When COVID-19 hit, it changed our work lives. Many people lost their jobs and were forced to get back on the job market; others shifted to working from home. Some industries were hit particularly hard and still find it challenging to get back on track.
At the same time, the demand for specific jobs grew dramatically. The pandemic is still far from over, yet the future looks brighter now as the world is on its way to mass vaccination. Making a career change right now can be a challenge, but there are plenty of in-demand jobs, and hiring is on the rise. We explored the most popular job positions at the moment and examined the future trends so you can make a more informed career move.
How the Pandemic Changed the Job Outlook
The year 2020 saw record-breaking unemployment rates — at the beginning of the pandemic, it stood at 14.7% and improved later in August, reaching 8.4%. But 2021 started on a more optimistic note. About 82% of employers wanted to start hiring, highlighting a positive job outlook.
When thinking about careers in high demand, we must mention the tech industry — 49% of tech recruiters are planning to create new jobs, leaving the door open for new possibilities. Blue-collar employers (roles in construction, maintenance, and mining) plan to expand their workforce by 38%. Positions that require in-person interaction outside the office — positions in schools, hospitals, airports, and retail stores — are now some of the most high-demand jobs.
In many industries, the demand is primarily shaped by new employment trends. Remote work will continue its domination even after the pandemic is over. Many employers will adopt a hybrid model of operation where some employees will work from the office and others will operate from home. This approach is projected to bring better work-life balance, resulting in 34% retention of critical employees.
A List of Some High-Demand Jobs
Supply Chain Associate
Since regions shut down due to the pandemic, there was a rapid shift from traditional retail stores to online shops in consumer demand. As a result, ecommerce sales skyrocketed, seeing a 39% growth in Q1 2021. This trend highlighted the importance of supply chain management, with supply chain associate now being one of the jobs in high demand.
Requirements — To land a job as a supply chain associate, you need at least a high school diploma or a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management, as well as proficiency in Excel and Word. Solid planning skills, initiative, and good communication skills are also necessary.
Duties — A supply chain associate reviews and files vendor contracts, processes customer orders, schedules deliveries, and tracks shipments.
Salary — $50,033
Retailers and logistics companies have proved to be essential in getting products from stores to customers during a global crisis. According to the latest data, the hiring rate for these roles increased by 73% YoY, which places them on the list of jobs that are in high demand.
Requirements — To work as a driver for an ecommerce company, you need a driver’s license and solid management and organizational skills. A high school diploma and previous experience are preferred but not required.
Duties — The primary responsibility you’d have as a driver is making sure that the orders are complete and correct and arrive at the intended location; sometimes, you might need to handle payment in person.
Salary — $43,300
Home Health Aide
During the pandemic, health aides have supported the US healthcare system by ensuring most vulnerable patients stay out of hospitals. Home health aide will remain one of the in-demand jobs as its projected growth rate by 2030 is 33%.
Requirements — You don’t need a formal education to work as a home health aide. However, some employers might require NAHC certification. The ability to follow instructions and work with no supervision is also required.
Duties — A home health aide helps clients with primary health care and administering medication. They also assist them with personal hygiene and house cleaning.
Salary — $27,080
Health Care Assistant
The majority of the top jobs in demand are in the healthcare industry. The employment of health care assistants is projected to increase by 18% between 2020 and 2030, which is higher than average.
Requirements — To work as a healthcare assistant, you need a high school diploma and a two-year associate’s degree in medical assistance or a one-year certification program. Multi-tasking, computer proficiency, data entry, and insurance processing are also required skills.
Duties — As a medical assistant, you’ll need to complete administrative and clinical tasks. Daily duties might involve monitoring and recording patients’ conditions, as well as supply checks and orders.
Salary — $35,850
The need for health care has grown, and RN has become one of the medical careers in demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, registered nursing is expected to grow by 9% between 2020 and 2030. According to the latest estimations, there will be 194,500 openings for registered nurses each year through 2030.
Requirements — Working as an RN requires you to obtain an ADN or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and complete the NCLEX-RN exam.
Duties — A registered nurse is in charge of administering medications, dressing wounds and incisions, and performing diagnostic testing.
