As the global economy continues to falter, job prospects for 2009 are expected to slow. But if you're lucky enough to be in one of these top fields, your job future is still quite bright. Take a look at this list below and either thank your lucky stars that your job is already on it, or consider seeking the education and experience for the career that most interests you.
Auditor. With all of the economic upheaval, businesses are being watched more carefully than ever. “There is a lot of money flowing into companies right now due to the stimulus package,” says Ron Mitchell, CEO and co-founder of GottaMentor, a career coaching service located in New York City. “And, we've all seen some issues with, ‘Where is this money going to?'” He adds that auditors are mostly working for the big four [accounting firms] and also as internal auditors. Average Yearly Salary – $64,914
Career Counselor. More folks than usual are starting off the new year without a job in sight. How can the out-of-work find gainful employment? From outplacement agencies to government programs, career counselors and coaches will be very busy in 2009 helping make things easier. Mitchell encourages those seeking work to get professional help, saying, “Many individuals will need to completely re-engineer their careers. In order to do that, people need personalized guidance and feedback from an expert counselor.” Average Yearly Salary – $54,426
Counselor. Besides their bank accounts, people's self-esteem and confidence are getting hit hard these days. “People's self worth is tied up in their job, so you have a huge identity crisis happening. Counseling and mental health services will be in high demand ,” says Mitchell. Guidance and some soul-searching can result in new and better careers for those in transition. Average Yearly Salary – $40,275
Public Relations Specialist. Rather than promoting a line of sparkly, new products or an exciting initiative, many public relations professionals will spend the upcoming year smoothing over unfortunate events. Mitchell predicts: “Being able to tell a story about major layoffs, reduced sales, and failed mergers, without causing a panic in the market, will become even more important.” Average Yearly Salary – $44,334
Factor. A what? Didn't you study those in algebra? While this career is fairly foreign to most folks, now that bank loans are hard to come by, factoring allows small business to get funding based on their current accounts receivable — the money they expect to have coming in. Factoring works well for retailers and other businesses that have big receivables. Mitchell explains that factoring is a legitimate source of funds in hard times. He says, “It's a huge business and , at a time when people can't get other types of lending, factors are skilled experts at lending against accounts receivables.” Average Yearly Salary – $79,846
Health-Care Technician. You may know that nurses are in demand , but what about the folks they work with? “There's never enough of them, like radiology technicians, lab assistants, and home health aides. Health-care is the largest industry in the country, and in the more technical aspects of those careers we have a huge shortage of personnel,” says Mitchell. Average Yearly Salary (Pharmacy Technician) – $32,531
Mechanical Engineer (and all engineering fields). With every passing year, more skilled-labor jobs are replaced by complex automation or robotics systems. For example, some hospitals have turned to “robotic pharmacies” to help dispense medication. It's the engineers who help build these automated systems, says Jim Turnquist, director of career services at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Mich. “In the U.S. we only graduate 70,000 engineers per year, but we're going to need 100,000 per year. The demand is going to go way up.” Average Yearly Salary – $71,490
Networking/System Administrator. Since almost all business transactions these days are done with the assistance of a vast computer network, the people who understand how to keep computer networks running smoothly are critically important — and consequently, in high demand . “Network and system administrators maintain the company's infrastructure. People need people to fix and monitor their infrastructure, keep them updated,” Mitchell says. Average Yearly Salary – $54,193
Nurse. The health-care field has been booming for a long time, and all signs indicate it will continue to do so, says Turnquist. He also says college students and people looking for a new job field would be wise to consider physical therapy and similar “exercise science” fields, since aging Baby Boomers will be looking for ways to remain active long into their later years. Average Yearly Salary (Registered Nurse) – $53,840
Software Designer/Developer. Companies from all sectors of the economy are looking for software engineers and programmers, says Turnquist. This is because society in general is becoming more tech-dependent — just think of how rapidly cell phones change with each passing year — requiring software developers that can stay abreast of all the changes. Average Yearly Salary – $72,070
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.