How do I get Paid Work Experience?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 23 June 2019
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In one sense, any type of work that pays translates to paid work experience, and the easiest answer to this question is to simply secure a job. Many people want paid work experience in a specific field, and how to secure this really depends on type of field. The answer is variable because some paid work experience is only attained after a certain amount of education or unpaid experience has been accrued. On the other hand, there are internships and entry-level positions within certain fields that do pay.

For the person seeking basic paid work experience, there are a number of different jobs to consider. Jobs easiest to obtain are in sales and service industries. Many people start by getting jobs at local restaurants, fast food chains, or retail stores. Most of these jobs pay minimum wage, but they are great environments to learn basic work skills. Basic skills include showing up on time, working on a schedule, interacting with other people and showing responsibility and accountability for work.


Some folks have already worked in basic level jobs, and they seek paid work experience that is aligned to career goals. They’ll have to determine if their present level of knowledge or experience is enough to find a paid job. For example, a person who wants to run a daycare and would like to take an entry level position, may need to have taken a class or two in early childhood education before they can obtain paid work experience. Similarly, there are many people who have to gather many hours of work experience in order to get a license for a particular job, such as to be a therapist, and these people will need to have met minimum education requirements before they start searching.

After evaluating whether a person has the necessary prerequisites or education needed, that person can use a variety of job search engines to look for work nearby or at a distance. Another approach is to speak to local companies that offer the kind of paid work experience needed and ask if they are hiring. These searches usually take a little longer to perform, especially as they get more specific.

Another kind of specialized search for paid work experience is for entry-level jobs, which don’t require accumulated knowledge or work in the past. Such jobs exist in numerous fields, like many of the construction industries. Many people start as paid apprentices and work their way up to positions of greater responsibility.

Getting apprentice or entry level work may mean knowing someone in an industry, and it may be a good idea to cultivate relationships with people working in specialized fields to increase the chances of being recommended for work. Other times, willingness to work and demonstrated responsibility garners a paid job. All people looking for work, no matter the level, should consider reading a few good books on how to construct resumes and how to create a positive impression in interviews, as these skills can help land jobs.



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