SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – During the height of the recent Great Recession, the unemployment rate in the Sacramento area was roughly 14 percent.

As it stands now, it’s been cut in half – and experts predict it’ll get even lower because there are thousands of job openings right now in dozens of fields.

The list of openings goes on and on: Legal, medical and executive secretaries; registered nurses with a bachelor’s degree; computer system analysts and computer support; dental hygienists and dental assistants; auto techs, mechanics, and teachers.

Jobs expert Terri Carpenter has never been more pumped about the prospects of helping people find work.

“We are seeing a lot more job movement,” Carpenter said. “A lot more job opportunities.”

She’s the workforce development manager for Sacramento Works, a federally funded program that offers free services to help people find that job or jump-start a career.

“You can come in and get one on one coaching,” Carpenter said.

“I didn’t know all these jobs are around.”

–Job seeker Nathan Jackson

We came in and saw a flurry of activity – from classes on how to fine-tune your resume, to Spanish-language courses on how to jump into the workforce.

More than a few eager job seekers came with hopeful eyes, and were pleasantly surprised to find out it’s never been a better time to look in the Sacramento region.

“I didn’t know all these jobs are around,” said job seeker Nathan Jackson.

Jackson has been out of work for an entire year.

“Went from here to here,” Jackson said of his prospects for finding work.

That’s because Nathan’s first choice, the food service industry, is cookin’ right now.

“There’s over 3,000 jobs available in the region for food services and retail,” Carpenter said.

For cashiers alone, there are currently 1400 job openings.

Now, those jobs pay between 9 and 12 bucks an hour.

Want to cash-in on a higher-paying job? The following are the hottest “top tier” openings in our area right now:

Engineering – more than 300 positions available that start at $48 an hour.
The business industry – 515 openings for accountants and auditors with a starting pay of $30 an hour.
And health care workers –700 registered nursing jobs that will start you off at $51 an hour.

“As an overall career umbrella, those are the hot industries that offer the most opportunities with the high wage and career mobility,” Carpenter said.

“There are many, many jobs that we call ‘middle skill jobs.'”

–Terri Carpenter from Sacramento Works

Don’t qualify for those jobs? Listen to this:

“There are many, many jobs that we call ‘middle skill jobs’ that require a certificate – a vocational training certificate or an A.A. degree,” Carpenter said.

A few examples:

Auto mechanics, where there are 288 openings starting at $18 an hour.
Accounting clerks, where there are 292 openings at nearly $19 an hour.
And LVN’s – nurses who don’t have a 4-year degree: there are 216 positions paying $27 an hour.

Other jobs building momentum that don’t require additional training are construction labor positions, where there are 333 openings that start at $17 an hour.

That was great news to another job seeker we ran into looking for a construction job.

As his young son looks at him, the answer could be “very soon.”

“He sees me home every day for seven months, going ‘When’s daddy going to work?’”

The answer was “very surprised” when we found out another hot job out there is inside the classroom.

There are currently more than 200 full time teaching positions open in the Sacramento area – not just K through 12, but college teaching jobs as well.

Another hot job?

“Customer service reps. Big, big openings. Over 654 jobs available,” Carpenter said.

RELATED: American Workers Only Take Half Of Their Vacation Time, Survey Says

With so many positions available, you might be wondering what we were wondering: Why are so many people still out of work?

One reason is their expectations might be too high.

“Many long term unemployed individuals, especially in the professional sector, want to go right back making the same amount of money that they made in their previous job,” Carpenter said. “And, unfortunately, it’s still an employer’s market.”

But those employers are looking for good people every day.

The following list is every single “hot job,” how many positions are available, and what they pay.

Hot Jobs (Sacramento Region) as of 2/6/15

For more information on these jobs, go to http://careergps.com

Engineers 300+ Openings $47.54 per hour
Computer System Analysts 327+ Openings $25.64 per hour
Computer Support 148+ Openings $16.27 per hour
Teachers 200+ Openings $24.38 per hour
General Operation Managers 300+ Openings $43.83 per hour
Accountants/ Auditors 515 Openings $29.08 per hour
Financial Services Department 477 Openings $20.68 per hour
RN’s (with 4 year degree) 700+ Openings $51.73 per hour
Dental Hygienists 200+ Openings $19.13 per hour
Auto Technician/Mechanic 288 Openings $18.07 per hour
Bookkeeper/Accounting Clerk 292 Openings $18.55 per hour
Nursing Assistants 379 Openings $14.11 per hour
Dental Assistants 100+ Openings $19.13 per hour
LVN 216 Openings $27.19 per hour
Cashiers 1,399 Openings $10.22 per hour
Child Care Workers 396 Openings $9.00 per hour
Civil Engineers 199 Openings $47.54 per hour
Food Services 1,441 Openings $9.17 per hour
Food Prep/Cook 300 Openings $9.17 per hour
Stock Clerk 312 Openings $12.18 per hour
Computer Support 148 Openings $16.27 per hour
Computer Analyst 327 Openings $25.64 per hour
Construction Laborer 333 Openings $16.58 per hour
Customer Service Reps 654 Openings $17.51 per hour
Dental Assistants 116 Openings $19.13 per hour
Elementary School Teachers 357 Openings $32.28 per hour
Office Administrator 493 Openings $28.56 per hour
General Operations Manager 292 Openings $43.83 per hour
Maintenance/Repair Workers 462 Openings $18.34 per hour
Medical Secretaries 186 Openings $17.28 per hour
Nursing Assistants 379 Openings $14.11 per hour
Officer Clerks 773 Openings $15.90 per hour
Personal Care Aides 791 Openings $10.62 per hour
Property Managers 587 Openings $15.24 per hour
Sales Reps 584 Openings $24.68 per hour
Financial Service Reps 477 Openings $20.68 per hour
Legal/Medical Secretaries 439 Openings $16.72 per hour
Security Guards 312 Openings $11.71 per hour
Teachers Assistants 296 Openings $14.49 per hour

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