Web Stories Tuesday, March 5

The job market may be cooling, but wage growth is hot for jobs in customer service, the skilled trades and freelance roles, according to a new Payscale report.

The analysis takes a look at the hottest jobs of 2023 where workers leveraged bigger paychecks, based employee-reported data from more than 770,000 U.S. workers.  

Wages for the top 10 in-demand jobs for the year experienced double-digit growth between 18% and 24%, while average wage growth was up 5.4% year over year as of October, according to Payscale. Pay for the top 5 most in-demand jobs was up over 20%.

Here are the top 10 most in-demand jobs with skyrocketing pay in the last year:

  1. Assistant manager of customer service: 24% wage growth; $44,200 median annual pay
  2. Hairstylist: 22% wage growth; $34,300 median annual pay
  3. Master plumber: 21% wage growth; $82,700 median annual pay
  4. Automotive body repairer: 21% wage growth; $52,100 median annual pay
  5. Job coach: 21% wage growth; $46,600 median annual pay
  6. Audio/visual technician: 20% wage growth: $57,100 median annual pay
  7. Animator: 19% wage growth; $71,400 median annual pay
  8. Fitness coach: 19% wage growth; $51,100 median annual pay
  9. Roofer: 19% wage growth; $51,700 median annual pay
  10. General manager: 18% wage growth: $70,700 median annual pay

Several top jobs involve high-turnover customer service roles, so employers have to pay up to recruit and retain employees. Skilled managers are essential as businesses deal with the release of pent-up demand for goods and services from the pandemic years.

Repairs from skilled trade workers like plumbers, auto workers and roofers are as in-demand as ever, with people spending more time at home, says Payscale chief people officer Lexi Clarke. As aging practitioners retire, not enough young employees are joining the field to replace them.

Jobs often done by the self-employed or freelancers, like job coaches and fitness coaches, are also in-demand. More job-seekers may have hired coaches during the year to navigate uncertainty and competition in the labor market, Clarke says.

‘The biggest surprise’ from this year’s data

Meanwhile, “the biggest surprise” in this year’s report is that zero corporate knowledge worker roles top the list of high wage-growth jobs. Ongoing recession fears caused hiring managers to pull back on headcount, Clarke says, leading to more competition among job-seekers for fewer roles.

Workers in the tech industry may have faced a harder time fighting for raises as high-profile layoffs rippled throughout the field.

Economists and business leaders spent the bulk of the year discussing whether or not a recession was on its way. As a result, even at companies adding to their headcount, hiring managers were “not willing to take risks” on candidates and prolonged the interview process in order to find “the perfect hire,” Clarke says.

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