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Nontraditional jobs for men

From Kate Lorenz

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( -- The U.S. Department of Labor defines a nontraditional occupation as one in which 25 percent or less of a particular gender works.

Women have made great strides in working in male-dominated fields, such as law enforcement, politics, firefighting and the military.

And now there are many men who also have been successful in stereotypical female careers.

Many professions, such as teaching, are specifically seeking to recruit men into their ranks. These professions can offer men great opportunities for both employment and advancement.

It's widely known that men and women think, act and work differently in various situations. So the unique perspective a man brings to an industry dominated by women could be quite beneficial for the organization, employees and clients alike.

Here are some examples of careers men should consider:

1. Nurseexternal link

Only 5 percent of nurses in the United States are male. According to the American Mobile Healthcare® 2006 Survey of Men in Nursing, 85 percent of men surveyed were "mostly" or "very" satisfied with their jobs and of those, 82 percent would recommend nursing to other men.

Tim left the male-dominated field of software engineering to go into nursing. "A lot of people assume I'm a doctor," he says. Tim thinks it's important not to stick to gender stereotypes when choosing a career. "I see me working in nursing as a way to push against those stereotypes."

2. Dental Assistant

Dental assistants can perform tasks as varied as scheduling and chair-side assistance. Bob was a dental assistant for 16 years, now he teaches a dental assisting program at his local high school. "I really enjoyed the diversity of tasks, everything from basic prevention to orthodontics," he says

Opportunities in the armed forces make this a popular career for men in the military. That's where Stephen, a sergeant major in the U.S. Army, made a 30-year career out of it. "I am getting ready to retire from the army soon and am going to run for president of the American Dental Assistants Association. This will be the first time a man has ever run for president in its 85 years in existence."

3. Librarianexternal link

Men make up 18 percent of all 110,000 credentialed librarians, according to the American Library Association. Public libraries, along with university and K-12 school libraries are the predominant places of employment for these workers.

4. Teacherexternal link

According to the National Education Association, of the 2.8 million teachers in the United States, only 24.9 percent are men, and only 9 percent are elementary teachers. And these numbers are declining every year.

Matt certainly is bucking the trend. A former Marine, Matt has been teaching first grade for the past five years.

"I went into the education field because I witnessed my own children learn to read and I wanted to teach reading. Elementary education is both challenging and rewarding," he says. "This profession will wear you out, but there is no doubt that you can and will develop a sense of pride knowing that you have made a difference in the lives of your students."

5. Receptionistexternal link

Whether they are called receptionists, hosts/hostesses, front desk clerks or information personnel, these individuals serve an important role as an official representative of the company and the first person clients and visitors come into contact with.

The National Receptionists Association estimates that currently 2 percent of its membership is male.

Kate Lorenz is the article and advice editor for She's an expert in job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.

© Copyright 2007. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority

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