The Top 10 Fastest-Growing Jobs in the U.S.

FT Contributor  | 

College graduates usually expect to find work in the field they studied for. However, depending on the job market, it may be hard to obtain a job in the industry you dedicated your education to. While this can be frustrating, if you’re currently looking for work, you may need to be open to other industries or positions.

Learning more about the industries that are currently experiencing growth can be helpful if you want to find employment quickly. If you choose to look for work in a growing industry, there’s also a greater chance that you’ll experience job security and stability. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following 10 jobs are expected to see the most growth in the U.S. from 2018 to 2028.

The Industries With the Most Job Growth

When you review the list of the top 10 fastest-growing jobs, you may notice an interesting trend: most of these growing jobs fall into one of two industries.

Alternative Energy

The top two fastest-growing jobs in the U.S. are in the alternative energy industry sector. Jobs in this industry center around finding and using alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar power. The alternative energy industry also includes development and breakthroughs in energy efficiency, using clean energy, developing electric vehicles, and designing efficient energy storage systems.

The alternative energy industry is growing at an alarming rate due to the energy and environmental crisis. More manufacturers, production plants, and regional power companies are looking for ways to use clean energy that’s more efficient and sustainable for the environment. Jobs have been created within the industry to design, develop, and troubleshoot these new clean energy technologies.

Healthcare

Five of the 10 fastest-growing jobs can be found in the healthcare industry. This industry has been booming because Americans need more health care for a number of reasons.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median age of Americans in 2010 was 35.3 years old and increased to 37.9 years old in 2016. Americans are getting older and generally need more medical attention in later years.

With government health insurance programs and the popularity of private health insurance, the healthcare industry isn’t going anywhere. Jobs in this industry are stable and growing because Americans are seeking medical treatment when they need it. With insurance to help with the costs, Americans are more likely to visit a physician or hospital when they’re ill or need treatment.

The Fastest-Growing Jobs in Alternative Energy

The Bureau of Labor Statistics identified two positions in the alternative energy industry that are predicted to see the most growth in the coming years.

Solar Photovoltaic Installers

  • Median pay: $42,680.
  • Required level of education: High school diploma or equivalent.
  • Job outlook: Growing by 63%.

A solar photovoltaic (PV) installer installs, assembles, and maintains solar panel systems, either on rooftops or on other structures. Most of this work is completed outdoors, but sometimes solar PV installers work in attics or crawl spaces.

With environmental issues in the spotlight, many companies and consumers are looking for alternative energy sources so they don’t feel they’re negatively contributing to the energy crisis. Solar energy is a simple and convenient way to power a home or business, which is leading to an increase in the number of installers needed.

Wind Turbine Service Technicians

  • Median pay: $54,370.
  • Required level of education: Completion of technical or vocational school.
  • Job outlook: Growing by 57%.

A wind turbine service technician is also commonly referred to as a windtech. Job responsibilities include installing, inspecting, maintaining, operating, and repairing wind turbines. These turbines harness wind power to serve as a source of alternative energy.

To perform his or her job, a windtech must climb up into these large turbines to inspect and repair them. These techs are expected to carry heavy tools with them to make repairs or replace parts in the hydraulic systems. Windtech is one of the fastest- growing jobs because wind energy is becoming a popular alternative source of power for many regions.

The Fastest-Growing Jobs in Healthcare

The healthcare sector is experiencing monumental growth. According to the latest statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s an industry that includes five of the 10 top growing jobs in the country.

Home Health Aides

  • Median pay: $24,060.
  • Required level of education: High school diploma or equivalent.
  • Job outlook: Growing by 36%.

Home health aides are usually employed by hospices, nursing homes, home health agencies, or staffing agencies. They visit patients in their own homes and assist with basic routine care, such as bathing, eating, giving medicine, dressing, or checking vital signs.

A home health aide may travel to several different patients’ homes each day and the responsibilities for each patient may be different. With the median age of the average American consistently increasing, more people are getting older and less independent, leaving them in need of home health aides. This may be one reason the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects increased growth for this job in the coming years.

