Employment Trends

10 of the most in-demand jobs for 2018

most-in-demand-jobs-for-2018
Written by Kate Lopaze

It’s never too early to start thinking about your next move. So whether that’s a career change or a step up in your field, we have some of the hottest job opportunities for 2018. Think of it as being like planning your holiday shopping early. You don’t have to, but if you know what you want to get and can jump on sales early, you’ll be better off when the time comes.

Let’s look at some of the best job opportunities for 2018.

Fitness Trainer

The fitness trend isn’t going away anytime soon, as health and wellness continue to be a hot topic for people across all age groups. Trainers are the professionals who help people develop and maintain a fitness plan at the gym, lead fitness classes, and educate clients on exercise and physical fitness. The demand for fitness trainers is expected to grow about 8% by 2022, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What you’ll need: A high school diploma or equivalent, plus on-the-job training. Physical fitness is also a must (this is a do-as-I-do kind of job, not do-as-I-say). Trainers may also need to pass a certification test, depending on your state’s requirements.

What they make: The median salary is $38,160, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Occupational Therapist Assistant

Healthcare careers are hot, no doubt about it—it’s a field that will continue to see increased demand, especially as the Baby Boomer population ages and requires more direct healthcare. Occupational therapist assistants are responsible for working with licensed therapists to implement therapy plans for patients, helping the patients recover from illness or injury, as well as developing and strengthening the skills they’ll need for daily living (like moving, dressing, eating, personal hygiene, traveling, etc.). The demand for occupational therapist assistants is expected to grow an astonishing 40% by 2022, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What you’ll need: An associate’s degree from a certified allied health program. Most states also require occupational therapist assistants to be licensed, so check your state’s requirements.

What they make: The median salary is $56,070, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Personal Financial Advisor

Are you a whiz at math, and find the ins and outs of personal investments fascinating? If either of those things is true, you might want to consider becoming a personal financial advisor. These finance professionals work with clients to help them manage their money, advising on everything from insurance to investments to long-term planning. If you’re a lone wolf, this might be a good choice for you as well—many financial advisors are self-employed, creating and maintaining client relationships directly. The demand for personal financial advisors is expected to grow more than 30% by 2022, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What you’ll need: A bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or a similar area. Master’s degrees can also be an asset in this field, as can optional certification.

What they make: The median salary is $90,530, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Computer Software Engineer

It’s not hard to see why this field is going to continue to be a big one in 2018. Startups and big companies alike are looking for creative, innovative developers and software engineers to design and refine computer programs. Software engineers develop apps or task-specific programs, or work on the underlying systems that run devices and networks. The demand for software engineers is expected to grow more than 17% by 2022, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics—much faster than average.

What you’ll need: A bachelor’s degree in computer science, plus strong computer programming skills.

What they make: This is a very high-paying field, if you’ve got the degree and the skills: the median salary is $102,280, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Registered Nurse

If you’ve heard about nurses in the news lately, it was likely in an article about how there’s a shortage of qualified nurses out there. And in a healthcare field that continues to grow with no end in sight, that makes it a good career opportunity for someone interested in a patient care role. Nurses work in many different settings—hospitals, doctors’ offices, agencies, schools, clinics, and many more—providing and coordinating patient medical care. The demand for registered nurses is expected to grow more than 16% by 2022, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What you’ll need: An associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing, or a certificate from an accredited allied health program in nursing. Nurses also need to be licensed.

What they make: The median salary is $68,450, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Pharmacy Technician

Becoming a pharmacy tech is another way to break into the healthcare industry, if patient care isn’t really your thing. These technicians work in pharmacies (in stores, hospitals, clinics, or other healthcare settings) to dispense prescription medication to customers or health professionals. The demand for pharmacy technicians is expected to grow by about 9% by 2022, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What you’ll need: A high school diploma, and some employers require a certificate from a certified pharmacy technician program. Most states also require official certification.

What they make: The median salary is $30,920, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical engineering is the meetup point of two very hot industries these days: healthcare and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). These engineers develop equipment, devices, software, and computer systems used in medical facilities. They use both technical expertise and biology to create and refine the way doctors diagnose and treat patients. The demand for biomedical engineers is expected to grow by a huge 23% by 2022, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What you’ll need: A bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering or bioengineering.

What they make: The median salary is $85,620, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Market Research Analyst

Data drives everything we do—and it affects how companies create and sell products. Just about every industry is obsessed with market and customer data right now, and how they can use that to give themselves an edge. This is where market research analysts come in—they take raw data and analyze it to understand customers, predict trends, determine what pricing should be, and provide valuable feedback from the marketplace. The demand for market research analysts is expected to grow by a huge 19% by 2022, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics—much faster than average.

What you’ll need: A bachelor’s degree in marketing or economics, although a master’s degree is strongly recommended by some employers. You will also need very strong math and analytical skills for this job.

What they make: The median salary is $62,560, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Environmental Engineering Technician

Anything tagged with “green” or “sustainable” is also a hot industry these days, so if you’re interested in both scientific analysis and the environment, becoming an environmental engineering technician could be a great option. These technicians work with environmental engineers to collect environmental data (like water samples or soil samples) for analysis, or work with equipment designed to prevent or clean up pollution. The demand for environmental engineering technicians is expected to grow by 10% by 2022, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What you’ll need: An associate’s degree or higher in environmental engineering technology, plus strong analytical skills.

What they make: The median salary is $49,170, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Skin Care Specialist

“Self-care” seems to have become not only a catchphrase in recent years, but also a way of life. More than ever, people are turning to spa and medical treatments to take care of skin issues or fight the ever-ongoing battle against aging. Also known as “estheticians,” Skin care specialists are often the first line of defense in that battle, working in spas, clinics, and salons to help clients cleanse and treat skin for optimal health. The demand for skin care specialists is expected to grow by 10% by 2022, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What you’ll need: A certificate from an accredited cosmetology or esthetician program, plus licensing (which is currently required in all states but Connecticut).

What they make: The median salary is $30,270, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

So are you ready for a change with one of these fast-growing jobs in 2018? If you’re interested in a new career to go with a new year, one of these could be the best path for you.

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