The fastest growing job is a tiny HR niche

You won't guess which HR specialty is expected to double in the next eight years.

If you’re among the many HR professionals with a psychology degree, consider yourself fortunate. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is expecting the industrial-organizational psychologist to take the crown as the fastest-growing job in the country between 2012 and 2022. Canadian employment trends are often slightly behind the U.S. so it could be a few more years before we see these roles taking over here, but it's definitely a pattern to watch out for.

Several other HR segments are also set to rise above the national average of 11% job growth, but if you’re in compensation, it might be time to make a change. See the expected HR job growth for each category below, listed by job growth:

Industrial-Organizational Psychologist
Median salary: $83,580
Number of jobs: 1,600
Job growth outlook to 2022: 53%
With a median wage of $83,580 in 2012, the job pays more than double the national average wage. Health care and consulting firms are expected to make big investments in I/O psychologists, while self-employment among these professionals will also jump 85%, the BLS projects.

Training and Development Specialists
Median salary: $55,930
Number of jobs: 228,800
Job growth outlook to 2022: 15%
With faster than average job growth, plenty of jobs to be found, and opportunity in nearly every industry, this is a good region to start out in. But if the pay doesn’t satisfy, avoid health care: training and development specialists in that industry only receive a median salary of $50,360.

HR Managers
Median salary: $99,720
Number of jobs: 102,700
Job growth outlook to 2022: 13%
A median salary higher than the average management occupation and a faster growth rate than the rest of the nation will put you ahead here. But to get even further ahead, avoid positions in the manufacturing industry, where the BLS expects jobs to fall 7.2%, and the median wage is a deflated $97,930.

Training and Development Managers
Median salary: $95,400
Number of jobs: 28,600
Job growth outlook to 2022: 11%
While growth is not quite as strong as it is with the entry-level training specialists, it’s expected to keep pace with the rest of the economy. Plus, if you land yourself a position in professional services, science & technology, or finance & insurance, your salary is likely to crack the six-figure mark.

HR and Labor Relations Specialists
Median salary: $55,640
Number of jobs: 495,500
Job growth outlook to 2022: 7%
Sluggish growth has hit this HR sector, but it’s the labor relations specialists in particular that will suffer the most, with a decrease in jobs of 1% expected by 2022. The BLS pointed to a downward trend in union membership resulting in lower demand for specialists in that arena.

Compensation, Benefits and Job Analysis Specialists
Median salary: $59,090
Number of jobs: 91,700
Job growth outlook to 2022: 6%
Huge drops in hiring these specialists in utilities, manufacturing, government and media have distorted the picture of job growth in this area. Industries like construction and professional services are still expected to expand openings here by upwards of 20%, a ray of hope for these professionals.

Compensation and Benefits Managers
Median salary: $95,250
Number of jobs: 20,700
Job growth outlook to 2022: 3%
According to the BLS, outsourcing is to blame for the low growth for compensation and benefits managers. Consulting firms with automation and overseas call centers will offset the growth that increasingly complicated health care systems provide.

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