If you are looking to make a career change, becoming a health care worker has several rewards. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of licensed practical or vocational nursing is projected to grow by 25 percent between 2012 and 2022. This represents a higher-than-average growth over other career positions.

The average income for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses in 2012 was $41,540 per year, which is $19.97 per hour. While it typically takes a year to complete the educational program required for these positions, the benefits can be great. Completing this education can be a great stepping stone to a registered nursing (RN) position or other specialized nursing position (i.e., nurse anesthetists and nurse midwives).

In specialized nursing positions, the average income in 2012 was $96,460 per year ($46.37/hour). This area of nursing has a projected growth of 31 percent. These positions require a master’s degree and many who pursue these careers continue their education online so that they may continue to work in their field while going to school.

Kelly Robinson, who was born in London, England and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida, attended a private nursing school in Florida and moved to Dallas “because there are more job opportunities for nurses to make more money.”

“All of my nursing instructors told me that if I was going to move anywhere, it should be Texas for all the opportunities for growth. There is a real need for nurses here,” said Robinson.

Robin D. Everson is a native Chicagoan who resides in Dallas, Texas. Her appreciation for art, food, wine, people and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and enlighten others about culture. You can find her work at Examiner.com.