With record unemployment numbers currently brewing in the United States, a lot of people are looking for a career change. The COVID-19 pandemic may have left you completely unemployed; or perhaps you’re still on furlough, waiting for the day that you will be called back to work. Even if you were lucky enough to escape unemployment due to the pandemic, it’s very possible that you’re still reconsidering your current career. Many career fields that were once considered steady have been upended by the pandemic, particularly those that are unable to offer remote work outside of their offices. While those with remote opportunities were able to stabilize during the quarantine, those without were either forced to put their health at risk while working in essential positions throughout the pandemic or were furloughed or laid off. While hopefully, the COVID-19 pandemic will not be repeated, if another virus that lacks a vaccine sweeps through the nation, Americans could once again experience a severe shift in their work prospects. For that matter, the idea of what counts as essential work and what does not has changed entirely, giving American jobseekers another aspect to consider as they explore different career options. The fastest growing occupations in the US are no longer what they once were, and many people are being forced to re-frame their idea of what the right job really is.
Of course, it’s not enough to keep an eye on the fastest growing occupations in the US and then simply choose one that sounds right for you. Even if a career change is the right choice for you, you may very well have to make some other changes before really getting started. Some careers require specific degrees or certifications. Fortunately, if you’re considering continuing your education in order to change careers, it may be more attainable than you think. In fact, the typical continuing education program is about 50% cheaper than normal college tuition in the United States. Don’t think that because money is tight now you can’t change careers in the future. The investment that you make to change careers is truly an investment in your future, which is why many Americans are seriously considering doing so. Let’s look into some of the fastest growing occupations in the US, and see if any of them might be right for you.
1. Home Health And Personal Care Aides
While the idea of becoming a home health aide may be intimidating at first, especially following a pandemic, the fact is that COVID-19 has made the need for home health aides even more pronounced. Prior to the pandemic, there was already a clearly rising need for home health aides. The number of senior citizens in the country has boomed in a major way. While some seniors may be able and willing to move into retirement communities or nursing homes, this is not always attainable for financial reasons. For that matter, there are a number of psychological benefits to keeping a senior citizen at home. Their relatives benefit as well, being able to visit them more easily. At the same time, the employment of a home health aide ensures that the loved ones of the person who requires care will be able to work as they must and maintain their own personal lives. A home health aide provides personalized, consistent, and professional care while also maintaining a genuine emotional bond with their loved one. Of course, senior citizens are not the only people who need to be cared for by home health aides. Many people with chronic illnesses or disabilities want to be at home, but don’t feel like they can be without help. Having a home health or personal care aide allows them to retain some level of independence, while at the same time ensuring that they’re properly cared for.
How do you become a home health aide? Some find that they’re able to gain training and certification through assisted living programs. However, it’s important to note that though this position is among the fastest growing occupations in the US, different states may have different requirements regarding the certifications necessary to become a home health aide. But compared to other positions in the medical field, the training usually takes less time, and is less intensive and more focused on what you’ll specifically need to do for your clients. Being a home health aide is more personalized, and more about the day to day life of your client, than most positions in the medical field. With that being said, however, a lot of people find that they need to commit more time to being a home health aide than they do other jobs. Some home health aides even live with their clients. Nonetheless, if you have an interest in helping people within the medical field, it’s not the only job you may want to consider.
Nurses have long been extremely important to the medical field and society at large. However, there are many reasons why the occupation is projected to grow. For one thing, as medical technology advances, many hospitals will inevitably expand and new ones will be established, along with smaller private practices. This means that more nursing positions will open. For that matter, nurses can also work withing retirement homes, rehabilitation centers, urgent care clinics, and many other locations; they can also work as traveling nurses, going from place to place as needed. This places nursing one of the fastest growing occupations in the US. However, becoming a nurse, while extremely valuable and certainly something that you can use even if you choose to stop being a nurse for a period of time, is not easy.
