The US has a dynamic job market that offers numerous employment opportunities. But if you are a student looking to stay back, job search in the US can be stressful. However, you could get lucky if you have the relevant qualifications for the most in-demand jobs.
This blog post explores the top 10 in-demand jobs in the US. It also evaluates popular part-time jobs for students, jobs listed in the US shortage list, and job prospects for international students upon completion of their MS.
Further, this blog explores the highest-paying jobs, provides information on US work visas for international graduates, and suggests job options for international students.
Job structure in the US
The country’s job structure is diverse and aptly reflects the robust economy and varied industries. Minimum wages vary by state and ensure workers are fairly compensated. Weekly working hours typically range from 35 to 40 hours, barring some jobs. On average, full-time work entails 37.5 hours a week usually comprising 7-hour shifts across 5 days. The work culture in the US emphasises professionalism, productivity, and collaboration.
The federally mandated minimum wage is $7.25, which adds up to some $271 a week. However, states can set their respective minimum wage floors. For instance, Washington, California, New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey offer nearly double the federal minimum wage. Hence, an average worker in Washington on minimum wage can make over $562 a week.
- Minimum wage varies between states, ranging from $7.25 to $15 per hour
- Working hours typically cover 35 to 40 hours per week
- US work culture emphasises professionalism, productivity, and collaboration
Salary Standard vs. Cost of Living in the US
Assessing the salary standard and cost of living is critical when considering job opportunities in the US. Pay scales for the most popular jobs depend on factors such as education, experience, and industry.
In 2021, the national yearly average job salary in the US was just over $97,000. Meanwhile, the median national yearly income was just under $70,000. In their first year, students with a Bachelor’s degree earn $59,000 on average after completing their schooling, while those with a Master’s degree or higher earn $69,700. Computer Science graduates typically earn the highest even if they have just finished studies.
Considering the cost of living is essential as expenses can significantly vary per location. Regions with a higher cost of living are suggestive of higher living standards in terms of amenities, infrastructure, and quality of life. An individual may be spending $30,000 and $45,000 on average a year just on living expenses.
Most In-Demand Jobs and Fastest Growing Jobs in the US
With the US job market constantly evolving, no conclusive decision can be made on what high demand jobs in the US are. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics regularly publishes data about the most in-demand jobs in the country, and those jobs that are expected to see the highest growth in the coming decade.
Currently, the top 10 in-demand workers in the US include software developers, data scientists, healthcare professionals, financial analysts, marketing managers, human resource specialists, cybersecurity experts, project managers, sales representatives, and environmental engineers. These professions offer promising career prospects and competitive salaries.
What jobs are needed in the US right now? The US at present is in the middle of a labour shortage, especially unskilled labour. Therefore, the highest number of job openings fall in the following occupations:
- Home health and personal care aides
- Cooks at restaurants
- Software developers
- Fast food and counter workers
- General and operations managers
- Waiters and waitresses
- Registered nurses
- Labourers and freight, stock, and material movers
- Stockers and order fillers
- Market research analysts and marketing specialists
In terms of growth, the following 10 are the occupations expected to experience the highest growth in the coming decade. These jobs are expected to become the most in-demand jobs in the US in the next 10 years or so.
- Nurse practitioners
- Wind turbine service technicians
- Ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers
- Motion picture projectionists
- Cooks at restaurants
- Data scientists
- Athletes and sports competitors
- Information security analysts
- Umpires, referees, and other sports officials
In terms of the fastest-growing jobs with an average annual salary of $100,000 or higher, medicine and IT are the top industries.
- Physicians’ assistants
- Nurse practitioners
- Information security analysts
- Medical and health services managers
- Data scientists
What are Some Popular Part-Time Jobs for Students?
Many students in the US seek part-time employment to support their studies and to gain valuable work experience. Popular part-time jobs for students include retail associates, food service workers, tutors, administrative assistants, customer service representatives, and research assistants.
These positions provide flexible schedules and often offer skill development and networking opportunities. The part-time jobs listed below offer flexibility in terms of working hours and can provide students with valuable skills, experience, and income while they pursue their studies. Do keep in mind that part time job salary in the US can vary between states.
- Retail Associate
- Food Service Worker
- Administrative Assistant
- Delivery Driver
- Library Assistant
- Fitness Instructor
- Event Staff
- Campus Tour Guide
- Freelance Writer/Content Creator
- Retail Sales Associate
- Customer Service Representative
Jobs in the US shortage list
The US job shortage list comprises occupations with a significant shortage of skilled workers. These jobs offer potential employment opportunities for individuals with the required qualifications. The shortage list includes professions such as registered nurses, software engineers, electrical engineers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and biomedical scientists. Pursuing a career in one of these fields can open up additional job prospects and provide stability.
