Career, Counselor, Seattle, Bellevue, WA 98005
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Research the Job Market before Going Back to School

Many people return to school during tough economic times to upgrade their skills with the hope of obtaining a job. However, completing a training certificate or educational program does not necessarily guarantee a job or career. Unfortunately many of the current training programs or college degrees do not develop essential skills for the current job market. Often many of the programs may lead to jobs that pay minimally or offer only part time employment.


Prior to entry into any training or college program,  a thorough job market research will provide with valuable information about the benefits of a program.  Following are steps for researching the job market prior to enrolling into a program. Follow these steps to save your time and money.


Take for example the occupation of Medical Assistant. The Medical Assistant program is offered at many local area community colleges.  The following steps outline how to conduct a thorough search using this occupation as an example.


Step One: Check job listings at the local hospitals and medical clinics to discover if these jobs are posted. Also note what qualifications are required.


Step Two: Check job sites like http://www.hotjobs.com , http://www.craigslist.com , or http://www.careerbuilder.com Seattle, WA to determine how many of these jobs are available and qualifications required.


Step Three: Interview the Director of the college program, not a college adviser, to find how many students are hired after graduation, in full time vs. part time positions as well as starting wages.


Step Four: Explore the Washington Occupation Information Service (WOIS), a data base that provides current information about occupations including Job Responsibilities, Job Outlook and Job Wage information. King County Library and other local area libraries offer this service.


Step Five: Check http://www.salary.com/ or http://www.payscale.com/ for current wage information about the job.


Step Six: Check staffing agencies like http://www.officeteam.com/ , for job and salary information


Step Seven: Interview people who are in the field to determine more about job responsibility, wage and job outlook information. Pdf: Informational Interview Form.


Step Eight: Attend job fairs to discover what companies are hiring, what positions are available and general job information.


Step Nine: Check social networks like http://www.LinkIn.com/ for industry groups and inside connections to hiring managers or referrals for employment.


Step Ten: Check with friends, acquaintances or neighbors who may have contacts in the medical setting.

Employing these steps, I discovered the following information about the job outlook and wages for a Medical Assistant in the Seattle, Bellevue area.


According to the WOIS, the median salary for a medical assistant in the Seattle/Bellevue area is $16.57 an hour or $34,456 yearly. From 2006-2016 the reported job outlook for medical assistants indicated that the number of jobs is projected to increase 23.8%. Salary.com graphed wages for medical assistants in the Seattle/Bellevue which ranged from $28,905 to $34,272 yearly.


Office Team, a temporary help agency, had one temporary job available for a medical receptionist that paid $13 an hour.


Hotjobs.com had several medical assistant/receptionist positions posted. Salaries were not posted. One required 2 years of previous experience. Craigslist.com had no recent job postings for medical assistants. Group Health had one part time posting for a medical assistant.


By conducting thorough research, you will have the satisfaction of making an informed decision about whether it is worth your money and time to pursue the training or educational program. As a college instructor, career trainer and counselor I have helped over three thousand people develop viable educational and career plans.

Schedule your Free Half-Hour Informational Interview:

Fill out the form or feel free to call me at (425) 451-2878 to schedule your appointment.


"I was immediately impressed by Jan. After going through the Dot-Bomb, I knew that I needed to make a career change and that I needed an experienced guide to help choose the right path. Jan's extensive professional credentials -- including her successful track record -- along with her caring, tough-love approach made it a pleasure to work with her. By interpreting standardized aptitude tests, providing counseling, and directing me to conduct career research, Jan helped me to quickly focus on a profession where I can thrive. As a result, Jan has helped me to get on a new and more successful career path. Thanks, Jan! ."--Graham, 41, Seattle

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