August 25, 2009, 4:32 am

What Recession? 10 Careers That Are In High Demand

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Career
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jobYou’ve seen all the headlines. Recession. Unemployment. Credit crunch. Government stimulus. It all paints a pretty gloomy picture, but is it really an accurate portrait of the situation, or is it all just a bunch of overblown media hype? With unemployment currently sitting at 9.7% (July 2009) in the U.S., it is clearly not all hot air, but that statistic doesn’t reflect all sectors of the economy – some of which are doing quite well.

The list below presents some industries which are doing very well, and careers within those industries experiencing demand. Maybe one of them would be right for you? Perhaps one of these industries might offer a future outlet for your skills. Even if you require some training, it might be worth it in the long run. Here are 10 careers which are currently in high demand as well as some projections for careers that will be in demand for the next few years.

1. Healthcare

Recession or not, people still get sick and need to be cared for. The top in-demand career at the moment is for Physical Therapists, closely followed by Occupational Therapists. America has an aging population and there are increasing requirements for health professionals to help them continue to enjoy a good quality of life. The baby boomer generation, who are starting to take up retirement, generally enjoy quite good pensions and so they have the money available to ensure that they are able to stay active and healthy well into their retirement.

It isn’t just care for the older population where there is demand. There is a high demand for Registered Nurses (RN’s), EMT’s, Family Practice Doctors as well as all of the behind-the-scenes workers: administrators, laboratory assistants, specialists (including skin care specialists), etc. Here’s a good  Website for Medical Receptionist Training.

The pharmaceutical industry continues to be strong. As long as people get sick there will be a need for drugs to treat them with. As the recent scare over swine flu indicated there is a continued need for the development of new drugs to tackle and prevent new diseases as they occur.

2. Education

Children still need to go to school and there will always be a demand for qualified teachers to equip them with the skills they need as they grow up and enter the workforce. But it isn’t just at the lower levels – there is an increased demand for places for adults on university courses and other forms of vocational training. Many people who have lost their jobs are looking at retraining options – they’ll require someone to teach them the new skills if they need to go back out into the workforce.

It isn’t just the front line educators – there is the entire infrastructure to support education: administration, facilities, curriculum development and support, IT needs, etc.

3. Building/Infrastructure

It may seem surprising, but times of unemployment have traditionally been excellent times to undertake construction and infrastructure projects due to the availability of labor. This recession is no different. While the residential construction industry is at a standstill, federal spending towards infrastructure is on the up – partly as a way to stimulate the economy and tackle high unemployment so there is a demand for all kinds of workers within the construction industry. In many states the US National Guard is hiring and work on transportation, bridges and roads is picking up.

‘Green’ building technologies are in high demand – both in their development and implementation. There are plenty of good opportunities for working in this increasingly important field.

4. Energy

People still need to heat or cool their homes, have electricity and run their televisions. Even if they are trying to cut back on their consumption, there is still a need to provide energy. Once again, companies which are developing ‘green’ energy and alternative energy sources are seeing growth which means opportunities for new careers.

5. Childcare

Children still need to be cared for while their parents are working so this remains an in-demand industry. You can work as a childcare attendant, but there are also entrepreneurial opportunities to open up your own daycare or childcare business.

6. Sales

Companies have to work harder than usual to keep their orders up and that means they are relying on front-line sales staff to bring in revenue. Opportunities exist at all levels. The third highest in-demand job in summer 2009 was Assistant Managers in retail and food service industries, and the fifth and sixth highest were independent beauty consultants and Avon sales reps, which goes to show that women in particular have yet to forgo lipstick and beauty creams.

7. Auditors

With the Government stimulus money comes a greater demand for accountability for how the money is spent. This has seen an increased demand for qualified auditors and accountants – particularly at the big four accounting firms.

8. Luxury Sector

At the high end, the goods and services which cater to the very wealthy tend to be resistant to recession as that level of consumer is less affected by shifts in the economy. Even if they cut back on spending there is still a great deal of demand to cater to their desires.

