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As we’ve talked about before, there is a widening skills gap, especially for STEM occupations (science, technology, engineering and math). Employers are struggling to fill open positions for these types of roles, because they can’t find job seekers with the right mix of skills.

Some employers are solving this problem by investing more in training. According to a new CareerBuilder survey, 46 percent of employers have hired a low-skill worker and trained them for a higher-skill job within the last two years.

Another route employers have taken to fill high-skill roles is by hiring workers with H-1B visas, which enables them to temporarily employ foreign-born workers for specialized occupations. Twenty-six percent of employers say they are hiring workers with these visas this year, according to the survey.

What is an H-1B visa exactly?
According to the website h1bvisa.org, an H-1B visa is “an employment-based visa that is issued for eligible and qualified temporary workers. This visa category enables U.S. employers the opportunity to hire foreign professionals if a U.S. citizen or resident is not available to fulfill the requirements of the job. The job must be considered a specialty occupation that requires theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields such as architecture, engineering, mathematics, science and medicine.”

Jobs for workers with H-1B visas
Employers were asked which occupations they are recruiting workers with H-1B visas for this year. Below are their responses, along with the average annual pay of each occupation.

1. Software engineer
Percent of employers: 19
Average annual pay*: $97,700

2. Systems analyst and programmer
Percent of employers: 11
Average annual pay: $87,320

3. Database administrator
Percent of employers: 9
Average annual pay: $82,280

4. Network administrator
Percent of employers: 9
Average annual pay: $79,770

5. Sales and distribution manager
Percent of employers: 9
Average annual pay: $126,040

6. Financial analyst
Percent of employers: 9
Average annual pay: $92,250

7. Electrical and electronic engineer
Percent of employers: 8
Average annual pay: $95,780

8. Mechanical engineer
Percent of employers: 8
Average annual pay: $87,140

*Software engineer salary from coach.careerbuilder.com. All other salaries from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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