7 Stable Jobs

As fashion fads come and go each decade, so do employment trends. Back in the late 1990s and very early 2000s, it seemed that all things Internet would be around forever. Employment for dot.com jobs seemed to be an upward trajectory with no limit.

Then 2001 came and things changed.

Internet-related jobs weren't the first positions to take a hit, and they won't be the last. But through all of these ups and downs -- and it's fair to say that this economy is down -- some jobs fare better than others.

The idea of a stable job in this economy might sound impossible to you, but it's not. Looking at the Bureau of Labor Statistics' employment trends, certain industries are showing job growth or remaining flat, even during these tough times.

We looked at these industries and then drilled down to see what positions have been poised for job growth over recent years. Of course, geography plays a huge role in how available some of these jobs are, so your city might have taken a bigger hit in some industries than other places have. Still, this is a good place to start if you're looking for some jobs that are still gaining momentum.

Here are some of today's stable jobs and their average annual salary:

1. Civil Engineers (for the federal government)

What they do: Design public goods (such as roads, bridges, airports) and monitor the progress of construction. They are involved from the concept to the execution of these structures.

Education requirements: At least a bachelor's degree in engineering; additional coursework or training a plus.

Earnings: $62,804

Who's Hiring: Civil Engineers

2. Computer Software Engineers (for the federal government)

What they do: Create computer software, which can range from the applications you use at work to the games you play at home. Computer software engineers are involved from the creation to the testing stages.

Education requirements:At least a bachelor's degree in computer science or software engineering; graduate work in mathematics and system design also beneficial.

Earnings: $75,850

Who's Hiring: Computer Software Engineers

3. Electrical Engineers (for the federal government)

What they do:: Work on and test the electrical equipment that you find in homes, office buildings, cars and airplanes, among other places.

Education requirements: At least a bachelor's degree in engineering; additional coursework or training a plus.

Earnings: $76,264

Who's Hiring: Electrical Engineers

4. Managers for General Merchandise Stores

What they do: Oversee the daily operations of stores, which means they write schedules, ensure merchandise arrives and address customers' concerns.

Education requirements: No strict education requirements, but high school diploma and extensive experience are common requisites.

Earnings: $74,010

Who's Hiring: Managers

5. Marriage and Family Therapists

What they do: Work with families or married couples where one or more parties are experiencing an emotional or mental disorder.

Education requirements: Requirements differ by state, but a master's degree with relevant coursework and counseling license are standard for many therapists.

Earnings: $40,293

Who's Hiring: Marriage and Family Therapists

6. Personal and Home Care Aides

What they do: Assist people who need care with daily tasks in their own home due to illness or disability. They perform housekeeping chores and help patients bathe or move around the house, depending on their needs.

Education requirements: Much training is on-site and there are opportunities for certification, but experience often is the biggest asset.

Earnings: $22,163

Who's Hiring: Personal and Home Care Aides

7. Sales Associates for General Merchandise Stores

What they do: Assist customers with purchases and answer questions about products. Sales associates are often the first and only points of contact customers have when shopping at retail stores.

Education requirements: No minimum education requirements, but many employers have experience requirements.

Earnings: $21,923

Who's Hiring: Sales Associates

Next: What's 'In' and 'Out' on the Job Hunt>>

Industry information based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Salary figures based on data from
, powered by SalaryExpert.com.

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Someone conveniently forgot to mention airline pilots, who in many cases make less than minimum wage to start. Last I heard, ASA and others start first officers at $16,000 or so per year. Aviation is the only industry where I have heard of wages plummeting, because people are so desperate for work and the opportunity to build hours that they will not only underbid eachother, just for the job, but in some cases, people are willing to pay the employer for the priviledge to work there and build hours.

August 17 2009 at 3:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pat kelly

Please correct the poor grammer in your first line. The correct word is their.

July 20 2009 at 7:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to pat kelly's comment


Well, you spelled "grammar" wrong. It's not "er", it's "ar."

July 23 2009 at 12:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Do not have a person with broken English call and try to give me the big sale talk from a script, in New Jersey. If you're honest you can call.

July 19 2009 at 8:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Please respond with the details.

July 15 2009 at 5:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
judy colvin

whats your secret

June 11 2009 at 8:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Lucky You!!!! Most people are sinking right now....what exactly do you do?

June 11 2009 at 10:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Whatever happened to the price freezes? That really helped our people get back on their feet when this economic problem was apparent the last time.

I find that some business are cutting the hours down so much that you certainly cannot live on the wages and it forces people to look elsewhere. This seems to be the thing to do, these days. With the high costs of everything, including gasoline there is just no way 10 to 16 hours a week of employment will help you very much. Depending upon haw far someone commutes that has had their hours cut down so much, the only thing that the wages pay for are the gasoline to get there, back and purchase something to eat hopefully.

June 11 2009 at 10:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Some of these comments are legitimate, but some are screaming scam! If it was so easy to run your own business, people would not be loosing everything. Overall a great solution to the unemployment problem if you can generate enough income soon enough and a move to independence. I agree with the pet biz idea. How can people afford to pay more for pets than kids?

June 11 2009 at 10:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

First off tell us some jobs that do not take 4 years of college. Second then when you grad. your up against the ones who have the same degree with yrs of experience.

Now look at the pay of the other jobs...where is that based on, what part of the country? Is that enough to live on (NET PAY)? Be a nurse, if you can wait 3 yrs to get into school and take the courses needed, then it's 2 yrs of school...before you see a pay check. Who can wait that long?
The 2 biggest problems in this country is one: The pay for jobs today is so low that one can't live on it..employers want something for nothing. Two: Is that the only jobs that the stimulus creats are there till that money is gone and then so are the jobs. Mr. Obama, not my president, needs to help business creat jobs that will be there after stimulus money is gone. The problem is to let business work as the business world and give them help so thay can expand.
Maybe people will wake up when they ask" My neighbor bought a new car, he looses his job 3 month after, then WE the tax payer ( as the Goverment now owns GM & Chrysler) have to pay for his car for a year, we can't even drive the car we are paying for...wise up America.

If the goverments stimulus plan is so good, why did the bail out give us 2 huge companies in bankrupcy, 10,s of thousands unemplyed, 3 lines of cars stop being made, engine company for Chrysler in Kenosha, WI closed only to reopen in Mexico, with tax payer money, how many dealerships gone...we could have done all that without giving them $60 billion dollars.
This artical is not based on what is really going on out here in the USA...24 1/2 yrs at a company and my job is gone...OBAMA stay home and fix the jobs market cause without a job I pay NO TAXES or BUY NOTHING!!!

June 11 2009 at 10:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
James Mershon

Have had retail and customer service , also service technician.I a,m at retirment age, but need and want a people oriented job.Thank you for your time,Sincerely, James Mershon.

June 11 2009 at 10:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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