Trending: Career Profiles

Several of the fastest-growing jobs in Florida also happen to rely on the focused education and training that you can get from a community or professional college. We’ve put together some reference profiles on each of these careers with the most pertinent information.

Keep in mind as you read that the salaries provided are averages (provided by data on However, the ranges tend to reflect location rather than experience or education level.

Most of these positions can also be starting points. Lots of LPNs, for example, use employer tuition reimbursement programs to continue their education and become registered nurses — and double their salaries.

Regardless of your long-term ambitions, each of these careers includes a ton of job opportunities and a solid return on your two-year investment. And remember, if you qualify for a Bright Futures Medallion or Gold Seal scholarship, it’s free!

Realtors match clients to potential housing or business space, then negotiate the terms of sale, including final price. They also maintain listings, organize property showings, and prepare real estate documents.

Salary: $94,000

Path: Professional licensure (incl. coursework)

Skills & Qualities: Sales, flexibility, business and management, problem solving, interpersonal skills

Food Service Manager
Managers run the show at a restaurant or other eatery by hiring and training staff, ordering food and supplies, completing inspections, setting schedules, overseeing budgets, addressing customer complaints, and more.

Salary: $54,500

Path: Associate’s degree (optional: food safety certification)

Skills & Qualities: Business skills, customer service, organization, problem solving, leadership

Diagnostic Technician
Technicians provide diagnostic imaging for patients, through radiology, MRI or CT scans, X-ray, or ultrasound. Work is mainly in hospitals and medical testing centers.

Salary: $35,000 (ultrasound) to $82,000 (MRI)

Path: Associate’s degree (lots of science classes!) and certification

Skills & Qualities: Math, complex machinery, technology operations, attention to detail, interpersonal skills

Licensed Practical Nurse
LPNs are the first line of communication between patients and doctors. They collect data, provide basic care, keep records, and ensure patient comfort.

Salary: $53,000

Path: Certification (includes classes and clinical hours)

Skills & Qualities: Efficiency, first aid, physical stamina, attention to detail, interpersonal skills, especially patience and compassion

HVAC Mechanic
HVAC mechanics install, maintain, and repair heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. They often work under very challenging physical conditions.

Salary: $36,500

Path: Associate’s degree, certification, and/or apprenticeship

Skills & Qualities: Physical stamina and strength, problem solving, math, mechanics and technology, customer service

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