The 15 Most In-Demand Jobs in the U.S.


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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Filterbuy.

Workers in the U.S. are currently experiencing one of the most favorable labor markets in years. The unemployment rate has climbed back to pre-pandemic levels, but around 11.5 million jobs were open as of early spring, a historic high. With so many open positions readily available, more workers have felt confident in seeking new jobs, setting off what has come to be known as the “Great Resignation.” And because workers are in high demand, more employers are offering higher pay and other perks to attract talent, and wages are rising more rapidly than they have in 40 years.

Many of the unique current conditions in the labor market have arisen due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The labor force participation rate remains below pre-pandemic levels. Certain industries, like retail and hospitality, have been especially challenged by COVID-19 outbreaks, and these fields have been among those struggling most to fill vacancies as workers seek better pay and working conditions.

But even outside of the current environment, the U.S. economy has been seeing major shifts in the working population and the types of positions in demand, now and in the future.

One of the most significant forces reshaping the U.S. labor market is the aging of the population. As the baby boomer generation has aged, the share of older workers has increased steadily over time. The number of workers aged 55 and over more than doubled from 18.7 million in 2000 to 37.9 million in 2020, with an additional 4.7 million projected by 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This rapid growth in the population of older workers has occurred even as the working population below age 55 has remained relatively flat over the last two decades.

The types of positions that employers will be hiring to fill are also likely to change in the years ahead. Some fields will see significant growth primarily due to COVID-19 recovery, including jobs in personal care, food service, the arts, and education that were lost during the pandemic. But positions in health care, computer and math jobs, social services, and the legal field are all expected to see growth independent of a pandemic bounce-back, according to BLS employment projections.

Using data from the BLS, here are the most in-demand jobs in the U.S.

15. Crematory operators and personal care and service workers

Kzenon / Shutterstock.com
  • Total change in employment (2020-2030): +19,900
  • Percentage change in employment (2020-2030): +24.8%
  • Median annual wage: $29,610
  • Typical education needed: High school diploma or equivalent

14. Operations research analysts

Man doing market research on white board
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  • Total change in employment (2020-2030): +25,600
  • Percentage change in employment (2020-2030): +24.6%
  • Median annual wage: $82,360
  • Typical education needed: Bachelor’s degree

13. Phlebotomists

Woman giving blood
Kzenon / Shutterstock.com
  • Total change in employment (2020-2030): +28,800
  • Percentage change in employment (2020-2030): +22.2%
  • Median annual wage: $37,380
  • Typical education needed: Postsecondary nondegree award

12. Respiratory therapists

Oksana Kuzmina / Shutterstock.com
  • Total change in employment (2020-2030): +31,100
  • Percentage change in employment (2020-2030): +23.0%
  • Median annual wage: $61,830
  • Typical education needed: Associate’s degree

11. Physical therapist assistants

Senior with a walker
imtmphoto / Shutterstock.com
  • Total change in employment (2020-2030): +33,200
  • Percentage change in employment (2020-2030): +35.4%
  • Median annual wage: $61,180
  • Typical education needed: Associate’s degree

10. Physician assistants

Man getting blood pressure checked
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  • Total change in employment (2020-2030): +40,100
  • Percentage change in employment (2020-2030): +31.0%
  • Median annual wage: $121,530
  • Typical education needed: Master’s degree

9. Speech-language pathologists

Speech language pathologist
fizkes / Shutterstock.com
  • Total change in employment (2020-2030): +45,400
  • Percentage change in employment (2020-2030): +28.7%
  • Median annual wage: $79,060
  • Typical education needed: Master’s degree

8. Information security analysts

Cybersecurity worker
Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock.com
  • Total change in employment (2020-2030): +47,100
  • Percentage change in employment (2020-2030): +33.3%
  • Median annual wage: $102,600
  • Typical education needed: Bachelor’s degree

7. Logisticians

Syda Productions / Shutterstock.com
  • Total change in employment (2020-2030): +56,400
  • Percentage change in employment (2020-2030): +29.5%
  • Median annual wage: $77,030
  • Typical education needed: Bachelor’s degree

6. Health specialties teachers, postsecondary

DC Studio / Shutterstock.com
  • Total change in employment (2020-2030): +58,900
  • Percentage change in employment (2020-2030): +24.3%
  • Median annual wage: $102,720
  • Typical education needed: Doctoral or professional degree

5. Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors

Family therapist
YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV / Shutterstock.com
  • Total change in employment (2020-2030): +75,100
  • Percentage change in employment (2020-2030): +22.9%
  • Median annual wage: $48,520
  • Typical education needed: Bachelor’s degree

4. Nurse practitioners

nurse
Cryptographer / Shutterstock.com
  • Total change in employment (2020-2030): +114,900
  • Percentage change in employment (2020-2030): +52.2%
  • Median annual wage: $120,680
  • Typical education needed: Master’s degree

3. Medical and health services managers

Drazen Zigic / Shutterstock.com
  • Total change in employment (2020-2030): +139,600
  • Percentage change in employment (2020-2030): +32.5%
  • Median annual wage: $101,340
  • Typical education needed: Bachelor’s degree

2. Software developers and software quality assurance analysts and testers

Man working remotely on computer at night
Jelena Zelen / Shutterstock.com
  • Total change in employment (2020-2030): +409,500
  • Percentage change in employment (2020-2030): +22.2%
  • Median annual wage: $102,930
  • Typical education needed: Bachelor’s degree

1. Home health and personal care aides

senior receiving long-term care
Photographee.eu / Shutterstock.com
  • Total change in employment (2020-2030): +1,129,900
  • Percentage change in employment (2020-2030): +32.6%
  • Median annual wage: $29,430
  • Typical education needed: High school diploma or equivalent

Methodology

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The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections. To determine the most in-demand jobs in the U.S., researchers ordered occupations by the projected total change in employment from 2020 to 2030. In the event of a tie, the job with the higher projected percentage change in employment from 2020 to 2030 was ranked higher. To improve relevance, only the top 30 occupations with the greatest percentage change in employment that were not subject to large pandemic-related employment changes were included.

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