One of the biggest pain points for jobseekers is the length of time it takes to find a job. Nothing is more frustrating than submitting resume after resume, then waiting for a phone call from a hiring manager that often never comes, all while your checking account balance or unemployment benefits dwindle away.
Fierce competition for jobs is driving much of that wait, especially for high-skill jobs which have an oversupply of candidates, like lawyers and real estate agents. In fact, one of the common beliefs about this economic recovery is that it has created a plentiful supply of lower-skill service industry jobs relative to higher-paid, high skill jobs.
It was surprising, then, when we took a look at which jobs have the least amount of competition. It turns out that they aren’t low-skill, low-wage jobs at all.
Instead, we found that the positions which offer the most opportunity for jobseekers turned out to be the same types of high-skill, high-wage jobs which are often rightly assumed to be ultra-competitive.
By examining our database of over 10 million active jobs, we were able to rank jobs by our Opportunity Index, which measures the ratio of open jobs to applicants. Lower numbers mean lower competition. We’ve also included average number of jobs per applicant, and average info for each job:
Opportunity Index: .0001
Average Yearly Salary: $36,921
Jobs per applicant: 10.78
Opportunity Index: .0002
Average Yearly Salary: $137,198
Jobs per applicant: 5.1
Opportunity Index: .0005
Average Yearly Salary – $90,268
Jobs per applicant: 2.1
Opportunity Index: .001
Average Yearly Salary – $76,436
Jobs per applicant: 1.1
5. Oral Surgeon
Opportunity Index: .0011
Average Yearly Salary – $215,252
Jobs per applicant: 1
Opportunity Index: .0013
Average Yearly Salary – $56,891
Jobs per applicant: .9
Opportunity Index: .002
Average Yearly Salary – $123,431
Jobs per applicant: .6
Opportunity Index: .0024
Average Yearly Salary – $35,397
Jobs per applicant: .5
Opportunity Index: .0032
Average Yearly Salary – $86,005
Jobs per applicant: .39
Opportunity Index: .0033
Average Yearly Salary – $85,084
Jobs per applicant: .38
Why do these particular jobs have such a low competition rate?
Industry trends are a huge factor: Healthcare is heavily represented as befits its role as a huge driver of employment growth in the U.S., and the high-turnover Sales industry is always seeking more workers than are available. Insurance also makes an appearance on the list, as employment in that sector surges due to the stimulatory effects of the Affordable Care Act and an aging population.
When you consider that the average open job in America gets over 300 applicants, the low competition represented here can guide college students and career-shifting workers when deciding which fields offer the most opportunity. Also, the inverse of low jobseeker competition is high employer competition. As companies compete for workers, wage increase often follow, making these mostly high-paying positions potentially more lucrative in the future.
Salary info via PayScale.com