10 Hardest Jobs to Fill in America

A construction worker using a power tool next to a pile of dirt.

If you're not sure what type of career you want, a good strategy for finding a career is to pick a field experiencing staffing shortages. Despite a national 7.5% unemployment rating, Forbes recently reported that a survey conducted by ManpowerGroup showed 39% of U.S. employers are having a difficult time filling certain positions. Flooding employers with your resume is exhausting; try picking some career fields that actually need new employees.

1. Skilled TradesSkilled trades encompass a wide range of work considered "blue collar." These jobs usually require a high school diploma and relevant certification which, the latter of which takes about one to two years to complete. If you can spare the time to train and you're competent working with tools and your own hands, skilled trades are shaping up to provide stable work.

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Average Salary - $28,410

2. Sales Representative – No matter what type of product a company produces, they most likely need sales representatives to sell it. These individuals are charismatic professionals who have honed their interpersonal skills and networking abilities, and they're good at closing deals.

Average Salary - $43,350

Search for Sales Representative jobs.

3. Drivers – Professional drivers are an integral component to modern living. Whether they're hauling goods or people, their job is to ensure safe, expedient, and reliable transportation. These jobs don't usually require a great deal of education but do require skill behind the wheel. If you need a new career or something to pay the bills while you figure it all out, there is definitely work to be found as a driver.

Average Salary - $37,770

Search for Driver jobs.

4. Information Technology Workers – The modern world is run in part by complex digital networks, and the professionals who can manage and maintain them are highly valuable. There are a variety of IT positions within the industry, and most professionals specialize in or two particular areas. These jobs do require either a job certification or a degree, so it'll take a few years of work before you can start sending out applications.

Average Salary - $75,660

Search for IT jobs.

5. Accounting and Finance Workers – If you've ever tried to navigate tax forms on your own, you know how much of a headache they can be. Now imagine doing that for an entire company. If you're willing to be one of the few who make it their job to understand the financial obligations of a company and manage their money, there's plenty of work to be found. A college degree is a prerequisite to these positions.

Average Salary - $61,690

Search for Accounting jobs.

6. EngineersEngineers are professional inventors and maintainers; if they're not coming up with new products, they're designing fixes to old problems. This is the career you should consider if you enjoy working with technology and solving technical issues. The field of engineering is very broad, but each career path requires a college degree at the very least.

Average Salary – Varies by position, averages over $50,000

Search for Engineering jobs.

7. Technicians – If your aptitude lies more with fixing and maintaining technological systems over anything else, you should consider becoming a technician. Considering many companies feel there is a shortage of skilled technicians, you're likely to find job opportunities in this field.

Average Salary – Varies by position, averages over $25,000

Search for Technicians jobs.

8. Management/Executives – Leadership qualities aren't easy to teach, and they're rare to find naturally. Time in the military means operating under a strict command structure with a strong work ethic, and that lends itself to understanding integral leadership qualities. It would be to the advantage of many veterans to put that training to work in the civilian world.

Average Salary – Varies by position, averages over $70,000

Search for Management jobs.

9. Mechanics – If you can't find work but love cars, try going after mechanic positions. This job generally requires a modicum of higher learning, so it wouldn't take too much time to become knowledgeable enough to apply for these jobs.

Average Salary - $35,790

Search for Mechanic jobs.

10. Teachers – Becoming a teacher isn't easy. You need vast reserves of patience, care, and a strong belief in education. Many in this position argue that the pay could be better, but if you can find steady work elsewhere or you really just want to be a teacher, there aren't many cons to outweigh the advantages.

Average Salary – Varies by position, averages over $50,000

Search for Teaching jobs.

Related: To apply for jobs that match your skills, visit the Military Skills Translator.

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