The Highest-Paying Jobs That Are Hardest to Fill3 min read

May 16, 2019 Talent Acquisition

Are your recruiters having trouble fulfilling a particular role? With labor shortages across a variety of industries, they’re not alone.

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Using staffing data from the American Staffing Association Skills Gap Index and salary information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the highest-paying jobs that are the hardest to fill:

1. Computer and information research scientists
Average salary: $114,520

Has your company’s app development fallen behind? You wouldn’t be alone: computer and information research scientists are some of the country’s hardest positions to fill. With academia experiencing its own nationwide shortage of computer science professors, it’s even becoming difficult to train the next generation of computer scientists. Because of continued growth in the sector, the supply of available computer and information and research scientists is outpacing demand.

2. Information security analyst
Average salary: $95,510

Data security has emerged as a top issue in the digital age. Whether it’s keeping an online bank account secure or maintaining privacy online, information security analysts have their work cut out for them. 

So why are these positions hard to fill? Like many in-demand tech positions, there’s a significant skills gap preventing candidates from meeting information security job requirements. With an estimated shortage of 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs expected by 2021, now would be the right time for employers to offer outside learning opportunities to train future information security professionals. 

3. Psychiatrists
Average salary: $200k+

An important aspect of staying in good health is maintaining one’s mental health: in the United States, nearly 1 in 4 adults suffers from a mental health disorder. But finding mental health professionals has become increasingly difficult, with an industry-wide shortage of psychiatrists leaving many without the care they need.

A report from physician search firm Merrit Hawkins found the recruitment of psychiatrists has become one of the industry’s most difficult challenges. This “silent shortage” of psychiatrists is being driven by everything from social stigmas surrounding mental health to a lack of federal funding. Considering nearly 25 percent of the population may need mental health services, finding more psychiatrists is becoming an urgent need that doesn’t show any signs of abating.

4. Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers
Average salary: $42,480

Thanks to an expansive logistics infrastructure and the popularity of online shopping, packages and cargo move all across the country 24 hours per day, seven days per week.  As soon as your digital shopping cart is ready to leave the warehouse, the truck driver goes to work, moving everyone’s purchases from A-to-B.

But the dream of fast, affordable shipping could be drawing to a close — or at least a temporary respite. The American Trucking Association reports a shortage of more than 51,000 truck drivers, prompted by new safety regulations for drivers working overtime and the long-term health toll that accompanies road life. With truck driver salaries climbing upwards of $80,000 — nearly double its national average — finding qualified drivers will take much more than a comfortable cabin.

5. Food service manager
Average salary: $52,030

“Too many cooks in the kitchen” suggests the unwanted presence of unnecessary help, but today’s restaurant industry has flipped that maxim on its head. Tense competition throughout the restaurant industry coupled with notoriously poor working conditions has left the business scrambling to fill positions in both the front and back of the house.

Food service managers in particular have become particularly difficult to track down. One reason is the industry’s high turnover rate, opening a skills gap needing to be filled by experienced industry workers or training in restaurant management. Until food and beverage employers offer desirable workplaces or more industry professionals get the training they need, you might be better off cooking your next meal at home.

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