17 Dream Jobs For Nerds And Geeks

jobs for nerds geeksBy Susan Ricker

In a memorable episode of "Star Trek," Gandalf said, "Use the force, Harry." Whether or not you're a nerd, you most likely know that four separate movies and TV shows contribute to that joke. "Nerd" used to be a negative social label, but now it can be used to describe anybody with an overenthusiastic interest in technology, TV shows, books or games who has a talent for science, math and analytical skills. If you're a nerd and proud of it, you may flourish in any of these 17 jobs.

1. Archivist*
  • What they do: Archivists appraise, edit and maintain permanent records and historically valuable documents. Many perform research on archival material.
  • Median annual pay: $45,200

2. Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerk
  • What they do: Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks produce financial records for organizations. They record financial transactions, update statements and check financial records for accuracy.
  • Median annual pay: $34,030

3. Chemist and materials scientist
  • What they do: Chemists and materials scientists study the structures, compositions, reactions and other properties of substances. They use their knowledge to develop or improve products, processes and materials.
  • Median annual pay: $69,790

4. Computer support specialist
  • What they do: Computer support specialists provide help and advice to people and organizations using computer software or equipment. Some, called technical support specialists, support information-technology employees in their organization. Others, called help-desk technicians, assist non-IT users who are having computer problems.
  • Median annual pay: $46,260

5. Curator, museum technician and conservator
  • What they do: Curators oversee collections, such as artwork and historic items, and may conduct public-service activities for an institution. Museum technicians and conservators prepare and restore objects and documents in museum collections and exhibits.
  • Median annual pay: $42,310

6. Desktop publisher
  • What they do: Desktop publishers use computer software to design page layouts for newspapers, books, brochures and other items that will be printed or put online. They collect the text, graphics and other materials they will need and then format them into a finished product.
  • Median annual pay: $36,610

7. Electrical and electronics engineer
  • What they do: Electrical engineers design, develop, test and supervise the manufacturing of electrical equipment such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems and power-generation equipment. Electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment, such as broadcast and communications systems -- from portable music players to global-positioning systems.
  • Median annual pay: $87,180

8. Epidemiologist
  • What they do: Epidemiologists investigate the causes of disease and other public-health problems to prevent them from spreading or from happening again. They report their findings to public-policy officials and the general public.
  • Median annual pay: $63,010

9. Forensic science technician
  • What they do: Forensic science technicians help investigate crimes by collecting and analyzing physical evidence. Most technicians specialize in either crime-scene investigation or laboratory analysis.
  • Median annual pay: $51,570

10. Graphic designer
  • What they do: Graphic designers create visual concepts, by hand or using computer software, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform or captivate consumers. They help to make an organization recognizable by selecting color, images or logo designs that represent a particular idea or identity to be used in advertising and promotions.
  • Median annual pay: $43,500

11. Historian
  • What they do: Historians research, analyze, interpret and present the past by studying a variety of historical documents and sources.
  • Median annual pay: $53,520

12. Home entertainment equipment installer and repairer
  • What they do: Home entertainment equipment installers and repairers set up and fix household audio and video equipment, such as televisions, stereo components and home theater systems.
  • Median annual pay: $32,940

13. Information security analyst, Web developer and computer network architect
  • What they do: Information security analysts, Web developers and computer network architects all use information technology to advance their organization's goals. Security analysts ensure a company's information stays safe from cyber-attacks. Web developers create websites to help companies have a public face. Computer network architects create the internal networks that workers at an organization use.
  • Median annual pay: $75,660

14. Librarian
  • What they do: Librarians help people find information from many sources. They maintain library collections and do other work as needed to keep the library running.
  • Median annual pay: $54,500

15. Psychologist
  • What they do: Psychologists study mental processes and human behavior by observing, interpreting and recording how people relate to one another and their environment.
  • Median annual pay: $68,640

16. Software developer
  • What they do: Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or other device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or control networks.
  • Median annual pay: $90,530

17. Survey researcher
  • What they do: Survey researchers design or conduct surveys and analyze survey data. Many groups use surveys to collect factual data, such as employment and salary information, or to ask questions that help them understand people's opinions, attitudes, beliefs or desires.
  • Median annual pay: $36,050

*Job descriptions and median annual pay from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Susan Ricker is a writer and blogger for CareerBuilder.com and its job blog, The Work Buzz. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.
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