Top Careers in Demand

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Despite a slow employment growth rate, some companies are struggling to fill positions. A recent survey conducted by CareerBuilder, showed that there were numerous positions experiencing a shortage of qualified candidates.

With an increase in the number of jobs on offer post 2010, it often becomes difficult to choose the right one from a vast array of choices at our disposal. A number of sectors are showing a rapid growth, thus also increasing the number of employment opportunities. But, the growth of a particular sector at a fast pace is not enough to ensure a possibility of getting employment in that sector. Only if you have a relevant degree and possess required skills (many times, even relevant experience), can you actually acquire a secure job in a fast-growing sector.

We have listed for you, top 10 careers choices which will continue to be in demand, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) list of fastest-growing occupations. Acquiring qualifications for these jobs might seem to be difficult and also may take a long time, but once you are in the job, you will always continue to be in demand as long as you maintain the standards.

1. Home Health Aides

Nature of Work: Home health aides are the people who help the ailing or physically/mentally unfit patients with tasks such as housekeeping, preparing meals, and bathing, alongside nursing. They are also licensed to administer drugs and operate medical equipment at patients’ homes, in hospitals or in assisted-living facilities such as homes for the aged.

Education: Basic education such as a high school diploma is not necessary, and the home health aides are trained on the job by nurses, supervisors, or other senior aides. Several hospitals and community colleges offer programs for licensure. This means that after successful completion of the program, one becomes eligible to practice as a home health aide and thus, acquires a legal license for the same. The duration of these programs ranges from 75 hours to 120 hours, depending on the state in which a program is undertaken.

Future Prospects: Being much affordable alternatives to nursing homes or hospitals, the home health aides will be in demand, especially from the disabled and the elderly people.

Estimated Growth: 1,313,200 jobs to be added by 2020 (70% growth)

Median Annual Salary: $20,160

2. Medical Scientists

Nature of Work: The medical scientists undertake the task of closely studying and analyzing human diseases and different medical conditions, and the effects of various drugs on human body. They are generally employed by pharmaceutical companies, university research centers, and hospitals. Several federal government posts also exist.

Education: An undergraduate degree in biological sciences, along with specializations in math, chemistry, computer science, and physics may prove to be helpful. Most of the medical scientists generally have a Ph.D or a joint Ph.D in the relevant subject. Those with a Master’s degree may find work opportunities in research laboratories, and so on.

Future Prospects: With a tremendous increase in demand for pharmaceuticals in the global markets, the job openings for medical scientists seem to be on an increase.

Estimated Growth: 36,400 jobs to be added by 2020 (36% growth)

Median Annual Salary: $76,700

3. Architects

Nature of Work: The main job of an architect is to plan and design buildings and other structures, keeping in mind their functionality as well as their aesthetics. Nowadays, architects specialize in specific branches such as historic preservation, sustainable designing, building enclosure, building control or building safety, and so on.

Education: Minimum educational requirement to enter the profession is a university degree in architecture, after which an internship of two to three years (depending on the location) satisfies the condition of experience. Acquiring a valid license is mandatory.

Future Prospects: With the growth in population, more new shelters need to be erected, alongside mending the older ones, and conserving the historical ones. Added to this, architects with the know-how of sustainable design will be in demand over the next few years.

Estimated Growth: 27,900 jobs to be added by 2020 (24% growth)

Median Annual Salary: $72,550

4. Physician Assistants

Nature of Work: Physician assistants are health care professionals, licensed to practice medicine under a physician’s supervision. They not only treat patients with routine ailments, but also conduct physical examinations, prescribe medications, and sometimes assist in surgeries.

Education: There are rigorous training programs in the U.S. for aspiring physician assistants. Most of them are graduate programs awarding Master’s degrees, and require a relevant Bachelor’s degree and MCAT/GRE scores to be eligible for application. However, individual states and medical boards also regulate professional licensure.

Future Prospects: The growing population demands more number of health care specialists, and since the physician assistants are easier to approach in cases of routine ailments, they will be in great demand.

Estimated Growth: 24,700 jobs to be added by 2020 (30% growth)

Median Annual Salary: $86,400

5. Interpreters and Translators

Nature of Work: The main function of interpreters and translators involves conversion of information from one language to the other. They speak at least two different languages, including English, and also interpret information from spoken language to sign language. However, interpreters deal with spoken language, whereas translators deal with written language.

Education: Usually, interpreters and translators can do with a Bachelor’s degree in any field. However, the main prerequisite for the job is fluency in English, alongside at least one other language. Interpreters and translators working in technical areas, such as engineering or finance, need a Master’s degree in the related field. No universal certification is required, but organizations such as the American Translators Association do provide certificate courses. Relevant work experience is preferred.

Future Prospects: Owing to the large-scale migrations in the United States that have resulted in the rise in the non-English-speaking population, the need for people in this occupation will be on the rise. Broadening international ties is also another factor leading to the growth in employment opportunities for interpreters and translators.

Estimated Growth: 24,600 jobs to be added by 2020 (42% growth)

Median Annual Salary: $43,300

6. Skincare Specialists

Nature of Work: Skincare specialists work on the body, more particularly the face of a patient. Their treatment involves cleansing and beautifying the skin in order to enhance the looks of the patients. They also sell various beauty-care products. They sometimes assist plastic surgeons and dermatologists.

Education: All American states, except Connecticut, require a valid license to practice as a skin care specialist. One has to undergo rigorous training, both classroom and laboratory-based, for at least 600 hours, which covers anatomy, physiology, and the various methodologies used. This training course leads to a state license. Added to this, various community colleges, and cosmetology institutes offer certificate courses, which also lead to a valid license. Some community colleges also offer associate degrees in cosmetology, however, these are not mandatory.

