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Students today are looking for the jobs of tomorrow. But what are those jobs? The Nebraska Department of Labor tells us!

I’m in middle or high school and will be looking for a job in the next 6-10 years. What career areas will likely have the most openings?

There are three major career areas where there is near desperation for skilled workers in Nebraska:

  1. Everything from nursing (climb the ranks from CNA to LPN to RN) to Home Health Aids are needed to care for an aging Nebraska population.
  1. Trade, Transportation, Utilities. The #1 most in-needed job to fulfill in the state: Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers
  1. Skilled & Technical Sciences. From carpenters to electricians to plumbers, anyone with these skills (that you can gain via an apprenticeship or from a 2-year community college) will be able to find a job now.

What will likely be the top jobs in 6-10 years?

The Nebraska Departments of Labor, Education, and Economic Development support a webpage that lists the top 10 H3 (that stands for high wage, high demand, high skill) jobs in Nebraska at any given time. These are jobs that pay well, have openings needing to be filled, and require training. Visit to see the TOP 10 rarely-changing list because the need in these areas is so great! But…what are the top 5 jobs by degree needed? Click on each link to learn what the job does.

Certificate or Diploma from a 2-year college

  1. Heavy & Tractor-Trailer Truck Driver – starting salary $32,000
  2. Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) – starting salary $35,000
  3. Automotive Service Tech or Mechanic – starting salary $26,000
  4. Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanic & Installer – starting salary $33,000
  5. Dental Assistant – starting salary $29,000

Associate’s degree from a 2-year college

  1. Paralegal – starting salary $32,000
  2. Computer Network Support Specialist – starting salary $39,000
  3. Medical and Clinical Lab Technician – starting salary $28,000
  4. Radiologic Technologist – starting salary $40,000
  5. Physical Therapist Assistant – starting salary $35,000

Bachelor’s degree from a 4-year college

  1. Registered Nurse– starting salary $49,000
  2. General and Operation Manager – starting salary $48,000
  3. Accountant or Auditor– starting salary $43,000
  4. Software Developer, Applications – starting salary $62,500
  5. Elementary School Teacher – starting salary $42,000

Have you noticed how the salary increases with the more education you get? That’s not true in every job, but it tends to be true in a lot of areas.chart showing increased salary with higher levels of education

What are the highest paying jobs in demand?

It depends on the type of degree you have…

Is a degree really that important?

We’ve all certainly heard incredibly successful (and rich) people say a college degree isn’t necessary. But this is usually the exception – not the norm. There are actually 5 major benefits to having a college degree.

Want to explore more careers? and the Bureau of Labor Statistics are two free resources!

Special thanks to Jodie Meyer, Research Analyst at the Nebraska Department of Labor for contributing her expertise to this article.