ForeWord Reviews

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Discovering Careers for Your Future

Adventure

Foreword Review — May / June 2001

“Bounty hunters who start their own businesses should expect to lose money at the beginning.” Established bounty hunters can earn more than $30,000 a year and business looks good through 2008. These and other tidbits are found in a series of books on careers geared from upper elementary and middle school students. Each book revolves around a career theme, such as adventure, performing arts, animals, or sports and ties together job ideas—tour guides and astronauts—that might otherwise not seem related.

Students are invited to take a personality “test” at the beginning of each book. A career in any number of adventurous jobs, such as a diver, stunt performer, reporter, travel agent, ecotourism guide, spy, astronaut, merchant marine, or detective depends on certain personality traits. Those seeking these careers are likely to share a love of the outdoors, an interest in travel, or be able to positively answer statements such as “I like to solve puzzles,” or “I enjoy amusement park rides.”

The books then provide information on career options and offer interesting facts about them (e.g., famous female spies), the education or training needed, potential earnings, a forecast of the future of a career in intelligence work, plus where to find more information and a list of related jobs: detectives, FBI agents, crime analysts.

Spying is not all cloak-and-dagger work, according to the authors. Spies or intelligence officers involved in field operations, for example, “need to feel comfortable in social situations, make friends easily, and enjoy risk. They have to be able to think quickly.”

There are lessons to be learned about potential earnings. Most pilots don’t make a lot of money, especially when they get their first job. “The average starting salary for airline pilots is $15,000 at small turboprop airlines and $26,000 at larger airlines.” Park rangers may earn $32,000 and those in remote areas may also receive free housing.

If youngsters have dreamed of growing up to becoming firefighters, they will learn that it is a career with a lot of job competition. The forecast is that “employment of firefighters is expected to grow more slowly than the average through 2008.” The need for travel agents, however, is on the rise.

The performing arts book includes careers in classical and rock music, TV, radio, musical instrument repair, and comedians. A career involving animals might include wildlife photography or pet sitting. Sports careers include physical therapists, jockeys, agents, coaches, statisticians, dancers, and athletes.

This stimulating series is so full of useful details, imaginative cross-references, and novel ideas that readers should easily find several careers to consider.

Linda Salisbury