Employment Trends

Top 8 jobs to look out for in 2018

Written by Kate Lopaze

As the new year changes and you start thinking about the ways you want to change or upgrade your life over the next 12 months, “new job” or “career switch” are pretty popular options. After all, your job plays a major part in your day-do-day satisfaction and happiness. If you’re thinking about making a career move this year, here are some of the hottest jobs around.

1. Customer service manager

Good customer service can mean all the difference between a loyal consumer base and a PR disaster, given that everyone and their Aunt Martha has a social media platform for venting about their customer experiences. A customer service manager is typically responsible for managing a team of customer care representatives, handling cases that are escalated, and helping to ensure a high-quality experience for customers.

What you’ll need: A high school diploma, excellent customer service skills, and Zen master-like patience for dealing with customers of all stripes.

How much they make: According to PayScale, customer service managers make a median annual salary of $53,741, or $14.80 per hour.

For more on how to snag customer service jobs:

Top 10 Skills You Need for a Career in Customer Service

How to Write a Perfect Customer Service Resume (Examples Included)

2. Tractor-trailer truck driver

With the boom in e-commerce and right-this-second shipping, truck drivers and logistics personnel are becoming even more indispensable than they were before (at least until drones start replacing us all in the workforce). Truck drivers are responsible for moving cargo safely, efficiently, and on time. So if you’ve got a taste for the open road and a clean driving record, this could be a great career option.

What you’ll need: A high school diploma, and a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), plus a stellar driving record. Many people also choose to complete an accredited tractor-trailer truck driving training program, which can help prepare you for the CDL and give you on-the-road experience. Each state has different CDL and certification rules for truck drivers, so make sure you’re caught up on your own state’s requirements.

How much they make: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers make a median annual salary of $41,340, or $19.87 per hour.

For more on how to snag truck driving jobs:

How to write a delivery driver resume (with examples)

10 high-paying trucking jobs hiring right now

How to become an OTR driver

3. Insurance sales agent

In pop culture, insurance salespeople occupy roughly the same place as used-car salespeople when it comes to careers used as a punchline. But in real life, these agents provide a valuable service: helping people find the right plans to provide coverage for themselves and their families if the worst happens. Insurance sales agents typically work for companies that offer medical, dental, life, property, or car insurance. Agents are responsible for signing up customers for specific plans and serving as a point of contact.

What you’ll need: A high school diploma, although many agents have a bachelor’s degree as well. Insurance agents typically need to be licensed in the state where they plan to work, so make sure you’re familiar with your own state’s requirements.

How much they make: According to the BLS, insurance agents make a median annual salary of $49,990, or $24.03 per hour. An agent’s salary may also include commissions, bonuses, or incentives for meeting sales goals.

4. Information security analyst

Another day, another security breach somewhere. As the number of these incidents has risen, so has the urgency in making sure that they don’t re-occur in the future and that companies and their data are secure against hack attacks. Information security analysts are IT professionals who work with a company to make sure that their computer networks and data systems are secure. The demand for these professionals is expected to rise much faster than average over the next 10 years, per the BLS.

What you’ll need: A bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field plus strong analytical skills.

How much they make: According to the BLS, information security analysts make a median annual salary of $92,600, or $44.52 per hour.

For more on how to snag information security jobs:

Top 5 Lucrative Tech Careers You Should Consider

3 Hot Industries to Watch in Trump’s America

5. Pharmacy technician

The healthcare industry is one of the most booming fields around right now—and for the foreseeable future. But this doesn’t just include people working in hospitals or medical facilities; you can find them in your local retail store as well. Pharmacy technicians are essential healthcare professionals who help pharmacists dispense medication for patients and work with customers to ensure that they’re taking their medications properly.

What you’ll need: A high school diploma, plus many pharmacy techs also complete a postsecondary training program. Most states require that pharmacy technicians pass an exam and/or complete a certification program, so it’s important to know your state’s requirements. Pharmacy technicians should have good people skills, as well as solid math skills and incredible attention to detail.

How much they make: According to the BLS, pharmacy technicians make a median annual salary of $30,920, or $14.86 per hour.

For more on how to snag pharmacy technician jobs:

How to Become a Pharmacy Technician

How Do You Become a Pharmacy Technician?

4 Tips for Landing a Pharmacy Technician Job

6. Medical assistant

Medical offices and facilities can be chaotic, so healthcare professionals who can help tame that chaos are in high demand. Medical assistants blend the admin skills of an administrative assistant with the clinical knowledge of a medical staffer. Medical assistants are typically responsible for handling administrative tasks in a doctor’s office, hospital, or other healthcare facility, such as processing patient information, maintaining patient records, scheduling appointments, maintaining office and/or medical supply inventory, and managing public areas like the waiting room.

What you’ll need: A high school diploma, plus completion of a specific medical assistant training program. Many medical assistants opt to become certified in the field as well; requirements can vary by state.

How much they make: According to the BLS, medical assistants make a median annual salary of $31,540, or $15.17 per hour.

For more on how to snag medical assistant jobs:

Your guide to becoming a Certified Medical Assistant

How to Become a Medical Assistant

How to Write a Medical Assistant Resume (With Examples)

7. Tax preparer

You know the old saying by Benjamin Franklin: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” To our founding father’s wise statement, I’d add that taxes are also certain to become more and more complicated. As more people need help putting their taxes together in a way that is accurate and audit-avoiding, that’s where tax preparers come in. They’re most visible between January and tax day in April, but these jobs are increasingly opening up year-round.

What you’ll need: A high school diploma, but a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related financial field is beneficial. You’ll need strong math skills, as well as customer service skills.

How much they make: According PayScale, tax preparers make a median annual salary of $39,477, or $12.31 per hour.

8. Registered nurse

Nursing is one of those fields where there is a perpetual need for (and, unfortunately, often a shortage of) qualified professionals. Nurses provide care for patients in hospitals, doctor’s offices, agencies, home healthcare services, schools, nursing homes, and other medical facilities. They are often primary care providers, and typically work very closely with patients.

What you’ll need: A bachelor’s degree in nursing, plus licensing. All states require registered nurses to be licensed, so be sure to understand what your own state’s requirements are.

How much they make: According to the BLS, registered nurses make a median annual salary of $68,450, or $32.91 per hour.

For more on how to snag registered nursing jobs:

Create A Winning Registered Nurse Resume!

A day in the life of a nurse

How Long Does It Take to Become a Nurse?

So if you’re looking for a professional bump or a new career scene altogether, these fast-growing fields are worth a second look. All of these jobs are expected to grow faster than average over the next year, so if you’re seeking something that’s a good bet as well as a good fit for your skills or experience, then these can be great options to explore in 2018.

About the author

Kate Lopaze

Kate Lopaze is a writer, editor, and digital publishing professional based in New York City. A graduate of the University of Connecticut and Emerson College with degrees in English and publishing, she is passionate about books, baseball, and pop culture (though not necessarily in that order), and lives in Brooklyn with her dog.