What Jobs Are in the Stimulus Package? 6 Hot Opportunities
By Cherie L. Berkley
President Obama's economic stimulus plan, a.k.a. the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, is taking effect. You may be asking yourself, "What does the stimulus plan mean to me?" At nearly $800 billion, it's important for you to know what is in Obama's economic stimulus plan that can help you get a new job. Here are six gigs that are likely to be in high demand from the plan.
6 Big Wins from the Stimulus Plan on the Creation of Jobs
1. Accountants and auditors. Expect accountants to be in even hotter demand. The economic stimulus plan requires transparent tracking of government expenditures from the stimulus funds; some experts call it an "accounting of the accounting." Additionally, the new Financial Stability and Recovery Plan mandates increased transparency and lending accountability from financial institutions that take Troubled Asset Relief Program (T.A.R.P.) funds from the feds. Translation: The financial sector will need more accountants to help it mind its Ps and Qs, stay out of trouble, and get the biggest bang for its borrowed bucks. Median salary, Auditor = $65, 185 per year
2. Census workers. The Census Bureau received a $1 billion boost from the economic stimulus plan for the 2010 census. States such as Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas hope to hire 75,000 people combined, according to the Census Bureau. Jobs will last between six to 18 months depending on the position. New opportunities will be available for canvassers and office workers. While temporary, these positions are nationwide, numerous, and may get people over the hump of the recession. Median salary, Statistician = $80, 567 per year
3. IT professionals. The economic stimulus plan designates money and incentives toward adopting health information technology and broadband Internet expansion. This puts software engineers, computer equipment makers, telecommunications technicians, network engineers and other IT professionals in a great position for job growth. Other related jobs, such as data entry workers, will also be needed to get electronic medical records ready to go online. Median salary, Information Technology Consultant = $80, 316 per year
4. Green-Collar Jobs. There is a recurrent call throughout the economic stimulus plan for energy efficiency and energy renewal. Expect to see a slew of new jobs that will help people "green up" their act, thanks to corporate and individual tax incentives to do so included in the economic stimulus plan. Environmental engineers, environmental lawyers, urban planners, conservation scientists, and energy consultants are just a few of the professionals needed so that companies can retrofit their operations or build brand new ones to comply with a greener world. And since homeowners will receive tax credits toward products that make their houses more energy-efficient, there will be a need for more jobs related to everyday goods and housewares, such as product engineers and retail salespeople. Even prior to the economic stimulus plan, the American Solar Energy Society forecasted that by 2030, the number of direct and indirect jobs related to renewable energy and energy efficiency was expected to reach nearly 40 million. Median salary, Environmental Engineer = $64,315 per year
5. Infrastructure-related workers. The plan designates a substantial chunk of money to renovate or build more roads, schools, bridges, public parks, community health care centers and VA hospitals. As a result, more construction workers, electricians, and roofers will be needed to get these projects off the ground. Given the additional funds designated to the Army Corp of Engineers, you can include civil and chemical engineers, and urban planners on the list of careers in demand. Median salary, Electrician = $41,181 per year
6. Scientists, chemists, and lab workers. Health care is a top priority, as well, in the stimulus plan. The plan includes $8.5 billion for research grants, in areas such as cancer, Alzheimer's, heart disease and stem cells, and $1.5 billion to renovate research facilities, according to The New York Times. The research grants include money designated toward climate and environmental research as well as clean and renewable energy. Median salary, Research Chemist = $59,706 per year
Sources: "The Stimulus Plan: How to Spend $787 Billion," The New York Times, Feb. 20, 2009. The Morning Call website. American Solar Energy Society website. Scallan, M. "Help Wanted: 2010 Census Takers for the Gulf Coast," The Biloxi Sun-Herald, Feb. 10, 2009. The Census Bureau website.
Source: All salary data is from PayScale.com. The salaries listed are median, annual salaries for full-time workers with 5-8 years of experience and include any bonuses, commissions or profit sharing.