Outlook For Job Seekers In 2018

The press has been giving mixed signals about what the job market is going to look like in 2018.  Although no one knows the future for certain, the U.S. Department of Labor usually makes impressively accurate projections. Their most recent estimates indicate the following trends that job seekers need to be aware of in 2018. 

outlook for jobseekers

Overall, a Promising Outlook

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s report, Employment Projections: 2016-26, the United States is projected to add another 11.5 million jobs by 2026. That’s a job rate growth of 0.7 percent, which is 0.2 percent faster than the previous decade.  Of course, not all sectors, or all jobs, are expected to grow at the same rate.  In 2018, the highest growth rates are expected to occur in the following fields:

Health/Medical: Due to the aging population, just about anything directly or indirectly related to healthcare is expected to account for a major chunk of new job generation. This includes everything from biomedical engineering, which is needed for the design of new medical devices, to home health care, a sector which is growing at lightning speed as a result of more elderly patients electing to remain at home. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that “Employment of home health aides and personal care aides is projected to grow 40 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Network Systems Analysis: It is certainly no surprise that high-tech jobs are on the rise. But it is the specific domain of network systems analysis that is expected to expand the most. This is due to the escalating number of organizations in all fields that are becoming more reliant on upgradeable network technology. The need for professionals who can effectively set up and monitor this technology is therefore expected to mushroom.

Fitness Training: Employment of fitness trainers is projected to grow at a rate of 10 percent over the next decade, making it one of the leading job opportunities in 2018. This faster-than-average growth rate is largely due to the increase of health and fitness programs being used as incentives by many organizations to lower insurance costs. Personal trainers and gym employees of all types are expected to reap the benefits of this trend.

Animal Care and Service: Humans aren’t the only ones whose need for care is accelerating. While pets have always been an integral part of our society, Americans are expected to spend a great deal more than usual on their furry friends in the near future. That means the pet care industry is booming, and is expected to grow 20 percent more over the next decade, which is significantly faster than the average profession. The animal care industry includes everything from veterinary services to grooming to dog walking. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that “employment growth coupled with high job turnover should result in very good job opportunities.”

Renewable Energy: Two of the fastest growing occupations are not ones you hear about every day: Solar photovoltaic installers and wind turbine service technicians. Solar photovoltaic installers, aka PV installers, implement and maintain solar panel systems, which are anticipated to become increasingly popular as renewable energy becomes progressively necessary. This occupation is projected to have a much higher than normal growth rate over the next decade—about 105 percent.   According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “the continued expansion and adoption of solar panel installations will result in excellent job opportunities for qualified individuals, particularly those who complete photovoltaic training courses at a community college or technical school.” A similar level of growth is expected for wind turbine service technicians, as wind is also an increasingly popular renewable energy opportunity.

Statisticians/Mathematicians: There is great news in the 2018 labor market for those who consider themselves to be good with numbers. Both statistician and mathematician jobs are projected to grow between 29 and 33 percent between 2016 and 2026. This may seem contradictory to predictions early on in the digital age that computers would make learning math unnecessary. However, despite major technological advancements, organizations continue to need people to analyze the vast amounts of digital and electronic data they generate daily.

On the whole, the job outlook for 2018 is encouraging. There are a wide variety of professions that are expected to grow rapidly and substantially. Although most require college degrees, there are plenty of options for people of all levels of education. So if you’re pounding the pavement in 2018, you shouldn’t wear too many holes in your shoes as long as you point yourself toward these flourishing opportunities.

The trusted source for DC's Employers

Sign up and post a job now

Post a job today

Back to listing

The Washington Post Jobs Newsletter

Subscribe to the latest news about DC's jobs market