Emerging Occupations


If you are considering a career change, you might want to consider jobs that are brand new.  Positioning yourself as a worker in an emerging field has several advantages:

  • Because the skill set is rare, you can command more salary while others in the workforce catch up.  Be aware that, as more workers enter the field, you will have to find other ways to stay competitive; find a niche in the market or add to your certifications or specialization.
  • You may be among those who set standards for the occupation, get a chance to develop industry tools, and be highly recruited.
  • As the occupation matures, there will be room for early adopters to consider consulting, recruiting and training careers.

Here are three emerging occupations to consider.

 Social Media Manager (courtesy of Yahoo! Jobs and Carol Tice for Payscale.com)

“Growing numbers of job hunters are turning their blogging skills or Facebook savvy into new careers in social media. A background in marketing, computer technology,copywriting, or journalism is often a plus in landing Web 2.0 jobs.

This is an emerging field, so pay rates are all over the place right now–but good pay is already to be found, with full-time jobs ranging from $45,000 to six figures.

“My rule of thumb is, you get paid in social media for what you’ve done in the past,” says Jim Durbin, who operates the niche job site JobsInSocialMedia. “A fresh college grad may make $25,000 as a social media marketer, but if you already have a marketing job where they pay you $80,000 a year, your employer might move your duties over to social media marketing and keep that salary.”

Many ad agencies that assist major corporations with social media campaigns are hiring, but the majority of jobs in social media are freelance rather than full-time. On the upside, hourly rates can be high–$200 an hour and more, says copywriting coach Chris Marlow.”

 Health informatics technician   (Courtesy of Rachel Zupek, CareerBuilder.com writer) at AOL.com careers

Each time you go to the doctor, everything about the visit is added to your medical file. As health-care facilities everywhere make the change to electronic medical records, informatics technicians not only transition the files, but they use computer systems to help doctors analyze, diagnose and treat patients based on the information they are given. This computer data also improves care, controls costs and provides documentation for use in legal actions.”

Industry umbrella: Health care  Job growth*: 18 percent

Patient advocate (Courtesy of Rachel Zupek, CareerBuilder.com writer) at AOL.com careers

“Anyone who’s ever had health issues knows that the health-care system is not the easiest thing to navigate, especially when you or a loved one is sick. That’s what patient advocates are there for. As the population continues to age and health worsens, patient care advocates will become more important to the job market. Advocates ensure that patients are informed, visiting with the right specialists and taking the right medicines, as well as educating family members on how to care for their sick relative. Perhaps most importantly, patient advocates will sort through medical bills and negotiate fees with health-care providers and insurance companies.”

Industry umbrella: Health care

Job growth: 24 percent (for medical and public health social workers)

Salary: $47,560 (for medical and public health social workers), according to the BLS

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