Our Favorite Ten Survey Sites For Making Money

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If you are struggling with debt, there are advocates who are waiting to help. Debt consolidation options and services available.

This is the golden age to make money online. That’s why lately you may have seen ads on social media where agencies are investing big bucks to have authentic reviews of products. 

Not everyone can be accepted, but if you are an opinionated consumer and like to shop popular brands, this job offer is on the table for you.

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It’s a good deal for companies too, online surveys are tools used by companies to understand the appeal of their products and services. People can take advantage of their spending routines to make some money by giving their opinion on the products they buy or the services they use. 

In this article, we provide basic information about online surveys, things to consider when filling them, and a list of sites actively hiring for survey responders.

What are online surveys?

Online surveys are digital questionnaires promoted by companies. Their purpose is to gather valuable information from people in order to improve their product, service or brand. 

Participants are often paid in return for such information. Some companies pay participants in cash, while others prefer to offer cash equivalents such as coupons and gift cards.

Most online surveys can be completed in twenty minutes. In general, they ask participants if they use one or more specific products, as well as their personal opinion on their quality and price. However, not everyone can participate in an online survey. 

Companies create criteria that potential participants must match before they are allowed to participate in any given survey. Some companies establish these criteria by asking participants to create an account and provide basic information about them.

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What is required to complete online surveys

Homeowners and renters who are thinking about doing online surveys on their spare time must prepare beforehand. First, they should make a list of brands whose services or products they purchase to measure how many online surveys they could realistically complete. However, most homeowners qualify for surveys that seek information about things almost everyone pays for, such as utility bills or groceries.

Second, people should be aware that most online survey platforms pay through Paypal. As a result, participants will have to create a Paypal account and link it to their bank accounts. 

Setting up a Paypal account is not complicated. A valid email account and identification number is all that is required to start receiving money. However, participants who prefer to cash out their rewards in gift cards may skip this step.

Third, some survey sites award points after each survey is complete. Rewards can be claimed once a certain number of points have been earned. In other cases, participants are given a flat amount of money per survey. However, sites who award money right away may impose minimum withdrawal limits, which can be between $50 and $100.

Finally, participants should be willing to provide personal information. Online surveys often ask questions that some people might be uncomfortable answering. 

It is recommended to read the fine print before signing up and understanding the nature of each survey before agreeing to participate in them. Most websites allow participants to abandon the survey if they do not agree with any of the questions.

Things to consider when doing online surveys

Regardless of which site they choose, participants must always read the fine print and be fully aware of all the terms and conditions. Despite their simplicity, online surveys can take a significant amount of time when added up. As a result, it is important to focus on a single survey website until enough points have been earned and a reward can be claimed. 

Jumping between survey sites is not recommended. Participants who do so often end up spreading their points across multiple platforms, claiming fewer rewards and thus making less money. However, participants are encouraged to test different alternatives after claiming a reward if the chosen survey site failed to meet expectations.

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Best online survey sites

Online surveys are one of many possibilities struggling families can exploit to help cover monthly expenses. Although $2 for a single survey may seem like a drop in a bucket, after a month of casual work, diligent people can add $200 to their pocket. In this section, we offer a list of ten online survey sites that offer reliable rewards.

  1. PaidViewPoint

PaidViewPoint is one of the best survey sites on the Internet. It has a long list of comprehensive surveys which take between 5 and 10 minutes to complete. Participants can withdraw their earnings starting from $15, either as cash to a Paypal account or as an Amazon or Walmart gift card. 

PaidViewPoint has become one of the best places for people looking to make extra money with online surveys. This is because of its simple interface and easy registration process.

  1. VIP Voice

VIP Voice is an online research community that belongs to the NPD Group. With more than 3 million users, VIP Voice is one of the largest survey sites on the Internet. 

Homeowners and renters who decide to join this community will get about 3 to 5 surveys each week, with the potential to make around $30 each month with little effort. VIP Voice does not give direct cash rewards. Instead, members receive points which can be used to enter sweepstakes and auctions. 

Winning a sweepstake may award cash, vacations and more. Auctions allow members to bid on products and services. Students may find VIP Voice an attractive proposition due to the $5,000 scholarship opportunity it provides to its members.

  1. Swagbucks

Swagbucks is a well-known online money making website, offering many alternatives to make quick cash beyond surveys. However, online surveys are one of its most popular features. Swagbucks is very newcomer-friendly, awarding free points to its members. 

It also awards $5 to new members who complete one survey right after they sign up. Users of this website can withdraw their earnings to a Paypal account or through gift cards from known retailers like Amazon.

  1. Toluna 

Toluna is another popular survey panel used by a large number of marketing companies around the world. Although it offers other products and services, the survey panel remains its most popular membership program. 

Each completed survey grants a number of points which can be exchanged for a voucher after enough points have been earned. Most surveys take 15 minutes to complete. In general, it takes about 4 hours to gather 80,000 points and turn them into a $15 voucher.

  1. MyPoints

MyPoints was established in 1996 as a rewards program website. Registered members can collect points by completing purchases from selected retailers. To collect points faster, members can complete daily online surveys. Unlike other survey panels, MyPoints rewards its members even if they are disqualified from a survey. 

Online surveys are not the only way to collect points on this website. Inviting friends, playing select games and printing coupons also give a considerable amount of points. Money earned can be exchanged for gift cards or sent to a Paypal account.

  1. Opinion Outpost 

Opinion Outpost is an online market research pioneer. This decade-old free community offers rewards for sharing opinions on certain products and services. 

The website is one of the most reliable in terms of fast payments, as it often takes less than several hours to deposit earnings. Those who decide to join can claim rewards as cash to a Paypal account or as iTunes and Amazon gift cards.

  1. One Opinion

One Opinion is similar to other free online communities mentioned above. Members are asked to share their opinions on selected products and services in return for points which can be traded for cash through Paypal or Visa prepaid cards. 

People can make hundreds of points per day by completing surveys, including those in which they were disqualified. The minimum amount that can be redeemed is 25,000 points which is equal to $25.

  1. Survey Junkie 

Survey Junkie is a popular alternative for people who already tested other paid survey websites. The company does not have a mobile app, which means that most of its surveys are meant to be completed on a computer. 

However, its constant stream of quality surveys and flexible payment methods make up for the lack of mobile options. Also, earnings are available for withdrawal as soon as $10 or 1,000 points are reached, a lower amount than most other survey sites.

  1. PointClub

PointClub offers much more variety than its competitors. Like many other popular survey sites, PointClub rewards points even if the member gets disqualified. However, it stands out due to its extensive reward options, which include Visa prepaid cards, Walmart and Amazon gift cards, and movie vouchers. 

The downside of PointClub is its high requirements for withdrawal. The only options are 25,000 points for a $25 gift card or 50,000 points for $50 sent to a Paypal account.

  1. Harris Poll 

Harris Poll is not as popular as other alternatives, mostly due to its focus on packaged food products. However, the companies looking to perform market research through this website tend to offer much higher pay than other online survey platforms. 

For example, a standard survey on Harris Poll pays between $3 and $4 and can be completed in less than 20 minutes. There are more comprehensive surveys called local panels that can take two to four hours to complete but pay as much as $75. Harris Poll is a potential gold mine for food enthusiasts.

Jumping From Minimum Wage to $65k a Year With an Online Degree

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Recent graduates with online degrees are earning $65,000 a year now and they have less debt compared to traditional students. Combine affordability, flexibility, and real career options and it becomes clear why online programs are creating real value.

If you’re stuck at a dead-end job or just ready to get started, use this shortcut to find schools offering incentives to start today.

Online programs are recruiting non-traditional students who demonstrate drive and ambition. 

Combine ambitious students with online programs and what do you get? Awards and recognition is the answer because these programs consistently rank among the best online colleges nationwide year after year. 