Jobs in the US after MS
International students who complete their MS degrees in the US often have access to various job opportunities. The US job market values advanced degrees and international perspectives, making MS degree holders desirable candidates. Industries such as technology, engineering, healthcare, finance, and research often seek individuals with specialised knowledge and skills gained through MS programmes. Depending on the specialisation, MS graduates can gain access to some of the fastest-growing fields in the country. Here are some jobs available for such individuals.
- Software Engineer/Developer
- Data Scientist/Analyst
- Financial Analyst
- Project Manager
- Marketing Manager
- Research Scientist
- Civil Engineer
- Mechanical Engineer
- Electrical Engineer
- Nurse Practitioner
Highest-Paying jobs in the US
Certain jobs in the US offer lucrative salary packages for qualified individuals. The highest-paying jobs often require extensive education, experience, and expertise. Examples of such job positions include physicians and surgeons, chief executives, pharmacists, petroleum engineers, IT managers, lawyers, and aerospace engineers. These professions offer excellent earning potential and career growth opportunities.
According to data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, doctors with various specialisations top the list of highest-paid professionals in the country. Currently, the highest-paid job in the US is that of a cardiologist, who earns around $350,000 a year on average.
- Surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other medical specialists often earn high salaries
- Chief executives and top-level executives command high pay given their leadership responsibilities
- Engineering managers oversee engineering projects and teams, earning competitive salaries
- IT managers are responsible for managing technology infrastructure and teams
- Financial managers play a vital role in managing an organisation’s financial operations
US Work Visa for International Graduates
International students who graduate from US universities and wish to work in the country must navigate the process of obtaining a work visa. The US offers various visa options, including the Optional Practical Training (OPT) programme and the H-1B visa for highly skilled workers. Understanding the visa requirements, application process, and employment prospects is essential for international graduates seeking employment opportunities in the US.
- The Optional Practical Training (OPT) programme allows international graduates to work in the US for 12 months at the most after completing their degree
- The H-1B visa is available for highly skilled workers and is employer-sponsored
Jobs for international students in the US
International students studying in the US can explore job options to gain practical experience and supplement their educational expenses. Universities often offer career services that connect students with internships, part-time jobs, and campus employment opportunities. Industries such as hospitality, retail, technology, and research often provide high-demand jobs in the US for foreigners.
- Universities offer career services that connect international students with internships and part-time jobs
- Industries such as hospitality, retail, technology, and research often provide job openings suitable for international students
Q1. How does an international student get a job in the US after graduating?
Follow these steps to increase your chances of finding a job in the US after graduation:
- Network: Build professional connections through career fairs, alumni networks, and online platforms such as LinkedIn. Networking can lead to job opportunities and provide valuable insights.
- Internships and Co-op Programmes: Gain relevant work experience through internships and co-op programmes during your student years. This can provide practical skills and increase your chances of being hired by the same company after graduation.
- Optimise Your Resume and Cover Letter: Tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight your skills, experiences, and achievements relevant to the job you are applying for. Change your application for each position.
- Utilise Career Services: Take advantage of the career services offered by your university. They can assist with job search strategies, resume reviews, mock interviews, and connect you with potential employers.
- Apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT): OPT allows international students to work in the US for up to 12 months after completing their degree. You can go for OPT with the help of your university’s international student office.
- Research Visa Options: Explore visa options such as the H-1B visa, which is employer-sponsored and allows highly skilled individuals to work in the US. Familiarise yourself with the requirements and consult with an immigration attorney if needed.
Q2. Which course is best for a job in the US?
The choice depends on various factors, including your interests, skills, and the job market demand. However, some courses usually in demand in the US job market include Computer Science and Information Technology, Engineering, Business Administration and Management, and Healthcare.
Q3. How difficult is it for an international student to find a job?
It can be challenging for an international student to find a job for various reasons, including work visa restrictions, competition, and employers’ preferences for local candidates. However, with careful planning and proactive steps, it is possible to overcome such challenges. Some factors that can influence the job search process for international students include work visa restrictions and flexibility in terms of relocation.
Q4. What are the popular industries in the US for international students to find employment?
They include technology, finance, healthcare, engineering, consulting, and research. These industries offer a wide range of job opportunities and have a strong demand for skilled professionals.
Q5. How important is it to gain work experience through internships or part-time jobs while studying in the US?
Gaining work experience through internships or part-time jobs can greatly enhance your job prospects in the US. It provides you with practical skills, industry exposure, and a chance to network with professionals. Employers often value candidates with relevant work experience, and it can make your resume stand out during the job application process.
Q6. Are there any specific resources or platforms to search for job opportunities in the US?
Yes, several resources and platforms are available. Besides job fairs and career events, there are the popular online platforms—Indeed, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Monster—which have job listings from various industries and locations.