Switch Into Today (and Tomorrow’s) Hottest Jobs

By: Tania Lavin - Market Research, Allegis Group

If you’re considering changing careers, you aren’t alone. Fifty-five percent of Americans are trying to switch careers and an additional 30% would consider changing if they could find a better career (Monster, 2012). The sluggish economy’s effects on pay, hours, job responsibilities and work/life balance have certainly impacted employee morale. It isn’t surprising that only 29% of American workers say they are very satisfied with their job (Randstad Workmonitor, March 2013) and that nearly 9 out of ten employees are contemplating switching careers. While you’re not alone, your prospects are good. According to Bart Hobijn, a researcher at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, more than half of all job openings are now being filled by people who didn’t previously work in that industry or occupation. Use this article to assess whether you truly need to switch careers and what careers might be most worthy of your consideration.

Create your personal Employee Value Proposition (EVP)
You’re likely evaluating a career move because you’re unhappy, have obsolete skills or just want better advancement opportunities. Before you pick another unsatisfying, dead-end or low-paying career, make sure you do some soul searching to ensure you choose wisely.

An in-depth self evaluation of your existing skills, goals and interests will help you decide whether you simply need to switch jobs within your current field, whether you just need additional training in your present occupation or whether you actually need to break into a new career. Consider the importance of the following attributes of an EVP:

  • Salary
  • Medical benefits
  • Schedule flexibility
  • Hours per week
  • Career advancement opportunities
  • Personal satisfaction/pride
  • Travel

Hot Jobs for Today and Tomorrow
If your self-evaluation points you to a new career, here are some fast-growing jobs with high salary potential.

  • Healthcare – The Affordable Healthcare Act will provide medical insurance to 40 million currently uninsured people. The resulting larger population of insured patients will increase the need for doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers. While most of these positions require some training, salaries are good and the jobs are sustainable. Potential healthcare careers include:
    • Registered Nurse ($65,690 average salary)
    • Physical Therapist ($78,270)
    • Physical Therapist Assistant ($51,040)
    • Medical Secretary ($31,060)
    • Respiratory Therapist ($55,250)
    • Radiology Technician ($55,120)
    • Medical Assistant ($29,100)
    • Clinical Laboratory Technician ($36,950)
    • Pharmacy Technician ($28,940)
  • Information Technology – IT occupations as a percentage of all U.S. jobs has grown from 2% in 2000 to nearly 3% today. IT has become critical to organizational success and thus demand and salaries are increasing. Below are just a few potential IT career prospects:
    • Computer Systems Analyst ($78,770)
    • Database Administrator ($89,280)
    • Web Developer ($77,990)
    • Network & Computer Systems Administrator ($70,970)
    • Developer/ Computer Programmer ($72,630)
    • Information Security Analyst ($77,000)
    • Computer Network Architect ($77,900)
  • Finance & Accounting – Several financial careers rank among the best jobs year after year.
    • Financial Advisor ($66,580)
    • Accountant ($62,850)
    • Bookkeeping, Accounting or Audit Clerk ($34,740)
    • Financial Manager ($107,160)
    • Insurance Agent ($47,450)
  • Others – These other careers ranked high on U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of the 100 Best Jobs:
    • Interpreter/Translator ($44,160)
    • Mechanical Engineer ($79,230)
    • Veterinarian Technician ($30,140)
    • Market Research Analyst ($60,250)
    • Civil Engineer ($38,560)
    • Landscaper/Groundskeeper ($23,410)
    • Maintenance/Repair Worker ($35,30)
    • Recreational/Fitness Worker ($31,030)

Identify the jobs that interest you and then conduct research to narrow your list. You’ll want to understand the time and cost of attaining skills in each field. Network with friends or make new connections to find out if the job would be a good fit for your skills, goals and interests. Should you make the decision to embark on a new career, continue to invest in your network while you’re in transition. You’ll need those connections once you’re ready to search for your first job in your new career. Good luck!