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Ten jobs that pay $20 an hour

  • Story Highlights
  • 59 percent of U.S. workers are waged labor (paid hourly)
  • U.S. Census Bureau: median household salary is $48,201
  • That puts the average hourly rate at $23.17 based on a 40-hour workweek
  • Other $20/hr jobs: clergy, electrician, and food scientists
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By Rachel Zupek
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Think back to your first job at the local ice cream shop. Working after school, 15 hours per week at $7 an hour was enough to fulfill your wishes, hopes and dreams. (Let's be honest, back then, none of us wished for much more than a reciprocated crush and a big allowance.)

Those days have long since passed. Unless you're a waged worker (paid hourly) like 59 percent of U.S. workers are, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you probably don't have a clue what your salary translates to per hour.

The median household salary is $48,201, according to the 2006 U.S. Census Bureau report. This makes the average hourly rate $23.17 based on a 40-hour workweek.

We've made a list of jobs in various industries; each position earns between $20 and $30 per hour and is experiencing job growth through 2016, based on data from the BLS.

Here are 10 jobs that earn more than $20 per hour:

1. Gaming supervisors -- $20.38/ hour*

Gaming supervisors watch over assigned areas in casinos and gaming facilities to make sure that all gaming stations are covered and gamblers are following the rules.

Annual salary: $42,390*
Growth through 2016: 23 percent
Industry: Personal care and services

2. Health educators -- $21.81/hour

Health educators encourage people and communities to live healthy lifestyles by teaching them about healthy behaviors and how to prevent diseases.

Annual salary: $45,370

Growth through 2016: 26 percent

Industry: Community and social services

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3. Subway and streetcar operators -- $22.20/hour

Subway and streetcar operators control or drive trains, electric-powered streetcars, trolleys or light-rails that transport passengers through cities, suburbs and metropolitan areas.

Annual salary: $46,180

Growth through 2016: 12 percent

Industry: Transportation and materials moving

4. Respiratory therapists -- $23.37/hour

Respiratory therapists practice under a physician's supervision to treat patients with breathing or other cardiopulmonary disorders.

Annual salary: $48,610

Growth through 2016: 23 percent

Industry: Health care practitioner and technicians

5. Curators -- $24.03/hour

Curators manage museums, zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, nature centers and historic sites. They direct collections storage and exhibitions, including negotiating and authorizing the purchase, sale, exchange or loan of collections.

Annual salary: $49,980

Growth through 2016: 23 percent

Industry: Education, training and library occupations

6. Cartographers and photogrammetrists -- $25.29/hour

Cartographers and photogrammetrists analyze and map geographic data provided by surveys, satellite information and photographs.

Annual salary: $52,600

Growth through 2016: 20 percent

Industry: Architecture and engineering

7. Multimedia artists and animators -- $27.90/hour

Multimedia artists and animators create special effects, animation or other visual images seen in movies, television programs and computer games.

Annual salary: $58,030

Growth through 2016: 26 percent

Industry: Arts, design, entertainment, sports and media

8. Arbitrators, mediators and reconcilers -- $28.27/hour

Arbitrators, mediators and reconcilers decide or recommend resolutions, penalties and liabilities on claims regarding legal matters.

Annual salary: $58,790

Growth through 2016: 11 percent

Industry: Legal

9. Urban and regional planners - $28.33/hour

Urban and regional planners develop plans and programs for land use and physical facilities in towns, cities, counties and metropolitan areas.

Annual salary: $58,940

Growth through 2016: 15 percent

Industry: Life, physical and social sciences

10. Loan officers -- $29.77/hour

Loan officers approve various types of credit loans and advise borrowers on financial status and methods of payments.

Annual salary: $61,930

Growth through 2016: 11 percent

Industry: Business and financial operations

More $20 an hour jobs:

• Clergy -- $20.70/hour

• Gas pumping station operators -- $21. 52/hour

• Electricians -- $22.41/hour

• Dieticians and nutritionists -- $23.02/hour

• Appraisers of real estate -- $24.57/hour

• Editors -- $25.59/hour

• Public relations specialists -- $25.85/hour

• Zoologists and wildlife biologists -- $26.98/hour

• Food scientists-- $28.49/hour

• Detectives and criminal investigators -- $29.03/hour

*All wages and salaries are mean averages provided by the BLS. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

Copyright 2009. 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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