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Top 10 $60,000 Jobs, Careers For 2012 And Beyond. Part I.

So earlier this year we posted about the Top 10 Most In Demand Jobs, Careers For 2012, and we thought we’d follow that up with the Top 10 Jobs and Careers with median salaries of $60,000+ in 2012 and beyond. If you’re deciding on a new career path would you like to know which jobs will be in high demand and pay the most once you’ve decided to make the jump or graduated?  Of course you would…or should.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) National Employment Matrix, which provides projected growth between 2008 and 2018 for the Bureau’s 750 major job categories. Identified are the jobs that are going to add the largest number of new positions – at least a 20% increase – as well as those that had a median annual income of at least $60,000. These reflect the best-paying jobs that will also have the highest demand for new workers in the future.

  • Personal financial advisors will have 62,800 projected new jobs which is an increase of 30.1% with a median income of $64,750. According to the BLS, growing numbers of advisors will be needed to assist the millions of workers expected to retire in the next decade. Members of the baby boomer generation will reach their peak years of retirement savings, personal investments and are expected to increase the number of people seeking the help of financial advisors.  By 2018, the number of personal financial advisors is expected to increase by more than 60,000, a 30% growth from 2008.
  • Dental hygienists will have 62,900 projected new jobs which is an increase of 36.1% with a median income of $68,250. Many colleges have dental hygiene programs, most of which can be completed in less than four years. According to the BLS, the demand for dental services will grow because of population growth, older people increasingly retaining more teeth, and a growing emphasis on preventative dental care.  In 2008, there were roughly 175,000 dental hygienists in the U.S. By 2018, that number is expected to increase to nearly 240,000, an increase of more than 36%.
  • Civil engineers will have 67,600 projected new jobs which is an increase of 24.1% with a median income of $77,650.  In general, engineering jobs are expected to grow at roughly the national rate of 10%; however, the number of civil engineers is projected to grow at a rate two and a half times faster. This is because this type of engineering, which involves overseeing transportation, municipal and industrial infrastructure development, is the most closely linked with population growth. By 2018, there will be nearly 70,000 new positions in the U.S.
  • Market research analysts will have 70,100 projected new jobs which is an increase of 28.1% with a median income of $60,570. Over the next decade, these individuals are expected to be in high demand. According to the BLS, market research analysts will experience much faster than average job growth because competition between companies seeking to expand their market and sales of their products will generate a growing need for marketing professionals
  • Computer systems analysts will have 108,100 projected new jobs which is an increase of 20.3% with a median income of $77,740. Building and managing computer networks for companies for use in file sharing and inter-office communication as well as maintaining security within the network; it remains possible to get a job as a systems analyst with a high school diploma and some certification. However,  an increasing number of businesses are requiring bachelor’s degrees.

So that’s numbers six through ten, and we’ll be back tomorrow with numbers one through five.


A Peek At 2012 Compensation Planning.

Update:  As of today both Compensation Force & World At Work are confirming what we projected in May of this year for you 2012 compensation planning.  Read the original article below.


This early data is confirmed by study results released recently by Hay Group (310 organizations, surveyed in March through June 2011), which also project that U.S. employees can, for the second year in a row, expect median pay increases of 3.0% in 2012.

Creeping inflation has not translated into higher U.S. salary increases so far this year as cautious employers maintain prudence despite their own gross sales and future orders improving.  It’s hard to blame them.  While some employers are optimistic about prospects in the next year or so, they must remain cautious about hiring and with increases to payroll costs.

Various compensation consultants have said the modest growth in wage increases heading into 2011 are holding. Raises were expected to be 3% in 2011, up from about 2.5% in 2010. Unfortunately gas and grocery inflation have erased increases and employers have not yet adjusted upwardly citing continued global economic concerns. Some comp gurus believe that if commodity prices continue upward they could affect compensation in the second half of the 2011.  So what about comp in 2012?

  • Even though capital investment and hiring will work their way back into the budgeting process, salary increases above the 2011 levels will not.
  • Increases in consumer prices may put more pressure on wage growth but increases in 2012 will remain the 2.8% to 3.0% for most management and employees alike.
  • Health benefit costs will continue upward for both employees and employers, but the percentage of increase absorbed by employees will max out at 70% of premium for family coverage.
  • Employers will eliminate “benefits package re-designs” by switching carriers to control costs. Employees view these redesigns as a “take-away.” No matter how you spin them.  More companies will shift next year’s benefits cost increases directly to employees making for potentially higher base compensation expectations that may not be realized.
  • More employers will institute variable compensation; bonuses, profit sharing and team-based rewards, and move eliminate fixed merit budgets excepting collective bargaining.
  • Discretionary performance-based compensation bonuses will be driven deeper and broader across employee populations.
  • High performer retention through maximized differentiation in salary-increase and discretionary-bonus levels will continue to expand.
  • Across many sectors, employers are eager to retain their best talent and are extending base raises to 6% or 7%, offsetting that with low or no increases for weaker performers.
  • Industries, like pharma, energy, tech, and healthcare, average salary bumps are coming in just above the norm, at 3.0% or 3.1% in 2011.  That will continue in 2012.
  • The AFL-CIO said inflation isn’t playing out in contract talks so far this year, but that may change in 2012 post negotiations with Verizon and for Big 3.  The big issue in 2012 for represented employee benefits costs which are currently at 20% to 25%.
  • Wage freezes, while for the most part are gone, could revisit in 2012 should inflation, restrictive monetary policy, and the rising foreclosure rates continue.
  • Healthcare costs will rise 16% to 17% so even with employee’s share of benefit cost steadied at 70%, real wages will go backwards in 2012.

Most employees should see base increases at or slightly above 2011 levels in 2012 with increase in differentiation between high and low performers.  Profit/gain sharing programs will also rise.  Real wage for most employees will be reduced by increases in healthcare costs and inflation in 2012.


I’m Jim Tait, and HR 2012 is where I write about, well… HR Stuff and Things For 2012. One of the coolest things about my job is the unique opportunity to speak with and visit HR professionals and leaders across numerous businesses and industries.  I listen, synthesize, and then project to 2012.  I’m not trying to be Ms. Cleo; just trying to think ahead.

When I’m not agitating here, I’m agitating my wife De Ann, our five kids, or the dog.  

I’m also the lucky founder of OPI National Outplacement.  OPI National Outplacement and Career Transition Services is based in Knoxville, Tennessee, and has served companies and individuals in multiple industries since 1999. Specializing in large, complex, project work OPI has supported groups from 2 to 2,000 throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Prior to OPI, I did time with Union Carbide, ABB, and AlliedSignal in various Executive Operations and HR roles.  I can be reached at 865-531-9154.

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