Salary — $75,330
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the work of all health care providers. A pharmacy technician is one of the future jobs as it proved crucial to keeping up with the changes that happen within the field. During the challenging time, pharmacy technicians’ roles expanded to meet the more significant needs of the people.
Requirements — To work as a pharmacy technician, you need a high school diploma. Some states require passing an exam or completing a formal education or training program.
Duties — The primary responsibilities of pharmacy technicians are allocating prescription drugs and medical devices, instructing use, and taking care of administrative tasks.
Salary — $35,100
Along with home health aides, a nursing assistant is among the top careers in demand nationwide. The employment rate is estimated to grow by 8% between 2020 and 2030. This career can provide flexible yet dependable employment. Plus, starting as a nursing assistant is an excellent base for higher-level jobs in the field.
Requirement — No formal education is required for nursing assistants. However, you might need to complete state nursing training and get certified. This is one of the rare in-demand jobs in medicine that requires minimal education.
Duties — A nursing assistant provides healthcare to patients under the supervision of a nurse. Taking vital signs and recording the patient’s health, serving food, changing bed linens, bathing, dressing, and moving or lifting the patient is part of an assistant’s daily duties.
Salary — $30,830
Mortgage Loan Officer
A mortgage loan officer is one of the jobs in demand. Along with the global crisis came low-interest rates and the new Paycheck Protection Program. These were some of the reasons why the need for loan and mortgage experts increased by nearly 59% compared to 2019.
Requirements — Usually, an MLO needs a bachelor’s degree in a business-related field like economics, finance, or accounting. Additionally, you would need a mortgage loan originator license with 20 hours of coursework and a passed NMLS exam.
Duties — A mortgage officer is in charge of finding appropriate mortgage loan products based on the client’s financial situation. You would also complete loan applications, monitor their progress, and resolve problems throughout.
Salary — $63,960
Teacher assistant has become one of the careers in demand as the pandemic has thrown the education system into a crisis and is yet to recoup. TAs have proven pivotal in helping schools keep functioning during a global crisis, covering staff absences, and supporting vulnerable children in school.
Requirements — TAs usually need to complete at least two years of college coursework. A bachelor’s degree in education or a related field is preferred.
Duties — The main role of a TA is to support the leading teachers. You would be involved in creating lesson plans, lesson revision, and overseeing students.
Salary — $28,900
When considering the high-demand careers, life coaches must come to mind. The number of coaches globally has grown by 33% since 2015, and the field is continually expanding.
Requirement — No formal education is required to become a life coach. However, universities are already introducing life-coaching programs, so obtaining a degree might make you more competitive for this in-demand job. Additionally, you can get certified by the International Coach Federation (ICF).
Duties — A life coach is a wellness professional that helps people achieve progress. You would be assisting clients in setting goals, driving personal growth, and planning future actions.
Salary — $30,000 – $40,000
With the expansion of digitalization during the pandemic, web development seems to be one of the best careers for the future. The increased demand will continue, and web developer employment will increase by 13% through 2030. This trend offers new opportunities for those looking to build a stable future in the IT world.
Requirements — Having an associate degree in web development, programming, or a related field is a must for working as a web developer.
Duties — Web developers use programming languages to create sites, maintain them, and perform updates. Testing and identifying issues are also part of the job.
Salary — $77,200
Mental Health Specialist
Mental health specialists are also careers in high demand due to increasing rates of patients struggling with insomnia, anxiety, and depression, especially after the COVID-19 outbreak. Since the pandemic kicked in, one-third of mental health specialists have reported seeing more patients, and three quarters have experienced increased demand for treating anxiety disorders.
Requirements — To work as a mental health specialist, you need a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field. A CMHP or other certification might also be required.
Duties — A mental health specialist assesses patients, sets diagnoses, develops and implements treatment plans, and monitors the patients’ progress.
Salary — $47,660
The projected employment growth for speech-language pathologists in the years to come is 29%. This is one of the top jobs for the future, and the demand for the role will continue to grow as older populations are more likely to develop speech and language issues. Furthermore, there will be an increased employment rate in schools as federal law guarantees special education services to all children with disabilities. Considering the benefits bilingualism offers, speech-language pathologists can prove essential for bridging second-language speech difficulties.
Requirement — This job requires you to have a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences or a master’s degree in SLP from a CAA-accredited institution.
