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Growing Occupations: The Present

Updated on May 20, 2011


In my Hub Jobs That Will Be Obsolete, we looked at jobs I see as being extinct 25 years from today. In other words, these are job fields that will be shrinking their way out of existence. In another Hub, titled: Jobs Of The Future, I write of new jobs and entire industries that could be potentially created 25 years from today. This Hub will look at the hottest growing jobs of the present. We'll look at already existing jobs that I foresee having growth/expansion for the decade.

1. Mortician: Sometimes referred to as an undertaker or funeral director, the mortician is a professional involved in the business of funeral rites. The mortician performs numerous tasks such as embalming, burial, and cremation of the dead. The mortician helps to facilitate the planning and arrangement of funeral ceremonies.

The job will be in serious demand due to changing demographics. Already in most of the United States, Canada, and Europe, the birth rate is starting to run parallel with the mortality rate. In no more than five years, I expect the mortality rate to exceed the birth rate.

Depending on where you are from, there are various levels of licensing and education levels needed to enter this field. In most cases, an apprenticeship of some sort is required. There are numerous entrepreneurial, self-employment, and contractual opportunities available to you if that is what you desire. You must be open to working in numerous different environments and dealing with numerous different people who are often emotionally unstable. Most funeral homes are small family run businesses, however larger generic styled funeral homes are growing in popularity as death is becoming more and more of an institutionalized process rather than religious.

The salaries and earning potential vary greatly, while most morticians make little money ($20,000 to $30,000 per year), depending on the location and how the business is operated many can become wealthy (+$80,000 with numerous tax write offs available). The reasons for the variety in salary that's mostly leaning towards the lower end, despite the enormous demand, is mainly due the fact your clients are essentially the dead. People are known to deliberately leave very little money when they die, especially the middle class and below. It's difficult to charge for money that's simply not there. On the other hand, history has shown that if you can pick up a few wealthy clients your prospects are looking good. Consider we have more wealthy people and wealthy people dying than in any other time in human history.

2. Farming: There should be a lot of demand in both agricultural and livestock farming across the world. Many highly populated countries such as China and India are entering 1st world status, and as such, their dietary requirements will change. Commodity prices in food are currently skyrocketing and the high cost of fuel is starting to make large centralized farms less economically viable. We simply need more farms to upgrade the food supply and they need to be placed in various locations to control fuel/transportation costs. In addition, the average age of a farmer is well into his 60's without much planned in the way of succession.

Describing the employment duties and expected salaries in farming is rather mute as you're entering a different world, with different rules, than any conventional job or economy. On paper, many farmers are actually multi-millionaires due to the asset networth of their crops, land, livestock, equipment, and farms. However, most understand that in this case networth isn't a canon measure of wealth.

3. Geographical/Geological Surveyor: Surveyors are responsible for measuring and mapping the Earth's surface. Surveyors establish official land, airspace, and water boundaries. They provide data about the shape, contour, location, elevation, or dimension of land or land features. They write descriptions of land for deeds, leases, and other legal documents; define airspace for airports; and take measurements of construction and mineral sites. Assistants and technicians to the surveyors aid in collecting data on the field, making calculations, and helping with computer-aided drafting.

Surveyors use the Global Positioning System (GPS) to locate reference points with a high degree of precision. To use this system, a surveyor places a satellite signal receiver—a small instrument mounted on a tripod—on a desired point, and another receiver on a point for which the geographic position is known. The receiver simultaneously collects information from several satellites and the known reference point to establish a precise position. The receiver also can be placed in a vehicle for tracing out road systems.

Surveyors are important because they're the people that help us discover untapped natural resources and how best to extract these resources economically, technologically, safely, ethically, efficiently, and legally. As the prices for commodities such as gold, silver, and oil go up, areas of the planet Earth that were once considered too costly to extract are now an economically viable venture. They're also integral in construction projects and used in military operations. Many cartographers and surveyors are approaching retirement age. Surveyors will be needed to fill in this new reality and the demand for employment in this field is expected to explode.

Working conditions are often a combination of both indoors and outdoors, with long hours during the summer and fall. Travel and large commuting may also be required.

Education levels are varied, however most surveyors have a bachelor's degree in surveying or a related field. Although you can sometimes get your foot in the door without a bachelor's degree, if my personal experience is any indication, the process can be rather frustrating and you'll find it difficult to move past entry level or accrue enough hours. The culture prevalent amongst the people who work in this environment is that academic excellence, even outside the field, carries great value. You can also gain experience in the military, but if you wish to switch over to civilian you'll most likely require additional education/training.

In the United States, the median annual wages of surveyors were $52,980 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $38,800 and $70,010. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $29,600 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $85,620.

4. Human Resource Professionals/Recruiters: It is a very odd paradox that in a world of severe economic recession and unemployment that the people in charge of hiring personnel will be in greater demand. However, if one looks at the situation objectively rather than emotionally, it only makes common sense. With more unemployed people comes more candidates applying for a given job. This simply requires that more bodies will be needed in order to sort through the molehills of job applications.

Although hiring people is only a small portion of the actual job. Your primary responsibility is to an organization's human resource management strategy. The goal is to maximize return on investment in the organization's human capital and minimize financial risk. In simple terms, you better go into the position with a strong business sense. The "I like people" folks should not apply.

Salaries range greatly, anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000+. Education and training also varies greatly but most have a bachelor's degree. Some have an associate's/trade diploma. A few star employees with 5+ years experience can sometimes "work their way up" and "mold themselves" into such positions with larger organizations without the educational requirements.

5. Cleaners for Residential Housing: With growing wealth disparity and numerous rich people propping up like wild fires, I expect and have seen huge demands for housing cleaners. The rich with their busy lives feel they're "too good" to clean their own houses, and with such a strong sense of entitlement comes great demand for residential cleaning services.

The advantages of such a job is often times you're your own boss, can work flexible hours, and have the keys to a few mansions. The disadvantages are of course low pay (and sometimes no pay as many clients cheat you), dealing with a snotty clientele, and trying to get over the fact that numerous people are so rich and yet so lazy. . .

No training is required, the starts up costs are low, and anyone can get started. You'll have to work hard on building up a solid reputation though if you want to get steady work.

6. Demolitions Specialist: With a tanking economy across the world comes a large increase in abandoned buildings that need to be demolished by the means of controlled demolition.

Demolition experts need to work with dangerous explosives such as dynamite and RDX and therefore the profession includes some level of risk. The environment is often outdoors and working hours can prove to be inconsistent.

One of the best ways of becoming a demolition expert is joining a demolition company or training facility for on-the-job training. Having a mentor might also come in handy for gaining knowledge about the job.

In the United States, the average salary for demolition specialist jobs is a respectable $47,000. Average demolition specialist salaries can vary greatly due to company, location, industry, experience and benefits. Realty demolition specialists earn on average the most at $55,000. Environmental demolition specialists earn on average $46,000. Training instructors for demolition specialists earn $45,000 on average and facility demolition specialists earn on average $43,000.

-Donovan D. Westhaver


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