Choosing a vocational career path is sensible for all sorts of people, especially if job security is a concern. Luckily there are lots of specialisms that fit this description, with long-term demand looking solid.
Let’s explore a few top vocations which should provide stability going forward. We’ll also look at why the prospects for these careers are so promising.
From domestic homes to commercial premises and beyond, electricians and wiring specialists are required on all sorts of projects.
With the right inspection and testing course for electricians, you can even ply your trade outside of a construction context. Helping clients with wiring issues, faults, power outages, and other dilemmas will be emotionally and financially rewarding.
There will always be a demand for electricians, thanks to annual industry growth and the fact this job cannot be automated. Certain professions are falling by the wayside with the rise of AI and robotics, but electricians remain relevant.
Cars are always evolving, and yet mechanics are still in demand today. In fact, few vocational careers can boast as much demand as this over such a long period.
Better still, as vehicles get more complex, mechanics are needed more frequently. This job has always been skilled, and the dawn of the electric car era is shaping this further.
There may be flat growth predicted by the BLS, but over 700,000 mechanics work nationally right now. Likewise, 70,000 mechanic jobs crop up annually, so demand is decent.
Another point to make is that not many vocational careers combine tech skills and manual labor so thoroughly. This ensures plenty of variety from day to day and prevents burnout.
From cutting-edge augmented reality to good old grease and gears, auto mechanics have got all the bases covered. Again, this means that automating the work is also not possible in the near term.
From hair and makeup to manicures and pedicures, beauticians work to enhance clients’ natural assets in lots of ways.
Like most vocational careers, on-the-job training is available, alongside the option to study at a college. The more training and experience you have, the more you can earn.
Perhaps the most important reason beauticians remain in demand is the social aspect of the job. Customers don’t just want a basic level of service; they also expect chit-chat and engagement on a personal level.
Even if machines are made to do the jobs of beauticians, they won’t replicate their humanity. This guarantees job security in this market segment for decades or even centuries to come.
Vocational careers can be found in healthcare, without the need to study for a degree to become a medical doctor. A pharmacy technician is the perfect example of just such a role, providing stability and good prospects.
As you might expect, a pharmacy technician is tasked with various administrative duties surrounding medical dispensation. This can be as simple as fulfilling a patient’s prescription, but will also mean giving health advice and guidance. Weighing and measuring medications, keeping patient records up to date, processing insurance claims, and handling billing also feature.
There is no question that a lot of the duties of a pharmacy technician can and already do benefit from automation. However, that has not slowed demand, with 4 percent growth predicted to 2030.
What is more, pharmacy technicians can work in many places. Big city hospitals and small rural practices need them, and this won’t change any time soon.
Median wages of around $35,000 are not necessarily that compelling, but there is room for growth. Technicians can move up to managing entire pharmacies, or transition to roles elsewhere in healthcare. Transferable skills also make them suited to office jobs in other industries, which is handy.
With an aging population, lots of sections of the healthcare industry will see increased demand soon. Dental health services are especially well-positioned to benefit, and it’s not just dentists who are in demand.
You can go from looking for vocational careers to being a qualified dental assistant in around 12 months. So as well as having good prospects and job stability, it doesn’t take long to go pro.
The demand is partly generated by dental work that is necessitated for health and happiness reasons. However, it is also worth pointing out the size of the cosmetic dentistry market. Growing annually by 8 percent, this is a lucrative route to take, even as an assistant.
The IT industry is vast, and alongside the coders and designers, there are vocational roles aplenty. The support staff is crucial for organizations of all sizes, keeping mission-critical hardware and software up and running.
What is more, with the rise of outsourcing and remote work, IT support is not always handled in-house. This gives professionals in this sphere flexibility in terms of where they work, and who they work for.
Because IT resources are so essential, and since downtime cannot be tolerated, support specialists will always be needed. Once again, their work is enhanced by, not replaced by, automated tools and solutions.
It may be a career in the digital sphere, but web developers are a vocational bunch. You can study for a degree in building websites, of course, but it’s definitely not essential.
Indeed lots of designers get their start through amateur tinkering, even today. If you have a knack for working with back-end systems or designing user-facing elements, this could be for you.
Web developers can work for specific businesses, or for agencies that serve lots of clients. They can even go freelance, selling their skills to customers worldwide.
The fact of the matter is that even with the rise of social media, websites are still vital. For businesses that want to build their brand, sell products, and engage customers, a quality site is a must. Developers work with them to achieve this, and also to cater to users on different devices and data systems.
With double-digit growth projected for this career, and median pay sitting at $77,200 annually, the future is bright. Websites are designed for humans, so it helps if flesh and blood developers are also behind them.
Paralegals play their part in providing lawyers with the support they need to win cases. You don’t need the same level of training as an attorney, but expertise in the law still matters.
Training as a paralegal can happen within law firms of all sizes. It is also a vocation to pursue within legal teams at major corporations, or even government agencies.
A lot of the work is administrative in nature, such as carrying out research pertinent to a case. A broad range of skills is needed as a result.
There are paralegal certifications to earn, which helps with employability. Even with lots of competition, job growth sits at 12%, with median pay of almost $53,000.
The faster-than-average rise in demand for paralegals reflects wider trends in the legal profession. It could also be your foot in the door on the way to a full-blown lawyer’s career.
Like electricians, plumbers provide services both on construction sites and as part of property maintenance work. Without them, homes and commercial premises would not be heated or served with sanitary systems.
The Bureau for Labor Statistics is once again bullish on the job prospects in this field. Each year for the next decade, 51,000 positions for plumbers will be made available, representing a 5 percent annual increase.
Training to be a plumber usually involves an apprenticeship. That means learning the ropes from an experienced, qualified, and licensed specialist.
While you only need a high school diploma to get started, annual salaries sit at just over $56,000. That’s an appealing amount for a career that has no degree-level education required.
Plumbers work everywhere, and also need to be on-call round the clock. This means that while the job is flexible, it does come with its inconveniences.
Nothing will disrupt demand for plumbers going forward. In fact, it’s safe to say we will need them for centuries into the future.
Gaming Surveillance Officers
The gambling industry is taking off in a big way, and operators need surveillance officers in large numbers.
This is more than just a bog-standard surveillance job. Officers in the gaming sector also have to be aware of the tricks of the trade that fraudsters use. From cheating tactics to illegal equipment, there are problematic practices a plenty.
In 2020 alone the BLS reported that over a million people were employed in this work. Furthermore, the outlook is excellent, with 15 percent growth anticipated in the next 10 years.
This is another role in which computer enhancements are available to augment human workers. Yet all the automation in the world cannot replace gaming surveillance officers.
Demand for vocational jobs of many kinds remains high. Automation is impacting white-collar industries, and yet these roles show that there are opportunities elsewhere.
You don’t need a university education to find a fulfilling furrow to plow. A little training and on-the-job experience can unlock a career you love.