We narrowed it down to a handful of online programs as a case study. Where students who came in making close to minimum wage, within a few years after graduation they are all averaging $69,000 in salary. This article explores their online programs and how they are able to help non-traditional students while keeping tuition affordable.


First, a degree from one of these schools leads to real jobs. If you want the corner office, you will have to work for it, but these programs will get you in the door. In recent years the median earnings of a college graduate have been about $27,000 a year. However, recent graduates with a focused education from an online program are averaging $39,000 instead. Take a moment to let that sink in. Graduates with an online degree can earn more than graduates from traditional 4-year universities.

After six years, graduates of these programs can expect to earn around $46,000. Some career paths are more lucrative with one in four graduates earning more than $65,000 after completing their degree. 

To understand why online education is so important for this generation, consider working parents. Attending college remains out of reach for many working parents who might not have time or money to invest in continuing education. Moving courses to the internet has been something like an evolution for single parents. With flexible schedules, parents have demonstrated they can succeed in continuing education.

One particularly moving story comes from Elisa Magagna of Pocatello, Idaho. She was a single parent, age 31 earning $9.50 an hour. But she saw the opportunities a college degree could create. Elisa had to think of a way to get there. “I wasn’t making very much money at all, just above minimum wage.” A single mom of four kids, her goal was “to better myself and my life.” Magagna completed a bachelor’s degree online in business administration in just over three years. She kept working full time while raising her family. Guess what, she graduated in June 2017 and had only $3,000 in student loans. After graduating, her salary almost doubled to just under $20 an hour.

If Elisa’s story resonates with you these programs are looking for students like you.

Working parents who have no time to study on-campus can enroll in one of the more than 200 online degree programs. Online students gain access to some unique perks, such as a dedicated academic advisor, online library, advanced tutoring and 24/7 tech support.


How long does it take to finish an online program?

On campus students can choose to study full-time or part-time, whereas online students can select how many subjects they want to attend each academic period. Full-time students often take two courses per eight week period. Whereas part-time students might take one course.

Under normal circumstances, students can finish their courses in the corresponding time. This is two years for associate’s degrees and four years for a bachelor’s degree. For online students, the time it takes to graduate will depend on how many courses they sign up for every academic period.

Join the evolution of adult education and get funding to get started.

Five Two-Year Degrees That Pay Off

Many Americans pursue an education as a way to improve their finances. An associate’s degree from a community college or technical institution is often the quickest path towards a better paying job, but some choices yield better financial results than others.

The average salary of an associate’s degree holder in the United States stands at $33,000 with up to four years of experience. Workers with ten or more years earn an average of $46,000 annually. The degrees we talk about next significantly outperform those numbers, providing above average income across the board.

We have chosen five modern and easy to access career paths that require no more than a two-year degree and pay off considerably well. In most cases, an associate’s degree is all that’s required to become eligible for one of these jobs, while others rely on experience and technical expertise.

Read our article on which jobs can make you earn $100,000 per year with nothing more than a two-year degree.

Radiation Therapist

A radiation therapist is a professional who works within a radiation oncology team. Their job is to administer radiation treatment to cancer patients, although they often serve as liaisons with physicians and care providers in general.

As part of their daily routine, radiation therapists are tasked with preparing equipment and maintaining the records and reports about cancer patients. Most healthcare facilities which offer cancer treatment have at least a few radiation therapists on board to make sure operations run as smoothly as possible.

Working as a radiation therapist requires a bachelor’s degree in radiation therapy. However, people with a two-year degree in Radiography are often hired as long as they are certified in radiation therapy. This certificate takes a year to obtain.

According to data from PayScale.com, a radiation therapist with two to four years of experience can expect a salary of at least $60,000 a year. With ten years of experience or more, the median annual salary goes up to almost $76,000. However, some healthcare facilities will not pay the highest annual salary until employees obtain their bachelor’s degree.

Read our article on how to start a career in medical coding and billing to learn more about this and other similar healthcare positions.

Ultrasound Technician

An Ultrasound Technician is a healthcare professional who handles ultrasonic imaging devices to diagnose a wide array of medical conditions. Most people often associate sonography with viewing babies in the womb, but ultrasound technicians rely on this technology to diagnose hundreds of conditions, such as cardiovascular and neurological diseases.

The required degree to become an ultrasound technician is called sonography. It takes about two years to complete and is divided in several specialties, such as cardiac, obstetrical, vascular and general sonography. People pursuing this career path should be ready to learn about anatomy, physiology and instrumentation.

Ultrasound technicians with four years of experience or less make around $54,000 annually. After ten years of service, annual benefits grow to almost $69,000. However, most sonographers continue their studies, which often increase annual income to as much as $300,000. Those who stick with a two-year degree can expect to remain within $70,000 annually after several years of service.

Wind Turbine Technician

Renewable energy sources are a popular industry at the moment, as wind and solar energy businesses get set up nationwide. This has created a surging need for so-called green-collar workers, who have expertise to install, supervise and maintain the equipment needed to harvest alternative energy resources.

Wind turbine technicians are among the most popular and best paid positions in green energy industries. The average annual salary of a wind turbine technician with no more than four years of experience is $48,000. Workers with more than ten years of experience are paid around $53,000.

Unlike solar panels, wind turbines require constant maintenance to make sure they operate at maximum efficiency. The responsibility to maintain entire wind farm infrastructures falls on the shoulders of wind turbine technicians. People who accept this job should expect to handle a wide array of tasks. They will repair and maintain most wind turbine components, including circuit boards, motors, blades and generators. As such, some knowledge about engineering and electric equipment is required.

So far, there are no specific degrees designed to teach this profession. Most utility companies operating green energy installations have designed training programs to help newcomers get up to speed in a couple of weeks. However, keep in mind that companies often look for workers with knowledge in engineering, or associate’s degrees relevant to the industry.

Railroad Conductor

Railroads are one of the backbones of trade, with millions of products being shipped each year across the country. Working as a railroad conductor has more benefits than people usually think. For example, data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals that most railroad workers belong to unions, which means their salaries are often relatively high.

Railroad Conductors are responsible for the coordination of all freight and passenger activities carried out by train crews. On a daily basis, conductors review schedules, shipping records, waybills, switching orders and other relevant paperwork. In general, an associate’s degree is not required to work as a Railroad Conductor. Railroad companies often ask for no more than a high school diploma or GED. The real challenge is to pass formal training programs and perform above expectations during on-the-job training.

On average, a railroad conductor with two to four years of experience makes around $45,000 a year. This number increases significantly for workers with ten or more years of experience, who earn around $80,000 annually. The low academic requirements needed to join this side of the railroad industry means experience plays a major role in employee selection. However, knowledge in mathematics, engineering and management are positive qualities often sought after by railroad companies.

HVAC Controls Technician

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, commonly known as HVAC, is one of the largest maintenance fields in America. The vast majority of personal homes, commercial buildings and industrial complexes rely on HVAC systems to control temperatures both indoors and outdoors. As a result, it is no wonder that HVAC technicians are always in demand.

In general, an HVAC technician has the required expertise to perform installations, diagnostics and repairs of heating and conditioning equipment. This includes troubleshooting, system updates, controls maintenance, software checking and update, system calibrations, and more.

The HVAC controls technician should not be confused with the HVAC controls programmer, which handles different aspects of the HVAC system, particularly writing and debugging programs used to operate installations. However, HVAC controls technicians and programmers often work together within the company.

HVAC technicians usually specialize in either repair or maintenance. They must have good skills in mathematics, mechanical drawing, computer science, and other relevant topics. There are many training programs nationwide designed to give newcomers toolsets to get started in the HVAC business. During their first few years, HVAC technicians can expect to earn around $43,000 annually. After a decade in service, their salary usually rises to around $57,000.

 

Start Your Nursing Career As A Certified Nursing Assistant

The nation’s aging population is causing increased demand for healthcare professionals. This includes demand for entry-level positions such as Certified Nursing Assistant, or CNA. These professionals, also known as nurse aides, provide basic care to patients and handle certain medical procedures.

