Which Careers are the Fastest Growing?

bls-research-fastest-growing-occupations.ashxAre you thinking of switching careers? Before you do, you might want to consider which types of jobs are expected to have increased openings within the coming years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has comprised a list of the top 20 occupations anticipated to be the fastest growing from 2008 through 2018.

Healthcare Industry Dominates

Half of the 20 fastest growing occupations listed by the BLS fall into the medical/ healthcare category, with many of the positions requiring post-secondary education or training. One of the reasons healthcare is experiencing such a large growth is because, as the baby-boomer generation gets older, they are seeking more medical care.

Additionally, with healthcare becoming more expensive, many of the tasks that used to be conducted routinely by doctors or nurses are now being delegated to healthcare professionals who receive a lower salary, such as physician, medical, and dental assistants, in order to cut costs.

There has also been a recent rise in home healthcare aids, as more individuals choose to be treated at home, rather than at hospitals or long-term care facilities. In fact, home health aides had the highest increase in terms of numbers and are anticipated to have 460.9 thousand more jobs through 2018.

Bio and Information Technology Projections

Along with the growth in healthcare, there is a need for more advanced medical technologies, such as new healthcare devices, treatments, and pharmaceuticals. Two of the fastest growing occupations are in the biosciences; biochemists and biophysicists (grouped as one occupation) and biomedical engineers.

Earning the number one spot on the list, employment for biomedical engineers is expected to grow by 72%. Although with their small starting number, this is only leading to an increase of 11,600 jobs, with biochemists and biophysicists adding 8,700 jobs.

Table Fastest Growing Occupations

Also, making the top 20 list are two computer occupations; network systems and data communications analysts and computer applications software engineers.Due to the need for organizations to upgrade their IT systems on an ongoing basis, at a 53% growth, network systems and data communications analysts are expected to be the second-fastest growing occupation.

Similarly, as the Internet continues to expand, employment for computer applications software engineers is anticipated to increase by 34% to keep up with the demand.

Overall Trends

A majority of the jobs on the list reflect societies’ enhanced healthcare and technologic needs, and although the employment projections differ across categories between 2008 and 2018, the top five occupations remain the same.

Within the list, thirteen of the 20 occupations require formalized post-secondary education, with five requiring at least a bachelor’s degree, stressing the importance of education when it comes to one’s career.

According to research by the BLS, the average level of education tends to correlate with salary, and while the national annual median wage was $32,290 in 2008, eleven of the top 20 occupations exceeded this by a minimum of $10,000.