TIME Jobs

These Are the 5 Most In-Demand Jobs Right Now

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The new year is all about reinvention, and what better way to remake oneself than with a new job? The best way to successfully find a new job is to know what jobs are most in demand, and where the competition for those gigs is least intense. Jacob Bollinger, a Senior Data Scientist with Bright.com took the trouble of sifting through more than 70 million job postings, as well as information on job applicants found on sites like Bright.com, to create a picture of the job market in 2014. Here are the five most in-demand jobs, grouped by the Labor Department’s “Standard Occupational Classification.”

1. Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand: Basically this includes most manual labor outside the construction sector. This sector might include a worker in an Amazon fulfillment center or a someone who feeds materials into factory machines.

Since these jobs are some of the most common in America (there are more than 2 million people employed in such positions in the U.S.) it’s no surprise that they top the list. Unfortunately, these gigs don’t pay well, as the median laborer in this category made just $11.49 per hour in 2012.

2. Accountants and Auditors: Every business needs someone to mind the books, and with more than 1 million of these folks employed in the U.S., accountants make up one of the largest single blocks of above-average paying jobs in the country. The median pay for an accountant? $30.55 per hour.

3. Software Developers, Systems Software: Here is where we see the much-ballyhooed boom in tech jobs show up in the actual numbers. Though in 2012 there were only about 300,000 of these jobs, it’s a fast-growing category and one that pays exceptionally well. According to the Labor Department the median software developer made $47.59 per hour, or just under $100,000 per year.

4. Occupational Therapists: Another job category that is relatively small (there are just over 100,000 occupation therapists employed in the U.S.) but that is fast-growing. As the American population ages, there will be a need for workers to help us all recover from injuries and other ailments. These workers receive an above-average wage of $36.25 per hour.

5. General and Operations Managers: If you are known for your leadership or organizational skills, here’s the job category for you. Nearly every company needs managers to help keep projects on task and employees working to their full potential, and with nearly 2 million positions fitting into this category, plenty of Americans go to work each day doing just that. Management jobs can pay quite well too, as the median operations manager makes $45.88 per hour.

Other notable professions further down the list include Pharmacy Technicians and Registered Nurses, showing the growing importance of healthcare service work in our economy.

Beyond looking for the right type of job, it helps to be looking in the right place as well. And as Bollinger points out, while cities like San Francisco may be famous for its need for high-skilled tech workers, it’s also a place crawling with qualified job seekers. That’s why Bollinger analyzed job postings as well as listing from job seekers to determine what city had the best job-search climate.

So what’s the best city for job-seeking? That honor goes to Boston, Massachusetts. According to Bollinger:

“Boston leads the way with the highest average demand in every job category we looked at. Boston’s employer demand versus jobseeker supply of skills is about one-and-a-half to two times as high as the next nearest city, in every job category.”

On the other end of the spectrum was Miami, with the worst demand-to-supply ratio for all of the top job categories, except for Registered Nurses. If you’re a nurse, Los Angeles is the toughest job market according to Bollinger’s analysis.

So there you have it. Learn some coding or accounting skills and head to Boston. Happy hunting!

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