If you're looking for work, yet you don't want to go back to a traditional 4-year college, there's one industry you might want to consider with average pay that's inching up near $60,000.
It's trucking. Now, I know truckers themselves will tell you theirs isn't a field you should enter into lightly. But if you're unemployed or involuntarily working part-time, you might want to give this a second look.
The average income for a truck driver is right around $57,000 -- an increase of 17% since 2013 -- according to The Wall Street Journal.
Trucking companies are so short of workers to drive loads that they're having to turn away business, The Wall Street Journal recently reported. You may have heard deliveries have been late because of this.
"Just in time delivery" for factories will be the next domino to fall. Factories that run on lean inventories with just hours of parts in stocks have long relied on truck to be their warehouse. But if the current vacancies in trucking continue, those factories are going to need inventory on hand and will find themselves in a real bind.
Read more: 10 high-paying jobs that don't require a college degree
Another hot spot where employers can't find enough qualified workers is in construction. There was a time during the real estate bust when new construction really slowed down. But now things have picked up again and construction workers are in demand. That may mean you have to go to a technical college to get the skills that are in demand.
Other jobs with lots of openings and great starting salaries
We're in an age when there's a real disconnect between skill sets and job openings. That's created a lot of demand in some high-paying fields.
Many of the job openings that are going unfilled require you to go back to school to get more education. STEM jobs -- which involve the fields of science, technology, engineering, or math -- are particularly hot right now.
Here's a list of the top 20 starting salaries for 2014-15 graduates, according to Michigan State University's Recruiting Trends 2014-15 report:
- Electrical Engineering - $57,030
- Computer Engineering - $56,576
- Mechanical Engineering - $56,055
- Software Design - $54,183
- Computer Programming - $54,065
- Chemical Engineering - $53,622
- Computer Science - $52,237
- Civil Engineering - $51,622
- Mathematics (includes applied) - $47,952
- Construction - $45,591
- Supply Chain - $45,508
- Finance - $44,699
- Accounting - $44,525
- Nursing - $43,481
- Chemistry - $43,344
- Human Resources - $42,495
- Marketing - $41,481
- Economics - $41,118
- Humanities & Liberal Arts - $39,162
- Agricultural Sciences - $38,854
Continuing education is core to our future as a nation. You've got to morph yourself over time to fit the job market as it changes over time. That's key to our future -- now and tomorrow.