The 20 Fastest-Growing Jobs in 2020—and How Much They Pay

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The coronavirus pandemic changed the way nearly everyone lived and worked in 2020, and a number of jobs saw skyrocketing demand to meet new and urgent needs brought on by Covid-19.

The salary comparison site PayScale recently analyzed crowdsourced data from 4.33 million people to find the jobs that saw the highest share of growth in 2020 compared with the year prior.

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Not surprisingly, the rankings include a number of roles that filled unprecedented health care, transportation, tech and essential service needs during months of illness and social distancing.

The fastest-growing job in 2020 was health screeners, a group of workers that grew by 136% compared with 2019, as state and local governments, health-care facilities and places of business implemented new measures to help protect against the spread of the virus.

The share of personal shoppers this year jumped by 125% as many people employed the services of gig workers and independent contractors to deliver groceries, restaurant orders and other essential supplies during months of stay-at-home advisories and additional social-distancing practices.

Recreational vehicle, or RV, service technicians were the third-fastest growing job of the year. The outlier points to a shift in consumer behavior that saw people move away from regular travel plans and toward social-distancing-friendly alternatives such as trailer and RV rentals to take road trips to less crowded areas. In turn, the year saw a greater need for service technicians to maintain and repair these vehicles.

And finally, health-care providers of all roles, from nurses to emergency medical services directors to home-care workers all saw greater need this year as hospitals and care facilities saw devastating surges of Covid across the country.

PayScale CEO Scott Torrey tells CNBC Make It that many professionals, such as health-care workers and educators, are reporting higher levels of stress during the pandemic; however, some have also rated their job satisfaction higher than previously, "indicating that what these professionals are contributing to society as the frontline workers of the pandemic is challenging, but it matters to them and to the rest of us," Torrey adds.

Despite the significant increase in certain roles this year, the U.S. job market overall has a long stretch of recovery ahead. Some 22 million Americans lost their jobs in the first few weeks of the pandemic in the spring of 2020; by December, the U.S. still had 10 million fewer jobs than it did before the pandemic.

As a precursor for what may come in the new year, these were the jobs that saw the greatest growth in 2020 and could continue growing as a post-pandemic way of life takes shape.

1. Health screener

Year-over-year growth: 136%

Median pay: $28,400 per year

2. Personal shopper

Year-over-year growth: 125%

Median pay: $25,000 per year

3. RV service technician

Year-over-year growth: 97%

Median pay: $42,400 per year

4. Non-destructive testing technician

Year-over-year growth: 68%

Median pay: $55,000 per year

5. Area operations manager

Year-over-year growth: 60%

Median pay: $70,900 per year

6. Molecular biologist

Year-over-year growth: 51%

Median pay: $57,800 per year

7. Postmaster

Year-over-year growth: 46%

Median pay: $73,400 per year

8. Food safety specialist

Year-over-year growth: 39%

Median pay: $52,900 per year

9. Cloud solutions architect

Year-over-year growth: 38%

Median pay: $137,000 per year

10 (tie). Logistics program manager

Year-over-year growth: 37%

Median pay: $96,200 per year

10 (tie). Lead sales associate

Year-over-year growth: 37%

Median pay: $20,800 per year

12. Charge nurse

Year-over-year growth: 33%

Median pay: $72,500 per year

13. Maternity nurse

Year-over-year growth: 32%

Median pay: $69,600 per year

14 (tie). Emergency medical services director

Year-over-year growth: 28%

Median pay: $87,400 per year

14 (tie). Laboratory assistant

Year-over-year growth: 28%

Median pay: $34,300 per year

16. Psychiatric nurse

Year-over-year growth: 27%

Median pay: $68,200 per year

17. Home care worker

Year-over-year growth: 26%

Median pay: $25,300 per year

18. Nurse coordinator

Year-over-year growth: 23%

Median pay: $74,100 per year

19. Lead UX designer

Year-over-year growth: 19%

Median pay: $118,000 per year

20. Commercial sales manager

Year-over-year growth: 18%

Median pay: $42,400 per year

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