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7 jobs that didn't exist a decade ago

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A decade ago, Apple's (AAPL) first iPhones were rolled out, and Twitter (TWTR) was a mere hatchling. The U.S. economy was spiraling into a recession, leading to layoffs and sharply higher unemployment rates.

Now, unemployment is at a 17-year low, while technology continues to quickly change how Americans work. Employment in some types of jobs is under threat by those changes, such as factory workers who'll be replaced by automation and robots. But for others, the rise of social media, smartphones and new digital services has created a wealth of opportunity.

More than six out of 10 school children today will end up working in new types of jobs that don't yet exist, according to human resources consulting firm Willis Towers Watson. Already, the U.S. job market is evolving, with new types of jobs emerging that weren't around just a decade ago, before smartphones and social media were ubiquitous.

That has the potential to touch all types of employment. Job site Glassdoor noted that workers in jobs affected by automation or outsourcing aren't enjoying the same types of wage growth as those in fast-growing industries, such as tech and health care.

Indeed, some jobs that emerged in the last decade now routinely top rankings of best-paid and most in-demand professions.

Read on to learn about seven jobs that didn't exist a decade ago.

Uber driver

Ride-hailing service Uber was founded in 2009 and quickly caught on, thanks to the growing use of smartphones. Co-founder Travis Kalanick came up with the idea of using smartphones to order a black car after he had trouble hailing a cab.

The company now says it has more than 2 million drivers across 77 countries, with 40 million people using its service.

So how does one become an Uber driver? Basics such as holding a valid driver's license and using a four-door registered and insured vehicle are essential. The company also runs a background check on potential drivers to look for a criminal history and driving violations.

Uber drivers make an average annual pay of $30,000, according compensation reports on Glassdoor. Drivers say they like creating their own schedule. Still, other surveys say drivers tend to earn less than that, with data site Earnest reporting the average monthly pay at just $364.

App developer

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Smartphones have helped create another new type of job: application developers. These workers, who have a background in software coding, develop apps that run on mobile devices, from games to banking apps.

The median pay for app developers is about $67,000 per year, although some earn six-figure salaries, according to PayScale.

Social media manager

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The rise of social networks such as Facebook (FB) and Twitter have created a new type of marketing job: social media manager. These professionals help run social media marketing campaigns, respond to customers on social media platforms and manage posts and other content on social media.

Some social media managers have helped their businesses stand out, such as Merriam-Webster's irreverent Twitter account. (The dictionary tweeted the definition of "volunteer" to United Airlines [UAL] after the airline claimed it had looked for a volunteer before dragging a doctor off a plane.)

The company told LitHub that its social media manager is "someone who almost completed a PhD, taught college English, and has a passion for and deep understanding of the English language in general and Merriam-Webster in particular."

Social media managers earn an average salary of $48,000 a year, according to PayScale.

Data scientist

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This career often scores highly in rankings of hot jobs that pay well. Glassdoor calls it one of the top occupations for both 2016 and 2017. The typical data scientist earns almost $129,000 annually, with the in-demand role needed at almost every type of company.

Businesses are dealing with huge amounts of data created by internet and web applications, which data scientists help analyze and interpret. A background in a STEM field is preferred, such as a degree in computer science, although some professionals attend data-science bootcamps and segue into the role.


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An "influencer" isn't the type of role that companies post job ads for, but plenty of them pay influencers to get the company's messages to the influencers' fans. These workers are often independent artists or social media mavens who develop a fanbase from their YouTube videos, Instagram posts or other social media platforms.

Some are simply famous for being famous, while others have a shtick, like Grumpy Cat, whom Forbes calls the top "pet influencer." The famously grumpy-looking cat has more than 1.4 million Twitter followers and has been estimated as being worth $100 million.

Companies can pay thousands for one Instagram post by an influencer who mentions their product, although rates depend on the size of an influencer's audience. According to Forbes, an Instagram user with 100,000 followers typically earns about $5,000 per post.

Sustainability manager

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These workers help companies assess how their businesses affect the environment and develop plans for mitigating that effect, such as through reducing their carbon footprints. The typical pay for sustainability managers is about $72,000 per year, according to PayScale.

Drone operator

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With the Federal Aviation Administration decision in 2016 to permit small drones, there's new demand for specialists who can fly them.

The devices are now used in industries ranging from real estate to advertising, while Amazon (AMZN) has a service called Prime Air that aims to deliver packages within 30 minutes via drones. Drone pilots earn about $25 an hour, according to PayScale.

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