Fastest-growing and Highest-paying Jobs for 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way most people lived and worked in 2020. A lot of jobs soared in demand as employers tried to meet changing needs triggered by the pandemic. At the same time, other jobs disappeared, and many of them might not come back. On December 31, 2020, PayScale analyzed crowd-sourced information from 4.33 million respondents in order to find the jobs in the United States with the highest rate of growth compared to 2019. Whether you're furloughed, laid off or looking to change industries, you might want to pick one of the jobs that is growing in demand for 2021.

Notable Jobs That Grew in Demand for 2020

Jobs in the categories of technology, essential services, transportation and healthcare grew the fastest in 2020. Tourism, hospitality, restaurant and education jobs had the steepest declines. The job that grew the most in 2020 was that of health screener. This job involves screening people before they enter a healthcare establishment. This job is a relatively new category of work. It involves implementing a screening process in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Health screening jobs increased by 136% in 2020 compared to the 2019 numbers. Another job that grew in demand was personal shopper. This category had a 125% increase. Most of the people in this industry are gig workers or independent contractors. They deliver take-out orders, groceries and other essential supplies to people who are working from or quarantined at home and can't or don't want to go out. Surprisingly, recreational vehicle service technician was the third-fastest growing type of job role. Instead of people taking vacations at resorts or hotels, more people went camping or took road trips. More service technicians were needed to perform repairs and tune-ups on these vehicles. Healthcare workers also saw a substantial rate of job growth. This was across all job roles, including nurses, doctors, emergency medical technicians, home health workers, laboratory technicians, respiratory therapists and phlebotomists.

Workers Are More Stressed Than Ever

The CEO of PayScale, Scott Torrey, stated that healthcare workers, teachers and others have more self-reported job stress than they've ever had. On the other hand, these people are also reporting higher job satisfaction. Their work is challenging but important, and they recognize their importance in society.

Current Status of the United States Job Market

Although some job categories grew by a significant percentage in 2020, the overall job market in the United States has a long path to recovery from the losses inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic. About 22 million workers lost their jobs last year. By December, the United States had 10 million fewer jobs than it did before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic on March 13.

Predictions for Jobs in 2021

Economists looked at the jobs that grew the fastest in 2020 and made predictions about which ones will continue that fast rate of growth for 2021. Changes in the COVID-19 pandemic or vaccine distribution could change this list. Some other disaster, whether it's natural or man-made, could also affect which jobs have the highest demand. Based on the status of the pandemic right now, experts believe the following 20 jobs will have the fastest rate of growth for 2021.

Top 5 Fastest-growing Jobs in 2021

Health screener jobs increased by 136% in 2020, and they're expected to continue growing. This job has a median annual salary of $28,400. Personal shoppers grew by 125% in 2020. The median annual pay for this work is $25,000. Recreational vehicle technician jobs grew by 97% in 2020, and the median annual pay is $42,400. Non-destructive testing technician jobs increased by 68% in 2020, and the pay averages $55,000 per year. Rounding out the top five jobs for growth in 2020 and extending into 2021 is area operations manager. Its year-over-year growth was 60%, and the median pay is $70,900 per year. The other 15 job roles in the list of fastest-growing jobs for 2021 include molecular biologist, postmaster, food safety specialist, cloud solutions architect, logistics program manager, lead sales associate, charge nurse, maternity nurse, emergency medical services director, laboratory assistant, psychiatric nurse, home care worker, nurse coordinator, lead user experience designer and commercial sales manager. All of these jobs had a 20% or higher year-over-year growth rate from 2019 to 2020. Based on the ongoing pandemic, slow vaccine rollout and current economic conditions, economists expect these job categories to continue growing at a faster-than-average rate.

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