Job growth can be determined two ways: by the rate of growth and by the number of new jobs that are created. Some job fields have both a fast growth rate and create new jobs. However, an occupation that employs just a few workers may have rapid growth, but the number of new jobs may be small. For example, a small occupation that has 1,000 workers and is forecast to grow 50 percent will only add 500 jobs. Conversely, a large occupation that has 1.5 million workers may only have a 10 percent growth, but that equals 150,000 jobs. So, to get a full picture of employment growth, both measures must be taken into consideration.
Many college students do not consider job outlook when they pick a major or start their post-graduation job search. But forecasts need to be considered when looking for a new career or job. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment opportunities in different careers are increasing at different rates.
The following jobs have an outlook that predicts “much faster than average” growth, which is important for people seeking entry-level jobs or the opportunity to advance in related industries.
Occupations with the fastest growth
Of the 10 fastest growing occupations, many are related to healthcare. Employment in healthcare-related jobs is forecast to continue growing quickly, in large part because of an aging population that will need more medical care. Some healthcare jobs will be in greater demand for other reasons. As healthcare costs rise, work is increasingly being done by lower paid workers to cut costs. Patients are also seeking more home health care as an alternative to costly hospitals or residential care facility stays. This is causing a marked increase in the demand for home health aides. Although not classified as healthcare workers, jobs as personal and home care aides are also growing due to this demand.
Six of the fastest growing occupations are in the construction and extraction fields. Helpers are needed for brick, block, and stone masons, and tile and marble setters. Helpers will also be needed for carpenters. They are projected to be ranked in the top five fastest growing occupations by 2010. As the economy recovers, demand for will grow as the need for schools, hospitals, apartment buildings, and other structures grows. Helpers are needed for maintaining buildings, roads, and bridges. Also among the fastest growing fields are reinforcing iron and rebar workers; helpers for pipe layers and fitters, plumbers, and steamfitters; and brick and block masons. These jobs are predicted to add 132,900 jobs by 2020.
Two business and financial operations fields are in the top 10. By 2020, meeting, convention, and event planners and market research analysts and marketing specialists are forecast to grow by 44 percent and 41 percent, respectively. Demand for these workers comes from the growing significance of meetings and conventions as businesses and other associations become more international. Employment growth will also be driven by the rising use of data and market research to understand the needs and wants of customers and measure the efficiency of marketing and business strategies.
10 Best Jobs for the Future
Employment in this career field includes performing jobs that call for physical labor at building, highway, and heavy construction sites, tunnel and shaft excavations, and demolition sites. Workers might be called upon to handle and use hand and power tools of all kinds, including air hammers, earth tampers, small mechanical hoists, surveying and measuring equipment, and a variety of others. Workers may have to clean and prepare sites, dig trenches, put up scaffolding, clean up waste and debris, and remove asbestos, lead, and other hazardous waste materials. Jobs in the field include laborer, construction laborer, cement finisher, construction worker, helper, post framer, curb and gutter laborer, drain layer, and drop crew laborer.
Administrative & Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
Employment in these occupations is forecast to grow by 21 percent by 2020. Many jobs will be created in employment services, an industry that is anticipated to account for 40 percent of the new jobs in the field. The projected growth is from the need for seasonal and temporary workers and for human resources workers. The fastest growth in the industry is anticipated to be in waste collection, which is expected to grow 35 percent by 2020 because of population growth and the privatization of waste collection services.
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
The arts, entertainment, and recreation industry is expected to grow by 18 percent through 2020. Most of the increase will be in the amusement, gambling, and recreation field. Job growth is resulting from public participation in arts, entertainment, and recreation activities – reflecting a growth in leisure time, and the awareness of the benefits of physical fitness.
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Employment in professional, scientific, and technical services is forecasted to grow by 29 percent by 2020. Employment in computer systems design and related services is projected to grow by 47 percent, driven by the growing demand for sophisticated technologies. Employment in management, scientific, and technical consulting services is expected to grow by 58 percent. Demand for these services will be motivated by the need for advice on planning and logistics, the implementation of new technologies, and conformity with workplace safety, environmental, and employment regulations.
Transportation and Warehousing
Hiring in transportation and warehousing is projected to grow by 20 percent during 2010–20, adding about 853,000 jobs to the total. Truck transportation is forecasted to grow by about 24 percent, and the warehousing and storage segment is projected to grow by about 26 percent. The high demand for truck transportation and warehousing services will continue grow as global trade grows and more goods are shipped into and around the country.
Computer and Information Technology
Technical occupations are predicted to grow by 22 percent, adding approximately 758,800 new jobs from 2010 to 2020. Demand for workers in these career fields is being driven by the continuing need for businesses, government agencies, and other organizations to upgrade and learn to use the latest technologies. Workers in these fields will be required to help develop software, increase cyber security, and update the current network infrastructure.
Education, Training, and Library
These occupations are projected to add more than 1.4 million jobs, showing a growth rate of more than 15 percent. As the population of school-age children increases, the demand for elementary and middle school teachers and teacher assistants will grow. With more students looking at obtaining higher education degrees, there is an increasing demand for postsecondary teachers.
Installation, Maintenance, and Repair
Workers in these occupations install new equipment and repair and maintain equipment. These occupations are forecast to add about 800,200 jobs by 2020, growing by 15 percent. Growth will be extensive among all of the occupations in the field, because workers in these jobs are essential to the maintenance and development of buildings, communication structures, transportation systems, and other forms of infrastructure. Demand will go up as customers choose to make repairs on existing equipment rather than buy new one. Jobs in this career field are closely connected to the housing market, and as it recovers, demand for installation, maintenance, and repair workers will go up.
Personal Care and Service
Growth in the personal care and service career fields is predicted to grow by about 27 percent over the next 10 years, adding more than 1.3 million jobs. As consumers become more interested in health, beauty, and fitness, the number of cosmetic and health spas will continue to increase, causing a growth in the demand for workers in this group. The personal care and service career field includes a wide variety of jobs; however, two of them – personal care aides and childcare workers – will account for almost two-thirds of the field’s new jobs.
Personal and home care assistants will encounter a growing demand as the increasing number of elderly people need assistance with daily tasks. The number of childcare workers will increase as the population of children keeps going up and the emphasis on early childhood education is increasingly considered to be more important, producing more formal preschool programs. These formal educational programs will increase the demand for both childcare workers and preschool teachers.
Transportation and Material Moving
The need for workers in the transportation of people and materials by land, sea, or air is forecast to grow by 15 percent, accounting for 1.3 million new jobs, almost restoring employment to levels from before the recession. These occupations lost 1.3 million jobs from 2006 to 2010. As the economy continues to grow over the 2010–20 period and the demand for goods increases, truck drivers will be required to transport those goods to businesses, consumers, and others. In addition, employment of laborers and hand, freight, stock and material movers will grow as these workers are increasingly needed in more warehouses because of a predicted rise in consumer spending.