Getting the right job is crucial. You spend more time at work than you do at home, and your paycheck plays a big role in making the rest of your life possible. Choose wisely, and you'll have a position you enjoy with a salary you love. Choose poorly, and you'll grab a job that's sub par with a dwindling salary to match.
The job market changes quickly, and it isn't always easy to predict what tomorrow's hot jobs will be. To aid in your career research, we've dug into the data and can make solid suggestions regarding:
- Industries. We'll tell you what sectors of the economy show the most promise.
- Occupations with strong growth. We'll help you understand what positions are beating all the others in terms of growth.
- New jobs. We'll dig into the occupations that have the highest projected numeric change in employment.
- Salaries. We'll tell you what jobs come with the biggest paychecks.
Industries to Watch
The economy is segmented into industries, and that's crucial when you're choosing an educational focus. If you specialize in business, for example, jobs in the business sector will be easier for you to land than those in health care. Knowing the sectors on the rise can help you make a wise decision regarding one of the biggest investments you'll ever make.
The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shares that these sectors saw the most growth between January 2016 and May 2019:
- Professional and Business Services: Computer systems design led the pack in this sector. More than 96,000 jobs were added in May 2019, but other job titles like receptionist, manager, and accountant sit under this heading too.
- Education and Health Services: Health care alone added 391,000 jobs in one year, but the education sector also shows strong growth. If you've ever wanted to teach or help people heal, jobs in this group could be just right for you.
- Leisure and Hospitality: Positions within restaurants and similar establishments increased by 17,000 jobs in May 2019. These jobs may not be high-paying, and they do involve a lot of manual labor, but they represent growth for the economy.
- Construction: In one year, this sector grew by 215,000 jobs. Again, this is a sector that involves manual labor. You'll likely spend the workday standing, moving, and building. Since these jobs are on the rise, it could be a good place to focus.
These are big job groupings, and if you're looking for positions to apply for, the data can be a little confusing. Diving into specific job titles can make growth a little clearer.
Occupations With Projected Growth
BLS keeps data on where people are currently working and where companies are adding new jobs. In this section, we'll talk about occupations with the highest growth percentage.
It's crucial to remember that percentage shifts could be due to new types of jobs. When there are none before and one is added, the jump looks big, but they could be solid spaces to focus a job search.
According to BLS, these occupations have the highest projected growth percentage between 2016 and 2026:
- Solar Panel Installers: Jobs should increase by 105%, and the 2018 median pay was higher than $42,000 per year. In this job, you'll scramble on rooftops, in addition to installing and testing green-energy equipment.
- Wind Turbine Service Technicians: Jobs should increase by 96% and the 2018 annual median pay was higher than $54,000. This is another manual job involving big equipment and time spent outdoors in the green-energy sector.
- Home Health Aides: Jobs should increase by 47% but this job comes with a relatively low annual median pay of about $24,000. You'll steer clear of hospitals and nursing homes in this job, but the salary might be a deterrent. You'll provide some medical care in this position, as well as companionship.
- Physician Assistants: Jobs should increase by 37% and the median 2018 annual pay was $108,610. Health care jobs as a whole are increasing, and this is a position that could be just right for someone with technical expertise and good patient skills.
- Nurse Practitioners: Jobs are expected to grow by 36% and the median 2018 annual pay was about $107,000. In this job, you’ll perform hands-on patient care, and you’ll need a few years of education to do the job well. The high salary and expected job growth could definitely make your education investment worthwhile.
Where Are the New Jobs?
At this point, we've talked about jobs that show strong percentage growth, but what about sheer volume?
BLS also gathers statistics about positions experiencing a boost in numbers. Companies are adding more of these job titles every year, and in some cases, they're older and established positions you've heard of before.
According to BLS, these occupations have the highest numeric jobs increases between 2016 and 2026:
- Personal Care Aides: More than 77,000 positions will be added, and the 2018 annual median pay was more than $24,000. This job title is very similar to the one we mentioned above, but it doesn't involve medical care. You'll provide companionship, and you’ll also assist with cleaning and feeding, but you won't give medications or offer treatments. It requires little training, and you may never need to walk into a hospital to do it.
- Food Prep: Close to 580,000 positions will be added, and the 2018 median annual pay was about $21,000. These are low-paying jobs, but they are plentiful.
- Registered Nurses: Close to 440,000 jobs will be added, and the 2018 annual median salary was close to $72,000. You'll need a degree to get this job, and it does involve hands-on patient work, but the salary is generous.
- Software Developers: About 255,000 jobs will be added, and the 2018 annual median salary was about $104,000. If working with computers appeals to you, this could be a good career choice.
- Janitors and Cleaners: More than 236,000 jobs will be added, and the 2018 annual median salary was about $26,000. You won't need a degree for this job, but the salary might fall a little short.
High-Paying Jobs to Watch
You'll want a job you love, so you don't dread going to work every day, but you might also want a high salary, so you can afford to do the things you love when you're not at work. Some jobs come with these big payouts, but you may need an advanced education to get them.
According to BLS, the highest paying positions in 2018 came with salaries that were equal to or higher than $208,000.
- Oral Surgeon: You’ll identify injuries and diseases of the mouth and teeth, and perform delicate surgeries to restore good oral health.
- Surgeon: You don't have to focus on the mouth to make $208,000 per year. Performing any type of surgery means taking home a paycheck similar to this.
- Obstetrician/Gynecologist: You’ll perform cancer screenings, deliver babies, and help women maintain good health.
- Psychiatrist: You’ll address mental illnesses and help clients feel stronger, more secure, and healthier.
- Anesthesiologist: You’ll ensure patients don't feel a thing when they're moving through surgery.
- Orthodontist: You’ll straighten teeth in adults and children for a better smile and reduced pain.
What Job Is Right for You?
Did you see a position that made your eyes light up? Are you wondering if there are any openings near you? We can help.
Visit our website and search for the job titles you love. Seek out spots close to home, or expand your search and find out about openings in far-flung areas. There's no charge to check. Get started on Joblist today!
Current Employment Statistics Highlights. (May 2019). U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Fastest Growing Occupations. (April 2019). U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Most New Jobs. (April 2019). U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Highest and Lowest Paying Jobs of 2018. (December 2018). USA Today.
Highest Paying Occupations. (April 2019). U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.