, and sometimes even illustrate instructions in a way that's easy for anyone to understand.
To be a top-notch Technical Writer, you usually need a bachelor's degree, often in English, communication, or journalism, though some come from a technical background. Key skills include clear writing, understanding technical concepts, and patience (because making things clear can take a few drafts!).
Companies that frequently hire Technical Writers include:
38) Telecommunications Specialist
Salary: $77,000 - 96,000 (source)
If you're intrigued by how we send and receive information through various forms of technology, a career as a Telecommunications Specialist could be your calling. These specialists are all about ensuring people and companies can communicate seamlessly, whether through phones, the internet, or other communication systems.
Imagine being the person who ensures that a company's phone system never drops a call or that their internet speed is lightning fast.
As a Telecommunications Specialist, your day might include setting up new communication systems, troubleshooting any issues, or working with other tech pros to upgrade the systems to the latest and greatest.
To dive into this career, you'd typically need a bachelor's degree in telecommunications, computer science, or a related field. Being familiar with different types of communication tech, from VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) to cellular networks, is a huge plus.
Important skills include problem-solving, a deep understanding of tech, and communicating clearly with non-tech folks.
Companies that frequently hire Telecommunications Specialists include:
- Cisco Systems
39) UX/UI Designer
Salary: $48,000 - 69,000 (source)
If you've ever used an app or a website and thought, "This looks so cool!" or "This is so easy to use!", chances are a UX/UI Designer was behind it.
The terms stand for User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) design. These creative pros make sure that digital products are not only visually appealing but also user-friendly.
Imagine shaping an app's appearance, colors, buttons, and layouts (that's the UI part). Now, imagine deciding how a user interacts with it: where they click, how they navigate, and what they feel while using the app (that's the UX part).
As a UX/UI Designer, you'll collaborate with developers, product managers, and sometimes even users to create an enjoyable digital experience.
To excel in this role, many start with a bachelor's degree in design, human-computer interaction, or a related field. A keen eye for aesthetics and a deep understanding of human behavior is essential. And yup, you'll likely need to get familiar with design software like Adobe XD, Figma, or Sketch.
Companies that frequently hire UX/UI Designers include:
40) Venture Capitalist
Salary: $263,000 - 325,000 (source)
If you've got a knack for spotting potential in startups and enjoy being at the forefront of innovation, venture capitalism might be calling your name.
Venture Capitalists (or VCs) are the folks who provide funding to startups and small companies that have the potential to grow big. Think of them as talent scouts for the business world.
Imagine sifting through tons of business ideas, meeting with passionate entrepreneurs, and then deciding which ones have the potential to become the next big thing. As a VC, you'll invest money into these startups and in return, get a stake in the company.
The goal? See that startups thrive, grow, and offer a solid return on investment. It's not just about money, though. VCs often provide guidance, mentorship, and their business network to help startups succeed.
To rock this role, you'll typically need a strong background in finance, often with an MBA or related degree. Having experience in business, a sharp analytical mind, and a keen understanding of market trends is crucial. Being a risk-taker, yet wise about where and how much to invest, is the game.
Companies or firms that are major players in the venture capitalist realm include:
- Sequoia Capital
- Andreessen Horowitz
- Accel Partners
- Greylock Partners
Salary: $50,000 - 70,000 (source)
Writers and authors are the magical minds behind the stories we can't put down, the articles that open our eyes, and the content we consume daily. Whether it's spinning a fantastic tale in a novel, informing the public with journalism, or even creating content for websites and ads, writers use words to connect, inform, and inspire.
Imagine sitting at your desk, sipping your favorite drink, and diving deep into your imagination or research. As a writer, your words can take readers to other worlds, offer new perspectives, or even change someone's mind about a topic.
Every genre, from science fiction to historical biographies, needs a writer to bring it to life. And thanks to the digital age, there are even more platforms and mediums seeking the skills of talented writers.
While some writers have degrees in English, journalism, or creative writing, others break into the field based on pure talent, passion, and experience. A love for reading, a strong grasp of language, and the perseverance to revise and improve your work are key.
Building a portfolio of your writing, no matter how small, can be a golden ticket into the industry.
Companies and platforms where writers and authors can find opportunities include:
- Penguin Random House
- The New York Times
White Collar vs. Pink Collar vs. Blue Collar
Since the workforce was primarily male when these titles were created, the titles of these job types are mostly based on men’s fashion.
A white-collar job is someone who works in an office and usually earns a salary. This type of job is called “white collar” because people in these roles tend to wear “business casual” or “business professional” style clothing, which for men often includes a white shirt and a tie.
