Where I mix career information and career decision making in a test tube and see what happens

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Labor Shortages Ahead

An important corporate-research organization, The Conference Board, came out with a report this week that predicts labor shortages in several fields. The report covers many countries, but the main trend it expects here in United States is shrinkage of the labor force caused by the retirement of baby boomers.

The U.S. is actually expected to do better than many countries because America continues to be a magnet for both skilled and unskilled workers. As a result, immigration will offset many of the losses from retirements.  (The forecast would probably be more accurate if Congress could agree on an immigration policy.)

But certain fields are nonetheless expected to experience shortages of qualified workers. In some cases, this is because the fields are growing very rapidly and the work cannot be done by offshore workers or robots. This is true for several health-care and high-tech occupations. In other cases, the fields simply are not attracting the interest of young people, even though they offer lots of job opportunities and, in many cases, pay quite well.

Here are descriptions of 19 specific occupations cited in the report. If you know young people who are looking for careers with lots of potential, make note of these:

Information Security Analysts

Plan, implement, upgrade, or monitor security measures for the protection of computer networks and information. May ensure appropriate security controls are in place that will safeguard digital files and vital electronic infrastructure. May respond to computer security breaches and viruses.

Top Skills: Technology/Programming; Science; Thought-Processing.
RIASEC Personality Type: Conventional-Investigative-Realistic.
Education required: Bachelor’s degree
Work experience required: Less than 5 years
On-the-job Training Required: None
Educational Programs: Computer and Information Systems Security/Information Assurance; Computer Science; Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunications; Cyber/Computer Forensics and Counterterrorism; Information Technology; Information Technology Project Management; Network and System Administration/Administrator; System, Networking, and LAN/WAN Management/Manager.
Median Earnings (May 2013): $88,590
Middle 50% of Earners: $67,120–$113,100
Percent Growth 2012-20: 36.5
Annual Openings:  3,920

Mathematicians

Conduct research in fundamental mathematics or in application of mathematical techniques to science, management, and other fields. Solve problems in various fields using mathematical methods.

Top Skills: Mathematics; Science; Thought-Processing.
RIASEC Personality Type: Investigative-Conventional-Artistic.
Education required: Master’s degree
Work experience required: None
On-the-job Training Required: None
Educational Programs: Algebra and Number Theory; Analysis and Functional Analysis; Applied Mathematics, General; Applied Mathematics, Other; Computational and Applied Mathematics; Computational Mathematics; Financial Mathematics; Geometry/Geometric Analysis; Logic; Mathematical Biology; Mathematical Statistics and Probability; Mathematics and Statistics; Mathematics and Statistics, Other; Mathematics, General; Mathematics, Other; Topology and Foundations.
Median Earnings (May 2013): $102,440
Middle 50% of Earners: $72,170–$128,590
Percent Growth 2012-20: 22.7
Annual Openings:  170

Agricultural Engineers

Apply knowledge of engineering technology and biological science to agricultural problems concerned with power and machinery, electrification, structures, soil and water conservation, and processing of agricultural products.

Top Skills: Technology/Programming; Science; Mathematics.
RIASEC Personality Type: Investigative-Realistic-Enterprising.
Education required: Bachelor’s degree
Work experience required: None
On-the-job Training Required: None
Educational Programs: Agricultural Engineering.
Median Earnings (May 2013): $74,450
Middle 50% of Earners: $61,910–$94,020
Percent Growth 2012-20: 4.8
Annual Openings:  80

Biomedical Engineers

Apply knowledge of engineering, biology, and biomechanical principles to the design, development, and evaluation of biological and health systems and products, such as artificial organs, prostheses, instrumentation, medical information systems, and health management and care delivery systems.

Top Skills: Science; Technology/Programming; Installation.
RIASEC Personality Type: Investigative-Realistic.
Education required: Bachelor’s degree
Work experience required: None
On-the-job Training Required: None
Educational Programs: Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering; Biological/Biosystems Engineering.
Median Earnings (May 2013): $88,670
Middle 50% of Earners: $68,720–$113,250
Percent Growth 2012-20: 26.6
Annual Openings:  1,010

Civil Engineers

Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures, and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, and water and sewage systems. Includes architectural, structural, traffic, ocean, and geo-technical engineers.

Top Skills: Mathematics; Science; Technology/Programming.
RIASEC Personality Type: Realistic-Investigative-Conventional.
Education required: Bachelor’s degree
Work experience required: None
On-the-job Training Required: None
Educational Programs: Civil Engineering, General; Civil Engineering, Other; Construction Engineering; Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering; Structural Engineering; Transportation and Highway Engineering; Water Resources Engineering.
Median Earnings (May 2013): $80,770
Middle 50% of Earners: $63,850–$101,660
Percent Growth 2012-20: 19.7
Annual Openings:  12,010

Environmental Engineers

Research, design, plan, or perform engineering duties in the prevention, control, and remediation of environmental hazards using various engineering disciplines. Work may include waste treatment, site remediation, or pollution control technology.

