With the government shutdown making life increasingly difficult for federal workers, those with jobs are happy for the paycheck. But what are the best jobs as the U.S. workforce heads into 2019, and where can they be found?
WASHINGTON — There are jobs, good jobs and then the best jobs. According to a new study, some of those fabled best (as well as best-paying) are in the D.C. area.
According to the report, more and more people are looking for jobs that require less school time and tuition. Trends point to them seeking out gigs as nurse practitioners, anesthesiologists and physician assistants — not doctors or surgeons.
“Health care occupations continue to dominate the U.S. News 2019 Best Jobs rankings, with demand in the field highest for workers to fill roles such as nurse practitioner, physician assistant and physical therapist,” Koenig said in the report.
“That’s good news for students and career changers, because it takes less school time and tuition money to prepare for those positions than it does to become a physician or surgeon.”
Koenig told WTOP that one of the big reasons for that, as a source told her, is because health care is “pretty recession-proof.”
“We’re always going to need people to take care of us medically,” Koenig said.
What companies want
Companies are focused more on hiring workers who they can train rather than finding the “perfect candidate,” giving more room for gig workers and freelancers.
That said, Koenig told WTOP that the Best Jobs list might inspire long-time freelancers to “go back and get a credential or to apply for a more permanent, full-time position, if that interests them instead of maintaining their freelance lifestyle.”
With an overwhelming need for labor, companies have started relaxing their standards and expediting their hiring processes, giving workers the upper hand in the job market, according to the report.
“Maybe we’re finally getting to that point where demand for labor and supply of labor have met,” said Andy Challenger, vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an executive outplacement firm. “Wages hopefully will begin to rise at a quicker pace.”
What makes jobs attractive
In order to lure and retain workers, companies are also increasing the benefits they offer, including flexible hours and remote work opportunities.
And they’re “investing in individuals’ personal and professional development,” said Kim Castro, executive editor at U.S. News & World Report.
“Perks are happening more and more,” said Dawn Fay, senior district president at Robert Half human resources consulting firm. “Many people are changing their office space to be more attractive for workers. There are gym memberships and snacks in the office.”
Keonig elaborated: “I am hearing from recruiters all over that this is really a great time for people hoping to boost their benefits, either at their current job or at a new employer because they are considering things like paying for you to go back and get a degree, boosting your vacation opportunities, chances for you to work remotely.”
When it comes to choosing the job you want, Koenig said career coaches have some advice.
“[They] recommend figuring out what kind of salary you need to live the kind of lifestyle that you want, or that your family needs to maintain, though if you really do need to make $50,000 a year, you shouldn’t be considering jobs that tend to pay much less than that,” Koenig told WTOP.
“It just won’t sustain you.”
Still, she said there are lots of factors when it comes to finding the right fit.
“Before you apply for a job, find people who work there, or used to work there, and ask for an informational interview,” Koenig said. “Ask them what they like about the culture, what they didn’t like.”
And be sure to take into account those stress levels and work-life balance.