Our nation’s employment picture will be changing over the next decade. As the baby boomer generation continues to age, not only will most of them leave the workforce in the next 10 years, but they also will fuel the need for more healthcare-related jobs.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that jobs related to health care, personal care and social assistance, and construction will have the fastest growth between now and 2020. Total employment is expected to grow by 14.3 percent over the decade, resulting in more than 20 million new jobs.
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Construction jobs — despite expected growth in coming years — will not regain the substantial losses that started with the current recession, according to the BLS. Statistics show that seven of the 20 industries gaining the most jobs by 2020 are in the health care and social assistance fields, and five are in the professional and business services area.
We’ve taken a look at some of the fastest growing jobs and have described them here in descending order based on their projected job growth. The BLS expects each of these jobs to grow by more than 40 percent –much faster than average –in coming years.
Fastest Growing Jobs
Home Health Aide
- Education: No education requirements; however, most certified agencies or homes require aides to pass on-the-job training and a standardized test.
- Median Annual Salary: $20,460
- Projected Job Growth: 69.4%
As more baby boomers hit senior citizen status in the coming decade, the growth of this job is projected to skyrocket. Home health aides (also called personal care aides) assist people who are disabled, chronically ill, or impaired due to age or physical impairment. These workers help clients with daily activities such as bathing and dressing, and may provide other services such as light housekeeping or the preparation of light meals.
Many home health aides report that the personal relationships they develop with their clients are what make this job rewarding. Depending on individual state regulations, home health aides may give medication to a patient or check a patient his or her vital signs under the direction of a nurse. Home health aides work in group homes and facilities in addition to private homes.
- Education: Bachelor’s degree
- Median Annual Salary: $81,540
- Projected Job Growth: 69 %
The overall need for medical professionals is growing rapidly, and biomedical engineers will be in forefront as the demand for the research, design and maintenance of new prosthetics, artificial organs and diagnostic equipment increases. These engineers, employed by hospitals, research facilities, colleges and universities, and government regulatory agencies, also create imaging systems and devices for controlling body functions and automating injections. Some specialties of this field are: medical imaging, biomaterials, orthopedic engineering, biomechanics, and rehabilitation engineering.
Desiring to remain active while they age, baby boomers will increase the demand for the results of biomedical technology, such as improved hip and knee replacements.
- Education: Bachelor’s degree
- Median Annual Salary: $45,260
- Projected Job Growth: 44%
Whether it is for an educational seminar, business convention, or a wedding, 21st century business owners have recognized the value of staging professionally planned events, and this profession is expected to see huge growth in the next 10 years. Meeting/convention/event planners choose meeting locations, arrange transportation, and coordinate myriads of details for small and large business events. Planners meet with clients and often travel with them to their event locations.
The job requires working with the hosting organization, as well as with venues, transportation companies, caterers, rental companies, florists, decorators, and entertainers. The BLS reports that globalization is fueling the growth of this job and predicts that event planners with experience with virtual meeting software and social media outlets should have an advantage in getting hired in coming years.
- Education: Bachelor’s degree plus fluency in English and at least one other language
- Median Annual Salary: $43,300
- Projected Job Growth: 42%
Another result of the increase of globalization in business is the unprecedented growth predicted for the career of interpreter/translator. Interpreters and translators do the same basic task –changing information from one language to another language. Interpreters deal with spoken or sign language in locations such as schools, hospitals, courtrooms, and conference centers; and translators work in written language for print and online publications and documents.
Demand is predicted to especially increase for translators of the Middle Eastern languages and for Mandarin, Japanese, and Korean. The BLS also predicts that the growing use of video relay services, which allow hearing-impaired people to conduct online video calls with the use of a sign language interpreter, will cause an increase in the demand for sign language interpreters in the next few years.
Market Research Analyst
- Education: Bachelor’s degree
- Median Annual Salary: $60,570
- Projected Job Growth: 41%
Market research analysts help businesses determine what products people want, who will purchase them, and at what price. Working in nearly every industry, these analysts gather information, study marketing data and create reports on what they find.
The potential for job growth is bright because more and more companies are using consumer research to develop their marketing strategies and to cut costs. Businesses of all kinds– including social and civic organizations, colleges and universities, and government agencies — use market research to monitor customer satisfaction and to gather feedback about how to improve products or services.
Market research analysts typically need a bachelor’s degree; however many market research analyst jobs will require a master’s degree, especially jobs that require technical research.