To be hired as a certified nursing assistant, prospective workers do not need an expensive college degree. Instead, they must complete a state-approved training program, pass a rigorous test and receive their state licence. In this article, we explain in detail what CNAs do and which steps must be taken to become one.


What Are Certified Nursing Assistants?

Certified Nursing Assistants, or CNAs, are healthcare professionals that work in hospitals, clinics, physician’s offices, home health centers, and other facilities. This position is also known as Nurse Aide, or NA. The responsibilities of a certified nursing assistant will vary depending on where they work. However, most certified nursing assistants help licensed practical nurses and registered nurses carry out basic health care tasks. For example, certified nursing assistants help patients eat, bathe, dress up and move around.

Certified nursing assistants are also trained to perform some medical procedures. For example, they know how to measure and interpret vital signs, administer medication, and provide catheter care. In certain facilities, certified nursing assistants will also be in charge of other tasks, such as greeting new patients, preparing empty rooms and filing paperwork. Also, they are usually required to maintain detailed patient records and prepare reports to help avoid issues between shifts.

Certified nursing assistants can work in both part-time and full-time positions. However, some healthcare facilities require more flexibility, as patients often need assistance during nights or weekends. In general, certified nursing assistants share shifts with licensed practical nurses and registered nurses, who supervise their work and constantly provide instructions. Certified nursing assistants may share workspace instead with home health aides and occupational therapy assistants when working for private healthcare agencies such as home health centers.

How Much Do CNAs Make?

According to a study by PayScale.com, the average salary of an entry-level certified nursing assistant with less than five years of experience is around $23,000 per year. Workers with five to ten years of experience receive compensation of around $25,000. Certified nursing assistants with more than ten years of experience can earn up to $27,000 per year. Actual salary also varies according to location. PayScale.com estimates that certified nursing assistants working in places such as Denver, Colorado and Las Vegas, Nevada, can earn between 11 and 14 percent above the national average.


It is not unusual for certified nursing assistant to advance to better positions in their careers. The most immediate position would be as a licensed practical nurse (LPN), which earns up to $37,000, depending on previous experience and location. To become a licensed practical nurse, certified nursing assistants must complete a state-approved training program, which is offered at community colleges and vocational schools.

The salary of certified nursing assistants matches that of other entry-level positions in the industry. Home health aides, for example, receive on average $23,000 per year when working full time at a home health care agency. Their salary can be higher or lower if they work on their own. Occupational Therapy aide, another high-demand entry-level job position, has an average salary of $28,000 per year. Other positions with higher requirements, such as dialysis and hemodialysis technician, offer better initial salaries above $30,000.

As of 2016, more than 1.6 million nursing assistants were employed around the country. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job demand for nursing assistants is expected to grow at least 11 percent in the next few years. By 2026, the agency predicts that more than 100,000 new nursing assistant job positions will be created.

How To Become A CNA

To become a certified nursing assistant, aspiring workers must first complete a state-approved training program. Such programs are offered by community colleges and vocational schools. However, students must have a high school diploma or GED before being allowed to enroll. Some healthcare facilities also offer CNA training programs to people interested in starting a career in the industry. Aspiring nurses can find a list of state-approved programs by contacting their state’s Board of Nursing.

Most training programs last between six and twelve weeks. The American Red Cross offers a Nurse Assistant Training program, or NAT, which aspiring nurses can take. This program is available in 13 states and prepares students to pass the required CNA examination. Harper College, in contrast, offers a CNA certificate program that lasts for 6 credit hours and can be finished in several days.

Finishing a state-approved program is only the first step to become a certified nursing assistant. The second step is to register with the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and pass the Certified Nursing Aide Competency Exam (CNACE), which is needed to obtain certified status. This exam is also known as Nurse Aide Assessment Examination (NAAE). Newly-trained nurse assistants usually become eligible for the test as soon as they complete their education.

The CNA examination is designed to measure the knowledge of newly-trained nurse assistants and is divided in two parts. The first part is a written examination with around 60 multiple-choice questions that must be answered correctly in less than 90 minutes. However, the actual number of questions and available time varies by state. The second part is a clinical test where newly-trained nurse assistants will be asked to perform several medical procedures. In general, the clinical part is composed of five skill tests, handwashing and indirect care. The amount of time available to complete these tasks is usually 30 to 40 minutes. Those who fail the test can retake it up to three times.

After passing the CNA examination, aspiring nurse assistants must obtain a state license. This is a mandatory requirement in every U.S. state and territory, including the District of Columbia. This license is issued by the state’s Board of Nursing, and all newly-trained nurse assistants must obtain it before they are allowed to work. When issuing a nurse assistants license, states take into account professional and legal history of applicants. Some states also perform a criminal background check to determine professional fitness. Most states require nurse assistants to renew their license every two years. In some cases, this might require retaking the examination.

During the process, newly-trained nurse assistants will be asked to pay a procedure fee, which varies by state. For example, the Florida Board of Nursing charges a $175 licensing and application fee. Additional fees may be charged for fingerprinting. In contrast, applicants living in Nevada must pay $290 for the same fees. The final step for a certified nurse assistant would be to find a job once they have obtained their license from a state Board of Nursing. There are currently more than 80,000 job openings for nurse assistants nationwide.

Most certified nursing assistants go back to school once they join the workforce. By completing a twelve-month program at a community college or vocational school, nurse assistants can become Licensed Practical Nurses, or LPN. After that, they can specialize in a particular medical field, such as IV therapy, pharmacology, long-term care, developmental disabilities and correctional health. Another option is to become a registered nurse (RN) by obtaining an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing. Registered nurses earn between $60,000 and $80,000 per year.

How Affordable Is A CNA Program?

To become a certified nursing assistant, people do not need to apply for a student loan or invest tens of thousands of dollars. The reason is that, as an entry-level position, nursing assistance does not require a college degree. Instead, aspiring nurse assistants only need to complete a certification or state-approved training program before being allowed to work.

On average, a CNA training program costs around $1,200. For example, the NAT program offered by the American Red Cross costs $1,300. The program offered by Harper College has a different price depending on where students come from. In-district students must pay $130 per credit, for a total of $780. Out-of-district students, in contrast, must pay almost $390 per credit, raising the program’s total cost to around $2,300.

Another option is to seek a nursing diploma, which are also offered by community colleges and vocational schools. Their cost is higher than a CNA training program, but workers who complete them will have an easier route towards becoming a registered nurse. A student attending Northeast Community College in Nebraska, for example, would have to pay around $4,000 to obtain a nursing diploma.

How To Improve Your Web Development Training

Web development courses teach students how to create stunning websites. However, they must complement their training with extra measures that will prepare them for future job searches. Some of these steps are not mentioned during training, yet they can prove critical when submitting a successful job application.

Following any of the following suggestions will help people get the best out of their web developer training. It will also improve their chances of landing a good-paying job once training is over. It may require additional work and time, but the rewards are substantial.

Learn Git and join GitHub

Git is a popular version control system used by developers to keep track of changes in computer files. The system allows multiple developers to see changes performed by peers and work on top of them. Git is mostly used to manage source code, but it’s also useful for storing scripts and other content related to web design.

The most popular version control management website is called GitHub. Most veteran web developers recommend newcomers learn about Git and how to use it during their training to have an easier time creating their first projects. They also recommend creating and account and being active in public GitHub projects.

Using GitHub is beneficial for prospective web developers because the website creates a coding and programming history they can use to improve their work. Also, potential employers can see it too. In general, the quality and working practice of a web developer can be deduced from how they write code. As a result, it is recommended that web developers work on their coding style before uploading to GitHub, as it can be a double-edged sword.

