Lost your job but don't want to work at a fast food place? Try out these occupations instead.

You could deal blackjack, teach kindergarten, or fill a prescription all without ever applying for a job at a casino, school, or pharmacy.

A temp agency will do that for you.

“Temporary and contract work provides a bridge to permanent employment. People can try out a prospective employer and showcase their skills for a permanent job,” says Michelle Snyder, spokesman for the American Staffing Association.

Temp agencies are now among the largest employers in America, responsible for “about 12 percent of everyone with a job,” reports USA Today. Those employees aren’t always temporary. Snyder says 34 percent of temporary and contract employees were offered permanent positions by a firm where they  worked on assignment.

“The best advice is to treat any temporary or contract position as a ‘permanent’ position,” she says. “Being responsible, professional, and dependable during any assignment will speak volumes to any employer, and help individuals potentially bridge to permanent jobs.”


CareerBuilder lists the fastest-growing temp jobs that pay up to $45 an hour (software developer), but many of those require specialized training and education. So here are the ones that make less than $15 an hour, with additional information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics…

1. Home health aides

College degree needed: No, but some are certified by the National Association for Home Care and Hospice.
Duties: Cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, bathing, dressing, showering, changing wound dressings
Average pay:  $10.12 per hour

2. Gaming dealers

Degree needed: No
Duties: Operate table games and gaming equipment. Distribute winnings and collect players’ money or chips.
Average pay: $9.22 per hour

3. Childcare workers

Degree needed: No, but sometimes early childhood certification is required.
Duties: Work in a child care center and prepare meals, change diapers, prepare meals and snacks. Help young children prepare for preschool by developing curriculum to teach manners, cooperation, and creative activities like art, dance, and music.
Average pay: $9.81 per hour

4. Restaurant cook

Degree needed: You don’t need a degree to work in most restaurant positions, unless you’re a regional restaurant manager.
Duties: Prepare, season, and cook dishes at a restaurant, as well as keep records and price menu items.
Average pay: $10.73 per hour

5. Substitute teachers

Degree needed: It varies from state to state. Many states require at least a bachelor’s degree, but in states like Alaska and Florida, a high school diploma is fine.
Duties: First, make sure you’ve fulfilled your state’s requirement to be a substitute teacher, and are registered with the local department of education. If you’re hired, you can be called in to sub any grade from K-12, meaning your days could be spent making Play-Doh shapes, teaching pre-algebra, or grading Mark Twain essays.
Average pay: $13 per hour

6. Demonstrators and product promoters

Degree needed: No, but some could benefit with having vocational training or on-the-job coursework.
Duties: Create public interest in products ranging from computer software to household items like cleaning supplies. They often work at retail and grocery stores, malls, trade shows, or fairs.
Average pay: $12.26 per hour

7. Retail salespeople

Degree needed: No
Duties: Sell merchandise at a clothing store, an auto parts store, a furniture store, or a bookstore.
Average pay: $10.13 per hour

8. Landscaping and groundskeeping workers

Degree needed: A landscape architect requires at least a bachelor’s degree, but an entry-level groundskeeper just needs a high school diploma.
Duties: Cut, trim, and water grass, trees, and shrubs to keep landscapes looking good. Lay mulch, pull weeds, and use chemicals to control weed or pest population.
Average pay: $11.73 per hour

9. Taxi drivers and chauffeurs

Degree needed: No
Duties: Transporting passengers in cabs or limousines – and keeping those vehicles clean.
Average pay: $11.28 per hour

10. Maids and housekeeping cleaners

Degree needed: No
Duties: Vacuum floors, sweep up debris, dust tables and wood surfaces, mop and wash floors, clean up after pets, wash and fold laundry, and take out the trash.
Average pay: $10.07 per hour

11. Pharmacy technicians

Degree needed: Requires a minimum of on-the-job training. Most jobs require a one- or two-year pharmacy certification program.
Duties: Help prepare prescribed medication, count tablets and label bottles, help verify prescriptions, establish and maintain patient profiles, prepare insurance claim forms, and take inventory.
Average pay: $14.47 per hour

12. Bakers

Degree needed: No, but for higher-end jobs in craft or specialty bakery stores, an apprenticeship is usually required.
Duties: Measuring and mixing ingredients to make dough, bread, cookies, cakes and other baked goods.
Average pay: $11.22 per hour


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Jess Miller

Jess Miller


Miller is the former assistant editor of Debt.com.

Career and Business

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Article last modified on March 19, 2015 Published by Debt.com, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: 12 Fastest Growing Jobs You Can Get Through a Temp Agency - AMP.