We are living in an era where technology is advancing faster than it ever has before. A rapidly changing workforce demands more jobs to fit the bill, and more specifically new jobs to support new technologies. Some career sites have even suggested that it’s almost impossible to create a professional pathway for some of these jobs because 1) universities haven’t offered such skill-specific degrees yet, and 2) they are so complex that there’s no cookie-cutter set of credentials to look for in a candidate.
What does make sense is that companies are hiring for these jobs because they’re genuinely looking for people who possess these unique talents and demonstrated interests. We’ve compiled a list of the top fifteen jobs you might not have heard of but are in increasing demand. So if you’re in the market to find a job, you might want to consider acquiring a new set of skills that might make you a notch more competitive than the not-so-big pool of candidates also tackling these unique jobs.
Some don’t require a specific area of study but rather certificates and licenses, or even just relevant experiences and demonstrated skills. And don’t be intimidated by fancy schmancy job titles either. You might just fit the bill for one of these high-demand jobs (or know someone who does) and don’t even know it because you didn’t know the job existed.
15. PPC Specialist
PPC stands for pay per click, so these are the guys that are experts in paid search marketing. You know, those annoying ads that show up all over every popular website, but they actually do work! PPC Specialists understand the in’s and out’s of how paid advertisements work and can give the best direction for managing paid advertising initiatives and campaigns. PPC Specialists should have ample experience in SEM (search engine marketing) as well as a thorough knowledge of analytics tools such as Google Analytics, Yahoo, and Bing. The median salary for a PPC Specialist is roughly $50,000 (not bad).
14. Genetic Counselors
Genetic Counselors do exactly what their job title suggests. They evaluate patient family histories and counsel them on their chances of developing inherited (or genetic) medical conditions. They can work in various clinical, lab, or research settings and can work with different patient groups depending on their specialty (pregnant women, the elderly, children, etc.). Sounds pretty important because it is! Genetic Counselors work in clinical settings and are required to have a master’s degree in Genetic Counseling as well as certification. However, this is a somewhat lengthy path that pays off via a median expected salary of $72,000 per year.
13. Medical Writer
Much different than Medical Coders, Medical Writers work with regulatory and scientific medical communications and documents. You can’t just work with high level medical correspondence without having adequate knowledge of healthcare or medicine, which is why this job requires an extensive background in both research and medicine, along with at least a bachelor’s degree in a health-related science. This would be a great field for someone who has a robust passion for both writing and health. Medical Writers can work in various departments within healthcare, pharma, and research settings from marketing to operations. They typically earn around $70,000 per year.
12. Solutions Architect
Here’s a job title that doesn’t quite live up to the job itself. Imagine a huge technical problem that a company is trying to solve. In short, a Solutions Architect is responsible for converting that problem into a design that will be the framework for developing a solution. This complicated and high-stress job requires many years of hands-on experience in software development and engineering, along with an advanced degree in IT, Computer Science, or Engineering. These guys are no joke and have a huge reputation and much respect among their colleagues, which explains their well-deserved median salary of $145,000 per year.
11. Learning & Development Specialist
Learning & Development Specialists are hired to train staff members on new company policies and procedures, newly acquired systems and technologies, and also for staff and professional development. They should be excellent communicators with a special gift for instruction and audience engagement. Not only are they responsible for delivering trainings, but they can also be in charge of developing course content. This job typically requires a bachelor’s degree in Instructional Design, Educational Technology, or a related field, as well as experience as an instructor or trainer. Also, dependent on the company’s frequently used programs and platforms, having that knowledge base would also give the candidate some edge. Their median salary is approximately $68,000 per year.
10. ABA Therapist
ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) Therapists work in a hybrid field of psychology and education, and they are responsible for supporting children who are thought to have behavioral needs or developmental disabilities. This would be an ideal job for someone who genuinely enjoys working closely (usually one-on-one) with children. It’s also a great pathway for becoming a Special Education Teacher or Child Psychologist. This job requires an associate’s degree in Psychology or Special Education at minimum along with some field experience working with children who have special needs (in classroom or clinical setting). They can expect to make an average of $15 per hour.
9. DevOps Engineer
According to an Indeed research report, this is the #1 hardest IT job to fill in America. This probably explains the high median salary of $100,000. DevOps (Development and Operations) Engineers work with network operations and system deployments. They are considered to be the middlemen between Development teams and IT Operations. To become a DevOps Engineer, one might want to study computer science or engineering, but the most important thing to have is hands-on experience in network operations and a keen knowledge of coding and scripting. You’d pretty much have to earn your stripes in this role since the software world is no joke, but at least you know where to start.
