Most Houstonians have gotten the memo by now: We’re living in a city where the majority of the lucrative jobs are in oil and gas or medicine. But what about well-paid jobs outside those fields? We asked Keith Wolf, the managing director of 30-year-old Houston recruiting firm Murray Resources, to recommend non-oil, non-medical Houston careers that pay well and need people. Here are four lesser-known ways to make bank in Houston:
Pool Salesperson, $100,000–$400,000
“It’s an interesting gig, and hard work,” Wolf says. “You’ll be working nights and weekends, like a realtor, because that’s when folks are available to see you.” The job requires sales mojo, people skills, and follow-through, but what often closes the deal is software that allows salespeople to use their tablets to present visuals. “The product almost sells itself,” he explains, “because the software shows what the pool will look like.”
Executive Assistant, $80,000–$120,000+
These jobs are highly coveted. To get to this level of administration, applicants need significant experience, along with solid software skills and the ability to schedule travel arrangements with ease. “We get calls all the time from people who present themselves as executive assistants,” Wolf says. “They have certificates and all that, but you don’t become one overnight.” This career can come with drawbacks—it’s extremely demanding, and many executive assistants are always on the clock.
Maintenance Mechanic, $65,000–$85,000
“We’re placing so many of them, and it’s more money than people realize,” says Wolf. Maintenance mechanics don’t need a college degree, but many have gone to trade school and are proficient with working on heavy industrial equipment. “It’s not just in oil and gas,” says Wolf, although it’s that too. The manufacturing, transportation, and automotive sectors in Houston are all in need of mechanics right now.
Digital Marketer, $50,000–$90,000
So you’re a self-made social media whiz. Congratulations, you may have a bright, shiny future in digital marketing! “You can definitely be self-taught,” Wolf says. But digital marketing isn’t just about taking great Insta-photos and knowing when to tweet something hilarious. Desirable candidates also have a firm grip on SEO, Google Analytics, AdWords, email marketing, and other tools that can help companies achieve their sales goals. “If you have a track record of driving sales leads via the web, and can show it, you will be in demand,” says Wolf.