September 9, 2008

Monday Markets: Wine Industry Jobs

Each Monday, the JobMonkey blog focuses on an emerging market — a hot job sector where you just might find your dream job. If there is a market you are interested in that we haven’t covered yet, please leave a comment so we can be sure to write about the areas that appeal to you!

Imagine spending your days working in the vineyards, cultivating the perfect grape.

Or blending an award-winning Cabernet. Or pouring a flawless glass of Sauvignon Blanc as a sommelier.

It sounds exciting, exotic and possibly even a little inebriating, right? But jobs in the steadily growing wine industry aren’t all fancy wine and cheese parties.  Most wine jobs require long hours, advanced education and years of experience — and no, I don’t mean the kind of experience you got in college from drinking like a fish.

The true wine connoisseur might want to consider a winemaking career. These jobs demand extensive education and a finely honed entrepreneurial instinct. Vineyards offer lifelong career opportunities, some — but not all — of which require advanced degrees.

On the business-side of wine making, there are numerous options, such as wine sales, marketing and finance (all of which typically require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, some professional experience and in-depth knowledge of the industry). Hospitality and retail jobs are also abundant, and can be an excellent foot in the door of this coveted industry.

Another huge plus of working in the wine industry (aside from free samples at work) is that it’s a relatively recession-proof choice even in these turbulent economic times. In fact, recently reported that salaries in the wine businesses went up an average of 3.8% during the first quarter of 2008. (And by the way, Wine Business is a great resource about all things wine job-related if you want to learn more about this effervescent industry!)

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