Personal Care Aides

  • Median pay: $24,060.
  • Required level of education: High school diploma or equivalent.
  • Job outlook: Growing by 36%.

Personal care aides work with individuals who are physically or mentally challenged to ensure they have a good quality of life. These aides work in clients’ homes, in hospices, or in residential care facilities and help patients with daily chores and tasks, such as getting dressed, engaging in social activities, or brushing their hair.

Aides may also enhance their patients’ quality of life by reading, playing games with them, or cooking meals for them. With government insurance programs and private insurance carriers, families may not have to pay as much for this care, which may contribute to the growth of this position.

Occupational Therapy Assistants

  • Median pay: $57,620.
  • Required level of education: Associate’s degree from an accredited occupational therapy assistant program.
  • Job outlook: Growing by 31%.

Occupational therapy assistants help patients recover from health-related traumas or diseases, such as a stroke or Alzheimer’s disease. Their job is to help patients improve and refine their skills so they can continue being independent and completing basic life and/or work tasks.

Most occupational therapy assistants work in nursing care facilities, hospitals, or occupational therapy offices. As the American population ages, more diseases and health-related traumas occur, which may contribute to the increased need for occupational therapy assistants.

Physician Assistants

  • Median pay: $108,610.
  • Required level of education: Master’s degree.
  • Job outlook: Growing by 31%.

A physician assistant practices medicine within a team of surgeons, physicians, and other healthcare workers. They’re responsible for diagnosing illnesses, creating treatment plans, prescribing medications, and acting as their patients’ main healthcare provider. They usually work in doctor’s offices or hospitals and can see many patients each day for various symptoms and treatments. The demand for physician assistants continues to rise as the population rises and more people seek medical care.

Nurse Practitioners

  • Median pay: $113,930.
  • Required level of education: Master’s degree.
  • Job outlook: Growing by 26%.

A nurse practitioner provides primary and specialty healthcare to patients and may also coordinate care for patients. Many of the tasks that nurse practitioners are responsible for are similar to physician assistants’ duties, including diagnosing illnesses, prescribing medication, and examining patients. However, in most cases, a nurse practitioner must also practice alongside a medical doctor. The job outlook for a nurse practitioner is growing quickly, as the demand for healthcare increases.

Other Fast-Growing Jobs

Outside of the healthcare and alternative energy sectors, there are several other fast- growing jobs according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While these jobs aren’t all in the same industries, their respective sectors are experiencing notable growth.

Information Security Analysts

  • Median pay: $98,350.
  • Required level of education: Bachelor’s degree.
  • Job outlook: Growing by 32%.

Information security analysts are responsible for protecting company data from cyber attacks. They may analyze current technology security systems and suggest changes to company executives to make the systems safer. The technology industry is growing and most consumers and businesses use technologies in everyday life. This jobs outlook is on the rise due to the demand for online safety.

Statisticians

  • Median pay: $88,190.
  • Required level of education:  Master’s degree.
  • Job outlook: Growing by 30%.

Statisticians analyze data and use statistical or mathematical techniques to solve problems. They may be tasked with solving business-related problems, such as analyzing changes in consumer buying trends. Statisticians may also be tasked with analyzing health statistics to identify patterns and potential causes of health issues. Since statisticians are used in a variety of ways, including in business, healthcare, and manufacturing, it’s no wonder the demand continues to increase for this position.

Speech-Language Pathologists

  • Median pay: $77,510.
  • Required level of education:  Master’s degree.
  • Job outlook: Growing by 27%.

Speech language pathologists work to identify, assess, diagnose, and treat speech disorders in patients. In some cases, they may also be tasked with helping to prevent potential speech disorders from getting worse. Most pathologists work with a team of doctors and other healthcare professionals and are called in on an “as-needed” basis. Some may work in schools to help children correct speech impairments.

While some speech-language pathologists work with children, some may help adult stroke or dementia victims to improve their speech. The aging American population and the commonality of health ailments may be a big part of why there’s a rise in demand for speech-language pathologists.


Image Source: https://depositphotos.com/

This post was updated December 5, 2019. It was originally published December 5, 2019.