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Whether you’re headed off to college for the first time or you’re debating a midlife career switch, it’s always good to know about in-demand careers that pay a decent salary because it might help you decide what college programs to attend or what decisions to make. These nine careers that pay more than $60,000 per year were rated most in-demand by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The U.S. has a growing shortage of primary care doctors. Nearly half of the country’s 830,000 primary care physicians are over 50, and they see fewer patients than they did just four years ago. With the Affordable Care Act, the health care system has to absorb at least 30 million new patients. People who have a nurse practitioner degree are perfectly positioned to fill in the primary care gap.
- Projected job growth: 33.7 percent
- Average pay: $89,960
The U.S. has a longstanding nurse shortage, and one of the biggest factors is that U.S. universities don’t have enough nursing faculty to teach the people who want to become nurses. In fact, many good candidates for nursing school are turned away each year because universities don’t have enough faculty members to give lessons about nursing education. This in turn exacerbates the nursing shortage many fields are experiencing, which means there is a high demand for nursing students with specific goals. For this reason, nurse educators are sorely needed, and this job is in demand.
- Projected job growth: 35.4 percent
- Average pay: $64,850
Industrial-organizational (I/O) psychologists study human behavior just like any psychologist. However, their primary job is to analyze human behavior within organizations. They help companies to improve their human resources and to address management problems. It’s one of the few jobs for psychology majors growing rapidly in the U.S.
- Projected job growth: 53.4 percent
- Average pay: $83,580
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
A diagnostic medical sonographer helps doctors to diagnose patient conditions by taking imaging scans. Sometimes, the scans take place during an office visit, and sometimes, they happen during surgical procedures. The most surprising thing about diagnostic medical sonographers is that all you need is an associate’s degree to enter the field. Of course, in most states, you also have to obtain certification, but the additional cost is minimal.
- Projected job growth: 46 percent
- Average pay: $65,860
A physical therapist does spend a lot of years in school. To practice, a physical therapist needs a doctoral degree and state certification. However, once school is done, the financial rewards are sweet. As the baby boomers age and want to stay increasingly active, the services of physical therapists are in demand. Also, although physical therapy assistants and physical therapist aides don’t earn as much, people can start those careers without having to earn a doctoral degree.
- Projected job growth: 36 percent
- Average pay: $79,860
Audiologists work to diagnose patients’ hearing problems. Also, because a person’s balance is affected by conditions within the ear, they also work on conditions like vertigo. Audiology requires a doctoral degree and state licensure, but job growth is expected to be high. The aging U.S. population will make hearing loss a more common medical problem.
- Projected job growth: 33.6 percent
- Average pay: $69,720
Information Security Analyst
Thanks to the explosive growth of the Internet, cybercrime is on the rise. Businesses, financial institutions, health care organizations and government agencies are investing heavily in information security to protect customer data. Information security analysts usually have at least a bachelor’s degree, and they often obtain IT certifications.
- Projected job growth: 37 percent
- Average pay: $86,170
Dental hygienist is another great health care career that doesn’t require a lot of formal training. Hygienists do have to obtain state licensure, but most have only an associate’s degree. As researchers discover more links between oral health and overall health, more Americans are seeking preventive dental care. Dental hygienists deliver most of this care including initial oral health diagnoses and teeth cleanings.
- Projected job growth: 33 percent
- Average pay: $70,210 per year
Market Research Analyst
Big data is everything in today’s world, whether people are working in health care, in business or in government agencies. Market research analysts that have data analysis skills can find lucrative homes in just about any organization. A bachelor’s degree is essential, and top positions usually require a master’s degree.
- Projected job growth: 32 percent
- Average pay: $60,300
Many in-demand occupations are in health care, but few require advanced degrees. It might be easier than you think to make a good salary when you choose to work in a growing field.