The Toughest Jobs to Fill in 2018

The Toughest Jobs to Fill in 2018


Employers are moving into 2018 with a growth forecast for the coming year. A key part of any organization’s strategy is its staffing. For certain industries and in specific fields, opportunities this year should be abundant – with demand perhaps outpacing supply.’s 10 toughest jobs to fill for 2018 focuses on some of the positions this year most aggressively pursuing candidates, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts, trade and professional association data, graduation rates, and’s own database of job listings.

Factors driving demand vary, as do causes behind employers having difficulty filling positions. Not enough people with the skills to do the job, a lack of new graduates in the profession, and industry growth are among the reasons certain jobs are harder to fill than others.

Some of the careers tracked in the annual Jobs Rated report with the highest growth outlook have a substantial number of openings likely for 2018; that should come as no surprise.

For example, Home Health Aide has a forecasted growth of 47% in the coming eight years. Employment of Personal Care Aides is anticipated to grow 39% over the same time frame. That translates to almost half-a-million and three-quarter-million new positions in each field, in less than a decade’s time.

The Baby Boom generation drives the demand for these positions, as well as that of Financial Advisors. With more Boomers approaching retirement, demand for financial planning is expected to climb significantly.

Ultimately, however, one sector will have the most openings and need for applicants in 2018. The staggering growth rates forecasted for these jobs tells the story for the healthcare industry as a whole, which is expected to continue booming.

In fact, five of the 10 toughest jobs to fill in 2018 are in healthcare, and appear here because of the high demand.

Nurse Practitioners, with a growth outlook of 31%, and Physical Therapists at 34%, are two of the most in-demand fields tracked in the Jobs Rated report. The American Physical Therapy Association has forecast shortages in the profession, and the solution may not be as simple as adding new Physical Therapists to the workforce, as it is retaining current workers.

A similar challenge befell various trade professions during the recession. While Construction Laborer and Truck Driver possess two of the lower eight-year growth outlooks of the 10 toughest jobs to fill, the professions are in very high immediate demand as a result of employment and skills gaps. According to the American Trucking Associations, more than 70 percent of goods consumed in the U.S. are delivered by truck, and the industry needs to hire almost 900,000 more drivers to meet rising demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be hundreds of thousands of new job openings in the construction industry by 2026.

The Commercial Construction Index reports 60 percent of contractors surveyed had greater need for skilled laborers than applicants to fill those jobs. Similarly, the American Transportation Research Institute reported that the trucking industry faces a shortage in excess of 175,000 by 2026.

These are just some of the challenges facing employers for high-demand jobs in 2018. 


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