Another benefit of GitHub is that it’s free. Hosting projects on the platform has no cost, and the website enforces no time limits when it comes to how long projects can be stored. Frequent users can also have their portfolio made available under a custom sub domain they can share with potential employers.

However, Git is not the only version control system available to web developers. Alternatives such as Mercurial, Subversion, Bitbucket and Gitlab. The choice depends mostly on convenience and preference, as most version control systems offer similar features.

Build a portfolio website

The first thing a web developer should do while in training is put their new skills in practice. This not only helps them become more proficient, it also produces example projects employers can see.

Example projects are often part of the application process of most companies. Some employers ask potential workers to deliver a test assignment instead. Either way, their purpose is to make sure web developers understand what the company is looking for.

Web developers often maintain a portfolio website to showcase their skills through example projects. In general, it is good practice to begin working on a portfolio website before submitting the first job application. Having a working website that can be linked to an application increases the odds of hearing back from employers.

Web developer courses from FreeCodeCamp include creation of portfolio websites. The course recommends designing a portfolio that is easy to navigate and which includes contact information. However, they advise against over saturating a portfolio website with unnecessary information. As a rule of thumb, only projects that showcase specific skills should be presented. Also, showcasing similar projects often has negative effects, as employers may lose interest.

Building a portfolio website has its costs. First, web developers must purchase a domain name, which costs between $10 and $30 annually. Also, depending on their needs and nature of example projects, they may have to spend an additional $50 each year in hosting services. One popular option among web developers is WordPress.com, which offers domain registration and hosting in a single package.

Create a LinkedIn profile

Getting noticed and hired in a new field requires exposure. Although having a portfolio website is a good start, employers won’t find it unless it’s advertised in the right places.
LinkedIn, a business and employment service created in 2003, is among the best places to start getting exposure. The website is used by many companies to post job openings and connect with potential workers. In fact, a 2014 survey by MarketO.com found that over 94 percent of employers used LinkedIn to find suitable candidates. The same study also reported that only 36 percent of job seekers were active in the platform. This disparity gives a significant boost to new web developers.

However, creating a LinkedIn profile that successfully connects web developers with potential employers takes some work. First, job seekers must fully complete their profiles. This includes adding a picture, location, industry, working experience, skills and education. It also requires getting connected to at least fifty other LinkedIn profiles. Doing so gives profiles a boost with internal algorithms which, according to LinkedIn, can make job seekers forty times more likely to receive employment offers.

LinkedIn also has a section where job seekers can showcase their most valuable projects. This may serve as a small introduction to get potential employers interested in a candidate before jumping to their dedicated portfolio website. Job seekers can also take advantage of popular keywords related to their skills to optimize their profiles against search engines, making it easier for employers to find them.

Choose a target job position

Web development is an extensive field, with several different high-paying positions addressing unique challenges. Identifying as a web developer is not enough when looking for a salaried position. It may work if someone wants to work as a freelancer, but people seeking a good-paying job must be more specific about their skills and expectations.
In general, web development is divided in three categories: front-end, back-end and full stack. Front-end web developers create and maintain content customers directly interact with. They are skilled in HTML, CSS and JavaScript, tools used to organize information in websites.

Back-end web development deals with the backbone of websites. Back-end developers create and maintain logical infrastructures such as servers and databases, needed by the front-end side of a website. They usually have skills related to C++, C#, Java, PHP and APIs. Full-stack developers are capable of handling both front-end and back-end projects on their own. However, they usually work on specific projects, such as mobile apps or user interface (UI) design.

There are other positions a web developer can fill, such as web application developer and website manager. Web developers should focus their efforts on a single position, instead of being a jack of all trades. In most cases, companies look for specialized personnel capable of performing specific functions.

Follow industry news and trends

Web development is an industry in constant evolution. To stay relevant, web developers must always keep an eye on industry news. Each year, new and better applications are released, new design trends are adopted, and older standards abandoned. A web developer who falls behind risks losing their job to someone who adapted to current trends.

Being informed will also help web developers connect with experienced workers. It also gives potential workers a better understanding of what an employer needs. For example, newer smartphones incorporate fingerprint detection into touchscreens instead of a separate button. An informed developer will be able to help its employer adapt its website or application to meet this new trend.

It only takes about six months to learn the basics about web development. Creating an effective profile that helps land a good position will take some extra time. However, getting to know the tools and tricks to land a $60,000 job will pay off in the end.

Why Start A Career As A Home Health Aide

An aging population is increasing demand for all sorts of healthcare professionals, including nurses, medical billers and coders, and home health aides. Home health aides provide personal care to patients who need assistance. This often includes seniors, people with disabilities, severe illness or cognitive impairment.

Starting a career as a home health aide is affordable and takes a few months. To start working, aspiring home health aides must only complete a state-approved training program and pass an examination. Some agencies offer in-house training to help speed up this process. In this article, we explain what home health aides do, how much they earn, and the steps to get started as one.

The job of a home health aide

Home health aides are healthcare professionals who provide personal care to patients who need assistance to carry out their daily routine. For example, home health aides often assist people with severe illness, disabilities or cognitive impairment. In recent years, and due to increase demand, home health aides have been working mostly with senior citizens.

The specific responsibilities of a home health aide will mostly depend on where they work and the type of patient being treated. For example, patients with severe illness or old age may rely on home health aides to help them with bathing, eating and moving around. Other patients may request assistance with travel, grocery shopping, picking up medications, or setting up doctor appointments. Patients with a disability may also rely on home health aides to take care of housekeeping tasks, including cooking and cleaning.

Home health aides are trained to handle basic medical procedures. This includes monitoring vital signs, administer medications. Home health aides are often trained by registered nurses to carry out these tasks, and remain under constant supervision if working for a healthcare agency. Home health aides who work on their own usually have completed a state-approved training program or graduated from a certified nursing assistant (CNA) or licensed vocational nurse (LPN) program.

Home health aides often work for healthcare agencies or on their own. In general, they are dispatched to patients’ homes where some medical equipment has been installed. Others work in residential care facilities, where they must provide assistance to multiple patients. Home health aides who work for agencies often have fixed full-time schedules. In contrast, independent home health aides may work a few hours per day or week, according to the needs of their patients.

What is the average salary of a home health aide?

The average salary of a home health aide is around $23,000 per year. However, this number usually represents home health aides working full-time for a healthcare agency. Home health aides who work on their own might earn more or less depending on the number of patients and location. For example, a home health aide working in New York, Florida or California, three states with high demand for the position, may earn as much as $32,000.

A significant number of home health aides completed an education as certified nursing assistant (CNA) or licensed vocational nurse (LVN). This explains why the salaries for these job positions matches that of home health aides. On average, certified nursing assistants earn around $27,000 annually, while licensed practical or vocational nurses can receive up to $37,000, depending on previous experience and location.

One significant drawback of this career is its low pay compared to other positions in the industry. Licensed practical nurses with additional certifications and years of experience may reach an annual salary close to $40,000. Registered nurses often earn as much as $70,000 before going into advanced positions, where salaries can reach $100,000. However, working as a home health aide does not require spending tens of thousands of dollars in an expensive college degree.

As of 2016, over one million home health aides were employed around the country. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the number of home health aide job positions to grow more than 47 percent by 2026. Similar positions, such as certified nursing assistant and licensed practical nurse, are also expected to experience job growth above 15 percent. This means people thinking about joining the field will have many opportunities to find work. Salaries are also expected to grow with demand.

How to become a home health aide

The requirements to become a home health aide are minimal compared to other positions in healthcare. In general, home health aides do not need a high school diploma or college degree to start working. However, they do receive training from registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and other healthcare professionals before they are assigned any patients.
Despite not needing a formal education, most home health aides have completed training as licensed vocational nurses or certified nursing assistants. This allows them to meet requirements set by certain states, which demand that all home health aides complete a state-approved program before being allowed to work.