9. Personal and Household Services

Hair still needs to be cut in a recession. People still need help with gardening, keeping pools cleaned and sometimes need someone around to unplug their clogged drains. All of these tend to be steady fields where demand seldom drops.

10. Counseling Services

Career counselors are busy at the moment helping people deal with unemployment, figuring out where their strengths lie and matching those with a demand in the market place. In addition, there is a demand for regular counselors, therapists, psychologists and coaches to help people cope with the emotional upheaval which come with unsettling times. All of these counseling and coaching industries offer possibilities for employment. A masters in school counseling or similar postgraduate degree will set you up well for a career in this field.

Federal Projected Top 5 Jobs in 2016

1. Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts
2. Personal and Homecare Aides
3. Home Health Aides
4. Computer Software Applications Engineers
5. Veterinary Technicians

If you are looking to do some retraining, these jobs might give you some ideas of areas you could profitably look at. However, be aware that they are just projections! Past projections have sometimes got things very wrong – so be sure it is a field that you have a genuine interest in.

Knight Hooson was born and educated in Canada before moving to Great Britain in 2002. Now based in London, he writes for The Credit Letter where he blogs about managing credit cards and personal finance. When not working, he enjoys learning about wine and exploring France – especially at the same time.

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Thanks for green shooting. Always nice to see a green shoot piece on jobs from time to time.

But let us consider:

The reported unemployment statistic (the one everybody pays attention to) uses a method that started in 1994. In that method, anyone who has exhausted UI benefits and have gotten so discouraged they stopped looking for work is discounted altogether!
Thank you for Green Shooting. Always nice to see a green shoot article pop up from time to tome.

But let us consider:

When we use the old methodology (the one used in the 1930’s) that simply considers: Are you eligible to work, and are you working yes/no, we find that unemployment by that number is over 18%. And at the height of the Great Depression, it was 24%.

We are very close, and indeed some cities in the US, we are already in Great Depression territory on unemployment. Perhaps the biggest untold story of our day is the unemployment crisis. Compared to how bad it is, the media is barely touching it.

Your green shoots not withstanding.

Hey TFB: This doesn’t look like your writing. Most of these careers are on a downward spiral during a recession!

Construction was the first thing to spiral down.
Energy demand is way way down and practically all new energy projects have been cancelled.
Childcare demand must be lower as laid-off parents cannot afford to stay at home and care for kids.
Sales: I agree that it would be smart to hire more salespeople I am sure that companies are not doing this but rather laying off their marginal performers to keep only top producers.
Auditors: Maybe, but you need training that is longer than the recession to switch into this career.
Luxury: Maybe the second-hand-luxury sector.

I would say that small companies are most on the rise and any services related exclusively to those would be on the rise. That’s because unemployed people with no prospects often start home-based businesses. I’m thinking blogging, day trading, web dev services, various kinds of co-op schemes, etc.

One thing you forgot to mention – the government is ALWAYS hiring. It doesn’t get smaller! This may (and hopefully will) change, but as for now, the best place to find a job is in government.

by: The Financial Blogger | August 25th, 2009 (7:22 pm)

you are right, this was a guest post. I was running out of post the past 2 weeks because of my vacation (I really took time off… off of everything 😉 ).

Construction did go down but not for infrastructures. My brother-in-law actually work on bridges and over passes and he worked all year long so far.

Childcare: demand is big in Quebec, that is for sure due to the Baby Boom.

Sales: most salesmen are in good position to keep their job actually since companies need revenue and they are the top income producer of any type of firms.

You are right about infrastructure. I’m not laid off either, but some in my company were — including salespeople — and I have many friends who also were, in all areas.

One other thing is that retirements continue so the demand for labour is still quite high. Government is suffering from aging workforce. Although have a look at Alberta — richest province during the oil boom and now they are going to cut government. When folks say cut nowadays they mostly do it through retirements so it doesn’t really hurt.

[…] The Financial Blogger discovers 10 careers that are in high demand. […]

I have to disagree with #7 as well. I was recently laid off from Big 4 and the other 3 are on hiring freezes for the most part. (but are hiring some entry level)