Hot Jobs: Where the Money is in 2007

As Americans embrace a new year, some are also embracing the idea of a new job, or maybe even a new career, while new college graduates explore the best career avenues to travel or seek out the new hot jobs. And 2007 is likely to offer a plethora of options for both career changers and hot job seekers, career experts say.

The top hot jobs for 2007 include those in technology, financial services and the medical field, according to career experts who expect a strong job market amid scores of baby boomers gearing up for retirement. Experts also say higher education is key to landing these hot jobs - and continuing education is vital to keeping them.

According to The Hudson Employment Index released Dec. 20, 39 percent of U.S. workers say it’s very or somewhat likely they’ll be actively seeking a new job in 2007. The index measures the confidence of the U.S. work force in the employment market.

1. 2007 Hot Jobs in Health Care Jobs and Salaries

Career experts say there’s high demand for workers in the medical, technology and financial services arenas, a demand they expect to continue in 2007 and beyond.

According to an economist at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, five of the 10 fastest-growing industries are health-care related. Those five industries are: home health care services; outpatient care centers/mental health and substance abuse; residential mental health and substance abuse facilities; offices of all other health practitioners; and residential mental retardation facilities. Hot jobs will be abundant in health care.

For example, the average salary nationally for clinical nurse managers is $65,909, PayScale figures show, and is typical of the pay ranges for line management in the medical and health care field.

Recruiters and college career services officials agree that health care is brimming with hot job opportunities, and point to the biotechnology and pharmaceuticals industries in particular.

"Hiring managers used to say, ‘We need to beef up our security infrastructure.’ Now it’s ‘I need someone with a high level of knowledge in the pharmaceutical industry,’" said Jim Lanzalotto, vice president of Yoh, a Philadelphia-based talent and outsourcing firm. "This has become huge, it’s really become a big part of the thought process of hiring managers."

More specifically, Lanzalotto said, employers are looking for individuals with a combined background in both pharmaceuticals and technology.

"They’re not just looking for an Oracle DBA [database administrator] or someone who works in security. They want someone who can do that in that particular [pharmaceuticals] industry," he said.

John Petrik, dean of career services at DeVry University in the Chicago metropolitan area, said he’s seeing high demand for nurses and technical support for the biomedical industry. Once again, biomedicine is an arena for hot jobs.

"They need people to install and calibrate scanners, etc. The biomedical field is very strong right now and probably will remain that way as baby boomers like me retire and need some of those services," Petrik said.

For example, experienced biomedical engineering technicians (who typically have an associate’s degree) have an average salary nationally of $38,584, based on PayScale data. Experienced biomedical engineers (who have a bachelor’s degree) typically earn $73,089 nationally, based on PayScale data. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says "biomedical engineers are expected to have employment growth that is much faster than the average for all occupations through 2014."

Hot Jobs in Health Care: PayScale Average Salaries

Job Title Salary
Clinical Nurse Manager $65,909
Pharmacist $93,174
Nurse Practitioner $72,331
Physical Therapist $59,910
Physician Assistant (PA) $71,503
Registered Dietitian $41,170
Nurse Case Manager $57,323

2. 2007 Hot Jobs in Financial Services & Accounting Jobs and Salaries

Financial services jobs also are showing high growth, experts say, fueled partly by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, a federal law that tightened corporate governance standards. They say the legislation, passed in the wake of major corporate scandals, has spurred demand for accountants and caused it to be deemed a hot job for 2007.

Reesa Staten, vice president of communications and director of research at Robert Half International, a staffing firm based in Menlo Park, Calif., said Sarbanes-Oxley (often dubbed "SOX") requires all public companies to have internal auditors, causing accounting departments to feel pressure to hire.

"If I was a student right now, I’d definitely be majoring in accounting," Staten said.

PayScale data show the average annual income of a senior manager accountant/auditor is $92,873.

Staten said a brand-new job created as a result of SOX is the Sarbanes-Oxley compliance specialist, who makes sure his or her employer adheres to the law. According to PayScale, chief compliance officers make an average of $95,722 a year.

Jobs that existed before Sarbanes-Oxley, such as staff and senior accountants and certified internal auditors have also become hot jobs as a result of the law, according to Staten.

Joanie Ruge, senior vice president at Adecco, a Switzerland-based recruiting company, echoed Staten’s sentiments, saying accounting firms have taken to recruiting at high schools and colleges, to make sure students pursue accounting and finance-related careers.

Though the accounting jobs pay an average of nearly $59,108 according to PayScale data, "There’s not enough people going in to get their accounting degrees and becoming CPAs [certified public accountants]," Ruge said.

Hot Jobs in Financial Services: PayScale Average Salaries

Job Title Salary
Internal Auditor $47,934
Certified Public Accountant (CPA) $59,108
Risk Management Analyst $58,271
Financial Analyst Accountant $51,212
Financial / Securities / Investments Analyst $64,602
Compliance Analyst $51,021
Manager of Financial Accounting $68,993
Cost Accountant $46,048
Senior Accountant $52,731

3. 2007 Hot Jobs in High Tech Jobs and Salaries

Employers also are ardently looking to fill technology jobs, so once again high tech is arena for hot jobs in 2007.Jim Lanzalotto of Yoh said as technology advances, there’s demand for hard technical skills, but also for industry experience. And since 9/11, there has been a rising need for technology workers who can build "impenetrable" systems, guarding companies against hackers, viruses and other security threats, he said.

Some technology hot jobs that are most in demand - such as SAP functional consultants and hardware engineers - also pay quite well, Lanzalotto said. (SAP is a business software company based in Germany.)

SAP functional consultants specialize in specific software functions and, according to Yoh figures, make about $163,000 a year. "They are the rock stars of the technology world," Lanzalotto said.

Hardware engineers, who make items such as the Blackberry or cell phone ear pieces, earn approximately $137,000 a year, Yoh figures show.

Jeff Kaye, president and chief executive officer of Kaye/Bassman, a recruiting firm in Dallas, said there has been a resurgence of hot jobs in technology careers. Unlike the dot-com boom of the 1990s, Kaye said, the demand is being driven by "major organizations that have a much stronger track record of success and longer-term viability than a flukish startup."

Hot Jobs in High Tech: PayScale Average Salaries

Job Title Salary
Software Engineering Manager $110,440
Senior Software Engineering / Development Director $103,854
Sr. Program Manager, Software Applications $108,525
Sr. Product Manager, Software $118,621
Sr. Business Analyst (Computer Software/Hardware/Systems) $74,460
Product Manager, Software $93,343
Sr. Software Engineer / Developer / Programmer $86,324
Project Manager, Software Development $81,252
Embedded Software Engineer $65,600

Whether you are a seasoned veteran or recent college graduate, the hot jobs for 2007 provide an abundance of opportunities.


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