Community colleges around the country provide affordable home health aide training programs aspiring workers can complete. For example, the Massasoit Community College, located in Massachusetts, offers a 100-hour home health aide certification program. Those who complete the program will receive a certificate that qualifies them to work as home health aides, homemakers or personal care homemakers. Most community colleges and vocational schools offer scholarships for students interested in their home health aide programs.

The Institute of Professional Care Education, though its Medifecta Healthcare Training division, also offers Home Health Aide training programs that comply with federal regulation, providing 75 credit-hours of training. This course can be taken online, although the practical portion must be done under supervision of a registered nurse with experience in home health care.
Also, home health aides who work for healthcare agencies that receive funds from Medicare and Medicaid must also have completed a state-approved program. This requirement is often achieved by competing at least 75 hours of training and 16 hours of supervised work. After that, they must also pass an examination or a certification program. Home health aides who completed a licensed practical nursing program from a community college or vocational school meet this requirement once they pass the NCLEX-PN examination and receive their licensure.

Finally, potential home health aides may also seek a certificate from other national and state associations to enhance their skills and resume. For example, the National Association of Home Care and Hospice, or NAHC, offers several certifications home health aides can complete. However, obtaining them is often not required to start working in the industry.

How costly is an education as home health aide?

To become a home health aide, people do not need to apply for a student loan or invest tens of thousands of dollars. The reason is that, as an entry-level position, home health assistance does not require a college degree. Instead, aspiring workers only need to complete a certification or state-approved training program before being allowed to work.

Aspiring home health aides have several paths to choose from. First, they can complete a Home Health Aide (HHA) training program that meets federal and state regulations. For example, the 100-hour training program offered by Massasoit Community College meets those guidelines. It costs less than $600 to complete, and students can request a scholarship to attend. Other programs may have a higher cost. The online course offered by Medifecta has a cost of around $4,000. Some home health care agencies also provide state-approved training programs.

The second option is to become a certified nursing assistant (CNA). On average, a CNA training program costs around $1,200, which is twice as much as the HHA program offered by Massasoit Community College. In addition to that, CNA students must pay $175 to take the final test and receive their certificate. However, workers who complete a CNA training program are often offered higher salaries and have better options for career advancement.

The third option is to seek a nursing diploma or complete a Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse training program. Those programs are offered by community colleges, vocational schools and some hospitals. Their cost is higher than a CNA training program, but workers who complete them have an easier path if they desire to become a registered nurse. A student attending Northeast Community College in Nebraska, for example, would have to pay around $4,000 to obtain a nursing diploma.

What It Takes To Become A Licensed Practical Nurse

By 2020, about 1.6 million nursing job positions will be available nationwide. The reason is because of increased demand for healthcare services from the aging population. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that there will not be enough skilled workers to fill them. This makes nursing an in demand field with not enough people to fill positions.

With no college degree, becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse or (LPN) takes around one year of training. To become registered, an aspiring nurse must become registered with the Board of Nursing by passing a rigorous test. In this article, we explain what it takes to become a Licensed Practical Nurse or Vocational nurse.

The job of a licensed practical nurse

Licensed Practical Nurses, or LPNs, are healthcare professionals that work in hospitals, clinics, physician’s offices, home health centers, and other facilities. This position is also known as licensed vocational nurse, or LVN. However, both names can be used to talk about the same career. The responsibilities of a licensed practical nurse will vary depending on where they work. Most states have local regulations on which type of work a licensed practical or nurse can perform without first having completed a nursing degree.

In general, licensed practical nurses take care of patient records, measure vital signs, administer and monitor medication issued by doctors and specialists, assist with medical tests and procedures, and keep track of patient status. Depending on the workplace, licensed practical nurses may also help patients with their daily routine, including eating, dressing and bathing. Nurses working in maternity wards are also given additional duties, such as feeding infants. They are sometimes also put in charge of overseeing certified nursing assistants, or CNAs.

Licensed Practical Nurses usually work in shifts that can last from twelve to twenty-four hours. Their schedules are often rotating, especially when working in emergency care. Nurses working in outpatient facilities or home health care are often given more stable schedules.

What is the average salary of a LPN?

The average salary of a Licensed Practical Nurse is around $45,000. However, actual salary will depend on several factors, including education level, years of experience, location and specialty. This amount is higher than most entry-level healthcare positions such as certified nursing assistant (CNA) or home health aide (HHA), both of which earn between $27,000 and $32,000 per year. However, it falls below the average salary of a registered nurse, which can earn up to $70,000 annually, although that position requires a bachelor’s degree.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 750,000 licensed practical nurses are currently employed nationwide. Around 60 percent work in hospitals, although a significant number also work in residential care, pharmaceutical companies and home health centers. The Bureau expects more than 85,000 new licensed practical nursing job openings between 2016 and 2026, which is much higher than other careers.

Most healthcare providers have reported that a shortage of nursing professionals, including licensed practical nurses, will happen in the near future. As the baby boomer generation retires, demand for nurses is expected to grow. By 2022, job and salary growth for licensed practical nurses is expected to be above 15 percent annually. However, most of the demand will come from outpatient service providers and long-term care centers.

How to become a licensed practical nurse?

To become a licensed practical nurse, aspiring workers must complete several steps before being allowed to work. First, prospective students must graduate from a state-approved nursing program. This can be done by completing a twelve-month training program as a licensed practical nurse, or receive a nursing diploma, from a vocational school or community college. Aspiring nurses can find a list of state-approved programs by contacting their state’s Board of Nursing.

Finishing a nursing program is only the first step to become a licensed practical nurse. The second step is to register with the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), which is needed to obtain licensed status. Practical nurses must take the NCLEX-PN test.

Nurses usually become eligible for the test as soon as they complete their education. The examination is computerized and consists of around 120 questions that must be completed in less than six hours. To pass, newly-trained nurses must correctly answer at least 50 percent of medium and hard difficulty questions. Those who fail the test must wait 45 days before being allowed to retake it. On average, students who pass the NCLEX-PN test do so with a score above 70 percent.

After passing the NCLEX examination, aspiring practical nurses must obtain a state license. This is a mandatory requirement in every U.S. state and territory, including the District of Columbia. This license is issued by the state’s Board of Nursing, and all newly-trained nurses must obtain it before they are allowed to work. When issuing a nursing license, states take into account professional and legal history of applicants. Some states also perform a criminal background check to determine professional fitness.

During the process, applicants will be asked to pay a procedure fee, which varies by state. For example, the Florida Board of Nursing charges a $175 licensing and application fee. Additional fees may be charged for fingerprinting. In contrast, applicants living in Nevada must pay $290 for the same fees.

The final step for a licensed practical nurse would be to find a job once they have obtained their license from a state Board of Nursing. There are currently more than 200,000 job openings for nurses nationwide. Given how healthcare provides have reported a shortage in qualified workers, this means newly-trained LPNs should easily find a job once they complete their education.
Most licensed practical nurses continue their studies once they join the workforce. In general, they often specialize in a single medical field. Licensed practical nurses can specialize by gaining certification from a state nursing organization, such as the National Association of Practical Nurse Education and Services, or NAPNES. Among the certifications offered by this institution are IV therapy, pharmacology, long-term care, developmental disabilities and correctional health.

Later in their careers, licensed practical nurses may choose to pursue an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing. Doing so will open the door to a job as a registered nurse.

How affordable is LPN education?

The cost of becoming a licensed practical nurse is much lower than pursuing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing. In general, most registered nurses had to invest between $20,000 and $80,000 to obtain their degrees. By comparison, licensed practical nurses usually complete a state-approved nursing program, which costs around $5,000.

Most licensed practical nurses obtain a nursing diploma, which is issued by vocational schools and community colleges. The main difference between a diploma and a degree in nursing is the cost and where they are issued. For example, a student attending Northeast Community College in Nebraska would have to pay around $4,000 to obtain a nursing diploma.

