What hourly jobs are in demand in 2020?

Amber Shiflett |
Categories: Finding a job

Not everybody works in a salaried job and not everybody wants to, either. What’s a salaried job? That just means you get paid the same amount each month no matter how many hours you put in. In other words, no overtime pay! So why would anybody want that in the first place, right? 

One of the reasons is because a salaried job might pay better to start with. At least, that’s a common assumption. But it turns out hourly jobs can pay pretty well, too. And they can offer more flexibility, depending on what kind you’re working. 

The other great thing about hourly is the overtime. Most employers are required by federal or state law to pay “time and a half” for all hours after you hit 40 hours a week. There are exceptions to every rule, of course, but generally speaking, you can earn extra pay working overtime—those salaried workers who might put in 50 or 60 hours a week and they’ll get paid the same amount they’d get at 40 hours. So if you find a job that pays overtime and offers the extra hours, and if you’ve got the stamina, then go for it! How much you make depends on you. 

A fact of life in the United States is that most of us have to work to pay our bills. The things we need and want cost money (usually!), so it’s up to us to find the types of jobs we want to do to rustle up some cash. We don’t always get to take that new job we’ve been dreaming of, but hourly job seekers can at least look out for the most in-demand jobs. To find them, you’ve got to pay attention to which high-demand jobs need a college degree, though. 

Using the Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook

One fast way to figure that out is to search job titles on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) website. Managed by the U.S. Department of Labor, BLS’s online Occupational Outlook Handbook gives some pretty amazing details about all sorts of jobs, like what’s required to do them, what an average day is like and even what the job growth and job outlook is expected to be in the future. It’ll also tell you if you need an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree or master’s degree, or maybe just trade or vocational school job training. 

See, that’s one interesting thing about hourly jobs. Not all of the highest-paying jobs require a degree. Sometimes experience is all that matters, not formal education. So let’s take a look at the most in-demand hourly jobs you can start right away!

What are some hot hourly jobs that are in demand? 

Lots of workers do great at hourly jobs that fit their natural talents and hobbies. For example, customer service jobs! These are perfect for extroverts who love talking and helping others and who have the communication skills to do it all day. You get to be the face of a company, answering questions about products or services. You might also deal with complaints, meaning it can take some patience at times. 

There’s also secretary and administrative assistant jobs. Just like customer service, these are good for people who like to work inside and deal with other people on a regular basis. The difference is that an admin usually works with the other employees at the company, versus customers they might only deal with once or twice. 

Other people enjoy being outdoors a lot and want to stay active, so a manual labor job could be just the trick for them. This can include construction jobs. Some will require vocational training or even an apprenticeship, but others let you hop right into the mix after a bit of safety training. Work can include unloading materials, operating basic equipment and helping to build (or destroy) things. If you’re in good physical shape, this could be the right kind of job for you!

Many folks like cruising around all day, so they might make great truck drivers or delivery drivers. Depending on the job, they might make lots of tips. There’s also bus driving jobs, to transport folks to schools or work. These jobs usually have a short period of training and can pay on an hourly basis. But shifts are often flexible, meaning you could be working at night or on the weekend. 

Speaking of the weekend, a lot of hourly workers take jobs tending bar. Bartenders learn how to mix up cocktails to serve in restaurants and bars, so they’re usually working at night and/or on the weekends. Work may be just part-time, but the great thing about these types of jobs is that you can earn lots of tips if you’re friendly, a good listener and know how to make a mean mojito!

If you like the sound of working in a restaurant but don’t want to be stuck behind the bar, then an hourly waiter or waitress gig could be a nice alternative. There’s always a demand for wait staff, and again tips are a big part of the payday, so you’ll need to be good at listening to orders in a hectic environment. Hours will vary but expect to get called to cover lunch and dinner rushes. 

If handling food isn’t your thing, you might consider retail sales. Stores are always looking for people who can help them sell their merchandise, whether its clothes, luggage, furniture or even cars. Sales is one of those businesses where you need to be outgoing and able to communicate well. You don’t necessarily need formal training, but expect a lot of on-the-job training as you learn about the products, the customers that come in to shop around and the best ways to sell those products to those customers! If you work on commission, you can earn a nice check!

One more option to consider is working as an hourly dental assistant. Obviously you won’t be digging around in people’s mouths with sharp objects unless you have formal training, but dental assistants can help with other things around the clinic, like records and billing. Some states do need you to have a bit of formal training, but others allow on-the-job training to get you up to speed. So if you like working in a more relaxed clinical setting, and don’t mind hearing mellow music all day, this could be right for you!

If you’ve got some sharp analytical skills and don’t mind a bit of additional training, you might want to consider hourly jobs in information technology. There are also plenty of job openings in the healthcare industry. With our aging population, there’s a need for workers in medical services and health services. These include jobs like home health aide and other patient care work. Most vocational schools offer training programs to help get you up to speed for this type of work. 

Again, before you start scanning job openings, check out the Occupational Outlook Handbook for details on the jobs you’re curious about. The handbook can’t tell you everything—for example, it doesn’t list the unemployment rate for jobs you look up. But it does break down jobs by how many workers are doing it and which states they work in. It also tells you the average salary workers get, plus what the top earners are bringing home at those hourly jobs!

Once you find the hourly job that’s right for you, you can start your search right here on Snagajob.