Vocational Careers Reviews

The Best Vocational Careers

We compiled a list of 62 vocational careers and chose 17 of the best to review based on 29 of the most important features.

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Choosing the right vocational career for you

All the vocational careers listed above are excellent options for anyone looking for a stable and well-paying job, but a few of these careers stand out more than others in certain areas. The lists below highlight these jobs, and are a good place to begin the job search for those interested in a certain type of career.

What vocational career features matter and why

Advancement Potential

Advancement Potential discusses how much room there is to advance beyond entry-level positions in the vocational career field. Aside from the salary and benefits offered, this is one of the most important considerations when choosing a career. There are several ways one could advance. Once an individual has gained some work experience, they may be able to move on to a management position. In many fields, there’s the option to go back to school and gain further training. This opens up the possibility of more advanced positions as well. Similarly, some vocational careers have a number of different specialties available and people who choose to specialize in one particular area give themselves a more unique skill set and make themselves more appealing to prospective employers.

Choosing a career is a huge decision, so looking at the potential for advancement is extremely important because it’s likely that one will be employed in their chosen field for a long time.

The most important advancement potential features
  • Further Education – There is room to advance further in this career if you pursue a more advanced degree or certification.
  • Specializations – There are options to specialize in certain areas of your field, giving you more opportunities for advancement.
  • Work Experience – There is room to advance further in this career once you’ve gained more work experience.


Schedule describes the required work hours for professionals in this field. Many of the vocational careers reviewed are full-time positions, though there are a few where part-time work may be an option. Some jobs require a traditional 9-5 schedule while others, particularly careers in the medical field, have more variable schedules with the possibility of night, weekend, or even holiday work. A few of these professions even require employees to be on call, which means they must be available during their time off should an emergency arise.

At the other end of the spectrum, there are a small number of vocational careers, including a few in the IT field, that enable individuals to work from home or to do freelance work. Schedule is an important category to pay attention to because it will have a large impact on how it fits into a person’s lifestyle.

The most important schedule features
  • Freelance – You can work from home on independent projects related to your field.
  • Full-Time – The vocational career offers full-time employment.
  • No Frequent Overtime – You aren’t required to work overtime often.
  • No On-Call – The vocational career doesn’t require you to be available to come into work during your time off.
  • No Work at Nights – You don’t have to work evenings or nights.
  • No Work on Holidays – You don’t have to work on federally recognized holidays, like Thanksgiving or Christmas.
  • No Work on Weekends – You don’t have to work on Saturday or Sunday.
  • Part-Time – The vocational career offers part-time employment.

Education and Training

Education and Training lists the required level of education an individual must complete in order to be eligible for an entry-level job in the vocational field. In most cases, that’s an associate’s degree or some type of postsecondary certification. A few careers require a bachelor’s degree for most entry-level positions, but this is unusual among vocational jobs. A license may also be necessary depending on the field. Sometimes, as an alternative to earning a degree, individuals undergo extensive training once they’re hired and learn their trade on the job. This is becoming less and less common, though there are still a few professions that do this.

When choosing a vocational career, it’s important to know the minimum requirements for getting a job in this field, so this is one category that’s worth paying close attention to.

The most important education and training features
  • Associate’s Degree – You can get an entry-level position in this field with an associate’s degree.
  • Bachelor’s Degree – You can get an entry-level position in this field with a bachelor’s degree.
  • License/Certification – You must hold a special license or certification to work in this field.
  • Long-Term On-the-Job Training – This vocational career requires a significant amount of on-the-job training once you’re hired.


Interaction explains the extent to which the daily tasks of the job require working with other people. In almost every field, there is a mix of performing tasks alone and others within a team. Generally, there are more vocational careers that require a lot of interacting with coworkers and clients or patients. Everyone is going to have a different preference as far as how much they enjoy interacting with others as part of their job, so this category isn’t scored because it’s impossible to say that one of these features is better than another.

The most important interaction features
  • Work Alone – This vocational career requires you to work on projects alone.
  • Work with Clients/Patients – You regularly interact with clients/patients as part of your day-to-day work.
  • Work with Coworkers – This vocational career requires you to work with coworkers on projects.

Required Skills

Required Skills explains the skills and abilities needed to be successful at the job. Depending on the role, an individual may spend most of the day on their feet, occasionally lifting patients or heavy objects. Some vocational careers might require a knowledge of Microsoft Office or a special industry-related software. The ability to meet deadlines is also a common skill required by most professions, and individuals who work with others on a regular basis need to have excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

There are many more abilities one may be required to possess, but the ones listed above give an idea of the basic requirements of a job and whether or not a certain vocational career is a good fit for an individual.

Best Vocational Careers: Summed Up

Vocational CareersBest For...
Registered Nurse
Computer Programmer
Dental Assistant
Part Time
Dental Hygienist
Earning Potential
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
Variety of Specialties
HVAC Technician
Future Outlook
Computer Support Specialist
Communication Skills
Licensed Practical Nurse
Minimal Education
Medical Assistant
No On Call
The most important required skills
  • Communication Skills – You must be able to communicate effectively with others.
  • Extended Sitting – You must be able to sit at a desk for a long period of time.
  • Extended Standing – You must be able to be on your feet for a long period of time.
  • Lift Heavy Objects – You must be able to lift heavy objects and/or patients.
  • Meeting Deadlines – You must be able to work quickly and organize tasks to complete projects by their assigned deadlines.
  • MS Excel Proficiency – You must have a basic understanding of how to use Microsoft Excel.
  • MS Word Proficiency – You must have a basic understanding of how to use Microsoft Word.

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