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Plumbers, along with accountants, electrical and petroleum engineers, computer security specialists, and healthcare workers are among the most sought after workers in the U.S. today, the Christian Science Monitor reported recently.

Although the economy is not generating jobs at the rate that it did in the late 1990’s, there are a number of areas where companies simply can’t find the number of new workers they need.

Plumbers are in such demand in Phoenix, for example, that one company calls them an endangered species, the newspaper reports. Contractors there run ads weekly for plumbers and offer a $500 sign-up bonus. "Tell people to quit going to school for computers and go to school to learn a trade instead," says Mark Larson, vice president of Marlin Mechanical Corp., which supplies plumbing systems for condos, apartments, and hotels, according to the Monitor.

Such demand is expected to be long-lived in areas such as software, management, scientific/technical consulting, systems design, and employment services, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. And with America’s real estate boom still in full swing, plumbers appear likely to remain in short supply and high demand for some time to come.