Career Center Blog

January 14, 2013

Some surprisingly hot sectors for jobs in 2013


With the endless 2012 election now ancient history and the fiscal cliff just a bad dream, the general feeling this month is that 2013 is going to be at least a slight improvement over the stagnation of the previous year.

According to a recent report by human resources firm Randstad U.S., 47 percent of the more than 3,400 workers nationwide who responded to a November 2012 online survey said they felt confident enough to look for a new job in 2013.

So if one of your New Year's resolutions is to get more serious with your job search, Randstad's recently released survey of the "13 Hot Jobs for 2013" may provide a few insights. Some of the sectors -- such as nursing staff, customer-service agents, IT specialists and software developers -- are already widely considered "no-duh" in-demand positions and already have been discussed endlessly. But a few of these top picks from Randstad may be a bit of a surprise.

1. Urgent-care physicians/medical coding specialists. Under President Obama's second term, the implementation of health-care reform is expected to bring a sharp increase in the number of patients who have never before requested medical care. Many urgent-care clinics will require more workers with "soft skills" who can help facilitate the switch from "a decades-old system of codes called ICD-9 to the new ICD-10," Randstad says.

2. Mortgage underwriters, loan specialists and accountants. "As the housing market remains steady, lending rates are going down," Randstad says. The resulting rebound in the housing market will boost demand for qualified mortgage underwriters and loan-documentation workers. In addition, 2013 will be a particularly demanding year for tax accountants and financial document analysts due to expected changes in the tax code and health-care reform issues, the study says.

3. Executive assistants. After many years of making do with performing their own administrative tasks, many executives are feeling confident enough with the economy to hire highly experienced assistants -- often "the backbone of companies," the survey says -- to take on these duties again, such as supervising and training lower-level staff, conducting research, preparing important reports and arranging travel.

4. Industrial engineers. As increasing efficiency becomes the major focus of today's businesses, those engineers with hands-on experience in process improvement and quality assurance will continue to be in demand in 2013, Randstad says. One of the fastest-growing areas will be in the service industry, such as consulting firms that provide engineering expertise. Any experience with project management and computerized maintenance management system tools will be a huge plus.

5. Manufacturing production specialists. The long, slow decline of manufacturing in this country appears to be easing somewhat. "Logistics companies are investing again," Randstad reports. "As a result, production specialists, along with other technical and skilled employees, are in high demand." Sectors hiring heavily include the automotive, supply chain and advance manufacturing, the study reports.

Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.

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Karen Burns Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.

Kristen Fife Kristen Fife is a senior recruiter, career mentor, blogger and resume consultant based in the Seattle area.

Lisa Quast Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.

Randy Woods Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.

Former contributors

Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.

Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.

Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."


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