Seven job openings you might never expect


The number of Americans receiving jobless benefits may have reached a new record Thursday – 5.7 million – because there are fewer jobs. But businesses are still hiring for positions that can be, well, intriguing.

Here are a few that our Monitor colleague, Ross Atkin, found this week. (Yes, times are tough in journalism, but Ross isn’t mailing out his résumé to any of these):

1. Opera company director
Employer: Amarillo Opera
Wages/salary: Not listed
Details: The general director is responsible for the artistic and administrative side of an opera company founded in 1988 to provide live performances and nurture local talent in the Panhandle region. (Click here for more information.)
Location: Amarillo, Texas (pop. 173,627; median family income $45,747) is the largest city and economic hub of the Texas Panhandle, known for its meatpacking industry, semiarid climate, and helium fields.

2. Land Combat Electronic Missile System Repairer
Employer: Army National Guard
Wages/salary: Up to $20,000 enlistment bonus
Details: Fix and maintain electronics used in Army’s missile systems after 24 weeks of classroom instruction and basic training. (Click here for more information.)
Location Fort Wayne, Ind. (pop. 251,247; median family income $43,685) is the state's second-largest city, after Indianapolis. It is located within a half day’s drive of half of US population and also was rated the “Best Place in the Country for Minor League Sports” in 2007 by the Sports Business Journal.

3. Zoo Experiences Specialist
Employer: Woodland Park Zoo
Wages/salary: $13 an hour
Details: Responsible for developing programs in Zoomazium facility devoted to teaching young children about nature in an interactive environment. The nonprofit, 92-acre Woodland Park Zoo is one of the oldest on the West Coast and works to save endangered species in Washington State and around the world. (Click here for more information.)
Location: Seattle (pop. 582,174; median family income $70,133) has just 71 clear days a year. It’s also ranked as the nation’s most literate city.

4. Patent Examiner (electrical engineer/computer engineer)
Employer: US Patent and Trademark Office
Wages/salary: $41,350 to $77,722 (range)
Details: Review patent applications to determine whether they comply with federal law and regulations, in addition to scientific principles. Almost all the work is performed using a computer. The work requires extensive review of large amounts of technical information and detailed drawings. (Click here for more information.)
Location: Alexandria, Va. (pop. 140,024; median family income $76,128) is six miles from downtown Washington, populated by many federal civil servants, and was the site of the Civil War’s first fatalities.

5. Director of Athletic Video Services
Employer: Illinois State University Athletic Department
Wages/salary: Not listed
Details: Produce scoreboard graphics for home basketball, football, and volleyball games and create marketing, publicity, and sport highlight features for newly created video services department. (Click here for more information.)
Location: Normal, Ill. (pop. 50,519; median family income $44,100) has farmland that ranks among the best in the world in corn and soybean production. Its Mitsubishi factory is one of the most technologically advanced automotive plants anywhere. Along with neighboring Bloomington, Normal is one of the “Twin Cities” of central Illinois.

6. Greenhouse Manager
Employer: The College of William & Mary
Wages/salary: Not listed
Details: Perform, train, and/or coordinate plant care (watering, fertilization, labeling, etc.) with volunteers and students 10 to 20 hours a week in the Biology Department. (Click here for more information.)
Location: Williamsburg, Va. (pop. 11,998; median family income $37,093) has a historic district which accounts for much of its tourist business. William & Mary is the second-oldest US university after Harvard.

7. Broadway Street Team Promoter
Employer: DreamWorks Theatricals
Wages/salary: $15 an hour
Details: Distribute flyers and promotional materials for “Shrek The Musical” in and around Times Square as well as at special events and functions. (Click here for more information.)
Location: New York (pop. 8,274,527; median family income $45,788), is a melting pot where more than one-third of its people are foreign-born.

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