Since we covered the bottom 15 jobs of 2018, it’s only fair that we give those people a shot at making a comeback by also highlighting the top 15 gigs of 2018 (and beyond). Based mostly on projections (which in and of themselves can change from year to year), these lists are based on models that are formed in the year that they’re made. Meaning that perhaps a cab driver seemed like the type of gig that’d always be around, especially as people have begun to flock back to major cities in the United States and Canada. However, ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft coming along to disrupt those industries and huge changes like that can’t always be seen. However, it’s important to know whether or not the things you’re studying in school or pursuing as you build your employment experience will come in handy next year, as well as ten to twenty years from now and this, is really the best way that we have to do that. So, let’s take a look at the top 15 gigs to have in 2018 and beyond!
15. Survey Researchers
Unless you’ve taken a class about surveys and have actually attempted to create your own unbiased survery (in terms of both questions and the results that it gives), you’d be surprised by how much time, effort and MONEY goes into the field of research and marketing. It’s really what a lot of large companies (and politicians) rely on to make their big decisions, from new names to logos to even which platforms to run on and those are the sort of big ticket decisions that can make a firm millions of dollars and the people working there a lot of money as well. That’s the sort of gig that’s only going to get more and more important as it’s something that can’t be replaced by technology, at least yet, and especially as companies get bigger and bigger thanks to the consolidazation that’s been occurring in the corporate world as of late. So, if you like money and creating and asking questions, this may be the gig for you!
14. Pharmacy Technicians
While the real money comes from being a pharmacist, very few people can actually hack all the chemistry that’s required to eventually fill pill bottles and type drug interactions into a computer. Luckily for those pharmacists, half of that gig is filled by pharmacy technicians, the ones who do most the heavy lifting behind the pharmacy department at Walgreens or CVS. There seems to be a huge shakeup occuring in that industry as both Walgreens and CVS are buying up a lot of their competition to really end up battling it out with one another and when you combine that with the fact that most Americans take atleast one prescription medication by the time they’re fifty years old and you’ll see why this job isn’t going away. Even when it comes to pills that are delivered by mail, they require the okay of people who are trained in the industry and so it’s not something that Amazon can just duplicate, at least without hiring the same people who work in the pharmacies (which is probably why they haven’t done it). So, it’s a good, long term gig and it’s open to a lot of people without years of school or the money that it takes to get there.
13. Environmental Engineers
As this list shows, sometimes when innovation destroys an industry there are no real winners (outside of the few people who created the company that disrupted that industry in the first place) and nothing could be further from the truth than what’s going on in the renewable energy industry right now. In fact, there is currently more money and more jobs behind renewal energy than there are in the fossil fuel industry and that’s only going to become more and more true as time goes on and the supply of fossil fuels gets lower and lower and the cost of renewable energy gets cheaper and cheaper. A lot of these gigs involve working on renewable systems like wind turbines, for example, or hydroelectric dams or even some futuristic technology that’s only been proposed for now (like harnassing the power of the tide in the oceans, or perfecting the process of getting energy from the heat inside the planet). If you’re looking for an industry that’s only going to get bigger, this is it, as even healthcare is dependent on the size of the generation that it’s mostly taking care off and based on the drop between Baby Boomers and their actual babies in Generation X’ers, in twenty or so years there’s going to be a lot of layoffs around the country.
12. Compliance Officers
With a job title this generic who couldn’t love being a … What was it again? Compliance officer? First off a quick definition, compliance officers examine, evaluate, and investigate eligibility for or conformity with laws and regulations governing contract compliance of licenses and permits, and other compliance and enforcement inspection activities not classified elsewhere. Basically, someone who looks into whether or not an insurance payment should be paid is a compliance officer, or that works with the government to ensure that businesses are conforming to certain laws and while many politicians run on less regulation, the reality is that regulation is part of the business climate and while it ebbs and flows it’ll always exists. It’s also hard to find people to do jobs like this, so it pays well and is pretty much recession proof, so it’s a perfect mix that doesn’t require a ton of school, crazy hours or seeing people die. That’s a top 15 list trifecta and probably means that this entry is too far down on the list, but what are they gonna do about it? Sue me? Wait…
11. Veterinarians (and Vet Techs)
Animals also need healthcare and because of that there is always going to be a gigantic need for basically every type of gig in the veterinary game. While it may seem like a conundrum as so many people actually love pets, it’s not that hard to understand as there’s the job of a vet is one that’s really, really hard ESPECIALLY if you love animals as much as you love people. A lot of vets spend their days putting multiple animals to sleep, for example, and if you really do love dogs or cats like people then you’re essentially feeling like a murderer everyday, that’s on top of the lower pay and similar amount of school that you’d need to be a doctor. While that’s changing a bit, especially as more is learned about animals and compassion becomes key, it’s still a really rough job that you really do have to believe in if you want to do it. Some jobs aren’t about money and this is one of them, so if you’re looking for a job that’ll pay you what you need to live while also really making a difference, this is it.
