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How Today’s High-Demand Jobs Impact Salaries

How Today’s High-Demand Jobs Impact Salaries

By: Evan Rodd, PayScale

Despite the dubious Fiscal Cliff, wage growth in the US has continued to flourish. Across all industries measured by the PayScale index, Q4 2012 showed some of the strongest progress since 2006, including small business salaries.

While this is good news for job seekers, increasing wages for high-demand jobs can be a double-edged sword for some companies, including retaining top employees, while simultaneously designing a compensation strategy that attracts new talent.

This is especially true in industries that experience an increase in wages, and in companies that offer and require specialized job skills.

Let’s take a look at industries that are offering high-paying jobs.

Energy and Healthcare Lead the Way
Though most industries saw an upsurge in wages, the current power players in high-demand jobs are energy, tech, and healthcare staffing.

Additionally, wages in mining, oil, and gas exploration and utilities experienced a national increase of almost 6 percent over the past year, as well as rising projected growth rates over the next ten years.

Energy wages were already seeing a steady increase during less prosperous economic times given the mandate for oil and other innovations in energy-related technology. It is highly likely that we will see an increase in alternative energy jobs as well, including the need for advancement in related fields.

As demonstrated by the PayScale Index, energy wages are not the only hot job commodity. IT jobs continue to thrive, especially in tech-savvy cities like Seattle, San Francisco, and Boston, which all respectively experienced an annual wage growth of more than 3.9 percent.

Tech Skills Are Booming
The need for software developers and IT staffing is booming, mixed with increasing projected growth rates (upwards of 30 percent) that show no sign of slowing down, as shown in the Payscale Index.

Even with the amplified demand for accomplished tech talent, the available talent pool remains shallow, creating a highly competitive labor market.

Whether your industry experienced the same types of wage growth, keep in mind that any economic upswing will permeate throughout the overall job market.

This can be a gradual process, which is why an arsenal of data is your best line of defense in the talent wars. Determining wages based on economic trends will undoubtedly encourage star employees to explore other options.

Pricing jobs above the market rate is the only way to remain competitive as wage growth is on the rise.

The chart below outlines some of the hottest high-demand jobs in the current market, with their projected growth rate and median salary ranges.

Creating individual pay ranges, or offering a market premium for these high-paying jobs will help you gain new talent, and prevent competitors from attracting outstanding employees.

Job Title Relative Experienced Median Pay 2010-2020 Projected Growth

Biomedical Engineer



Nurse Home Care


Marketing Consultant $92,100 41.20%
Actuary $136,000 26.70%
Clinical Research Associatie (CRA) $90,700 36.40%
Software Architect


Financial Advisor $90,200 32.10%
Certified Financial Planner (CFP) $89,500 32.10%
Security Consultant (IT) $102,000 27.80%

While it’s exciting to see the economy improving, businesses must remain vigilant about pricing jobs in high-demand fields.

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