Top Skills: Science; Mathematics; Technology/Programming.
RIASEC Personality Type: Investigative-Realistic.
Education required: Bachelor’s degree
Work experience required: None
On-the-job Training Required: None
Educational Programs: Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering; Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering.
Median Earnings (May 2013): $82,220
Middle 50% of Earners: $62,920–$103,860
Percent Growth 2012-20: 15.3
Annual Openings:  2,110

Optometrists

Diagnose, manage, and treat conditions and diseases of the human eye and visual system. Examine eyes and visual system, diagnose problems or impairments, prescribe corrective lenses, and provide treatment. May prescribe therapeutic drugs to treat specific eye conditions.

Top Skills: Science; Communication; Mathematics.
RIASEC Personality Type: Investigative-Social-Realistic.
Education required: Doctoral or professional degree
Work experience required: None
On-the-job Training Required: None
Educational Programs: Optometry (OD).
Median Earnings (May 2013): $101,290
Middle 50% of Earners: $76,720–$132,100
Percent Growth 2012-20: 24.4
Annual Openings:  1,770

Family and General Practitioners

Physicians who diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases and injuries that commonly occur in the general population. May refer patients to specialists when needed for further diagnosis or treatment.

Top Skills: Science; Communication; Thought-Processing.
RIASEC Personality Type: Investigative-Social.
Education required: Doctoral or professional degree
Work experience required: None
On-the-job Training Required: Internship/residency
Educational Programs: Family Medicine Residency Program; Medicine (MD); Osteopathic Medicine/Osteopathy (DO).
Median Earnings (May 2013): $176,530
Middle 50% of Earners: $130,780–$187,200+
Percent Growth 2012-20: 14.6
Annual Openings:  4,920

Podiatrists

Diagnose and treat diseases and deformities of the human foot.

Top Skills: Science; Technology/Programming; Communication.
RIASEC Personality Type: Investigative-Social-Realistic.
Education required: Doctoral or professional degree
Work experience required: None
On-the-job Training Required: Internship/residency
Educational Programs: Podiatric Medicine and Surgery - 24 Residency Program; Podiatric Medicine and Surgery - 36 Residency Program; Podiatric Medicine/Podiatry (DPM).
Median Earnings (May 2013): $118,210
Middle 50% of Earners: $82,050–$171,170
Percent Growth 2012-20: 22.5
Annual Openings:  460

Physical Therapists

Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, increase strength, and improve or correct disabling conditions resulting from disease or injury.

Top Skills: Science; Communication; Social.
RIASEC Personality Type: Social-Investigative-Realistic.
Education required: Doctoral or professional degree
Work experience required: None
On-the-job Training Required: None
Educational Programs: Kinesiotherapy/Kinesiotherapist; Physical Therapy/Therapist Training.
Median Earnings (May 2013): $81,030
Middle 50% of Earners: $67,700–$93,820
Percent Growth 2012-20: 36
Annual Openings:  12,370

Nurse Midwives

Diagnose and coordinate all aspects of the birthing process, either independently or as part of a healthcare team. May provide well-woman gynecological care. Must have specialized, graduate nursing education.

Top Skills: Science; Communication; Thought-Processing.
RIASEC Personality Type: Social-Investigative.
Education required: Master’s degree
Work experience required: None
On-the-job Training Required: None
Educational Programs: Nurse Midwife/Nursing Midwifery.
Median Earnings (May 2013): $92,290
Middle 50% of Earners: $78,730–$108,910
Percent Growth 2012-20: 28.6
Annual Openings:  290

Nurse Practitioners

Diagnose and treat acute, episodic, or chronic illness, independently or as part of a healthcare team. May focus on health promotion and disease prevention. May order, perform, or interpret diagnostic tests such as lab work and x rays. May prescribe medication. Must be registered nurses who have specialized graduate education.

Top Skills: Science; Social; Thought-Processing.
RIASEC Personality Type: Social-Investigative-Realistic.
Education required: Master’s degree
Work experience required: None
On-the-job Training Required: None
Educational Programs: Adult Health Nurse/Nursing; Critical Care Nursing; Emergency Room/Trauma Nursing; Family Practice Nurse/Nursing; Geriatric Nurse/Nursing; Maternal/Child Health and Neonatal Nurse/Nursing; Nursing Practice; Pediatric Nurse/Nursing; Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse/Nursing; Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research; Women's Health Nurse/Nursing.
Median Earnings (May 2013): $92,670
Middle 50% of Earners: $80,560–$110,130
Percent Growth 2012-20: 33.7
Annual Openings:  5,850

Dental Hygienists

Clean teeth and examine oral areas, head, and neck for signs of oral disease. May educate patients on oral hygiene, take and develop x rays, or apply fluoride or sealants.

