Workers seeking higher wages as the labor market tightens might do well to focus efforts on a few specific sectors where competition is scarce for high-salary positions.
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While the unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level in nearly 50 years last month, wages have remained relatively stagnant throughout the economic recovery – only recently showing early signs of modest growth.
Meanwhile, workers have been quitting their jobs at the highest rate in years, a sign of confidence that they can find better positions, likely with more desirable salaries or enhanced benefits.
The workers with the most opportunity are those with a bachelor’s degree, according to a recent study. Jobs that require a bachelor’s degree currently account for more than half of all “good” job openings, jumping more than 18 percent between 1991 and 2016.
Here are the top jobs offering six-figure salaries, with the least competition among candidates, as compiled by Glassdoor.
There are more than 4,600 current job openings for psychiatrists, including positions with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The average salary for a person in this position is $210,000, according to Glassdoor.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor that specializes in mental health, including substance use disorders, as well as diagnosing and treating mental, emotional and behavioral problems. Becoming a psychiatrist generally requires that candidates complete medical school and residency, according to the American Psychological Association.
With a median base salary of $100,000, becoming a nurse practitioner requires at least a master’s degree and in some cases other certifications. Duties of a nurse practitioner consist of providing general and preventative care, including conducting check-ups, treating illnesses and prescribing medication.
There are currently more than 12,400 open positions for jobseekers in this field.
Also in the medical sector, physician assistants are in high demand. There are around 5,200 available opportunities. Physician assistants work with doctors to provide care to patients – which means they help treat illnesses, perform physical exams, and help during surgical procedures.
The median base pay for a worker in this job is $101,502. Qualifications can include a master’s degree, completing certain programs and obtaining necessary certifications.
There are more than 2,100 job openings for dentists in the U.S., carrying a median base salary of $137,000.
Dentists are generally required to complete four years of dental school, after earning a bachelor’s degree. They are then typically required to pass certain exams in order to practice.
The median base pay for a tax manager is $110,000. There are nearly 2,000 open slots, including at companies like Forbes.
A person in this job is responsible for preparing and filing tax documents on behalf of clients in compliance with state and federal laws.
Workers for these spots might be in high demand as individuals seek help to comply with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which will impact filing strategies for the upcoming tax season.
According to Glassdoor, tax managers generally need a bachelor’s or master’s degree in accounting, business, economics or finance.