Customer service representatives
- Median annual salary: About $30,000
The Affordable Care Act represents a large customer service undertaking. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has said that up to 9,000 new customer service agents would be needed to assist consumers using the Obamacare health insurance exchanges.
Many of those jobs are for call center operators, to explain insurance options and answer questions by phone. In one example, the consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas says an Iowa call center added 120 jobs after winning a contract related to the health care law.
The employment opportunities will ebb and flow with the market, says Bruce Caswell, president of health services for Maximus, a contractor handling customer service functions for several of the online marketplaces.
"The ACA will certainly create an initial hiring spike, although this increase will vary across different states," says Caswell. "Most states will ramp up hiring for the first open enrollment, and then adjust staffing accordingly."
The best candidates for those jobs are people with strong interpersonal skills and, ideally, some health care experience. But, says Caswell, "they don't need to be health care professionals … and all operators receive comprehensive training."