Expect more people to pursue these trending jobs in 2018.

With the U.S. economy gaining 148,000 jobs in December 2017, it’s evident the workforce is growing with the rise of the newer generations. As cultural preferences shift, so do job descriptions and duties. A moment of wellness and technology has steadily been rising, and the trending jobs of today reflect the change.

If you are looking to make a career change or begin your career in a high-demand field, here is a look at the trending jobs of 2018.

Fitness/Personal Trainer

Self-care has risen in prominence in recent years, so it makes sense that one of the trending jobs of 2018 is being a fitness trainer.

The purpose of a fitness trainer is to help clients meet personal weight and fitness goals through one-on-one or group training sessions. During these sessions fitness instructors observe clients exercise to ensure it’s being done correctly for optimal results and to prevent injuries. Fitness trainers also educate clients on how to improve their nutrition, weight control, and lifestyle issues.

While most fitness trainers work in a gym, there are also those who chose to be self-employed fitness trainers. One of the key ways to achieve success is to have strong interpersonal and communication skills considering they need to understand clients to effectively customize exercise plans for them. Additionally, one needs to lead by example and be physically fit as well as patient with the client.

Typically a bachelor’s degree in fitness science or a related field is needed for some positions but normally certification will suffice. The types of licenses or certifications one should get varies depending on the focus the fitness trainer is aiming for: personal training, specialized fitness training—such as pilates or yoga—or group training. At the very least, most are required to have CPR training. With the proper credentials and experience, one can make from $41,947 to $71,403 per year.

Physical Therapist

Similar to fitness trainers, physical therapists provide care for a client’s physical health. Among our list of trending jobs that are healthcare related, this particular one is considered an important component in a client’s journey to rehabilitation in the wake of injuries caused by accidents related to work or sports, from fractures and sprains, or other chronic conditions like arthritis.

As a physical therapist, specific job functions include evaluating a client to identify problems, assessing the results to effectively treat the issue, administering the physical therapy, and helping clients achieve their goals for rehabilitation. Functions also include observing the client’s progress to continue the customization of their recovery plan, and ensuring the client’s recovery remains successful after their discharge.  

The position’s largest employers are offices of physical, occupational, and speech therapy; hospitals, home healthcare services, nursing and residential care facilities, and some choose to be self-employed.

A doctorate in physical therapy (DPT) program—many of which require a bachelor’s degree for admission—typically lasts three years, unless they admit college freshmen with a path to receiving both a bachelor’s and a DPT, in which case the programs last six or seven years. The effort will be worth it—physical therapists make about $70,000 per year. Physical therapy programs also require the completion of at least 30 weeks of clinical work through year-long residencies.

Skin Care Specialist

Following the theme of self-care related trending jobs is the skin care specialist, which is someone who performs facials and skin care treatments on clients. The treatments focus on improving skin conditions such as rosacea, dehydration, and wrinkling caused by aging and sun damage.

Skin care specialists succeed in their position by evaluating client’s skin condition, discussing available treatments, determining which products will improve clients’ skin quality, addressing esthetic needs, and educating clients on proper skin care.

In 2016, it was projected that employment for skin care specialists will grow 14 percent within the next ten years—faster than the average for all occupations. This makes sense considering the growing number of beauty salons and spas. As for education, upon completing an approved cosmetology program, skin care specialists are required to take a written and practical exam to get their state license. An entrepreneurial mind will be valuable as this position pays just over $30,000 on average in California.


Yet another self-care focused career on our list of trending jobs in 2018 is psychiatry. A psychiatrist treats mental illness, addiction, mood disorders, and other mental health issues through a variety of methods such as counseling, psychoanalysis, and medication.

A psychiatrist’s responsibilities include interviewing and examining patients, diagnosing mental health issues, prescribing medication and therapeutic treatment, and providing outpatient and inpatient treatment. During treatment, psychiatrists track their patients’ behavior through one-on-one sessions to assess their mental state.

At times, they may need to adjust the amount or type of medication they’ve prescribed their patients, so logging daily progress is important. To effectively achieve all of these duties, psychiatrists must have strong communication skills and be knowledgeable about psychology and sociology to help them identify behavioral patterns.

In order to become a psychiatrist one must obtain a Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree—a four-year process. Afterward, one must complete a four-year residency in a clinic or hospital. Once that has been completed, a license must be obtained through the state medical board in order to practice in all U.S. states.

Becoming board certified, while optional, demonstrates competence and could improve employment opportunities. The average salary as of 2015 was $193,680.

Information Security Analyst

Much like self-care has grown in popularity, the rise of technology has opened the path for job opportunities, many of which are trending jobs in 2018. In response to the rise of cyberattacks taking place around the world at an increasing rate, one of these trending jobs is information security analyst.

The purpose of an information security analyst is to protect an organization’s data and information from cyberattacks. Their responsibilities include planning and carrying out security measures to protect data, computer systems, and networks. They are expected to stay updated on the latest intelligence, such as the methodologies of hackers, to effectively anticipate a cyberattack. Additionally, they are expected to prevent service interruption and data loss by researching new technologies that will optimally protect a network.

They are also in charge of creating network disaster recovery plans, testing data processing systems, installing the proper security methods, recommending adequate security enhancements, and training staff on the latest network and information security procedures.

In order to become an information security analyst, a bachelor’s degree in computers, engineering, or a related field is required. Formal training is optional but can be beneficial as some employers prefer candidates with specialized knowledge. As of May 2016, the median annual wage was $92,600 with a job growth outlook of 28 percent between 2016 and 2026—much faster than the average.

Software Developer

Staying within the technology field is our next trending job of 2018—software development. A software developer designs, installs, tests, and maintains software systems. Their position goes beyond coding in the sense that working so closely with software indicates they are an integral part of helping their employer achieve efficiency.

Their responsibilities include reviewing current systems; presenting suggested system improvements with cost proposals; working closely with staff, designers, and analysts; extensively testing a product before its release; producing detailed specifications and writing program codes; and ensuring system maintenance.

Software developers need to be effective listeners and speakers in order to clearly communicate instructions to colleagues they are working alongside. The position also requires analytical and problem solving skills, as well as creativity and attention to detail.

Becoming a software developer requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science, mathematics, or information systems. In 2016, the median annual salary of a systems software developer was $106,860 while application software developers earned $100,080.

IT Manager

As far as trending jobs go, IT management is slated to stay trending well beyond 2018.

The purpose of IT managers is to ensure their team’s efficiency and effectiveness, keeping them focused on organizational goals. They supervise the implementation and maintenance of a company’s computing needs and oversee the planning and carrying out of all projects developed by a company’s technology department. Some of the initiatives they are responsible for overseeing include data security measures, software implementation, and website development.

In order to become an IT manager, one must earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science, management information systems, or a similar computer-oriented major—though some employers will hire with only an associate degree and an extensive resume. Additionally, some employers require their IT managers to have master’s degree. Certifications, though not required, can really boost a resume as well.

In 2015, the median annual salary for an IT manager was $131,600 with the U.S. Department of Labor predicting job growth by 15 percent from 2014 to 2024.