Top Skills: Science; Social; Communication.
RIASEC Personality Type: Social-Realistic-Conventional.
Education required: Associate’s degree
Work experience required: None
On-the-job Training Required: None
Educational Programs: Dental Hygiene/Hygienist Training.
Median Earnings (May 2013): $71,110
Middle 50% of Earners: $59,600–$85,310
Percent Growth 2012-20: 33.3
Annual Openings:  11,350

Occupational Therapy Assistants

Assist occupational therapists in providing occupational therapy treatments and procedures. May, in accordance with State laws, assist in development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, direct activity programs, and document the progress of treatments. Generally requires formal training.

Top Skills: Social; Communication; Science.
RIASEC Personality Type: Social-Realistic.
Education required: Associate’s degree
Work experience required: None
On-the-job Training Required: None
Educational Programs: Occupational Therapist Assistant Training.
Median Earnings (May 2013): $55,270
Middle 50% of Earners: $44,400–$66,590
Percent Growth 2012-20: 42.6
Annual Openings:  2,050

Physical Therapist Assistants

Assist physical therapists in providing physical therapy treatments and procedures. May, in accordance with State laws, assist in the development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, document the progress of treatment, and modify specific treatments in accordance with patient status and within the scope of treatment plans established by a physical therapist. Generally requires formal training.

Top Skills: Science; Social; Technology/Programming.
RIASEC Personality Type: Social-Realistic-Investigative.
Education required: Associate’s degree
Work experience required: None
On-the-job Training Required: None
Educational Programs: Physical Therapy Technician/Assistant Training.
Median Earnings (May 2013): $53,360
Middle 50% of Earners: $42,630–$64,510
Percent Growth 2012-20: 41
Annual Openings:  4,510

Construction and Building Inspectors

Inspect structures using engineering skills to determine structural soundness and compliance with specifications, building codes, and other regulations. Inspections may be general in nature or may be limited to a specific area, such as electrical systems or plumbing.

Top Skills: Mathematics; Science; Communication.
RIASEC Personality Type: Realistic-Conventional-Investigative.
Education required: High school diploma or equivalent
Work experience required: 5 years or more
On-the-job Training Required: Moderate-term on-the-job training
Educational Programs: Building/Home/Construction Inspection/Inspector.
Median Earnings (May 2013): $54,450
Middle 50% of Earners: $42,090–$69,310
Percent Growth 2012-20: 12.2
Annual Openings:  3,670

Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators

Operate or control an entire process or system of machines, often through the use of control boards, to transfer or treat water or wastewater.

Top Skills: Equipment Use/Maintenance; Science; Technology/Programming.
RIASEC Personality Type: Realistic-Conventional.
Education required: High school diploma or equivalent
Work experience required: None
On-the-job Training Required: Long-term on-the-job training
Educational Programs: Water Quality and Wastewater Treatment Management and Recycling Technology/Technician.
Median Earnings (May 2013): $43,200
Middle 50% of Earners: $33,480–$55,080
Percent Growth 2012-20: 7.7
Annual Openings:  4,750

Transportation Inspectors

Inspect equipment or goods in connection with the safe transport of cargo or people. Includes rail transportation inspectors, such as freight inspectors; rail inspectors; and other inspectors of transportation vehicles, not elsewhere classified.

Top Skills: Science; Equipment Use/Maintenance; Thought-Processing.
RIASEC Personality Type: Realistic-Conventional-Investigative.
Education required: High school diploma or equivalent
Work experience required: None
On-the-job Training Required: Moderate-term on-the-job training
Educational Programs: No related CIP programs; this job is learned through work experience in a related occupation.
Median Earnings (May 2013): $65,950
Middle 50% of Earners: $44,890–$89,710
Percent Growth 2012-20: 11.2
Annual Openings:  1,170

Crane and Tower Operators

Operate mechanical boom and cable or tower and cable equipment to lift and move materials, machines, or products in many directions.

Top Skills: Equipment Use/Maintenance; Installation; Management.
RIASEC Personality Type: Realistic-Conventional-Investigative.
Education required: High school diploma or equivalent
Work experience required: Less than 5 years
On-the-job Training Required: Moderate-term on-the-job training
Educational Programs: Construction/Heavy Equipment/Earthmoving Equipment Operation; Mobile Crane Operation/Operator.
Median Earnings (May 2013): $48,630
Middle 50% of Earners: $37,410–$63,260
Percent Growth 2012-20: 16.8
Annual Openings:  2,240

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