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Hardest Jobs to Fill: Truck Drivers, Personal Care Aides and Software Developers

Job opportunities in 2018 should be abundant – with demand outpacing supply for certain positions, says a new CareerCast report on the toughest jobs to fill. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that we will need an additional 777,600 Personal Care Aides, 255,400 more Application Software Developers and 108,400 truck drivers by 2026.'s 2018 report on the 10 toughest jobs to fill focuses on some of the positions most aggressively pursuing candidates, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts, trade and professional association data, graduation rates, and's database of job listings.

Factors driving demand vary, as do causes behind employers having difficulty filling positions. Not enough people with the skills to do the job, a lack of new graduates in the profession, and industry growth are among the reasons certain jobs are harder to fill than others.

For example, Home Health Aide has a forecasted growth of 47% in the coming eight years. Employment of Personal Care Aides is anticipated to grow 39% over the same time frame. That translates to almost half-a-million and three-quarter-million new positions in each field, in less than a decade's time.

"The low pay for these professions -- $22,600 and $21,920average annual salary, respectively – may play a big part in why there are so many unfilled jobs," says Kyle Kensing, Online Content Editor, CareerCast.

The Baby Boom generation drives the demand for these positions, as well as that of Financial Advisors. With more Boomers approaching retirement, demand for financial planning is expected to climb significantly.

Ultimately, however, one sector will have the most openings and need for applicants in 2018. The staggering growth rates forecasted for these jobs tells the story for the healthcare industry as a whole, which is expected to continue booming.

In fact, five of the 10 toughest jobs to fill in 2018 are in healthcare, and appear here because of the high demand.

Nurse Practitioners, with a growth outlook of 31%, and Physical Therapists at 34%, are two of the most in-demand fields tracked in the Jobs Rated report. The American Physical Therapy Association has forecast shortages in the profession, and the solution may not be as simple as adding new Physical Therapists to the workforce, as it is retaining current workers.

A similar challenge befell various trade professions during the recession. While Construction Laborer and Truck Driver possess two of the lower growth outlooks of the 10 toughest jobs to fill, the professions are in very high immediate demand as a result of employment and skills gaps. According to the American Trucking Associations, more than 70 percent of goods consumed in the U.S. are delivered by truck, and the industry needs to hire almost 900,000 more drivers to meet rising demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be hundreds of thousands of new job openings in the construction industry by 2024.

Here's the list;


Annual Median 

Growth Outlook

Employment Change 
Through 2026

Application Software Developer




Construction Laborer




Financial Advisor




Home Health Aide




Information Security Analyst




Medical Service Manager




Nurse Practitioner




Personal Care Aide




Physical Therapist




Truck Driver




To read the full report, visit To take the job stress survey, visit CareerCast.