The 10 Fastest-Growing Jobs of This Decade

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The job landscape is always changing, based on the needs of the market — and the start of a new decade is a good time to examine those evolving jobs.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that between 2018 and 2028, the U.S. will gain 8.4 million new jobs.

The federal agency expects that the fastest-growing jobs will be in health care and related services. Fast growth also is expected in fields related to renewable energy, mathematics and computers.

If you’re looking for a job that’s likely to be around a decade from now, read on to learn about the occupations that the BLS expects to grow fastest.

10. Speech-language pathologists

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Projected job growth rate for 2018-2028: 27.3%

Median annual wage as of 2018: $77,510

The number of speech-language pathologist jobs is projected to grow at a much faster rate than average.

As the large generation of baby boomers grows older, the BLS expects strokes and dementia to cause speech or language impairments among many older people that will require the help of these professionals.

9. Nurse practitioners

nurse
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Projected job growth rate for 2018-2028: 28.2%

Median annual wage as of 2018: $107,030

This occupational category includes nurse practitioners as well as nurse anesthetists and nurse midwives.

Nurse practitioners are increasingly important to providing primary care services, especially in locations with doctor shortages. They can provide specialty care, too.

8. Statisticians

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Projected job growth rate for 2018-2028: 30.7%

Median annual wage as of 2018: $87,780

If health care isn’t your thing, becoming a statistician or mathematician is another way to take advantage of the changing job market.

The increasing volume of digitally stored data requires professionals who can analyze and interpret it, and jobs in this field are growing much faster than average, according to the BLS.

7. Physician assistants

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Projected job growth rate for 2018-2028: 31.1%

Median annual wage as of 2018: $108,610

Physician assistants (called PAs) often work as part of health care teams, assisting doctors and surgeons. Their work can include examining, diagnosing and treating patients, ordering tests and prescribing treatment.

To get a job as a physician assistant, you typically will need at least a master’s degree.

6. Information security analysts

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Projected job growth rate for 2018-2028: 31.6%

Median annual wage as of 2018: $98,350

Data breaches of computer networks occur with alarming regularity, and the problem seems unlikely to be solved any time soon.

The BLS expects an increase in demand for workers capable of monitoring networks for security breaches and investigating when they find them. Information security analysts deploy firewalls, data encryption programs and other specialty software to safeguard information.

5. Occupational therapy assistants

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Projected job growth rate for 2018-2028: 33.1%

Median annual wage as of 2018: $60,220

You don’t need a four-year degree to get a job that pays well, even in the health care field. As an occupational therapy assistant, you can make a good salary after you get an associate’s degree.

Occupational therapy assistants work directly with patients, often to help them recover from illness.

4. Personal care aides

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Projected job growth rate for 2018-2028: 36.4%

Median annual wage as of 2018: $24,020

Another job that doesn’t require higher education is a personal care aide, who can work in a number of settings, including day programs, private homes and group homes.

As a personal care aide, you help others with daily living activities, providing them support to accomplish tasks they can’t do on their own.

You may need only on-the-job training to become a personal care aide. Working in a certified home health or hospice agency is likely to involve more-formal training and testing.

3. Home health aides

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Projected job growth rate for 2018-2028: 36.6%

Median annual wage as of 2018: $24,200

Similar to personal care aides, home health aides are expected to see a bump in demand as baby boomers age and need help with daily activities.

Home health aides work in a variety of settings to help people who are ill, disabled or elderly with their daily activities. They might do things like helping someone dress or bathe, do housekeeping, shop for groceries and stay active socially, for example.

2. Wind turbine service technicians

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Projected job growth rate for 2018-2028: 56.9%

Median annual wage as of 2018: $54,370

Wind electricity generation is expected to experience major growth this decade, and technicians will be needed to service large wind turbines. These workers typically get their training from a technical school or on-the-job instruction.

1. Solar photovoltaic installers

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Projected job growth rate for 2018-2028: 63.3%

Median annual wage as of 2018: $42,680

The BLS predicts that the fastest-growing job between 2018 and 2028 will be that of solar photovoltaic installer.

Demand for solar photovoltaic panels and shingles — commonly called solar panels — continues to grow and costs are falling, reports the BLS. Plenty of workers will be needed to install all those panels.

Most candidates require only a high school diploma and on-the-job training, while some seeking to enter the field take courses at a community college or technical school.

Would you consider retraining to get one of these jobs? Share your thoughts in a comment below or at Money Talks News on Facebook.

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