10. Dental Hygienists
Most of the jobs on this list touch on healthcare in some way but don’t focus on the health of your teeth, something that’s been a pretty recession proof gig for awhile (despite the effect of jobs on dental insurance). Most people really hate going to the dentist, but they don’t hate getting their teeth cleaned and that’s where the dental hygienists come in and they actually do have one of the better ratios of years of school (or cost of school) to starting salary of the gigs on this list. So, if you’re not grossed out by things like teeth, other peoples mouths or blood then this is the gig for you as you really don’t need to have the best people skills as most of your customers can’t talk in the first place. It’s also very detailed oriented which a lot of people actually like, and a lot of the schools actually have job placement programs that can land you a gig that you can have the rest of your life, that’s something that people are really turning towards after a generation of students with liberal arts degrees realized that there’s not a whole lot that you can do with a… Liberal arts degree.
9. Athletic Trainers
While some sports may be on the way out because of violence or injury concerns, humans will always have a need to play sports and that’s where athletic trainers come in. A sort of mix between doctors and trainers, in that they help diagnose, assess and even heal athletes oftentime in real game situations. While the job prospects for gigs like this may seem relatively limited, there’s actually a pretty large need for athletic trainers at a lot of high schools or even youth sports leagues that may not be as flashy as the trainers that are affiliated with NFL teams but still do great work and get paid relatively well in the process. Starting around $40k a year and requiring a bachelors degree, working as an athletic trainer also allows a lot of people to make a living in the world of sport, which is the wish of many a small kid in the world, and who wouldn’t want to work in the field that they dreamed of as a kid?
8. Biochemists and Biophysicists
As this list shows, biotechnology is the wave of the future and part of that involves biochemists and even biophysicists, two gigs or types of gigs that sound more science fiction than real life. Basically, they both mean applying their scientific field (whether it be chemistry or physics to biological systems, which is becoming increasingly important as time goes on and technology becomes more and more malleable (especially with biology)) to people and things, which sounds a lot like the Borg from Star Trek but really could mean the holy grail of immortality for people in this generation or the next. That’s exciting stuff and while biochemists and biophysicists have a full range of jobs (from working in the field itself, hands on, to working in the administration above the field itself) they’ve also got a lot of job security with biotech becoming one of the largest industries in the world.
7. Skin-Care Specialists
While this sounds like a healthcare gig, it’s actually another word for an esthetician someone whose a highly trained beautician basically. While the term esthetician can range from someone who does nails, hair or facials, skin-care specialists are really just a kind of esthetician (like a dermatologist is a kind of doctor) that’s become more and more in demand as the beauty industry has exploded this century. More and more beauty parlors, spas and even medical facilities are offering skin care treatment and because of that there’s a gigantic demand for skin-care specialists (it’s actually one of the more in demand gigs on this list). While the pay isn’t up there with other gigs, neither is the training (it requires certification, something you can get while still in high school or in a post-secondary vocational school) and that makes it one of the better returns on investments on this list. Not to mention all the benefits that can come from a skin-care YouTube channel.
6. Physician Assistant
The position of physician assistant has existed for sometime but has exploded as healthcare needs have expanded and will continue to expand. While a lot of this depends on what happens with the Affordable Care act, the thought is that with more people having access to healthcare the need for highly specialized assistans will continue to grow and with that comes hospitals that are hiring more physicians assistants who are often need to be as well read and intelligent as the doctors themselves. The gig also pays really well, as well, starting at around the mid-80’s in 2017 money, but it requires about a third of the schooling (with most people getting through it in two-years if they attend full-time), which means that you can essentially do less work for a decent chunk of change, something that most doctors would love to do after getting burned out on the whole revolving door feeling that they get from the profession. So, it’s basically taking a lot of the good parts of the gig (lower patient counts, good money and job security) while eliminating a lot of the bad, that’s innovation that you can write home about!