Duties — The primary responsibility of a speech-language pathologist is to assess, diagnose, and treat communication disorders.
Salary — $80,480
Genetic counseling wasn’t a hot job until recently, but now it’s one of the high-paying jobs in demand. Although relatively small, the profession is rapidly growing. Projections are that the employment of genetic counselors will see a 26% increase by 2030.
Requirements — To work as a genetic counselor, you need a Master’s Degree in Genetic Counseling from an ACGC accredited program. Additionally, you need to obtain state certification.
Duties — As a genetic counselor, you’ll work with patients, help them understand how genetic information affects their lives, and provide advice on minimizing the potential hereditary risks.
Salary — $85,700
Skilled Trade Jobs In Demand
Unlike many sectors that were affected hard by the pandemic, the skilled trades continued to boom nationwide. Some sectors saw double- or even triple-digit growth. But, the demand is very high, and the supply is still low. This trend has caused an exponential increase in salaries. The gap between skilled and unskilled workers grows as firms offer more significant incentives to fill professional trade positions.
The stereotypes about skilled labor and the absence of adequate training contribute to the lack of new skilled workers. If you’re considering a career in the skilled trade sector, here are the best jobs for the future.
The NECA reports that 7,000 electricians join the fields each year but 10,000 retire. Currently, 739,200 people are working as electricians, and the BLS predicts that employment will increase by 9% between 2020 and 2030.
Requirements — Learning through apprenticeship programs is expected in the field, so you don’t need formal education. Keep in mind, however, that some states require a license.
Duties — As an electrician, you’ll be in charge of installing, maintaining, and repairing electrical power systems. Your responsibilities also include diagnosing electrical problems, conducting tests, and troubleshooting.
Salary — $56,900
Nine in ten construction companies say they are struggling to hire workers, indicating this is one of the trade jobs in demand. It’s projected that the number will grow by 7% through 2030.
Requirements — To become a construction worker, you need to have a high school diploma or GED and complete an apprenticeship program or trade school.
Duties — Your main task would be to operate and maintain equipment to build specific structures. You would also be assembling temporary systems, loading and unloading equipment and materials, and regulating the traffic.
Salary — $37,080
There are 210,000 fewer welders in the US compared to 25 years ago. The American Welding Society predicts a deficit of 400,000 by 2024, after a new wave of retirements hits. Such a vast shortage has made welding one of the jobs most in demand.
Requirements — To become a welder, you need a high school diploma or GED, as well as on-the-job and technical training.
Duties — The primary responsibility of a welder is to use heat to build, repair, or cut metal components and products.
Salary — $41,380
Construction Equipment Operators
Infrastructure expenditure will continue increasing, resulting in a positive future job outlook for construction equipment operators. According to Build Your Future, an organization established by the NCCER, the US needs to employ more than 600,000 construction equipment operators by 2022.
Requirements — To become a construction equipment operator, you need to go through a four-year apprenticeship program. Also, you need to have a commercial driver’s license.
Duties — The job of a construction equipment operator is to drive and operate large machinery used in construction. They also need to make sure the equipment runs properly and report potential issues to supervisors.
Salary — $49,100
An HVAC technician is one of the jobs in the highest demand in the skilled trade field. Due to the shortage of HVAC technicians, the government is offering incentive programs to increase the employment rate. Jobs for this position are expected to rise by 5% through 2030.
Requirements — Considering the complexity of HVAC systems, you might be required to complete an apprenticeship program. Some states might also require a license.
Duties — As an HVAC technician, your job is to install, maintain, and repair heating, cooling, ventilation, and refrigeration systems.
Salary — $50,590
Renewable and clean energy provides numerous benefits, which is one reason why Americans are opting to use residential solar panels. A solar installer is one of the in-demand careers, according to the latest numbers. There are fewer than 12,000 solar installers employed, and with a projected growth of 52%, there will be an additional 6,100 by 2030.
Requirements — You can work as a solar installer if you have finished a technical school or a community college. You usually receive training on the job.
Duties — The primary duty of a solar installer is to set up and maintain solar systems.
Salary — $46,470
Fastest-Growing & Most In-Demand Jobs for the Future
All the jobs we’ve seen so far have an excellent outlook. In this section, however, we’re sharing the positions on the rise that are expected to boom in the following decade and have exceptional earning potentials.
