Payscale Data Reveals the Hottest Jobs in a Turbulent Job Market

  • Payscale ranks the hottest jobs among job seekers researching salaries.
  • Numerous HR roles, including compensation analysts, top the list, reflecting the importance of providing fair pay for employees as the way we work changes forever.

SEATTLE, Dec. 15, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Payscale Inc., the leading provider of compensation data and software, released its annual End of Year Hot Jobs Report. The top ten hottest jobs, defined as those which have seen the highest growth based on more than 850,000 job seekers researching salaries on, have been driven by an economy that is trying to surge back in the wake of COVID-19 and a labor market that is in a froth as businesses crank up production.
“The jobs highlighted within this report demonstrate the impact and transformation of the labor market over the past year. From hiring freezes and layoffs in 2020 to rehiring and what is now being called the Great Reshuffle, the past few years have presented many challenges for employers and employees,” commented Shelly Holt, Chief People Officer at Payscale. “Workers are now demanding more from employers, and organizations need to react accordingly, taking a good look at what they offer employees in terms of compensation and benefits, including flexibility.”
The top ten hottest jobs for 2021 include:

  • With in-person shopping making a comeback, Retail Sales Associates are in hot demand. Retailers everywhere are struggling to find people to fill the positions they have open at brick-and-mortar stores, especially during the holiday season.

  • Senior Data Engineers are becoming even more sought after as organizations recognize that data pipelines precede data insights. IT occupations also have higher expectations for remote work than other occupations, which could drive job seeking behavior in organizations that haven’t yet caught up to this expectation.

  • The impact of the pandemic, including the Great Reshuffle, has been particularly challenging on human resources. Beginning with layoffs that wiped out over 20 million jobs in April of 2020, the situation has now boomeranged into a hiring frenzy as job openings and separations have cycled into abundance. As a result, Recruiters, Recruiting Coordinators and Compensation Analysts make the top ten list, demonstrating the growing importance of having a formal approach to making salary offers and managing pay increases to get pay right as the way we work continues to adapt.
  • Internet usage (and social media in particular) has boomed during the pandemic as people have sheltered at home. As businesses try to capture the attention of online audiences, Content Strategist and Social Media Manager positions are on the rise.

  • Many Hairstylists lost customers during COVID-19, but they are bouncing back now. Similarly, Beauty Consultants are on the hot list, with salary profiles for this position among job seekers growing 79% in 2021. This could be a result of people getting back out there as social distancing restrictions loosen due to vaccines, or perhaps this position is desirable because it earns more than other retail positions.

  • Clinical Research Associates that enable clinical trials are in high demand but could also be prone to become flight risks as new graduates, who tend to take on this position, are not always compensated fairly for their growth. This young talent tends to grow their value fast over a short time frame and if compensation doesn’t keep up, they’re more likely to jump ship than more experienced employees who are further up in their pay range.

Payscale also recently released its Remote Work Report which found that 81% of employers do not have a compensation strategy in place that encompasses remote workers, despite the last year highlighting that employees are looking for flexibility in addition to fair pay. The labor market has changed with 43% of workers overall expecting remote work options to increase after the pandemic, and employers will be forced to adapt in order to fill open roles and retain top talent. What was once commonly referred to as the Great Resignation is now more accurately being described as the Great Reshuffle, with employees having more employment options at their fingertips and therefore demanding more – including remote and flexible work options.
“Since the increased demand for employees drives up wages, it is important for organizations to keep a pulse on how the market is changing and issue appropriate pay increases to performers they want to keep as well as those they make offers to,” added Holt. “The fact that ‘Compensation Analyst’ is in the top ten hottest jobs is a promising sign that businesses are taking this seriously - actively growing their compensation teams and investing in compensation strategy and maturity as pay increases, pay equity, pay analysis, pay communications, and other compensation related challenges obtain greater recognition and significance.”
The data and methodology for the End of Year Hot Jobs Report, which analyzes over 856,000 salary profiles collected between October 2020 and October 2021, can be accessed in its entirety on
About Payscale   
As the industry leader in compensation management, Payscale helps job seekers, employees and businesses get pay right, boasting 10,000 customers, 53% of the Fortune 500, and prices 27 million jobs annually with $1.4 trillion in value across 198 countries. Payscale empowers organizations to make fair compensation a strategic imperative and fuels every pay decision with data-driven confidence, accompanied by best-in-class services, and innovative software. Payscale provides multiple data sources and solutions for HR teams to adjust compensation in near real-time by contrasting, managing, and analyzing pay data through predictive analytics, practical recommendations, and industry insights with the competitive advantage of adapting faster. To learn how companies like The Washington Post, Perry Ellis International, United Healthcare, and Angel City Football Club rely on Payscale to attract and retain top talent, engage employees, and plan their future workforce, visit Pay is powerful.