What's a good job match for someone who is strong, courageous and enjoys helping people?
May 21, 2012 4:44 PM   Subscribe

A friend of mine wants to make a career change. Friend is physically fit, courageous, intelligent and enjoys helping people. Can you help me brainstorm some more options?

An occupation that has a recognizable uniform is a plus. I’ve thought of the obvious ones (fire fighter, EMT/Paramedic, police officer) but I’m hoping you guys can help me come up with some more. The military isn't an option. My friend has a GED and 20 college credits. He’s open to going back to school for additional training.

I would really appreciate any and all suggestions that meeet the above criteria in some way, thank you!
posted by OsoMeaty to Work & Money (7 answers total)
Occupational Therapy Assistant or Physical Therapy Assistant? Only takes an associate's degree, pay is good, job forecast looks great, and being physically fit would definitely help with the PTA jobs. Not sure if there's a uniform of any kind. Dental Hygiene might also be an idea -- friend would get to wear scrubs and a lab coat!
posted by jabes at 4:51 PM on May 21, 2012

Forest ranger or Coast Guard?
posted by jquinby at 4:53 PM on May 21, 2012

posted by shekittymeows at 5:30 PM on May 21, 2012

HERO driver, or your local equivalent of same. Those guys are tops.
posted by jquinby at 5:44 PM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Forest ranger

Most places you need a degree in wildlife, fisheries, forestry or similar to get that kind of job. And it's wicked competitive.

Wildland fire fighting, although it's not exactly good for the lungs, is a reasonably good paying seasonal job that will allow your friend to see if that kind of thing is for him without a huge investment in training or schooling. In some areas it's competitive to get in and some places they need people so it depends on where you live.

Getting an EMT cert then maybe a paramedic is a good place to start if you think you want to go into any of the fields you mention. You'll have to get it for the job anyway, it's good experience, you make some money and you meet people and can network. Another idea is to volunteer for Search and Rescue locally, although this can be an insane timesuck with lots of mandatory meetings and trainings and no pay.
posted by fshgrl at 6:11 PM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

If he's not grosser out by bodily fluids nursing can be a good choice. A nursing assistant is a 6 week certificate course. A licensed practical nurse is a 1 year degree. A Registered Nurse can have either a 2 year or 4 year degree.
posted by MadMadam at 6:14 PM on May 21, 2012

Seconding the wildland firefighter or NPS LE. I am the former and have many friends in the latter field. Generally they are the kind of folks primalux described: fit, motivated, people-oriented and funny as hell.

Firefighters work for the Forest Service, BLM, NPS, BIA, a few Fish & Wildlife outposts, and various state agencies. Your friend can check out the FAQs page on www.wildlandfire.com for more info. One thing to note: as the economy has suffered, the competition for jobs has gotten pretty fierce. However, there's currently a big push across all the agencies to hire more EMT-certified individuals, so getting signed off even as an EMT-Basic would improve your friend's chances dramatically.
posted by Kibby at 7:28 PM on May 21, 2012

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