Personal Finance

Ready for a new job? Consider these hard-to-fill positions

Key Points
  • The top-paying job of those with the best growth outlook — application software designer — is one of two on the list not in health care.
  • The job with the best growth outlook also comes with the lowest salary.
Chris Ryan | Getty Images

If you're on the prowl for a new job or a more fulfilling career, the health-care industry might have a position with your name on it.

Of the top seven hardest-to-fill jobs, five are in health care, according to a recent report from jobs site CareerCast. The salaries for those medical-related jobs depends largely on the education required, and range from about $23,000 to nearly $100,000.

The top-paying job on the list — application software designer — is one of two not in the health-care industry. The position with the most anticipated growth — home health aide/personal aide — has the lowest pay among the jobs in the report. However, it typically requires no formal education beyond a high school diploma.

On the other hand, health care is generally considered a recession-proof industry, which could mean job security if the economy starts sliding.

If you consider pursuing one of these in-demand jobs, you might want to also look into whether the company has a lot of similar or identical openings that it's having a hard time filling, said Kyle Kensing, CareerCasts' online content editor. If so, you could consider asking for higher pay or more benefits.

"It's more of a job seekers' market now," Kensing said. "If you're looking for a job, you might have a bit more leverage than you did, say, six years ago."

Below are the top seven positions with the most anticipated growth over the next five years, listed from highest to lowest salary.

1. Application software developer | Getty Images

Annual median salary: $101,790

Growth outlook through 2024: 31 percent

With the explosive growth of mobile-based internet usage, the need for these positions continues to grow, ranking third on CareerCast's report in terms of expected growth. Most software developers have a bachelor's degree in computer science.

2. Medical services manager

Robert Daly | Getty Images

Annual median salary: $98,350

Growth outlook through 2024: 20 percent

Also called a health-care administrator, this position typically involves overseeing, directing and coordinating medical and health services for either an entire facility (i.e., a hospital or nursing home) or for a specific department or medical practice. Most people who get into this work have a bachelor's degree, although a master's degree also is common.

3. Registered nurse

FS Productions | Tetra images | Getty Images

Annual median salary: $70,000

Growth outlook through 2024: 15 percent

This job comes with the responsibility of providing and coordinating patient care, along with educating patients about health conditions and providing advice and emotional support to patients and their family. Registered nurses, who must be licensed, typically earn a bachelor's degree, although some have an associate's degree or diploma from an approved nursing program.

4. Medical technologist

Getty Images

Annual median salary: $51,770

Growth outlook through 2024: 14 percent

Also known as medical lab scientist, this job entails collecting samples and performing tests to analyze bodily fluids (i.e., blood), tissue or other substances. The position typically requires a bachelor's degree. Some states require a license, as well.

5. Construction laborer

A worker carries lumber as he builds a new home in Petaluma, California.
Getty Images

Annual median salary: $34,350

Growth outlook through 2024: 12 percent

If you enjoy physically demanding work, getting into construction can be a good option — although it has one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Construction laborers typically get on-the-job training and need no formal education.

6. Nursing assistant

Average salary: $23,000 (aide) $36,000 (orderly) $37,000 (attendant)Occupational hazards: back injuriesAccording to one of workers' compensation data nurses ‘aides ranked fifth and among all occupations in filing for work-related back injury. Why do nurses’ aides have three times or more the amount of low back injuries than licensed practical nurses? “Studies have revealed that newly qualified nurses or trainees are at greater risk for back injury than more experienced personnel. Additional ris
Photo: David Sacks | The Image Bank | Getty Images

Annual median salary: $27,520

Growth outlook through 2024: 11 percent

In this position, you would help provide basic care for patients, whether in a hospital or in a long-term care facility like a nursing home. Nursing assistants need to complete a state-approved program and pass an exam to become certified.

7. Home health aide

Home health aide
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Annual median salary: $23,210

Growth outlook through 2024: 47 percent

This job involves helping people who have disabilities, chronic illnesses or cognitive impairment with their daily living activities. The care is delivered in a variety of settings, including in clients' homes. You typically need at least a high school diploma, along with successful completion of a training program and standardized test.