Nursing programs are available across the country. While some go to a four-year university to become a nurse, certain community colleges do offer great nursing programs, which will allow you to spend less time in school and save money. Of course, while you can go to school to be a nurse in a more general sense, there are also more intense programs that allow people access to nursing certifications in a more specialized sense. For example, you may want to become a neonatal nurse if you have a specific interest in caring for newborn babies. If you’re interested in pursuing further education, you may want to consider becoming a licensed nurse practitioner. This will allow you to work in many small family practices much like a family doctor would, giving exams and prescribing medications. While this all may seem like a lot of work, there are also great rewards. While some nurses in high-pressure facilities do work longer hours, many nurses who work at small clinics or practices have manageable schedules and are compensated in accordance with the amount of time they put into becoming nurses. One reason why people consider nursing, and a major reason why it will likely continue to be one of the fastest growing occupations in the US, is simply that it’s very lucrative in comparison to a number of jobs that require more schooling. If you aren’t sure about becoming a fully-fledged nurse, you can also consider becoming a nursing assistant. Either way, you’ll have a lot of potential job opportunities ahead of you.
3. Truck Driver
Say you aren’t interested in going back to school and don’t particularly like being stuck in one place. While becoming a truck driver may not be what you were initially thinking of when you signed up with your local staffing agency, it remains one of the fastest growing occupations in the US, despite the fact that truck drivers have long been working and have long been needed. The fact is that the transportation of goods is remarkably important to the American economy. Major corporations like Amazon rely on truck drivers to transport huge quantities of foods, beverages, and many other items across the US in a secure manner. It’s not an easy job, of course. It can be grueling to drive for hours across the country under a specific deadline, and a lot of truck drivers do face burnout. However, the main reason why many truck drivers are leaving the field isn’t that they dislike it, but because they’re simply too old. You do need to retire from truck driving at a certain point, as vision is certainly a key component of the job. That’s simply freeing up more jobs for other up and coming drivers.
Truck driving is more appealing to some than other options when it comes to the fastest growing occupations in the US. This is because there’s always a lot of work available. Though requirements vary from state to state, as always, the baseline of becoming a truck driver is attaining a commercial driver’s license. After that, a lot of opportunities open up. Truck drivers aren’t often out of work, and the need for truck drivers is only expected to grow versus decline. Truck drivers enjoy the fact that, as long as they meet their deadlines, they essentially set their own schedules and don’t have to worry about being micromanaged. For that matter, you’re often able to see different parts of the country on the company’s dime. It’s important to note that truck driving can be hard on your body, but you shouldn’t do it unless you’re physically capable. Those with visual impairments, or auditory impairments that may require hearing aids, might not be right for truck driving and could get in trouble for attempting to hide these issues while on the job. While it’s an accessible and lucrative job, you should be careful when assessing whether or not it’s the right job for you.
4. Web Developer
It probably won’t come as a surprise to you that the position of web developer is one of the fastest growing occupations in the US. A lot of people struggle with coming up with their strengths when visiting recruiting service offices. However, if you have a talent with computers and web design, and if you have the qualifications to show it, you may want to consider pursuing becoming a web developer. Usually, web developers help businesses create websites, email campaigns, and a strong online presence. Their duties may vary depending on who they’re hired by, but in general, they’re meant to be the backbone of a typical business’s web presence. With that being said, a lot of people don’t realize how much of a demand there is for web developers today. Many businesses are currently transitioning to be more present online than they ever were before, and they can’t do this without the guidance of a competent web developer.
Usually, web developers will have a degree specializing in IT or in web design, though this is not always the case. There are certification programs for those who wish to become web developers, and you can potentially seek out continued education programs that specialize in web development. Overall, web development is not necessarily for the faint of heart; you do need to have a genuine interest in computers and web design in order to succeed. Furthermore, it’s often a position that requires a good deal of self-marketing. However, it does pay well and is usually quite comfortable, certainly not offering the risks for typical common workplace injuries found in other occupations. Therefore, a lot of jobseekers find it more than worth the investment!
If you’re looking to change careers, you may feel intimidated and nervous, no matter what your age. But there’s something surprising about changing jobs; and if you’re seeking a job among the fastest growing occupations in the US, you may very well be changing your life for the better. By switching careers, you’re affording yourself more opportunities and creating the ability to make more money with less effort. One reason why a lot of people change careers, too, is not simply because they have to but because they want to. Perhaps you’re just bored with what you’re doing, or unsatisfied. Switching jobs can not only improve your work prospects but your life in general.