Often, white-collar jobs require secondary, higher education, such as business school, master’s degrees, or doctoral degrees. However, entry-level jobs that require less education, such as receptionists or administrative assistants, may not be required to have higher education.
On the other hand, a blue-collar worker is usually paid hourly or a lump sum for each job completed. For instance, a plumber might charge $300 for home visits and repairs, while a construction worker might be paid by the hour.
Blue-collar workers often require skilled education, such as tech school, a trade degree, or on-site mentorship. For instance, a welder or plumber needs certification, an engineer needs an engineering degree, and hairstylists need an aesthetician license.
Pink-collar workers were typically jobs that women did in the early 1900s, such as teaching and nursing. It has expanded to encompass healthcare and service jobs with some combination of technical knowledge, manual labor, and administrative skills and is not restricted to women. This includes medical technicians, such as people who perform ultrasounds and x-rays, social workers, dental hygienists, and childcare workers.
Remember that all these titles for different types of work started when work was more separated to different genders, classes, and skill levels. In modern times, the lines have become more blurred as technology has changed so rapidly, and more people can get various jobs outside of class boundaries.
Threat of AI
So, you've heard about AI and how it's starting to play a big role in many jobs. Understanding AI's impact is super important for those eyeing white-collar or office-type jobs. Let's dive deeper.
Where AI Might Take Over
- Data Entry & Analysis - Computers are fast at sorting, reading, and entering data. Jobs all about punching numbers or handling repetitive tasks are at risk because AI can do these quicker and without mistakes.
- Customer Service - Ever chatted with a "bot" online when you had a question about a product? That's AI in action. This means fewer humans might be needed for basic customer service roles.
- Research - AI can scan and read tons of information in seconds. So, some jobs that involve looking up loads of data might see a change.
- Basic Financial Tasks - Computer programs can now do simple things like checking if numbers match or if someone can get a loan.
How AI is Helping, Not Replacing Jobs
- Making Decisions
AI can help people in big businesses make decisions by offering them loads of data quickly. But humans must still use their brains and experience to choose the best option.
- Creativity & Design
While AI can suggest ideas based on what's popular, human touch is needed for truly unique and creative projects.
- Teamwork & Collaboration
AI can help organize work, but humans still need to work together, communicate, and complete projects.
- Learning & Training
Some cool AI programs can help teach and train people in new skills, but human trainers and mentors provide guidance, understanding, and support that machines can't.
Remember, AI isn't necessarily "bad" or "good." It's a tool; just like any tool, it's all about how we use it. As you think about your future job, consider how to work with AI, not against it. By combining what machines are good at with the special things only humans can do, you're setting yourself up for a bright future!
Should You Be A White Collar Worker?
The choice of what job to do is not always an easy one. But we all want to be satisfied with our jobs, meaning we want to feel fulfilled, like we’re earning what we are worth and overall feel like our job is increasing our quality of life.
Still not sure if you’d be a good fit for a white-collar job? Try the quiz below!
1) Do you enjoy working on a computer for long periods?
2) How do you feel about attending regular meetings?
A) I like them
B) Not my thing
3) Would you prefer working indoors most of the time?
4) Do you enjoy solving complex problems?
5) How do you handle tight deadlines?
6) Do you like reading and researching on various topics?
B) Not really
7) How's your attention to detail?
A) Very sharp
B) Could be better
8) Would you enjoy leading or managing a team?
9) How do you feel about continuously learning new things related to your job?
10) Would you be comfortable with occasional business travels?
11) Do you find satisfaction in completing paperwork or administrative tasks?
B) It's tedious
12) Would you enjoy making presentations?
A) Love it
B) Dread it
13) Do you have strong organizational skills?
B) Not really
14) How would you handle criticism from a boss or coworker?
15) Are you comfortable networking and forming professional relationships?
B) It's difficult
16) Would you enjoy setting and achieving targets or goals?
B) I prefer a steady pace
17) Are you comfortable working with data and analytics?
18) How do you feel about multitasking?
A) I thrive
B) I struggle
19) Would you be interested in a job where the tasks can sometimes be repetitive?
A) It's okay
B) I'd get bored
20) Can you adapt to new software or technology quickly?
B) It's challenging
Mostly A's: You have many qualities that fit the white-collar job environment. Exploring such careers could be fruitful for you!
Mixed or Mostly B's: While you might have some traits suitable for white-collar jobs, other career paths might align better with your preferences.
Remember, this quiz is just for fun and gives a general idea. It's always important to seek advice, research, and introspect before making career choices.
You can take our free careers quiz if you’re still unsure if you should be a white-collar worker or want to see what other kinds of jobs you might be good at.