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The 15 Fastest-Growing Positions Over the Next 5 Years

Julianna Lopez
Julianna Lopez

With the end of the year approaching, you may have started evaluating your goals and decided you want to find a new position or industry in the new year. CareerBuilder recently released the results of a new study where it used historical and current market trends to predict where high-, middle- and low-wage employment opportunities will be over the next five years.

It should come as no surprise that positions in the technology development sector continue to experience the most growth. According to Irina Novoselsky, CEO of CareerBuilder, "technology innovation is moving at an unprecedented rate, and is rapidly redefining the occupations and skills required in the job market. Most of the fastest-growing occupations have a technological component to them."

Looking for the key to remaining relevant in the ever-changing job market? The answer: Keep learning. "Employers will need to play a greater role in providing competency-based training to the workforce," Novoselsky said. "At the same time, workers across all job levels will need to continually pursue opportunities to upskill in order to maneuver around accelerated shifts in labor demand." This is especially important for middle-wage workers and workers in general looking to move into high-paying positions who are, according to Novoselsky, "at greater risk of becoming displaced."

Here are the top five fastest-growing positions in each wage category over the next five years.

High-wage positions – $23.24+ per hour

1. Applications software developers – $48.49 per hour

It should come as no surprise that app developer roles are expected to be the fastest-growing high-wage position over the next five years. "There's an app for that" has become a hallmark quote for technological innovations that show no sign of stopping, which has actually created a shortage of experienced developers. The number of app software developers is set to increase by 15.57 percent to almost 1.1 million between now and 2023. [Do you have the skills needed? Check out the best programming certifications for IT pros.]

2. Market research analysts and marketing specialists – $30.21 per hour

With social media marketing and digital advertising revolutionizing the marketing and advertising industries during the past couple of years, the number of marketing analyst and specialist positions has increased to try to meet the new demands as companies focus more of their marketing spend on digital and social media marketing and calculate the ROI from successful campaigns. These positions are predicted to see 12.6 percent growth over the next five years.

3. Plumber, pipefitters and steamfitters – $23.72 per hour

This position has nothing to do with the internet. In keeping with the message from this popular children's book, everyone needs to call a plumber at some point, which might be why this role is expected to see an 8.58 percent increase to total more than 550,000 over the next five years.

4. Registered nurses – $33.55 per hour

With increased emphasis on preventative care, growing rates of chronic conditions, and the increased demand for healthcare services, the number for registered nurses, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, has been steadily increasing over the last couple of years at a much faster rate than any other profession. That growth is expected to continue to increase by 8.39 percent over the next five years.

5. Computer-user support specialists – $24.16 per hour

It stands to reason that with more of our lives depending on computers and technology, we'd need more qualified support specialists to help us when unexpected bugs crop up, because, you know, user error. These positions are expected to increase by 7.48 percent to over 776,000.

Middle-wage positions – between $14.18 and $23.59

1. Medical assistant – $15.62 per hour

Medical assistants are responsible for a combination of clerical and clinical tasks, such as recording a patient's medical history and personal information, taking vital signs and blood pressure, and assisting physicians with examinations. With more and more people going to the doctor, the medical assistant position is expected to increase by 14.51 percent over the next five years to add more than 100,000 jobs.

2. Billing and posting clerks – $17.85 per hour

The billing and posting clerks' responsibilities vary depending on the industry, but in essence, they're responsible for calculating fees, preparing invoices, and ensuring all patient/client billing and payment information is properly logged. The number of billing and posting clerks is expected to increase by 8.59 percent to less than 560,000 by 2023. [Want to know more about medical billing? Check out our analysis of the best medical billing services on our sister site]

3. Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses – $21.56 per hour

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) are responsible for providing basic care under a registered nurse's or physician's direction. These nursing positions, typically associated with nursing homes, extended care facilities, hospitals, doctor's offices and private homes, are expected to increase by 7.34 percent to add more than 55,000 more LPN and LVN positions.

4. Construction laborers – $14.73 per hour

We're constantly innovating, looking to push the physical boundaries of construction further than ever before. Hence the 6.56 percent increase in the number of construction laborers over the next five years to bring the total just under 1.5 million.  

5. General maintenance and repair workers – $18.08 per hour

According a report released by the Pew Research Center in July of 2017, more people are now renting rather than buying homes. More renters mean a greater need for general maintenance and repair workers to maintain the rental units and buildings. These positions are expected to increase by 5.41 percent.

Low-wage positions – $14.17 or less

1. Home health aides – $11.17 per hour

With the majority of baby boomers aging out of the workforce and into retirement, the number of home health aides needed to care for them will exponentially increase. The predicted percentage increase of home health aide positions is a staggering 22.42 percent – the highest increase of any other position on the list – which will add close to 208,000 more positions by 2023.    

2. Restaurant cooks – $12.06 per hour

Although restaurants are notoriously difficult to start up in larger cities like New York, where commercial and retail rental prices are skyrocketing, opening a restaurant or cafe is becoming a more profitable venture than opening a store or shop. As of April of 2018, the Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) was at 101.3 – anything higher than 100 is considered positive growth. With ambitious restaurateurs taking advantage of this trend, the need for chefs and cooks is on the rise: The number of restaurant cook positions is expected to increase by 7.46 percent.

3. Nursing assistants – $13.23 per hour

As with the other nursing positions listed previously, it's logical that the number of nursing assistants – who are responsible for providing the most basic care to their patients, including bathing, dressing, and serving and helping patients eat their meals – would increase by 6.33 percent to well over 1.6 million by 2023.

4. Receptionists and information clerks – $13.70 per hour

Receptionist and information clerk positions, one of the more surprising entries on the list (especially in the healthcare sector), have been increasing for the past couple of years. With close to 1.1 million receptionist and information clerk positions available this year, that number is expected to increase by 6.29 percent during the next five years.

5. Waiters and waitresses – $10.01 per hour

While there may be more restaurants opening, restaurant operators identified staffing as the most difficult challenge they need to overcome to succeed. Fifty-nine percent of restaurant operators agree that staffing is the key to a restaurant's success. With extremely high turnover rates – most restaurant employees only last, on average, one month and 26 days – combined with the increase in new restaurants opening, the search for competent waitstaff is expected to grow by 5.49 percent by 2023.


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Julianna Lopez
Julianna Lopez
Business News Daily Contributing Writer
Julianna Lopez is a freelance writer, editor, and social media marketer. She loves all things New York, books, movies and theater. If you're interested in her services, you can reach her at