By comparison, a student seeking an associate’s degree in nursing, or ASN, at Jersey College, would be charged $6,000 per semester. In total, the student would have to spend $24,000 to finish their degree, which is around $15,000 more than a nursing diploma. Both nursing degrees and diplomas prepare students for the NCLEX examination. However, licensed practical nurses take the NCLEX-PN test once they complete their education.

Some nursing degree programs come with practice sessions and internships that help prospective students land a job as soon as they graduate. Evening and weekend programs also help working parents get started in nursing without sacrificing their income. Also, most students are eligible for local, private and federal aid, as well as scholarships. Such financial aid can help them alleviate the cost of becoming a nurse creating options to pursue advanced degrees.

How To Become A Dialysis Technician

According to the National Kidney Foundation, more than 20 million people currently suffer from chronic kidney disease. This number represents a 30 percent increase from ten years ago, and more people are expected to experience some form of kidney disease in the near future. As a result, demand for healthcare professionals trained to provide kidney (renal) treatment is expected to grow.

Dialysis technicians are trained to operate equipment and provide medical treatment to patients with kidney disease. They are supervised by registered nurses and are capable of performing different types of treatments, including acute dialysis and hemodialysis. To start working, dialysis technicians need to complete a state-approved training program and pass an examination. In this article, we explain what dialysis technicians do and how to become one.

The job of a dialysis technician

Dialysis technicians are healthcare professionals who operate renal equipment and provide care to patients with kidney failure or chronic kidney disease. Their main job is to administer dialysis to remove impurities from the patient blood stream. Other responsibilities of a dialysis technician includes monitoring patients, and perform medical procedures under the supervision of registered nurses.

Dialysis technicians work at dialysis centers, hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities that provide renal disease. Any given day as a dialysis tech will involve taking blood pressure, weight and temperature of patients, as well as test and calibrate equipment. Once dialysis begins, technicians monitor equipment and patient status to make sure there are no issues. Along the way, and if needed, dialysis technicians can also administer any medicine that has been prescribed by a physician or registered nurse.
Most dialysis technicians eventually specialize in a particular field. For example, hemodialysis technicians (HTs) are trained to handle equipment which administers dialysis. Technicians who pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing can also be promoted to Dialysis Registered Nurse (DRN), which oversees all technicians and is often times responsible for day to day management of a dialysis facility.

Dialysis technicians usually work in long shifts for twelve hours or more. There is as much demand for night time shifts as there are for daytime shifts. In general, most dialysis technicians work between 40 and 50 hours per week, including weekends. In some cases, dialysis technicians may be hired by healthcare agencies to provide renal treatment at home.

What is the average salary of a dialysis technician?

According to PayScale.com, the average salary of an entry-level dialysis technician with less than five years of experience is around $30,000 per year. Dialysis technicians who have between five and ten years of experience receive total compensation of around $34,000. Those with ten or more years of experience are paid between $38,000 and $42,000, according to location. For example, a dialysis technician working in New York City is often paid 12 percent above the national average. Other places where dialysis technicians enjoy higher salaries include Cleveland, Milwaukee and Houston.

The salary of a dialysis technician is similar to other entry-level positions that only require a state-approved training program. Those include certified nursing assistants (CNA), who earn an average of $27,000, and licensed practical or vocational nurses, who can receive up to $37,000, depending on previous experience and location. However, dialysis technicians have plenty of career advancement options.

Dialysis technicians can earn a higher salary by specializing or completing a college degree. Those with training in dialysis and a nursing degree can work as Dialysis Registered Nurses (DRN), who earn a salary of between $65,000 and $80,000 per year. Another potential positions are Certified Dialysis Technician (CDT), Hemodialysis Technician (HT) and Certified Hemodialysis Technician (CHT). Those positions have average salaries of between $40,000 and $47,000, according to previous experience and location.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job demand for dialysis technicians and other similar positions is expected to grow at least 15 percent in the next few years. By 2026, the agency predicts that more than 50,000 new medical technician job positions will be created.

How to become a dialysis technician

There are several ways to become a dialysis technician, some of which are more affordable than others. The main prerequisite is a high school diploma, or GED, before training can start. Other entry-level positions, such as home health aide, do not have this requirement.

The first path aspiring technicians have is completing a dialysis tech program, which is offered at community colleges and vocational schools. Northampton Community College, located in Pennsylvania, offers a Dialysis Technician training program which lasts for six months. This online training program provides all the knowledge students need to start working as dialysis technicians, including hematoma prevention, anesthesia administration, monitoring and patient preparation.

The Manhattan Institute, located in New York City, is another example of a community college that offers a dialysis technician training program. This institute specializes in in-person training, and also offers courses in similar careers such as pharmacy technician and medical assistant. In general, dialysis technician training programs include practice lessons which take place at hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities. During those lessons, aspiring dialysis technicians are supervised by registered nurses.

Newly-trained dialysis technicians are often required to obtain a certification or licensure before being allowed to work, although not all states have such requirements. New York, for example, allows dialysis technicians to work as soon as they finish their education. However, they must pass an examination to become Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technicians (CCHT) or Certified Clinical Nephrology Technologists (CCNT) within 18 months of employment. Those examinations are administered by institutions such as the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC), National Association of Nephrology Technicians (NANT) and National Nephrology Certification Organization (NNCO).

To take the examination, dialysis technicians must meet certain requirements. First, they must have completed a training program that included both classroom instruction and supervised practices. Those who completed online-only courses might not be eligible to take the test. Second, applicants who have work experience must provide proof of employment. The NNCC recommends at least 6 months, or 1,000 hours of clinical experience before taking the examination. Applicants who have previous work experience but spent the past 18 months or more being unemployed or working for a different industry, must provide proof of retraining.

Finally, applicants must comply with regulations established by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, or CMS. This government agency has developed a set of rules known as Conditions for Coverage, or CfC. All dialysis technicians must meet the CfCs in order to receive their certifications and be allowed to work in healthcare facilities that participate in Medicare and Medicaid. In particular, dialysis technicians must meet the coverage conditions that cover End Stage Renal Disease Facilities.

Dialysis technicians must continue their education to maintain their licenses and certifications. In most states, dialysis technicians must renew their licenses every two to four years. This means they must retake the examination. Some dialysis technicians take advantage of this rule to pursue additional certifications. Others prefer to specialize instead. There are several fields in which a dialysis technician can specialize, including renal, acute dialysis and hemodialysis.

How costly is an education as dialysis technician?

Like most entry-level healthcare positions, dialysis technicians do not require a college degree to start working. This makes the profession an affordable option for individuals with limited income. In general, most community colleges and vocational schools charge between $1,500 and $2,000 for their dialysis training programs.

Northampton Community College, for example, charges $1,400 for their online training program. The Manhattan Institute has a similar cost. It charges $1,350 in tuition, plus 150 in registration and book fees. In total, students must pay $1,500 to enroll in the institute’s dialysis training program. How much training lasts varies by institution. Northampton’s program, for example, lasts for six months. In contrast, The Manhattan Institute’s program lasts for 90 hours, which can be completed in two months.

Other additional expenses must also be considered. To obtain a certification, newly-trained dialysis technicians must pay several fees to the issuing institutions. Aspiring dialysis technicians who desire to obtain a certification from the Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission must pay $225 to take the examination. Other fees may apply if students request extensions or rescheduling.

Dialysis technicians can also pursue a college degree in nursing to become Dialysis Registered Nurses. However, a nursing degree can cost up to $80,000, which may be out of reach for many low-income families. The cheapest option would be an associate’s degree in nursing, which some colleges offer for less than $30,000.

Best Paid Medical Coding and Billing Positions

Medical coding and billing positions are in high demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that job demand for coding and billing professionals will grow between 13 and 21 percent by 2026. However, healthcare providers are experiencing a shortage of qualified professionals to manage the aging population.

