As regular readers know, we have tried to peer into the post-pandemic fob market in recent months. Many post-COVID careers we have looked at have been related to technology and healthcare.
This turns out not to be the whole story. Jobs the US Department of Labor projects to have the greatest increase in employment by the year 2030 represent fields such as housekeeping, facilities maintenance, food service, truck driving, market research, and senior leaders, in addition to technology and healthcare occupations.
Salaries and education requirements also vary widely. You’ll earn more in jobs that require more education and higher skill levels, but you will have opportunities going forward regardless of your education and experience level. The top 20 job categories, updated by DOL last month, are included in the table below, along with median salaries, and links to more detail.
Source: US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table of Occupations with the .most job growth 2020 and Projected 2030, Updated on September 8, 2021.
Many high-growth jobs cannot be outsourced.
The first thing that jumped out at us when we looked at the listing above is that “high-touch” jobs are at or near the top of the list. For example, the top three job categories include home healthcare aides, restaurant cooks, and fast food workers. Restaurant waiters and waitresses are fifth on the list.
All baby-boomers will be 65 years of age or more in 2030, according to the US Census, so it’s no surprise that there will be nearly a 33% increase in demand for workers who largely care for older adults in their homes. The job cannot be outsourced. We doubt anyone wants a robot to care for them, either.
Restaurant and fast-food work, or course, cannot he outsourced to offshore workers, so it is also easy to see why there will be job growth approaching 50% for restaurant cooks. No doubt, the fast-food industry would like to have robots flip burgers and serve them, but it could be cheaper to have people do the jobs. After all, the median wage for cooks was $28,800 in 2020, and only $23,800 for wait-staff! First-line supervisors of food workers are also on the high-growth list, and earn about $34,000.
Other service jobs on the list include housekeepers and janitorial occupations. Again, robots can do some cleaning jobs (You may have seen them in grocery stores and hospitals), but wages are low, so it may be more economical to continue paying people for these roles. And no one can “phone it in” from overseas.
Highest salaries continue to be in technology and leadership roles.
Last month’s update from DOL indicates, as before, that high-growth occupations in software development, operations management, and healthcare management pay median salaries in excess of $100,000 per year. Jobs in software development and testing require skills that not everyone possesses. General management jobs normally require many years of experience, and the talent to lead people.
Although the DOL projects high employment growth rates for software development and leadership roles, the Department does not project future salaries in its tables. Leadership and software jobs have commanded high salaries for many years so we can reasonably expect this trend to continue.
Important professional jobs are also on the list.
The mid-range on the top 20 growth list, from a salary point of view, include registered nurses, with a median wage of more than $75,000 per year, and market researchers with median annual earnings just under $66,000 per year.
Heavy truck and tractor-trailer driving jobs also made the list with median wages at about $47,000 annually. Chances are this work will continue to be done largely by people although some economical self-driving vehicles could hit the road by 2030.
Although truck drivers earn less than many in professions requiring college degrees, it is a category that, based on our experience in workforce development programs, is perennially in demand. A job developer at a workforce program in New York once told me that when she sent job seekers for the required training, they landed jobs and never returned for additional services.
Passenger vehicle drivers are also expected to remain in the high-growth category. They earn less than truck drivers with median pay of less than $35,000 annually.
The fitness training occupation rounds out the top 20 growth list, and offers a median salary just above $40,000 annually.
Use the source.
It is worth looking at the sources of this data even if none of the occupations and professions on the 20 growth occupations list interest you.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics at the US Department of Labor has a great deal of data regarding employment trends. Much of it is publicly accessible on their Web site. Their data is in the public domain, so you can download it at no cost, and use their Excel spreadsheets to analyze their data anyway you want. Statistics are just the start. The Occupational Outlook Handbook and a government-supported site called O-Net are great sources of information about occupations and professions. So once you find out what jobs are in demand, use these sources to learn whether you qualify, and gain some insight into whether or not you will like and excel in the work.