The 10 Best Careers for 2017 and How to Prepare

Fulfilling and financially lucrative careers are an ideal choice in a post-recession era. Several career fields are expected to explode and you can start preparing for them now. Here is a list of the top ten careers for 2017 and the steps you can take to be employed in these fields.

Dental Assistant

A dental assistant prepares patients to see the dentist and assists with dental procedures. They earn around $35,000 per year and demand for them is expected to increase by 18 percent in coming years. A bachelor’s degree, although helpful, is not necessary to become a dental assistant, but a few specialty courses and certifications are required.

Personal Care Aide

Anyone with a strong desire to help people, especially the elderly, will find a fulfilling career as a personal care aide.  A personal care aide might be asked to perform light housekeeping, meal planning, performing errands, etc.  Becoming a personal care aide is a matter of having a high school diploma and positive attitude. Most agencies hire individuals without prior experience so long as they present themselves as flexible, dependable, and willing to work.

Registered Nurse

As long as there are people on the planet, there will be employment opportunities for registered nurses. The need for medical professionals has increased over the last five years and continues to have a good outlook in 2017. Career opportunities for registered nurses are expected to grow by at least 16 percent next year.  On average, registered nurses earn around $67,000 annually and have job security that few other jobs offer.  Having a bachelor’s degree in the medical industry is the best way to enter this field. It is possible to become a registered nurse after completing certain specialty programs and passing the national exam.

Web Developer

A web developer is a technology professional who specializes in the conceptualization and creation of online applications. Web developers can work exclusively for one company or operate as freelancers who contract with several companies.

The field of web development has expanded significantly in recent years and is expected to increase by nearly 30% in the employment sector over the next decade. The average developer earns just under $70,000 annually and may charge anywhere from $30 to $50 an hour as an independent contractor. An Associate’s degree in the field is the only requirement for this high-paying career.

Physical Therapist

With an expected growth rate of 34 percent over the next decade, it is safe to say that physical therapists are in demand. Average pay is around $84,000 with the number of job openings possibly exceeding 200,000 over the next few years. You need to earn a physical therapist degree from a CAPTE-accredited education program and pass a state license exam to become a physical therapist. This is an additional 3-4 years of schooling on top of BA or BS.

Software Developer

A software developer researches and creates computer software for individuals and companies. On average, a software developer earns around $100,000 annually. Contrary to a web developer, a software developer must have at least a bachelor’s degree to enter the field. The prospected 10-year job growth for the occupation is 17 percent.

Compliance Officer

A compliance officer ensures that a company’s board of directors is in compliance with policy when making decisions. The occupation has garnered some attention in recent years as media outlets have called it one of the hottest jobs of the decade. Becoming a compliance officer requires education and excellent analytical skills. Compliance officers earn upwards of $90,000 every year.


Accountants earn around $67,000 per year and have a ten-year job growth prospect of 11 percent. The number of available jobs exceeded 130,000 two years ago and job openings are expected to increase in 2017.  Accountants have a bachelor’s degree in finance and have earned a national certification by way of an exam.

Financial Analyst

Consider becoming a financial analyst if work as an accountant isn’t a perfect fit. Employment in the field is expected to grow by 12 percent in coming years, and a bachelor’s degree coupled with a few years of experience are the only things keeping you from earning up to and more than $ 80,000 annually.  Financial analysts spend their workday monitoring and evaluating spreadsheets and other pertinent documents. Anyone planning to pursue a career in the field should pride themselves on paying close attention to detail.

Medical Assistant

Thousands flocked to the field of medical assisting during the recession in hopes of improving their economic status and bouncing back from layoffs caused by steep budget cuts. The result was a workforce equipped to assist professional medical staff with both front-end and back-end tasks.  More than five years after the economic downturn, the field of medical assisting is still growing by leaps and bounds. Job expansion is expected to rise by nearly 25 percent over the next ten years, and the number of available jobs is poised to exceed 50,000 in coming months.

Starting your career as a medical assistant is a matter of taking specialty courses at a technical college and passing the national exam. A bachelor’s degree is not necessary for this field, though many pursue post-secondary diplomas after working in the occupation with the hope of pursuing a nursing career down the road.

Consider these 10 professions when thinking about your future. They will offer you job security and a reasonable paycheck and level of education you are comfortable perusing.

Photo credit: duncan via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC

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