5. Medical Scientists
As the top of this list shows, biotech is an exploding industry and should continue to be for the foreseeable future, especially with people like Elon Musk entering the fray in the hopes to eventually reach the point where human beings are augmented with all sorts of pieces of technology to keep them alive potentially forever. Those behind those crazy, at one time impossible gains are the Medical Scientists, and while you mostly need a PhD to get your foot in the door the result can often be extremely lucrative especially if you find a specialization and strike out on your own. Beyond that, there’s the promise of really just starting the next phase in human evolution, which is the mix between something biological and technoligical and there really isn’t a front of science that’s doing things as exciting as that out there, so if you’re the type who likes to be on the forefront of science then look at biotech as your field and medical scientist as your future position!
4. Financial Analysts
Outside of healthcare and technology one thing that’ll always exist, in some way shape or form is money. So, people will always need someone to handle their finances as especially with the advent of technology comes the change to how money is handled and spent. In the past few hundred years there’s no better example than crypto-currencies, which are a relatively new phenomenon but are quickly changing the way that banking is done forever. It could take you years to fully understand cryptocurrencies though, which is why it makes sense to handle someone YOU TRUST to handle your money and as a financial analyst you’re on the other end of that as someone who can build a rewarding (in everyway) client base that focuses on a mutually beneficial relationship. While a lot of the growth seems to be coming from mutual funds, there’s a need basically everywhere in the financial industry for help, especially now that the dust has mostly settled from the 2008 market implosion (or before the next one, anyway). But as long as you do things the right way and treat people fairly, you should always have a job in this industry.
3. Home Health Aides
As this list has shown, there’s really nothing more recession proof than healthcare and this entry really is no different as home health aides are a growing profession that help bring the customization that exists basically in every other industry to healthcare and really dying itself. Most people don’t want to die in a hospital, but rather at their home where their memories and families are and that’s one of the concepts behind home health aides, which actually ends up increasing the life expectancy of even those on hospice care as people feel less hopeless when they’re surrounded by loved ones or things that they themselves love. On top of the fact that all hospitals carry super germs that can cause fatal diseases and you should take the adage that you shouldn’t visit a hospital unless you really need to to heart, especially if you’re older or dealing with a chronic illness. So, if you’re going to go into the healthcare field you might want to focus on becoming a home health aide, as it also is great for the people working in the field as they get more one on one time with their client, as opposed to the feeling of having a revolving door on your office that can happen at larger clinics.
2. Network Systems and Data Communications Analyst
While the market, in the US and Canada, for computer programmers has actually shrunk (thanks to the offshoring of those jobs to new markets) there are IT jobs that will never go away and that’s the jobs for the guys that actually set all of that computer hardware up. That’s where the network systems and data communications analysts come in, as they not only help set up the gigantic amount of systems that most large companies need to operate as well as trouble shoot and ensure that they stay running for the long haul. The best part is that it really only requires a two-year degree (to get into the field) and while it’s an extremely relevant industry (meaning that if you have experience with one system you’ll most likely end up working on that system forever) there is a lot of paid training to ensure that you’re not only on top of your game but also employable beyond the dreaded 10 year window that used to exist in the IT realm.
1. Biomedical Engineers
When it comes to gigs in today’s economy there are typically two sorts of jobs that seem to be recession proof and that’s a job in either healthcare or technology. So, if you can combine the two, it’s the best of both worlds, right? Right. As the biomedical industry has been around for awhile but is really picking up steam as of late, now that we don’t rely on steam for power. So, combining the demand that’s always going to be there (and increase, in the short-term with a lot of baby boomers reaching retirement age) with the innovation that always comes from technology means that we’re on the precipice of some actual implantable technology that could actually not only cure diseases or ward of aging but also change the human race as a whole. So, why not be on the forefront to that inevitable sci-fi horror show? It only requires a bachelor’s degree in engineering and it pays really well, and you only have to be sort of evil to make it work.