If you’re looking for a job or career change in the next three years, there are 10 fields that will be hungry to hire, and older workers could be great fits for many of these openings, according to a new report from AARP and IMPAQ International.
Many employers are “having trouble filling vacancies with qualified, well-trained workers,” the report says. That could translate into opportunities for workers over age 50. People in this group overall have relatively low levels of unemployment, but they are also more likely to face longer periods of unemployment after they lose a job. For employers and older job seekers, finding the right match could really be just a matter of looking in the right place, according to the report.
The other key for older job seekers, the report states, is to look at occupations that make use of the skills they have already developed during their careers. “Among older workers making career changes, those who are able to make use of existing skills in their new job tend to be more successful.”
Here are the 10 occupations, in declining order, expected to have the largest labor shortages over the next few years.
1. Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners
Pharmacists, exercise physiologists, dietitians and nutritionists, therapists, podiatrists, optometrists, surgeons, orthodontists, dentists, and chiropractors are among the jobs in this group. Many of these positions require extensive training and advanced degrees. As a result, many of the job openings are most likely to be filled by workers already in these fields, according to the AARP/IMPAQ report.
2. Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing
Jobs in this category include sales representative, sales executive, sales consultant, sales agent, direct salesperson and technical sales representative. Nearly 10 percent of workers 50-plus are already working in this or a similar job. Demand for employees in these fields is expected to be particularly high in Colorado, Kansas and Maryland. Generally, these positions require at least two years of secondary education in the academic area of the product.
3. Computer Occupations
These occupations include computer and information research scientists, computer system analysts, programmers, information security analysts, web and software developers, and computer user support specialists. Entry requirements vary from a vocational degree with on-the-job training to an advanced degree. This is one of the fields, the report says, that many workers over 50 may require additional training to work in.
4. Advertising, Marketing, Promotions, Public Relations and Sales Managers
These jobs encompass advertising and promotions managers; managers for marketing, sales and fundraising; and public relations. Generally, these positions require at least a bachelor’s degree.
5. Motor Vehicle Operators
Examples are ambulance drivers, bus drivers, sales drivers, heavy or tractor-trailer truck drivers, light-truck or delivery-services drivers, taxi drivers and chauffeurs. This field is one in which workers over age 50 are “already well prepared for,” according the report. For most of these jobs, a high school diploma and a few months of training are all that’s needed. But the average wage of $16.62 per hour was the lowest of the 10 fields with predicted shortages.
6. Health Technologists and Technicians
This category includes jobs such as medical and clinical laboratory technologists/technicians, dental hygienists, radiologic technologists, and emergency medical technicians and paramedics. Many roles require extensive training and advanced degrees. The projected shortage for workers in these fields is predicted to be high in Minnesota and South Dakota.
Engineer job titles include aerospace, agricultural, biomedical, chemical, civil, computer hardware, electrical, environmental, industrial, materials, mechanical and petroleum. Of the 10 fields the report says will experience a shortage of qualified workers, this is the one with the highest hourly wage, at $38.46. Most of these positions require at least a bachelor’s degree, with many requiring advanced degrees and extensive training.
8. Business Operations Specialists
These are positions such as claims adjusters, examiners and investigators; compliance officers; cost estimators; farm labor contractors; fundraisers; human resource specialists; insurance appraisers (auto damage); labor relations specialists; logisticians; and management analysts. Virtually all of these jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree, and most call for a master’s or some kind of post-bachelor’s certificate.
9. Financial Specialists
Sample jobs are accountants and auditors, appraisers and assessors of real estate, budget analysts, credit analysts, financial analysts, personal financial advisers, insurance underwriters, financial examiners, credit counselors, loan officers and tax preparers. For almost all of these roles, at least a bachelor’s degree is needed. Many require a master’s or post-bachelor’s certificate.
10. Operations Specialties Managers
Among the options in this category are financial managers and managers for administrative services, computer and information systems, industrial production, purchasing, transportation, storage, and distribution, compensation and benefits, human resources, and training and development. For these jobs, education requirements range from a high school diploma to postgraduate education.
More information about jobs can be found here.