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2019 Jobs Outlook

After years of recession and a painfully slow recovery, the US economy is finally providing real prospects for job seekers. The nation added 2.1 million jobs in 2017, and the unemployment rate fell to 4.1 percent.[1] These statistics are encouraging, even in today's uncertain economic climate. Some experts see the proposed changes to the tax code as a positive move that will have a strong, lasting impact on the US economy. They say lower individual and corporate tax rates will encourage individuals to spend more money and employers to add more jobs. Of course, not all experts agree on that, but for the moment at least, unemployment is low and there are jobs to be had.

Not all fields are booming, of course. Even in a rising economy, some fields offer better prospects than others do. We've collected a list of professions that are accessible, pay well, and set for expansion over the next few years. If you are already trained in one of these fields, you're in luck. If you're thinking about going back to school or taking on an apprenticeship, this list may give you some ideas on hot fields that have the potential to stay hot. Most of these jobs don't require a college degree! Many of these jobs are related to health care, which is seeing extended demand growth driven by the aging of the baby boomer generation, but there are plenty of choices in other fields as well.

Here are the best 20 jobs/careers for 2019. The data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics unless otherwise specified.

Physical Therapist Assistant
While physical therapists examine patients and prescribe their course of care, it is physical therapist assistants who work with the patient to carry out the prescribed plan.

Quick stats:

Median salary - $56,610
Unemployment rate – 2.4%
Number of jobs – 27,200
Expected growth – 31% between 2016 and 2026
Required Education - 2-year Associate Degree.

Marketing Manager
Marketing managers are responsible for expanding business' customer base and increasing sales through advertising. This job includes tasks like creating marketing campaigns, running teams, handling budgets, and strategic planning. The marketing manager controls the company's communications with its customers.

Quick stats:

Median salary - $131,180
Unemployment rate – 2.8%
Number of jobs – 136,000
Expected growth – 10% between 2016 and 2026
Required Education - Bachelor's Degree

Construction Manager
Construction managers handle the planning, coordination, budgeting, and supervision of construction projects. Most managers spend much of their time at field offices and often work extended hours.

Quick stats:

Median salary - $89,300
Unemployment rate – 2.1%
Number of jobs – 403,800
Expected growth – 11% between 2016 and 2026
Required Education – Bachelor's degree

Dental Hygienist
Dental hygienists work alongside dentists, helping to clean people's teeth, advising them on the best ways to brush and floss, and providing preventative oral care.

Quick stats:

Median salary - $72,910
Unemployment rate – 0.5%
Number of jobs – 40,900
Expected growth – 20% between 2016 and 2026
Required Education – 2-year Associate degree

Registered Nurse
Registered nurses are holistic healthcare professionals who perform many duties, including caring for patients, monitoring their conditions, and charting progress. Demand is growing at 15% a year, which is well above average, so this one will provide reliable work for a long time.

Quick stats:

Median salary - $68,450
Unemployment rate – 1.2%
Number of jobs – 437,000
Expected growth – 15% between 2016 and 2026
Required Education: Bachelor's degree

Truck Driver
Truck drivers are in demand. The gap between job postings and hires in the profession is one of America's largest, and the salary growth is among America's fastest.[2] Drivers are often away from home, but if the lifestyle works for you there's plenty of work available, and you'll only need a high school diploma or GED to start.

Quick stats:

Median salary - $41,340
Unemployment rate – 4.9%
Number of jobs – 1,871,700
Expected growth – 6%

Civil Engineering Technician
Engineering technicians help engineers engaged in the planning, design, and construction of civil engineering projects. Aside from planning and design, they may visit job sites to test materials and inspect projects. The growing emphasis on rebuilding American infrastructure is expected to yield continuing demand for these professionals.

Quick stats:

Median salary - $49,980
Unemployment rate – 1.3%
Number of jobs – 74,500
Expected growth – 9% between 2016 and 2026
Required Education – Associate degree

Computer Support Specialist
Computer Support Specialists assist and advise computer users, often as part of customer support teams handling individual, business, and organizational computer and network users. If you're handy with computers but don't have a degree, this one is for you. Big companies may require a degree, at least for specialized functions, but many jobs are open to associate degree holders with good computer skills.

Quick stats:

Median salary - $52,160
Unemployment rate – 0.7%
Number of jobs – 835,300
Expected growth – 10% between 2016 and 2026
Required Education – Associate or Bachelor's degree

Electrician
Electricians are needed every day in every state. This is one job that won't go to China! Electricians handle the installation, maintenance, and repair of electrical systems in homes, businesses, offices, and factories. You only need a high school diploma to start, but a trade school course will be a big help. Most electricians learn as apprentices, often with pay.

Quick stats:

Median salary - $52,720
Number of jobs – 666,900
Expected growth – 9% between 2016 and 2026
Required Education – High School Diploma

Physical Therapist
This one requires an advanced degree, but with one of the fastest growth rates in the employment market, it's worth a look if you're willing to put in the time and effort. Physical therapists specialize in helping patients overcome injuries. They train their patients to regain or improve their mobility, increase their strength, and lessen any pain they might be experiencing.

Quick stats:

Median salary - $85,400
Unemployment rate – 0.7%
Number of jobs – 60,000
Expected growth – 25% between 2016 and 2026
Required Education – Doctor of Physical Therapy degree