Medical coding and billing has many career paths people can choose from. Each position has different responsibilities, work environment and salaries. In this article, we list the best paid positions available to medical coding and billing specialists.

Read our article to know more about how to start a career in medical coding and billing.

Medical Coder

Medical coders are professionals tasked with reviewing and assigning accurate medical codes to clinical statements. Such codes identify diagnoses, procedures and other services that were performed by a healthcare provider. Medical coders are proficient in many different areas, including surgery, radiology, and general medicine.

To become a medical coder, healthcare workers must train and obtain a certificate. The AAPC, for example, offers the Certified Medical Coder (CPC) certificate. Workers who complete the certification process often have mastery of all code sets, evaluation and management basics, as well as documentation guidelines.

The average salary of a medical coder is around $54,000. However, actual salaries differ according to local demand, individual experience and other credentials. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job demand for medical coders will increase by 22 percent between 2017 and 2022. This means average salary for the position may grow, as the bureau also expect to not be sufficient skilled workers to fill demand.

Outpatient Coder

Outpatient coders are medical coders with the required knowledge to handle specialized payment and coding standards related to outpatient procedures such as same day surgery or diagnostic testing. Most outpatient coders work in places such as ambulatory surgical centers and are also knowledgeable about all standard coding practices.

Workers working in outpatient facilities often hold a Certified Outpatient Coder (COC) or similar certificate. A significant number of workers pursued a CPC certification before undergoing training for specialized outpatient procedures. The training process for outpatient coder is similar to that of certified coder. For example, both teach workers skills related to evaluation, management and documentation guidelines. However, the COC program also gives workers much needed skills to handle specific issues, such as medical necessity and claim denials.

The average salary of an outpatient coder is $60,000. However, actual salary may vary depending on experience and local demand. Expert outpatient coders working on states with high demand for healthcare professionals can earn as much as $65,000 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects job demand for this and similar positions to grow by 13 percent between 2016 and 2026.

Inpatient Coder

The Inpatient Coder job position is relatively new compared to others on this list. AAPC is the only institution offering a Certified Inpatient Coder (CIC) certification. This credential prepares healthcare workers to handle medical records which use two specific medical codes related to inpatient procedures. The medical codes handled by inpatient coders are designed to handle medical severity diagnosis groups and prospective payment systems.

Inpatient coders share knowledge with other coding professionals, including expertise with anatomy, physiology and other medical disciplines. This includes medical codes designed to identify diagnosis, procedures and treatments. Becoming a certified inpatient coder does not require a previous coding credential. Potential coders can receive specialized training that covers only the knowledge needed to work in an inpatient setting.

The average salary of an inpatient coder is $49,000. This amount is lower than other positions, such as medical coder and outpatient coder. However, actual salary is often affected by local demand and previous experience. The reason why salary of inpatient coders is lower might be due to how narrow their knowledge is. This may make it difficult for an inpatient coder to, for example, switch to a standard medical coder position without further training.

Risk Adjustment Coder

Risk adjustment coders are healthcare professionals capable of dealing with medical cases related to risk adjustment models. This includes extensive knowledge of hierarchical condition categories (HCC), chronic illness and disability payment systems (CDPS) and other risk adjustment policies established by the U.S. Department of Human Services (HSS). Risk adjustment coders determine which medical codes better represent the medical condition of a patient according to risk of disease or death. Which code is assigned has a significant impact on healthcare costs and needs.

A Certified Risk Adjustment (CRC) credential is often needed to land a job as a risk adjustment coder. In most cases, people working on this position previously trained for a standard medical coder position before specializing in risk adjustment. The AAPC offers a 4-month training course for coders looking to specialize in risk adjustment. During training, coders also learn to understand audit processes and documentation guidelines related to risk adjustment, as well as additional expertise in anatomy and medical terminology.

Risk adjustment coders are among the best paid non-managerial coding positions in the market. On average, risk adjustment coders earn $62,000 per year. However, their salary can be much higher in areas with high demand, or due to previous experience. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job demand for this position is expected to grow by 13 percent in the next five years.

Medical Biller

Medical billers are healthcare professionals in charge of following up on claims and receiving payment from insurance companies. Medical billers make sure healthcare providers are paid by billing both patients and insurance companies. To do so, they collect information about the patient, including their health coverage, personal details, medical history, and report on which procedures were performed.

Most medical billers hold a high school diploma and a Certified Professional Biller (CPB) certificate. The training process gives healthcare workers expertise on insurance plans, payer policies, local and national coverage determinations. They are also trained on how to compile clinical documents known as claims, which are necessary to bill both patients and insurance companies. Medical billers are also taught coding fundamentals that allow them to work closely with coders.

The average salary of a medical biller is $52,000 per year. However, billers working for large healthcare providers can earn as much as $60,000 to compensate for high volume of claims being processed. Actual salary is also affected by other credentials and years of experience. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for this and other positions is expected to increase at least 10 percent in the next ten years.

Medical Auditor

Medical auditors are professionals that help healthcare providers maintain accurate and compliant medical records. They perform detailed audits that help improve how clinical documentation and other medical records are handled and stored. Such audits also protect healthcare providers from potential fines and other penalties related to non-compliance.

Medical auditors require certification to work in the field. The AAPC, for example, offers a Certified Professional Medical Auditor (CPMA) program that prepares healthcare professionals for the job. The training gives prospective medical auditors knowledge about auditing practices such as Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) and handling private payer denials. It also provides extensive training on coding and documentation guidelines that providers must follow to be in compliance with laws and regulations.

The average salary of medical auditors is $65,000 per year. This amount can vary according to location, years of experience and other credentials held. However, medical auditors can also perform audits for several healthcare providers simultaneously, increasing their earnings. Demand for medical auditors is not expected to grow as fast as other billing and coding careers. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, several thousand new job openings will be made available in the next few years.

Documentation Expert Outpatient

Documentation experts have expertise reviewing outpatient clinical documentation and providing suggestions to guarantee accuracy of medical codes. They aid medical auditors to improve how healthcare providers handle clinical documentation, making sure it meets required quality standards and regulations.

Most documentation experts hold an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree or certification from a professional association. AAPC, for example, offers a Certified Documentation Expert Outpatient (CDEO) certificate to medical coding and billing professionals interested in the specialization. AAPC recommends at least two years of coding and billing experience before enrolling in their training program. The online course lasts for three months and provides knowledge on clinical documentation improvement, quality measures, payment methodologies and advanced coding concepts.

The average salary of a documentation expert is around $64,500 per year. This amount is similar to other medical auditor positions, as they often share responsibilities within healthcare providers. Documentation experts working in high demand areas or for several providers may earn up to $70,000. Demand for documentation experts is growing as fast as other medical auditing positions.

Physician Practice Manager

Physician Practice Managers are professionals in charge of managing and administrating the operations of a healthcare provider. They are usually hired to manage doctor offices, medical clinics, hospital departments and other healthcare facilities. As such, they must have extensive understanding of insurance policies, healthcare business, corporate practices and human resource management.

Working as a physician practice manager requires a wide ranges of skills. Unlike other billing and coding positions, most practice managers hold a bachelor’s degree as well as several certifications enhancing their knowledge. AAPC offers the Certified Physician Practice Manager (CPPM) certification, which can obtained by medical coding and billing professionals who hold at least an associate’s degree. Their online training course can be completed in three months.

The average salary of a physician practice manager is $68,000 per year. However, location, type of provider and local demand also affect actual salaries. For example, a physician manager working at a medical clinic may earn as much as $90,000.

Professional Compliance Officer

Compliance Officers are healthcare professionals who have expertise dealing with government regulation, laws and guidelines. Their job is to make sure a healthcare provider’s operations comply with such rules in order to meet the requirements set by the Affordable Care Act. Compliance Officers develop, implement and monitor compliance protocols.

