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7 Jobs That Pay Well and Have a Ton of Hiring Demand Right Now Accountants, healthcare professionals, construction workers, and more are all in high demand.

Key Takeaways

  • There were about 8.8 million job openings in the U.S. in February.
  • Insights from job sites show which occupations need workers.
  • Indeed data shows roles for sign-language interpreters can be hard to fill.
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Jeffrey Greenberg/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images via Business Insider

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

It's a weird job market right now, one that's characterized by — simultaneously — layoffs sweeping across knowledge industries and other sectors desperately scrambling to staff up.

Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the rate of hires is just a little down from where it was a year ago — 3.7% in February compared with 3.9% in February 2023. Openings for jobs have dropped from a rate of 6% in February 2023 to 5.3% this past February.

Tuesday's news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics said February job openings "changed little at 8.8 million" since January. It added that "the number and rate of hires were little changed," in addition to other areas that didn't see big moves.

For some white-collar workers, especially those in tech, it might look like a bleak job-hunting landscape.

However, plenty of jobs are in demand, from accountants to civil engineers. Amid a skilled-trade shortage, there's a plumber deficiency, according to Bloomberg — one shortage among others that are festering.

"Job postings and job openings have pulled back from their highs over two years ago, but demand for new workers is still strong in several sectors," Nick Bunker, the economic-research director for North America at the Indeed Hiring Lab, told Business Insider in a March statement.

BI reached out to career sites to see what demand was looking like. The job-search and -networking site Handshake, a platform largely for college students and recent college graduates, said its roles with the most job postings were powered by employers in government, law and politics, retail stores, energy, and education. Across industries, here are the roles with a multitude of openings, or an urgent need to hire.

Construction workers

Workers and a home under construction

Jeffrey Greenberg/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images via BI

The construction industry needs a whole lot of workers to help with the housing crisis and other construction projects, and it has the job openings to match. A January analysis from the Associated Builders and Contractors found that the industry needed 501,000 more workers this year to keep up with labor demand. A news release from the association said that figure was "on top of the normal pace of hiring."

Tuesday's report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics about the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey said the industry had 441,000 open roles in February, an increase from 425,000 in January.

The Associated Builders and Contractors' chief economist, Anirban Basu, said in a press release that after winter's cooler temperatures, contractors anticipated staffing up even more: "Demand for workers should remain strong through at least the first half of the year."

Per BLS's Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics, the median hourly wage was $23.72 for construction trades workers, and the median annual wage for these workers was $49,330. That's slightly above the $46,310 for all occupations.

Healthcare

Doctor with a patient

MoMo Productions/Getty Images via BI

"Jobs related to health care and care work more generally are particularly in high demand," Bunker told BI in a statement. "Job postings for Physicians & Surgeons are almost double their pre-pandemic level, while Therapy job postings are up 81%," Bunker said of Indeed's Job Postings Index from mid-March. Therapy-sector jobs could include occupational or physical therapists, for instance.

The need for these workers isn't going to decline anytime soon. The shortage of physicians through 2036 is projected to be about 140,000, per the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis.

"Since it can take over a decade of education and residency to prepare a physician, the United States should take steps now to address future physician shortages," a webpage from the Health Resources and Services Administration said.

Costs for this education can also add up. An Association of American Medical Colleges report found the median tuition for first-year students at private institutions for the 2023-24 academic year who were residents was $64,000. The median was $65,059 for nonresidents.

But it's not just physicians who could see a shortage. National Center for Health Workforce Analysis projections show registered nurses, dispensing opticians, and pharmacists could be in short supply through the next several years. Registered nurses have a relatively high median annual wage, at $81,220.

LinkedIn data also shows the need for healthcare professionals. The platform pointed BI to its most in-demand jobs on the platform. Care specialist was the position with the fastest-growing demand, based on "roles with the greatest quarter-over-quarter increase in share of paid job posts" between the third and fourth quarter of 2023, a LinkedIn blog post said. However, it was just one of six healthcare-related jobs in the top 10. Sonographer and home-health licensed practical nurse are two others that made the top 10.

