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13 Best Jobs for 2013

13 Best Jobs for 2013 Credit: Job growth image via Shutterstock

As the economy slowly improves, research shows a number of workers will be focused on finding a new job.

Some jobs will be more in demand than others this year. Staffing firm Randstad recently unveiled its 13 hot jobs for 2013 in a variety of industries, including health care, technology, finance and accounting, administrative and clerical, engineering and manufacturing. Positions include:

  • Urgent care physicians: With the implementation of health care reform on the horizon, hospitals, health care systems and physicians are scrambling to prepare for imminent changes, including an influx of patients who have never requested medical care. Those in this field are now required to excel in "soft skills," such as coding and billing, in addition to traditional clinical skills. Customer service will also be extremely important and tied to a high patient experience.
  • Physicians specializing in anti-aging medicine: With 78 million baby boomers in the United States, the anti-aging industry is expected to gross more than $291 billion worldwide by 2015, according to Global Industry Analysts. Doctors in this specialty must have strong internal medicine clinical skills to adeptly diagnose and treat any chronic medical conditions. These professionals must also have expertise in the area of dermatology, including anti-aging methods utilizing cosmetic laser treatments. Familiarity with diet, nutrition, weight loss and alternative approaches to wellness are also pluses.
  • Registered nurses: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment of registered nurses is expected to grow 26 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Working as a contract worker or traveling nurse is a very attractive option for candidates, as it offers flexibility and a positive work-life balance. To succeed in this field, clinical competency and critical thinking skills are needed, as well as interpersonal and customer service skills. Flexibility and resilience are also needed to survive as a frontline caregiver.
  • IT professionals specializing in third platform: A huge emergence in the technology industry is the third platform, which includes cloud computing, social technologies, big data analytics and mobility. Research firm IDC projects IT spending will exceed $2 trillion in 2013, with mobile devices representing 57 percent of the growth. IT professionals wanting to specialize in third platform need to have cutting-edge technology experience and be able to communicate with both business and technical teams.
  • Software developers: Software developers are a sought-after commodity in the technology world, especially candidates proficient in the main programming languages, such as Java and .Net. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of software developers to grow 30 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. Strong computer programming and written and verbal skills are needed to succeed in this field.
  • Mortgage underwriters: With the housing market remaining steady and lending rates continuing to drop, more companies are in need of qualified mortgage underwriters. Employers are looking for candidates with prior underwriting experience, Direct Endorsement certification and the ability to work in a fast-paced environment.
  • Loan documentation specialists: As a result of the rebounding housing market, the demand for loan documentation specialists is on the rise. Specialists in this field need to have at least six months of customer service experience and previous mortgage experience.
  • Accountants: These financial professionals are required year-round by companies in need of their expertise in preparing and reviewing financial documents. Accountants should be technically savvy and have good communication skills. Employers are also seeking candidates who have experience working for a publicly traded company.
  • Executive assistants: Executive assistants provide a wide range of duties for businesses, including supervising and training lower-level staff, conducting research, preparing important reports and arranging travel. Industry experience and excellent customer service proficiencies are the skills employers are looking for most.
  • Customer service representatives: These employees solve customer problems, initiate sales and assist clients with finding information. Having call center experience and being bilingual are a plus for candidates.
  • Industrial engineers: Employers want candidates with four to 12 years of experience who have niche or specific skills, as well as engineering graduates just entering the workforce. Even entry-level candidates need experience either through internships or co-ops. Leadership and project management skills are also needed to succeed in this field.
  • Electrical/hardware engineers: In the past year, electrical engineers have shown the most growth within the engineering industry. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers indicates that one of the fastest-growing areas will be the service industry, such as consulting firms that provide engineering expertise.  Engineers in this field should have leadership and project management skills and experience working with computerized maintenance management system tools like Maximo.
  • Production specialists: As a result of manufacturing and logistics companies starting to invest again in new jobs, production specialists, along with other technical and skilled employees, are in high demand. Sectors hiring heavily include automotive, supply chain and advance manufacturing. On-the-job experience, leadership skills and a strong understanding of production safety and processes are skills employers are searching for.

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Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.