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While there are worries of a recession occurring in 2023, one thing is certain entering the new year: Unemployment rates remain quite low. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall unemployment rate near the end of 2022 was 3.7 percent. For people age 55 and older, the rate was even lower, clocking in at just 2.5 percent.
What those numbers mean is that many employers are hungry to hire, especially for the roles included on the list below. AARP examined the BLS projections on the prospects for various careers between now and 2031 to identify which jobs offer good opportunities for older workers. The analysis found a range of professions suitable to different backgrounds and levels of experience. Overall, medical professions are projected to show the most growth, but other jobs, such as financial manager, chef, referee and teacher, also are expected to do more hiring.
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The following 20 jobs are expected to be in demand in 2023. They are ranked in order of the biggest 10-year percentage increase in the projected number of jobs added between 2021 and 2031. Clicking on the “Find jobs” link will take you to the list of current job postings in that profession on the AARP Job Board.
1. Nurse Practitioner
Increase in jobs: 45.7 percent
Average hourly wage: $56.75
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Nurse practitioners can perform many of the tasks that doctors do, such as creating treatment plans for patients, managing medical histories and supervising registered nurses. The big difference is that nurse practitioners cannot prescribe medications in most states. However, because nurse practitioners are so versatile, demand for them continues to grow rapidly. To become a nurse practitioner, you will need a graduate degree in nursing along with the appropriate licenses for the states in which you work.
2. Data Scientist
Increase in jobs: 35.8 percent
Average hourly wage: $52.24
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From car rental companies such as Avis to telecommunications businesses such as Verizon, data scientists analyze the numbers and other information to figure out the best ways for their businesses to be more successful. The job duties include identifying what types of business and customer data are worth gathering, then verifying that the information is accurate. It’s a big job that typically requires at least a bachelor’s degree in a field such as statistics or mathematics.
3. Information security analyst
Increase in jobs: 34.7 percent
Average hourly wage: $54.46
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Hackers are always looking for new ways to get their hands on the valuable information that businesses have — the personal information of their clients. Information security analysts are the watchdogs who work to prevent these security breaches from happening.
4. Umpire, referee or other sports official
Increase in jobs: 31.7 percent
Average hourly wage: $24.86
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Sports continue to be one of the nation’s favorite pastimes, and that athletic enthusiasm is creating job opportunities. School districts, recreational leagues, and major and minor professional leagues need officials who can keep the games fair and free-flowing. Some on-the-job training is required, along with and perhaps more than a little patience for argumentative fans and players.
5. Web developer
Increase in jobs: 30.3 percent
Average hourly wage: $38.09
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Most people rely on the internet to stay informed and connected with our communities for essential needs. Web developers make sure those sites function properly while also updating them to include new functions that make them easier to use. Many of these positions can be done remotely.
6. Choreographer or dancer
Increase in jobs: 29.7 percent and 24.5 percent
Average hourly wage: $19.47 for both
Maybe it’s the popularity of viral dance videos on TikTok, but demand for dancers and choreographers has surged in recent years. In addition to helping clients make posts for social media and performing on stage and in film, dancers and choreographers work on smaller events such as weddings and other family gatherings. No degree is necessary to work in this field, but you will need some training and rhythm.
7. Physician assistant
Increase in jobs: 27.6 percent
Average hourly wage: $57.43
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Physician assistant, or P.A., is another health care role that has more responsibilities than a nurse but less than a doctor. Working alongside a physician, the workers can handle duties such as diagnosing patients, ordering medical tests and setting broken bones. These jobs require a master’s degree along with the appropriate licenses.