Most compliance officers hold a bachelor’s degree in a healthcare related field. They also hold several credentials, including a Certified Professional Compliance Officer (CPCO) certificate, or similar. AAPC offers a three-month online course designed for experienced medical coders and billers, which provides the necessary skills to work as a compliance officer.

Compliance officers earn a salary that matches other managerial positions. On average, they earn around $74,000 per year, which makes them one of the highest-paid medical coding and billing specializations. U.S. News and World Report has ranked the position among the top 30 best business jobs nationwide. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that demand for compliance officers will grow 8 percent by 2026.

There are several reasons why people should start a career in medical coding and billing. Read here to learn more about them.

Pursuing a Career in Criminal Justice

While police officers serve on the front line, there is a deep network of talented and well paid jobs that support law enforcement. Criminal Justice career opportunities beyond the front line include canine officers, those who protect fish and game, and government special agents. People who work these jobs often say they are stimulated or challenged by their work and never run short of interesting stories to tell.

K-9 Officer

K-9 officers are law enforcement officials who work on a canine unit. They handle large dogs such as German shepherds and perform a wide range of activities. Among them are searching for hidden drugs, investigate crimes, control riots, locate human remains or provide disaster assistance. K-9 officers develop a bond with their assigned dogs, which is necessary to make them behave as expected.

People who want to become K-9 officers must first meet requirements and complete training as law enforcement officers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, at least a high school diploma is needed to become a police officer. However, some departments and federal agencies prefer candidates who have a degree in law enforcement or criminal justice. Candidates must also pass a rigorous background check, as well as several physical and mental tests, before working in law enforcement.

After several years of experience understanding police procedures and law enforcement practices, officers can apply for specialized instruction in several dog-related fields, such as canine behavior, dog obedience, search and seizure protocols, and practice exercises in established dog teams. Candidates must also receive certification from the U.S. Police Canine Association before becoming eligible for a position within a K-9 unit.

The salary and compensation received by K-9 officers varies according to certifications and years of experience. For example, a newly-trained K-9 officer would earn around $52,000 at the beginning of their careers. However, several years later, their salary could climb to as much as $97,000. K-9 and other specialised officers also receive additional compensation for their work. The California State Highway Patrol, for example, offers its K-9 unit an additional $160 per month.

United States Marshal

The U.S. Marshal Service is the oldest federal law enforcement agency in the United States. It was originally established by George Washington in 1789 to assist federal courts with their law enforcement functions. The modern version of the agency was established in 1969 and currently handles most fugitive operations and federal arrest warrants. It is also responsible for protection of federal judiciary officers, housing and transportation for federal prisoners, and criminal asset management. The federal Witness Protection Program is also operated by the U.S. Marshal Service.

U.S. deputy marshals are appointed by the president to one of the 94 federal judicial districts. People who want to join the U.S. Marshal Service must meet minimum requirements set by the agency. Only U.S. citizens who are between 21 and 36 years of age are accepted into the training program. Federal rules also require candidates to have at least a bachelor’s degree or no less than one year of experience in other law enforcement positions. The agency accepts any degree from an accredited college, though most candidates have studies in criminal justice, criminology, or law enforcement.

As with other law enforcement positions, U.S. deputy marshal candidates must go through an extensive selection process. In general, candidates will sit for a lengthy interview, undergo several physical and mental examinations, as well as a rigorous background check. After that, new members must complete a four month training program at the U.S. Marshals Service Training Academy in Georgia. The training program includes seven exams which candidates must pass to receive their certification.

The salary of U.S. deputy marshals is determined by the federal government’s General Schedule (GS) pay grade system. Most newly-trained deputy marshals begin their careers earning around $39,000 per year. As they gain experience, their salary will grow to as much as $50,000 if they remain in the same position. However, employees of the U.S. Marshal Service often receive additional compensation which is not counted towards their base salary.

FBI Agent

Agents for the Federal Bureau of Intelligence, or FBI, are tasked with protecting people and upholding the U.S. Constitution. They are responsible of enforcing over 300 federal statutes, as well as carry out criminal investigations. People from all backgrounds can become an FBI Agent. The agency often hires people with degrees in education, science, business and other careers. This is because of the wide range of activities performed by the FBI, which require people with many different skills. In general, only U.S. citizens who are between 23 and 36 years of age, with a bachelor’s degree in any field, are considered for this position.

To become an FBI agent, people must pass the Special Agent Selection System (SASS), which includes mental and physical tests. However, candidates must also be eligible for a Top Secret sensitive compartmented information clearance and be in compliance with the FBI pre-employment Drug Policy. This policy states that applicants should not have consumed any illegal drug, including marijuana, for at least three years before they apply. It also states that applicants must have never sold, distributed or manufactured drugs without prior authorization.

According to PayScale.com, the average salary of an FBI Agent is around $64,000 annually. However, federal employees are often included in salary and promotion schedules. According to the Office of Personnel Management, most FBI agents start earning around $48,000 per year. This General Schedule (GS) pay grade system has ten levels. At level ten, FBI agents earn around $98,000 each year. Supervisory and executive positions have higher salaries which can reach $137,000 before retirement.

Special Agent

Special agents are law enforcement officials who work as detectives or criminal investigators, often for a federal agency such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation or Department of Homeland Security. They are tasked with investigations into criminal violations of federal laws, and often determine whether or not prosecution is warranted. Special agents are also known as criminal investigators.

Special agents investigate a wide array of criminal activities. These include kidnapping, cyber attacks, drug trafficking, bank robbery, financial fraud, and violations of federal statutes. Most criminal investigators work across state lines and are constantly monitoring the landscape for potential threats to national security. They often perform undercover assignments to gather evidence, carry out surveillance, wiretap suspects, interview witnesses and examine personal or business records.

In general, special agents hold a certificate, associate’s or bachelor’s degree in law enforcement or criminal justice. Federal agencies often hire workers with other skills, such as engineering, or medicine. However, they may be required to obtain a certificate in law enforcement or criminal justice to better perform their responsibilities. Like any other law enforcement officer, special agents are also subject to background checks, mental and physical tests to determine qualification. Some federal agencies also demand compliance with drug policies.

According to PayScale.com, the average salary of a federal special agents is around $80,000 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job demand for this position will grow an average 4.5 percent in the next few years. However, demand could also be affected by policy changes enacted by individual states or the federal government. Like FBI agents, the salary of criminal investigators is tied to the General Schedule (GS) pay grade system. This means that before retirement, a special agent could earn as much as $120,000 per year.

Conservation Officer

Conservation officers, also known as fish and game wardens, are law enforcement officials who make sure that local and federal Fish and Wildlife Codes are followed. They oversee fishing, hunting and boating activities in their states, making sure that wildlife is protected from illegal practices, such as poaching and trapping. Conservation officers also act as criminal investigators, writing reports, making arrests, gathering evidence and interviewing suspects. They are also responsible for attending wildlife-related emergencies, such as wild animals invading residential areas.

Most states ask potential conservation officers to have a bachelor’s degree before being hired. However, some jurisdictions accept associate’s degrees if the candidate has previous experience law enforcement or wildlife conservation. In general, only U.S. citizens who are at least 18 or 21 years old are considered for the position.

Newly-selected conservation officers must enroll in a training academy before being deployed. The training period lasts between three and twelve months. People hired directly by the federal government must also complete a 20-week law enforcement training program in Georgia. Like any other law enforcement official, conservation officers must pass a background check, physical and mental examinations, and a drug test. Once training is complete, officers are assigned to a field training officer for 10 weeks, before being deployed on their own.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of a conservation officer is around $59,000 per year. Senior officers with ten or more years of experience can earn as much as $80,000. As of May 2017, there were 6,020 conservation officers nationwide. However, one drawback of this career path is slow job growth. In 2017, the Bureau predicted that job demand for conservation officers would grow only one percent. Conservation worker, a similar position, is expected to grow 4 percent.