Future Prospects: As men and women are growing more and more conscious about the various skin problems they are prone to, due to environmental or climatic conditions, there is an increased demand for skincare specialists, who find employment in more and more beauty salons and spas.

Estimated Growth: 11,700 jobs to be added by 2020 (25% growth)

Median Annual Salary: $28,920

7. Biomedical Engineers

Nature of Work: Biomedical engineering is a relatively recent field, combining elements of engineering and medical disciplines. The job of a biomedical engineer is to design tools and devices (such as artificial organs, imaging devices, etc.) that help ease the various processes involved in medical treatment.

Education: Biomedical engineers have a good knowledge of both, engineering and biology, and ideally have a Master’s or a Ph.D in the field. With the growing interest in the field, a lot of undergraduate programs are becoming popular in the U.S., and are largely being recognized by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET).

Future Prospects: With the rising health care needs of the aging population, complemented by growing public awareness regarding the field of biomedicine and its advantages, the jobs in this sector would be on a rise.

Estimated Growth: 9,700 jobs to be added by 2020 (62% growth)

Median Annual Salary: $82,000

8. Financial Examiners

Nature of Work: Financial examiners are the internal auditors of the company. They are responsible for checking every minute detail with regards to the company’s accounts and ensuring that every transaction is carried out fairly and legally. They are generally accountants, with an in-depth knowledge of business law.

Education: A number of self-directed courses and exams for certification are conducted by the Society of Financial Examiners (SOFE) and the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA). A Master’s degree in accounting is a prerequisite.

Future Prospects: Creation of new businesses and expansion of the existing ones will increase the demand for financial examiners. Moreover, the introduction and implementation of new financial regulations, will also increase a demand for them.

Estimated Growth: 7,900 jobs to be added by 2020 (27% growth)

Median Annual Salary: $74,940

9. Biochemists

Nature of Work: Biochemists are scientists who specialize in the field of biochemistry. They study living organisms with respect to the various chemical transformations taking place within their bodies. They also study and analyze the effects of drugs, foods, and other substances on the bodies of living organisms.

Education: A degree in biochemistry or a related discipline is necessary to work as a biochemist. In order to pursue an independent research in the field, a doctoral degree is required. An in-depth knowledge of chemistry, biology, math, and statistics is also a prerequisite for this career.

Future Prospects: Developments in the areas of research in the field of biotechnology, and growing needs of the population for cleaner and healthier environment, will lead to the increase in the job opportunities for the biochemists.

Estimated Growth: 7,700 jobs to be added by 2020 (31% growth)

Median Annual Salary: $79,390

10. Athletic Trainers

Nature of Work: Athletic trainers are certified health care professionals dealing in sports medicine, and working under doctors’ guidance to treat skeletal/muscular injuries. They also help design various exercises for sportsmen, which can help them prevent possible injuries.

Education: While a Bachelor’s degree in athletic training is a minimum requirement in order to pursue a career in the field, Master’s degrees are also offered. Subjects taught in a typical athletic training course include anatomy, physics, chemistry, and biology, alongside nutrition, and physiology.

Future Prospects: Desire of the people to stay fit, and their awareness regarding sports-related injuries, will lead to increased openings for athletic trainers.

Estimated Growth: 5,500 jobs to be added by 2020 (30% growth)

Median Annual Salary: $41,600

Some Other In-Demand Careers

Apart from the top 10 in-demand career options mentioned above, there are some other jobs in high demand as well. And the good news is, they do not require much formal qualifications. Given below is a list of such jobs, their growth prospects, and the average annual salary that they offer:

Carpenters

Carpenters construct basic frames of structures and pieces of furniture, and primarily work with wood, alongside some other materials. Though formal apprenticeships are available, most of them prefer to acquire training while on the job. High school education is necessary.

Estimated Growth: 196,000 jobs to be added by 2020 (20% growth)

Average Annual Salary $39,500

Bus Drivers

Bus drivers run the buses to a variety of places, both locally and across states, and are responsible for transporting passengers of all age groups, genders, and backgrounds from one place to the other. Every bus driver is required to have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), and must also fulfill all the vision and hearing requirements.

Estimated Growth: 83,000 jobs to be added by 2020 (13% growth)

Average Annual Salary $29,000

Brickmasons and Stonemasons

Commonly known as masons, they work with stones, bricks, and concrete blocks to build walls, walkways, and other structures. Though formal apprenticeship may be done to learn the job, most of them acquire the on-job training. High school education is a prerequisite.

Estimated Growth: 41,800 jobs to be added by 2020 (40% growth)

Average Annual Salary $45,400

Glaziers

Glaziers are the workers who install glass in skylights, windows, display cases, etc., so that the use of artificial lighting can be avoided. They also make moldings for installing glasses. A high school diploma is required to enter the occupation, and a formal license is needed, though only in the state of Connecticut.

Estimated Growth: 17,700 jobs to be added by 2020 (42% growth)

Average Annual Salary $36,550

Home Appliance Repairers

They install, repair, and maintain household appliances like microwave ovens, washing machines, and vacuum cleaners. While most of them are trained on the job, some employers prefer workers with either vocational or technical training.

Estimated Growth: 3,100 jobs to be added by 2020 (7% growth)

Average Annual Salary $34,000

There are several other career options one may want to opt for depending on his/her likes and preferences. With so many options on the platter and so many training courses available, you can doubtlessly explore infinite possibilities as far as your career prospects are concerned.