This trend is mainly driven by the fast technological advancements which eliminate the need for certain positions. What is more, 85% of the jobs that will exist in 2030 don’t exist yet. The reshaped market post-COVID-19 will play a significant role in many industry changes as the world adapts to remote work and an uncertain future.
Quality Assurance Engineer
QA engineering is a prospective area and the second happiest job. It’s also one of the best jobs in the world in terms of work-life quality. The main factor is the competitive salary. Additionally, the software industry is dynamic, leaving room for tremendous progress.
Requirements — A bachelor’s degree is not necessary for QA engineers. You need experience in software development, robust knowledge of software QA tools, processes, and methodologies, and the ability to write comprehensive test plans and cases.
Duties — Your work as a QA engineer would involve verifying product requirements, assessing risks, testing and analyzing results, and providing meaningful feedback.
Salary — $70,000–$115,000
Information Security Analysts
An information security analyst is one of the highest-paying jobs. Employment in the sector is projected to grow by 33% between 2020 and 2030, with estimated 16,300 openings each year. The increased demand is driven by the need for innovative solutions to prevent advanced hacking.
Requirements — The main requirement to land an IT analyst role is to hold a bachelor’s degree in computer science, IT, or a related field. You can further supplement your knowledge by completing certificate programs and IT courses.
Duties — The responsibility of an IT analyst is to evaluate, test, and recommend solutions for improving the security measures of an organization’s IT processes, software, and hardware.
Salary — $103,590
Software development is one of the most prospective future careers. The latest numbers show that the employment rate will grow by an astonishing 22% through 2030, adding 409,500 jobs.
Requirements — Typically, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field. The employer might require a master’s degree, too. Experience with computer programming and staying up to date with new programming languages and tools are a must.
Duties — An integral part of the job is discovering what users need and then designing and testing software to meet those needs.
Salary — $110,140
Workplace equality is more important than ever, as the world calls for leaders to address discrimination within their organizations. Diversity and inclusion positions seem to be the jobs of the future — since 2019, hiring for these roles has increased by an astonishing 90%.
Requirements — A bachelor’s degree in business, operations management, HR, or information system. Having an understanding of financial management is considered a plus.
Duties — The diversity manager is in charge of developing, implementing, and promoting the organization’s diversity initiatives. They regulate diversity issues and ensure the organization follows the law regulations around inclusion and bias.
Salary — $123,000
Digital Marketing Specialist
Digital marketing is a dynamic field with a positive employment outlook. Businesses are increasing their digital marketing spending, which means this is one of the jobs for the future.
Requirements — Having a degree in marketing would be helpful, but it’s not necessary. On the other hand, strategic thinking, creativity, data analysis, and good writing skills are essential. Some employers might require course certification in digital marketing or related areas.
Duties — Digital marketing specialists initiate online marketing campaigns that meet the business goals. Evaluating the consumer’s needs and understanding how to carry the company’s message out is part of the marketer’s daily responsibilities.
Salary — $84,386
With the continuous rise of globalization, companies are in constant need of cash management expertise. When researching the careers of the future, financial management was among the best-paid positions. In the next eight years, there will be a 17% growth in employment, adding 118,200 jobs to the current 681,700.
Requirements — You need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in economics, finance, or accounting.
Duties — Preparing and reviewing financial statements and forecasts, analyzing market trends, and supervising employees in charge of budgeting are the primary duties of a financial manager.
Salary — $134,180
Mathematicians and Statisticians
Mathematicians and statisticians are solving problems using numbers. They have a crucial role in research in development services and medicine and pharmaceutical manufacturing, which is why they are among the fastest-growing, high-paying jobs in demand for the future.
Requirements — To become a statistician, you need to hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree in mathematics or statistics. Being skilled in statistical analysis, computing, and mathematical modeling is essential.
Duties — Being a mathematician and statistician means you’ll analyze data, create statistical models, and predict the outcomes that can affect the process of production.
Salary — $93,290
One of the fastest-growing and most in-demand jobs in the world is physician assistant. Public Health Reports states that the PA positions will grow by 72% through 2025, and some of the reasons are probably the great employee shortage and the cost-effectiveness of the role.
