These Are The Jobs With The Most Potential In 2017

Companies will be hiring for all sorts of positions this year, but these are the jobs most in demand.

These Are The Jobs With The Most Potential In 2017
[Photo: T.T./Getty Images]

“The New Year is a great time to turn a page, start a new chapter, and seek out exciting career opportunities,” says Sunny Ackerman, vice president and general manager of the staffing company Manpower U.S.


The timing couldn’t be better according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey that found an overwhelming majority of employers in the U.S. (92%) are planning to maintain or make an increase to their payrolls and take on new recruits. The report indicates that all 13 industries surveyed are planning to increase their payrolls. Those anticipating the most staffing are leisure and hospitality, wholesale and retail trade, transportation and utilities, and professional and business services.

Another recent report from Hired, the job matching platform, found that while “everyone” is hiring, enterprise companies are taking the most aggressive stance. According to Hired’s analysis, the number of interview requests at enterprise companies rose 43%, and their initial salary offers increased by 7%.

Surprisingly, bootstrapped startups came in second place, with a 20% increase in interview requests and a 4% increase in initial salary offers.

Parsing data on jobs with the most potential also revealed a diverse array of positions that promised to be in demand in 2017.

Most Wanted: Skilled Labor, Health Care Professionals

CareerBuilder and labor market data provider Emsi looked at three factors in their research: occupations that pay an average of $20 or more per hour, have grown faster than the overall labor market from 2012 to 2016, and have a critical mass of jobs.


“Our research shows that employers are very invested in expanding head count in areas such as analytics and data science, product development, and sales as they strive to stay competitive in B2B and B2C markets,” CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson said in a statement. “Skilled laborers will also see high employment demand in the year ahead, as will workers in clinical roles.”

As our population ages (and people continue to live longer), the demand for a variety of health care providers increases. But a healthy economy across the board has triggered growth for companies large and small. To meet the needs of increased market share and customer bases, organizations have to add more people from finance to IT and sales.

Make Way For More Tech Jobs

CareerBuilder and Emsi found that tech jobs experienced the biggest increase by percentage in the number of job openings. Between 2012 and 2016, more than 470,000 new jobs were posted, representing 12% growth.


It’s no surprise that Hired found similar demand, revealing that data scientists were still among the most requested positions. As individuals and companies continue to throw off massive amounts of data every day, all that valuable user-generated information—aka big data—needs to be parsed so that can be easily read by workers in any industry from banking to retail, construction to government.

Hired’s data shows that interview requests for data scientists increased by 33% since the second quarter of 2016, which their analysts say is the biggest jump for any tech role. “Rising demand is also positively impacting salaries: Data scientists received an average of $133,000 for initial salary offers, which is 5% higher than last quarter,” the report’s authors write.

Designers are also in demand, according to Hired, represented by a 25% increase in interview requests, while those for software engineers increased by 13%.

Jobs AI Hasn’t Replaced

Hired noted that salaries for both these positions also increased, but a report from Glassdoor notes that high-paying jobs aren’t always the ones with the most growth. However, this year, Glassdoor’s chief economist Andrew Chamberlain found that three of the five jobs with the biggest year-over-year growth fall squarely in the manual labor category, where high demand correlates to higher wages.

Glassdoor’s most recent analysis found that the five jobs with the biggest year-over-year pay growth in the U.S. are:

  1. Construction laborer (9.4% growth to $38,321 average salary)
  2. Machine operator (7.6% growth to $38,558 average salary)
  3. Customer service manager (7.4% growth to $50,526 average salary)
  4. Warehouse associate (7.2% growth to $43,609 average salary)
  5. Recruiter (6.7% growth to $51,833 average salary)

A strong housing market in 2016 is expected to continue this year, creating demand for residential construction and the workforce to do it.

Machine operators continue to thrive in the manufacturing sector, as their jobs evolve with technology. For example, with a CNC (computer numerically controlled) machine, a program is written for the machine, and while the computer actually runs the machine, its operator needs to be computer-literate. Demand for these positions is predicted to grow according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, too.

Skilled labor in this group was balanced with demand for positions in the professional sector, where both customer service managers and recruiters are experiencing big wage gains. Obviously, as more companies are hiring, the demand for recruiters is growing. Glassdoor attributes the increase for customer service to companies ramping up sales efforts in the new year. 

“Regardless of hiring intentions, employers are struggling to find the right skilled people to fill positions,” says Manpower U.S.’s Sunny Ackerman. “2017 is an opportune time to tap into sectors like manufacturing, construction, transportation, and education in the U.S.,” Ackerman explains. “Globally, skilled trade and IT roles show increased talent shortages with huge potential for skilled candidates.”

About the author

Lydia Dishman is a reporter writing about the intersection of tech, leadership, and innovation. She is a regular contributor to Fast Company and has written for CBS Moneywatch, Fortune, The Guardian, Popular Science, and the New York Times, among others.