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10 jobs that let you dress down

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( -- Wouldn't it be nice if your job didn't involve wearing something starched and confining every day?

While dress guidelines vary from company to company, some jobs trade traditional business attire in favor of a more casual sense of style, whether it's done daily or only occasionally. Other companies may favor T-shirts and jeans to collared shirts and ties.

Often, what constitutes a dress code comes down to a matter of company culture, your role at your job and how much customer interaction you have while you're there. Technology, design and manual labor jobs tend to be a little more lax, while jobs that involve face-to-face customer interaction tend to be all business.

The general rule to remember is that sloppy and disheveled are never acceptable. Whether you're required to wear corporate casual or t-shirts and jeans, you're still a reflection of the company's image -- so try to keep it clean.

Here are a few jobs that tend to keep it casual:

1. Electricianexternal link What they do: Install, connect and maintain electrical systems and controls for homes, businesses, factories and other locations.

What about the job allows it: Because this job requires freedom to bend, stretch and maneuver in tight areas, but also calls for appropriate flame-resistant or retardant personal protection, workers tend to dress casually. It's important for electricians to have the proper safety gear and most follow a general uniform of t-shirts or long-sleeved shirts and jeans.

What it pays: The median annual salary is $40,000.*

2. Rock Criticexternal link What they do: Write reviews of band albums, concerts and music news. They relate rock to society, pop culture and previously established musical works and talent. They also conduct interviews with people involved in the industry.

What about the job allows it: In certain environments or for special events, rock critics may dress formally, but due to the nature of their job, critics generally adapt a style all their own. This includes t-shirts and jeans, business casual, business suits and everything in between.

What it pays: The median annual salary is $35,000.

3.Gardener/Landscaperexternal link What they do: Plan, plant and maintain landscaping, primarily tending to shrubs, flowers and other greenery.

What about the job allows it: Gardeners spend a lot of time dealing with grass and dirt, so jeans, T-shirts and other clothes that provide a relaxed fit and protection are important to getting the job done.

What it pays: The median annual salary is $32,500.

4.Chefexternal link What they do: Create food and drink presentations in accordance with the theme and expectations of the establishment for which they work.

What about the job allows it: Because they are in the kitchen, chefs may wear T-shirts, but because they may be seen by clientele, these T-shirts can't show through their chef coats. The standard uniform can require a chef jacket, hat, apron, pants and proper footwear.

What it pays: The median annual salary is $37,500.

5. High School Teacherexternal link What they do: Use interactive discussions and instruction to educate students on concepts related to subjects such as mathematics and English.

What about the job allows it: Teachers have dress code limitations, but depending on the environment, they may follow a business casual form of dressing or more relaxed guidelines. Holidays and special events allow opportunities for more exceptions at some schools. Stronger restrictions are usually enforced regarding wearing religious symbols in public school settings.

What it pays: The median annual salary is $40,000.

6. Film Editorexternal link What they do: Oversee and assemble the post-production shots of televised projects.

What about the job allows it: As a member of the crew that's working behind-the-scenes, film editors are often permitted to be a little lax with their dress. Meetings with clients and certain special events may require some days to be more dressy than others.

What it pays: The median annual salary is $41,600.

7. Graphic Designerexternal link What they do: Create visual designs to creatively communicate their clients' information. Work includes creating logos, updating company Web sites and collateral layout and design.

What about the job allows it: As creative employees that spend a significant amount of time behind the screen, graphic designers may work for companies that allow them to have a little more freedom with the way they dress.

What it pays: The median annual salary is $34,000.

8. Accessory Designerexternal link What they do: Analyze fashion trends and create designs for accessories, such as hats, belts, watches and jewelry.

What about the job allows it: Accessory designers are often eclectic with their style, particularly if it is a reflection of a new accessories trend. More elaborate accessories and individual style may be seen as a reflection of their taste as a designer.

What it pays: The median annual salary is $46,500.

9.Computer Tech Support/Consultantexternal link What they do: Assist employees and customers in understanding and resolving technical problems in person, over the phone or through other technological means.

What about the job allows it: The job primarily involves being on the phone and working with computers, so many companies offer a more easy-going dress code. Jeans and collared shirts or T-shirts are often acceptable.

What it pays: The median annual salary is $40,000.

10. Restaurant Managerexternal link What they do: Organize and oversee the staff and operations of a restaurant. Work includes handling employee and client concerns, calling in product orders and administrative duties.

What about the job allows it: Depending upon the formality of the restaurant, some may have stricter rules that require business suits and blazers, while other locations may allow collared shirts and jeans, or a pair of jeans and a shirt with the company logo.

What it pays: The median annual salary is $39,177.

*Salary information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and

© Copyright 2007. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority

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