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Making a Living in the Limelight: Five High-Profile Careers

If you love to work a room, you don't have to wait until weekend social events to turn on your charm. There are a number of high-profile careers that put you in front of a crowd on a daily basis. With the right career training, you can bask in the spotlight all week long. Whether you love to play to an audience, enjoy being noticed, or want to make an impact, the following careers can satisfy your extroverted personality and bring you success.

1. Criminal Justice. Few members of a community command more respect than law enforcement professionals. Police officers are visible members of the community, while trial lawyers always have an audience hanging on their every word.

Careers in criminal justice typically require some college education, although police officers often receive specific training at police academies as well. Lawyers typically have a bachelor's degree in a field like history, economics, or government as well as a law degree. Lawyers can make a lucrative living in the spotlight -- according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov), lawyers earned a national median annual salary of $114,300 in 2013.

Police officers can benefit from online courses in criminal justice to gain specific skills in criminology, public administration or a relevant foreign language. Some law enforcement agencies help their employees pay for college coursework or a degree program. The national median annual salary for detectives in 2013 was $76,730, while patrol officers earned $56,130 median, according to the BLS.

2. Education. Talk about commanding a room! Teachers are constantly playing to their audience as they seek to manage a classroom and foster a nurturing educational environment. Teachers typically hold a bachelor's degree in education or a bachelor's degree in the subject they plan to teach as well as a teaching certificate. Preschool teachers may have an associate or bachelor's degree in early childhood education. In 2013, teachers earned a national median annual salary ranging from $27,570 for preschool teachers to $55,360 for secondary school teachers, according to the BLS. With online courses in education to earn your master's degree, you have the potential to raise your earnings even more.

3. Broadcasting. Nothing is more high-profile than having your face on television every night. And no, you don't need to be on a reality show to get there. A bachelor's degree in broadcasting, journalism or communications could help you land a job on the evening news. Broadcasting is a competitive field, and it's no wonder why, considering the glamorous lifestyle of top broadcasters like Diane Sawyer or Anderson Cooper. Although the national median salary for all radio and television announcers in 2013 was only $29,020, those who get coveted positions in major markets or high-profile areas like sports broadcasting can earn significantly more.

4. Culinary Arts. Some of the most prominent faces on television these days belong to the growing class of celebrity chefs. Whether or not you aspire to teach your souffle secrets to a television audience, chefs enjoy a great deal of attention just in their own kitchen. To advance to the point where you can run your own restaurant, you may need a combination of on-the-job training and formal credentials, such as a culinary arts diploma. More upscale restaurants often require an associate or bachelor's degree in culinary arts or hospitality management. In today's culture of Emeril Lagasse and Bobby Flay, just about every good chef can be a celebrity, even if your adoring public only consists of your diners. With national median annual earnings of $42,490 for chefs and head cooks in 2013, aspiring gourmands can get paid to play with food.

5. Public Relations. A career as a press secretary can satisfy your thirst for the spotlight. In this career, you are responsible for acting as a liaison between a company or an individual and the media. Good communication skills are a must, as your career success depends on your ability to share information clearly and effectively. A bachelor's degree in public relations, journalism or communications is typically required to work in this field. Public relations specialists may also chose to pursue online training in areas relevant to their work. For example, if you are the press secretary for a major fashion label, you might pursue further career training in design or merchandising. Public relations specialists earned a national median annual wage of $54,940 in 2013, and according to the BLS, those in specialized industries like petroleum or pharmaceuticals can earn about twice that.

As these careers demonstrate, your love of the spotlight isn't only a social skill -- with the right degree it can be a professional necessity!

Sources:

Chefs and Head Cooks, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes351011.htm

Detectives and Criminal Investigators, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333021.htm

Lawyers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes231011.htm

Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333051.htm

Preschool Teachers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252011.htm

Public Relations Specialists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes273031.htm

Radio and Television Announcers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes273011.htm

Secondary School Teachers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252031.htm

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