8. Technical Writer
New technological advances present a growing demand for Technical Writers who can translate complex technical data into laymen terms. One can’t simply get a degree in writing, but must also have a strong knowledge of the related technology. Some Technical Writers work closely with aviation manuals and others with complex IT guides. Technical Writers must be polished writers with at least a bachelor’s degree, and there’s a strong preference for writers with a background in science, medicine, and technology. Writers who are struggling to make a living may want to consider taking on a technical niche in order to reap a glowing median Technical Writer salary of $70,000 per year.
7. QA Tester
QA (Quality Assurance) Testers are hired to test and debug software applications and programs during all phases of development to ensure quality and accuracy in the finished product. With all of the new tech startups budding comes a rapidly increasing demand for detail-oriented QA Testers. Because QA Testers need to catch errors, they must be super sharp and proficient in understanding how the software is intended to work. An undergraduate degree in IT or engineering is useful, but more important are experiences with API testing and developer tools. QA Testers can expect to make an average of $60,000 per year.
6. Energy Analyst
An Energy Analyst’s job is to analyze how a company consumes its resources and then develop ways to conserve them. They can work on policy development, efficiency improvement, and also provide useful analysis for business investors. With a growing concern for energy conservation, there is an increasing demand for energy experts. This is an excellent career goal for someone with building and contracting experience wanting to advance professionally. Energy Analysts should also have at least a bachelor’s degree in Economics or Engineering, certifications in energy efficiency, and several years of related work experience. They can expect to earn an average of $62,000 per year.
5. Compliance Officer
Compliance Officers are responsible for ensuring that all company policies and regulations meet a company’s overall standards and codes of conduct, and also that those policies and regulations are being followed. They are also responsible for overseeing issues and complaints that arise and then creating action items to ensure policy compliance. They can work in various departments within an organization from billing to insurance and building operations, but they are experts in their specific area’s codes and regulations. They are expected to have a bachelor’s degree and several years of relevant experience. The average salary for a Compliance Officer is $65,000 per year.
4. Mammography Technologist
Mammography Technologists specialize in operating imaging and radiological equipment that detect signs of breast cancer and abnormalities. They are responsible for producing quality images for diagnostic purposes used by the requesting physician. This would be an ideal job for someone who enjoys working closely with patients (meaning you can’t be afraid to touch people), has physical stamina for handling complex machinery, and also has an eye for accuracy and sharp attention to detail. This job requires an associate’s degree in radiology and certification by the state’s (ARRT) American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. They typically earn an average of $60,000 per year.
3. Environmental Scientist
Environmental Scientists work to solve environmental problems such as waste and pollution control that are detrimental to public health. They use their knowledge of the natural sciences to protect the environment and reduce hazards and waste. Environmental scientists can work for government or healthcare agencies in offices, labs, or out in the field. They conduct experiments, handle toxins, and evaluate how waste affects wildlife and natural habitats. They should have at least a bachelor’s degree in science, great communication skills, and relevant work experience. Some jobs also require special certifications and training, such as Registered Geologist certification. They can earn an average of roughly $68,000 per year.
2. Regulatory Affairs Specialist
Especially in high demand among manufacturing, pharmaceutical, and medical companies, Regulatory Affairs Specialists coordinate regulatory audits and licensing processes in an effort to obtain licenses and pass inspections. They can work internally by assisting different departments with their documentation efforts as well as externally, working with outside regulatory agencies during the conduction of company inspections. This is an excellent job for someone who has a strong attention do details as well an ability to follow through with requirements and changes. This job usually requires an advanced degree in science, keen research skills, and demonstrated interest in regulatory operations. It’s a serious job, but certainly an important one. They earn an average of $65,000 per year.
1. Functional Analyst
Functional Analysts know the in’s and out’s of a computer system’s functions as well as the different procedures employees need to know in order perform certain tasks on a day to day basis. When errors are detected within a computer program, they work to develop system solutions to make the underperforming function more efficient so that business operations are not negatively affected. Most Functional Analysts are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or Engineering, and some companies even require a master’s in Business Administration since the responsibilities of Functional Analysts often overlap with those of Business Analysts. They earn an average salary of $75,000 per year.
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