People who want to start a good career after high school have many options. On-the-job training, not academic coursework, is the most significant source of preparation for most occupations. And many on-the-job training occupations pay well. In fact, most of the workers in the occupations shown on the chart are in the highest earnings quartile—they are among the highest paid 25 percent of all workers. These occupations are expected to have job openings for thousands of new workers annually between 1998 and 2008. The openings will result from job growth and from workers who retire or leave the occupations
permanently for other reasons.
All but two of the occupations in the chart—operating engineer and postal mail carrier—require long-term on-the-job-training. In long-term on-the-job training, workers receive instruction for more than 1 year while employed in an occupation. Operating engineers need moderate-term on-the-job training, which involves 1 to 12 months of paid on-the-job experience and informal training. Postal mail carriers receive short-term on-the-job training, developing the skills they need after a brief demonstration of job duties or 1 month or less of paid on-the-job experience or instruction.
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