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Projected High-Demand, High-Wage Careers through 2026

Wouldn’t it be great to have a crystal ball that you could peer into and see what careers will be in demand six years from now? That’s pretty much what the Michigan Bureau of La…

Wouldn’t it be great to have a crystal ball that you could peer into and see what careers will be in demand six years from now?

That’s pretty much what the Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives has done with its brochure, “Michigan’s Hot 50 through 2026.” The bureau, which operates under the Michigan Department of Management and Budget, created a list that includes “occupations that show a favorable mix of projected long-term job growth, projected job openings and median wages.” The brochure points out that the list does not necessarily reflect current hiring demand.

For the sake of space, let’s look at those careers that are projected to have a growth rate percentage in double digits. And remember, these are the best estimates the state can offer.

Industrial machinery mechanics: The demand for this career, which requires long-term on-the-job training, is going to increase by 10%. An estimated 1,840 openings are expected to materialize between 2018 to 2026, and the median hourly pay is $19 to $30.

Licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses: It’s projected there will be 1,420 job openings for these professions, representing a 10.4% job growth. This career requires a postsecondary nondegree and license, and the median wages are $20 to $26 hourly.

Postsecondary education administrators: This profession requires a master’s degree, plus some work experience. It is estimated there will be 630 openings, a 10.6% growth, with hourly pay ranging between $34 and $66.

Computer user support specialists: This career is expected to grow by 11%, with 1,790 jobs available. Some college is needed, but not a degree. The hourly wage range is $17 to $29.

Computer and information systems manager: Estimates are that 830 jobs will be available in this career, which pays between $46 and $73 an hour. The job requires a bachelor’s degree, plus work experience, and will see a 12.3% job growth.

Training and development specialist: You’ll need a bachelor’s degree and some work experience to nab a position in this career, which is expected to grow at 12.4% with 690 openings. Median wages are $20 to $36 an hour.

Plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters: An apprenticeship and license are required to ply this trade, which is predicted to grow at a 12.7% rate with 1,620 openings. Pay ranges from $22 to $36 hourly.

Electrical engineers: A predicted 780 openings will occur between now and 2026, representing a 13.5% growth rate. The job requires a bachelor’s degree and license, and the median hourly pay is $33 to $50.

Registered nurses: An estimated 6,650 openings will be available through 2026, which represents a 13.5% job growth. The career requires a bachelor’s degree and license, and the pay ranges from $28 to $38 an hour.

Heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and installers: This career requires some postsecondary education, but not a degree; long-term on-the-job training; and a license. An estimated 1,020 openings will be available, which represents a 13.7% growth. Median hourly pay is $17 to $29.

Paralegals and legal assistants: An associate degree will open the door to this profession and the 730 openings expected to be available through 2026. That’s a 14.5% growth rate, and the hourly pay is $19 to $29 an hour.

Personal financial advisers: There are 530 openings expected to be available, a 15.1% boost in job growth. Those wanting to take part in this career will need a bachelor’s degree, long-term on-the-job training and a license. Pay range is from $26 to $72 per hour.

Vocational counselors: An expected 15.2% job growth will occur in this career, which translates to 880 openings. A master’s degree and license will be required to practice this career, which pays between $19 and $33 hourly.

Mechanical engineers: A whopping 3,160 openings are expected in this career, which is a 15.2% boost. A bachelor’s degree and license will be needed to earn an estimated hourly wage of $34 to $53.

Software developers, systems software: This high-demand job paying between $33 and $52 an hour is projected to have 1,000 openings, a 15.2% growth rate. A bachelor’s degree is a requirement.

Social and community service managers: A bachelor’s degree and work experience is needed for these careers, which pay between $26 and $38 an hour. Estimates are there will be a need for 550 people in this profession, a 16.3% job growth.

Civil engineers: This career, paying between $30 and $45 an hour, will see a job growth of 16.8%, which amounts to 860 jobs available. A bachelor’s degree and license are required.

Medical and health service managers: There are 1,180 openings forecast for these careers, an 18.1% job growth. A bachelor’s degree, plus work experience, will qualify people for these positions, paying between $35 and $61 hourly.

Industrial engineers: With a bachelor’s degree and state license, you can land one of the 2,200 jobs expected to be available. That’s an 18.2% job growth for this career, which has a median pay of $34 to $51 per hour.

Health care social workers: There will be 800 jobs available through 2026, an 18.7% growth rate. A master’s degree, internship and license are a must for this career, which pays between $22 and $31 an hour.

Dental hygienists: A 20% job growth rate is predicted for this career, which amounts to 770 job openings. A license and associate degree will be required, and the median hourly pay range is $27 to $34.

Occupational therapists: Another in-demand job with a projected 380 openings, a 22.9% spike. This career requires a master’s degree and license, and the pay ranges between $31 and $45 and hour.

Market research analysts and marketing specialists: There are a predicted 2,080 openings for these careers, which is a 24% growth rate. The median pay is $21 to $40 hourly, and a bachelor’s degree is required.

Postsecondary health specialties teachers: You’ll need a doctoral degree or professional degree for this career. The forecast of 730 openings will be available, a 25.4% jump. Median pay is $36 to $82 an hour.

Physical therapists: This career also requires a doctoral degree or professional degree and license, and 630 openings are predicted to be available. That’s a 27.4% job growth for this career, with a pay range of $35 to $48 an hour.

Physical therapist assistants: A 30.7% job growth is forecast for this career, with 630 jobs expected to be available. The position requires an associate degree and license and pays between $20 and $30 hourly.

Software developers, applications: These in-demand career are expected to have a whopping 2,160 openings through 2026, a 31% increase. The positions require a bachelor’s degree and the median pay is $33 to $53 an hour.

Physicians assistants: With a master’s degree and license you can fill one of the 440 openings expected to be available, a 37.8% growth rate. The median pay range is $43 to $58 an hour.

To view the brochure and see what other in-demand jobs are expected to be available between now and 2026, visit milmi.org/Portals/198/publications/Hot_50_Brochure_2026.pdf?ver=2018-10-30-084757-123.

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