Requirement — Becoming a PA requires a master’s degree and a license issued by the state.
Duties — As a PA, you would provide direct patient care, including testing, diagnosing, and treating them, as well as prescribe medications, stitch wounds, and set bones.
Salary — $115,390
Medical and Health Services Managers
Getting a managing position in a hospital is one of the most high-paying healthcare jobs in demand. Employment is predicted to grow by 32%, adding 139,600 jobs to the existing 429,800 positions. The main factor is the increased need for medical staff and persons to organize and manage the workforce members.
Requirements — To start as a healthcare manager, you need only a bachelor’s degree and some experience in a clinical or administrative role.
Duties — The main task of a healthcare manager is to plan and coordinate the medical staff, services, and activities.
Salary — $104,280
Most In-Demand Jobs in Creative Fields
As companies are looking to generate innovation in the workplace, creative jobs are likely to experience a massive boost in the years to come. Additionally, people in creative positions can find ways to address the biggest customers’ challenges while cutting costs. Additionally, creative positions are paid up to 24% more than roles in other industries, which can be a great reason to pursue one of these high-paying jobs in demand for the future.
Chief Marketing Officer
CMOs are vital in establishing a brand, driving sales, and getting customers. According to BLS, the employment of advertising, promotions, and marketing managers will grow by 10% by 2030.
Requirements — To get a job as a Chief Marketing Officer, you need at least a bachelor’s degree in marketing or a relevant field.
Duties — A CMO is responsible for planning, development, and execution of marketing initiatives. The main goal is to meet the company’s goals through marketing.
Salary — $246,860
Public Relations Specialists
PR specialist remains one of the high-demand jobs in the next 10 years. Employment in the field is expected to grow by 11%, driven by the need of companies to maintain their public image.
Requirements — Majoring in public relations, journalism, business, communications, or advertising can help you land a job as a PR specialist.
Duties — You’ll be responsible for creating and maintaining the client’s public image. Writing media releases, draft speeches, and evaluating the promotion programs are part of the daily responsibilities.
Salary — $62,810
Multimedia Artists and Animators
With the increased broadcasting hours and low-cost internet access, there’s a growing interest in engaging visual experiences, including VFX, animation, and video gaming. This is undoubtedly one of the top in-demand jobs for the next five years, considering the importance of complementary AR and VR experiences.
Requirements — To become an animator or multimedia artist, you need a bachelor’s degree in art or computer graphics. Employers usually look for impressive work portfolios and strong technical skills.
Duties — The work of an animator or multimedia artist revolves around creating visual effects and images that move.
Salary — $77,700
User Experience Designer
UX design is one of the creative careers in demand globally. There are more than 10,000 designers in the US alone, and its employment rate is expected to grow by 22% in the next decade. In addition, industry leaders agree UX demand will continue to grow as businesses expand their online capabilities.
Requirements — To work as a UX designer, you don’t need formal education. However, having a bachelor’s degree in computer science, visual design, communications, or psychology might be helpful. Necessary skills for this high-demand job include creativity, problem-solving, knowledge of industry tools, and business know-how.
Duties — As a UX designer, the main task will be planning and conducting user research and analysis, interpreting data, and providing qualitative feedback. Furthermore, it would be your job to conduct usability testing and create user stories, sitemaps, prototypes, and wireframes.
Salary — $85,000
Pursuing a career in the film industry as a producer or director leaves plenty of room for creativity. These positions are considered the best careers for the future as the demand is expected to increase by 24% through 2030.
Requirements — These roles don’t require formal education, but having a bachelor’s degree will likely give you an advantage. Also, you can earn a degree in film production or directing to gain some experience.
Duties — Both the producer and director are involved in the creative process of making a movie. This usually includes writing the screenplay, casting actors, choosing filming locations, and more.
Salary — $72,000 to $108,000
Best Jobs For the Future — What Career to Choose?
Mainly driven by technological advances, the career landscape will change significantly in years to come. In fact, 85% of the jobs that will be available by 2030 are not yet invented. So when considering your career path, consider one of the jobs high in demand now and create a positive outlook for the future. Pursuing a career in creative or skilled trade fields or industries like teaching and medicine is a bulletproof choice. Most importantly, make sure to do something you’re passionate about and skilled at.