How to Make $40K a Year

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

Making $40,000 per year is close to the minimum many people are willing to consider when they begin to look for a job. This is especially true if they are the sole supporter for their family. Earning at least this figure each year can be done, depending on your experience, background, education, skill level, industry and location, among other factors.

Write down a list of the industries you are qualified for and want to work in. This will help you figure out where to take your job search next. Consider industries you already have experience in, as well as the ones you would like to pursue even if you have no suitable training or education.

Highlight or circle one or two industries that you are best suited for, given your current situation and goals. If you are looking for a $40,000 per year job right now and you have no formal education, you might opt for a career in sales, for example. If you have a trade, such as welding, painting or carpentry, or have a college degree, you are better situated to find a $40,000 per year job soon. If you are willing to wait a little while, you may be able to get the specialized training or education you need to get a $40,000 per year job. Decide on a career within that industry. If you need help figuring out some specific job titles and their corresponding job duties, read the Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ website.

Sign up for a certification course or degree program at a community college, vocational school or university to get the education you need. For example, if you want to be a respiratory therapist, the minimum education required for the position is an associate’s degree. This position has a salary more than $40,000 a year in many cases, but you need to get the education and training to do it before you begin to apply for jobs. If you already have a bachelor’s degree, you can attend a one-year certification course to become a teacher. As of March 2011, teachers make $35,000 to $40,000 in their first year, according to the salary survey site, PayScale.


Other positions that typically earn at least $40,000 per year include: civil and architectural drafters, bailiffs, news correspondents and reporters, dieticians and nutritionists, steamfitters, plumbers and pipefitters, precision instrument repairers, medical and public health social workers and graphic designers.