When it comes to your career now, you just need to know where to look.

With every new year comes a new playing field for job seekers to advance their careers. It's time to dust off your resume and prepare for one of the top 10 jobs of 2020.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, these top growing career paths are on the rise and will out-hire — and possibly out-pay — its competitors in 2020 and beyond. We will also take a look at how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the job market for this year.

Solar photovoltaic installers

Solar technology is booming right now. As prices for solar equipment fall, people are jumping on this initial investment to cultivate long-term gains. In fact, solar is taking off so fast that the industry is struggling to meet the demand; there simply aren't enough solar photovoltaic installers available. 

While the coronavirus pandemic is creating a bit of a hiccup on solar's upward trajectory, there's no reason to believe it won't bounce back and keep growing for years to come. With the median pay at $42,680 annually, it is a job that has little-to-no educational requirements needed to break in. Instead, on-the-job training provides most of what a solar PV installer needs to succeed.

Outlook: 63% increase by 2028

Education & Training: On-the-job training

Median Salary: $42,680

Wind turbine service technicians

Sunlight isn't the only renewable energy source that's seeing a job uptick these days. Wind energy production has tripled over the last three decades — and that doesn't seem to be blowing over anytime soon. 

In 2019, there were 120,000 new jobs created in the wind energy industry, and many of them were wind turbine service technicians. Wind turbine techs help to set up and maintain those giant windmill-looking turbines you see scattered throughout the countryside. It's a tough job, but the barrier to entry is fairly low. 

Outlook: 57% increase by 2028

Education & Training: Postsecondary non-degree award

Median Salary: $54,370

Home health and personal care aides 

Home health aides care for patients who are elderly or who have chronic diseases, cognitive impairment, and other medical issues that require extra attention. Frequently, this means working with the patient in their home. 

While the pay is typically around $24,200 a year, job satisfaction is quite high. The baby-boom population is aging, leading to an increased need for home health aides. US News and World Report ranked home health aides number one on their Best Jobs Without a College Degree list.

Outlook: 37% increase by 2028

Education & Training: High school diploma or equivalent

Median Salary: $24,200

Occupational therapy assistants

Occupational therapy assistants help patients with therapeutic exercises, as well as learning and maintaining the ability to do daily life activities. The goal of an occupational therapy assistant is to assist people who have been sick or injured as they regain their independence. While it does typically require a degree, a two-year program usually suffices for this requirement, and the median salary is just north of $60,000. 

Outlook: 33% increase by 2028

Education & Training: Associate degree from an accredited program

Median Salary: $60,220

Information security analysts

It's the age of hackers and ransomware, and that means that businesses need to keep their networks safe. To do that, they turn to information security analysts. 

As cyber-attacks increase, so does the demand for this job. You'll need a bachelor's degree in computer science, information assurance, or a related field to get in the door — but it's worth it. 

Outlook: 32% increase by 2028

Education & Training: Bachelor's degree

Median Salary: $98,350

Physician assistants

You may have been treated by a physician assistant and never even known it. Physician assistants help doctors and surgeons and can do many of the same things they do, including setting broken bones, giving vaccinations, or suturing up an incision. 

But, unlike becoming a doctor or surgeon, physician assistants only need to get a master's degree. It's a great option if you love medicine and want a great paying job — without going to school for 10-14 years. 

Outlook: 31% increase by 2028

Education & Training: Master's degree

Median Salary: $108,610


Stats aren't just for sports; many industries including healthcare, engineering, and business use statisticians to analyze data and apply mathematical solutions to solve real-world problems. It's the information age, and more and more industries are learning how to utilize the data they collect to make improvements. Statisticians typically have a master's degree. Also, there should be plenty of job opportunities and the median salary is a healthy $87,780.

Outlook: 31% increase by 2028

Education & Training: Master's Degree

Median Salary: $87,780

Nurse practitioners

Also known as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), nurse practitioners are similar to physician assistants in that they can do many of the same things that doctors do. They can diagnose patients, prescribe medicine, and evaluate lab results. APRNs, however, tend to have fewer restrictions depending on the state in which they practice. Like PAs, it requires a master's degree but has a great outlook and a median salary above the $100K mark. 

Outlook: 28% increase by 2028

Education & Training: Master's degree

Median Salary: $107,030

Speech pathologists

Speech pathologists, also called speech therapists, diagnose and treat communication and swallowing problems in children and adults. Issues may stem from a disease, injury, or developmental delay. 

Some specialize and work specifically with the elderly or children, or may even specialize in a particular communication or swallowing problem. While it pays less than some of the other occupations requiring a master's degree in the medical field, it can be very rewarding work. 

Outlook: 27% increase by 2028

Education & Training: Master's degree

Median Salary: $77,510

Other industries to watch

Some industries have launched themselves into the picture this year. They may not show up on the BLS rankings yet, but they will probably soon. Here are a few to keep your eye on for 2020 and beyond:

3D printing

As 3D printing gets cheaper to do, more and more companies are finding ways to utilize it for prototypes and models. It's a technology that is still hitting its stride and discovering what it can do. 

Medical & recreational marijuana growing and selling

Marijuana has been partially legalized (or decriminalized) in all but seven states. In 11 states and the District of Columbia, it has been fully legalized. That means that what had previously been a criminal, underground business is now becoming a booming industry. As more states loosen up on marijuana laws, the industry will only grow bigger. 

Paper bags and packaging

Much of the world is moving toward sustainability and away from things like plastic. While reusable bags are better, paper bags are a much more eco-friendly product than their plastic counterparts. The move from plastics to paper products in all types of packaging should continue to grow.

Coronavirus pandemic winners

Okay — it's hard to call anyone a winner during this pandemic. But without a doubt, there are a few industries that received a boost from the months of lockdown and a general change in worldview. Here are a few industries that will come out ahead:

Everything e-commerce

When we couldn't go out shopping, we hopped online and brought the world to our doorsteps. For some, that wasn't a big change, but for others, it meant trying out e-commerce vendors they've never used before to buy groceries, clothing, or even liquor. Etsy saw a huge boom in sales from face masks as face mask buyers discovered the site for the first time. 

Logistics and shipping

Simply put, someone needs to deliver all the stuff people are buying online. Once people realize how easy it is, they may continue to shop that way long after it's OK to go to the mall again.

Video conferencing platforms

How many of us hadn't heard of Zoom before COVID-19 hit? If you're raising your hand, you're not alone. From work meetings to reaching out to family, video conferencing has kept people in touch and meetings on target. Companies like Zoom, Google, and Microsoft are competing hard for the top spot, but who's to say another player won't come in and top them all?

There are also plenty of other industries growing rapidly during this time period, according to this study by Glassdoor. These jobs include grocery managers, public health advisors, and IT specialists. While 2020 has exactly gone as planned for most people, the job market isn't all doom and gloom. You just need to know where to look. 

Before you can land a new career in 2020, you need to make sure your resume is ready to help you. Our free resume review can help. 

This article was updated in June 2020. It was originally written by M.A. Smith.

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