Help Wanted: Five Hottest Careers


English: Bureau of Labor Statistics logo RGB c...
Bureau of Labor Statistics (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Looking for your next exciting opportunity on the job market? Or do you simply want to make a mid-career change?

The most effective job search strategy starts with knowing what jobs are available, and adapting your skills to suit the marketplace.

The good news is—there are lots of great jobs out there; including occupations in some of the fastest growing U.S. industries. To get the best pay, some of these jobs involve higher education; others require no more than a high-school degree, as well as a great attitude, to get on the fast-track to success.

All of these jobs have one thing in common; they need good talent—right NOW!

Here is the list of the five hottest jobs in the U.S.:

  • Sales Representative/Account Executive

For those job seekers with a knack for selling (or the gift of gab), they can be relieved to know that sales and account management remains one of the hottest jobs around. The job site CareerBuilder.com alone has over 58,000 posted sales positions. Every industry, from auto makers to software developers, needs salespeople to move their product.

Although sales is one profession that does not require an advanced degree, those with more education—Accounting, Marketing or Business Administration—can obtain a average salary range of $85,000 (CareerBuilder.com). Of course, many of the best sales jobs offer salaries based on commission, so hard work and talent certainly pays off.

  • Mobile Software Developer

The explosion of mobile technology—spearheaded by the smartphone and tablet markets—makes job prospects for computer software developers one of the fastest growing employment segments. As of June 2011, there were 91 million smartphones in the U.S., a sliver of the 1.08 billion in use worldwide (Source: Wikipedia).

What is truly mind-boggling is that each device runs not one, but several mobile apps. It is no surprise that the number of software developer careers are expected to increase by a minimum of 30 percent by 2020, according to the Department of Labor.

  • Accountant

Whether it is for individuals, companies or the government, having someone good with numbers on demand is essential. A business with a solid financial foundation needs accountants to analyze trends, prepare, file and verify tax and other financial documents. Related positions are Credit and Business Analysts.

According to Salary.com, the average salary of a mid-range accountant in the U.S. is around $65,000, more if they have degrees such as Business Administration and Finance. Become a Certified Public Accountant and the average salary jumps to around $85,000.

  • Personal Care Aide

Healthcare is the fastest growing industry the U.S., with home health care leading the march. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Personal Care and Home Health Aide positions are expected to grow by nearly 70 percent by 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Personal Care Aides typically perform basic housekeeping, cooking for clients with special dietary needs and are trained in basic safety and emergency techniques.

A degree is not usually required for these jobs, but most aides should have at least a high school education before entering the profession. Most teaching is on-the-job, by nurses, other aides, or administrators.

  • Paralegal

Love the legal system, but didn’t go to law school? Consider becoming a paralegal. Supporting lawyers is a fast-growing field, with over 250,000 paralegal jobs in the U.S. and an average salary of $22.44 per hour (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Paralegals and legal assistants are responsible for a variety of tasks: organize and maintain files; perform legal research and draft official documents. Although most paralegals can be found in law offices, a wide range of organizations also need them as support staff—including corporate legal departments and government agencies.

Since the job market for paralegals is highly competitive, well-trained candidates will have the best prospects, and many online and junior colleges offer paralegal training as a course of study.

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