Sign-language interpreter

Person using sign language

Halfpoint Images/Getty Images via BI

Sign-language interpreters are in demand. Indeed data compiled for BI indicates that just over 60% of sign-language-interpreter roles are hard to fill, meaning they've been on the platform for 60 days or more. According to the BLS, interpreters and translators make a median hourly wage of $25.79 and a median annual wage of $53,640.

The National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes has said that there's a nationwide shortage of ASL interpreters, even as "the need for interpreters who have specialized skill and knowledge has increased over the years as more and more deaf students pursue medical and technical fields."

Teachers

A teacher and students in a classroom

kali9/Getty Images via BI

Elementary school teachers, high school teachers, and special-education teachers were among the jobs with the most postings on Handshake over the past year.

It might be a challenge to fill teacher demand as other occupations pay better for young people. ADP's chief economist, Nela Richardson, previously told BI that "wages might discourage" young people "when they could make relatively more or see their salaries increase faster in other industries."

The median pay for elementary-school teachers outside special education was $61,690 in 2022, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is above the national median for all jobs, $46,310. The BLS added that the median pay for secondary-school teachers outside special and career or technical education was $62,360, similar to those teaching elementary-school students.

Accountants and auditors

Two people talking in an office

Thomas Barwick/Getty Images via BI

According to Handshake, accountants and auditors were two of the roles that had the most job postings on the platform over the past year.

That's not a surprise, considering the accountant labor shortage quietly sweeping the country, which could lead to accounting errors across firms, Bloomberg reported.

"Accountants and auditors are to business as those people in the black-and-white-striped shirts are to sports. We're the referees of business," Steven Kachelmeier, the chair of the accounting department at the University of Texas at Austin, previously told BI's Erica Sweeney. "Without accounting and without finance, there are no rules to the game."

The American Institute of CPAs found that in the 2021-22 academic year, the number of students earning accounting degrees fell by 7.8%, which could further exacerbate labor shortages. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly wage for accountants and auditors is $37.50 — or $78,000 annually. This type of work is expected to add 67,400 jobs from 2022 to 2032.

"We're still on a downward trajectory for accounting graduates, although it's worthwhile to note U.S. university enrollment and earned degrees collectively shrank during this period," Jan Taylor, the AICPA's academic in residence, said in a press release. "The AICPA remains focused on advocating profession-wide solutions to the talent shortage, and we saw increased mobilization and coordination in these efforts over the past year."

The accountant shortage is already making its mark this earnings season: The lack of accountants is delaying some companies — including Tupperware — from releasing their annual reports.

Software developers and engineers

Person working at a laptop

Poike/Getty Images via BI

Handshake found that software developers and engineers were also among the jobs with the most postings over the past year. These workers typically get paid well. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for software developers was $127,260. There's already a lot of software developers in the US workforce — 1.59 million in 2022 — and that's expected to rise 26% from 2022 to 2032, per the BLS.

Other types of tech workers may be in need of new applicants. Artificial-intelligence engineer ranked No. 10 for LinkedIn's jobs on the rise. Data from Indeed also showed that nearly 70% of Android-developer roles were challenging to fill. Also, 52% of Python-developer roles are hard to fill, per Indeed.

Civil engineers

Civil engineer and architect are working and looking at blueprint drawings

ilkercelik/Getty Images via BI

Civil engineers were one of the roles with the most job postings on Handshake, according to the platform. And the lack of civil engineers is being felt acutely.

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, firms are trying to lure in new engineers with higher pay, more time off, and remote work. Some were even scouring social media to try to find new recruits. The ACEC Research Institute found that in the first quarter of 2024, just over half of firms had to keep turning down work because of workforce shortages.

According to a Boston Consulting Group publication in partnership with SAE International, the US will need 400,000 new engineers annually. Their analysis of BLS data found that from 2023 to 2031 demand for engineering skills would go up by 13%.

"Much of the engineering gap expected in the US over the next ten years will involve unfilled positions in software, industrial, civil, and electrical engineering, amounting to a staggering 186,000 job vacancies across the US by 2031," the publication said.

The median pay for civil engineers is $43.24 an hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or $89,940 annually.

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