8. Speechlanguage pathologists
Chiropractors led the nation’s workforce with an unemployment rate of just 0.1% in 2014. The acting profession, on the other hand, had the worst job security last year with an unemployment rate of 32.7%.
The occupations with the lowest unemployment rates tended to require far more education, and employees were typically paid higher wages compared to less secure professions. Seven of the ten most secure professions required at least a bachelor’s degree, while others often required even more qualifications. All but two of the occupations with the lowest unemployment rates had median wages greater than $60,000 in 2012. Dentists and other medical professionals such as doctors and surgeons were frequently paid more than $150,000 in 2012.
A strong job market for a particular profession is undoubtedly positive for those workers. Yet, such a trend may be short-lived.
Farmers and postal service mail carriers, for example, had among the lowest unemployment rates. Yet, the two professions are projected shrink by 19.3% and 26.8% between 2012 and 2022, respectively. On the other side of the spectrum, insulation workers and construction trades were among the least secure occupations. However, the two professions are both expected to grow by more than 30%.
While the most secure occupations typically required high levels of education, the professions with the lowest job security tended to have few requirements, if any. In other words, a greater investment in job qualifications pays off in the form of consistent work.
Broader trends are critical in determining employment rates of specific jobs. The most secure professions include several medical occupations, which is likely due at least in part to the aging population of baby boomers, who increasingly require medical care as they age.
To identify the easiest and hardest jobs to keep, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed 2014 unemployment rates among workers in 564 occupations provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Workers are considered unemployed based on the job they held most recently. Occupations with an experienced labour force of less than 50,000 were not included. An experienced labour force excludes new entrants, or those entering the labour force for the first time.
Estimated employment growth between 2012 and 2022, median 2012 wages, labour force totals, and typical education requirements for each job also came from the BLS. Compliance officers were excluded to narrow the list of occupations with the best job security to ten.
These are the professions with the best and worst job security: stability.
Nearly three-quarters of farmers were self-employed. And because farming equipment is expensive, and the overall investment necessary to be a farmer is very high, leaving the profession can be virtually impossible. The BLS forecasts a more than 19% decline in farming employment by 2022, one of only two low-unemployment professions where the BLS projected a decrease in employment.
Unemployment rate, 2014: 0.9% (tied-eighth highest)
Median annual pay, 2012: $69,870
Employment 2012-2022: 19.4%
As for most occupations with the lowest unemployment rates, speech-language pathologists had higher incomes than the median salary in most professions. A typical speech-language pathologist earned nearly $70,000 in 2012. Employment is also projected to grow by nearly 20% by 2022, one of the better growth rates reviewed. Speech pathologists address communication disorders in children and adults brought on by brain injury, developmental delay, emotional problems, and a range of other causes.