Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on Point2.
The U.S. labor market went through several essential changes during the past decade.
In particular, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic over the last couple of years have determined an unprecedented overhaul in working practices, with more U.S. employees switching to remote or hybrid schedules than ever before.
But even prior to the pandemic, the labor market was in flux, with certain sectors witnessing tremendous growth while others fell dramatically.
With that in mind, CommercialCafe studied statistics to highlight the fastest-growing jobs in the U.S. over the last 10 years. Here are their key findings.
Green Energy Jobs Triple Over the Past Decade
Green energy has become increasingly widespread throughout the past decade. As such, it’s no surprise that jobs in this sector were among the fastest-growing between 2012 and 2021 nationally.
Indeed, solar photovoltaic installers topped the charts with a growth of 249% over the previous decade. In 2012, there were just 4,710 professionals in this field, compared with around 16,420 in 2022.
These figures reflect the growing demand for solar power in the U.S. energy market. In 2010, solar power delivered around 1.2 million megawatt hours (MWH) to the market, but by 2020, this had increased to an impressive 91 million MWH.
Wind Power Follows Close Behind
The number of wind turbine service technicians grew by 216% over the last decade, making it the second-fastest-growing job in the study.
From 3,200 workers in 2012 to 10,100 by the end of 2022, employment in this sector almost doubled year-over-year during the pandemic.
Health Care Professions Are 4 of the Top 10 Fastest-Growing Jobs Nationally
While green energy jobs lead the table, the health care sector made up the bulk of the rankings.
With a 155% hike in employee numbers, prosthodontist jobs grew the most over the past 10 years, from 310 in 2012 to 790 in 2021. Ophthalmic medical technicians followed, with a 125% increase.
Meanwhile, nurse practitioner numbers more than doubled to 234,690 by the end of the decade, for a total growth of 122%. Finally, hearing aid specialists in the U.S. rose by 117%.
Health Care Industry Boasts Top Job Growth in 11 States
Growth in health care jobs had already begun right at the beginning of the decade. With more people than ever retiring, the health sector needed to expand significantly to meet the predicted demand.
As such, by 2021, around 20 million Americans were working in the industry.
Over the past 10 years, jobs in the health care sector grew consistently across the country, with roles in the industry being the fastest-growing in 11 states.
Health Care Job Trends Across the U.S.
In Michigan, the number of ophthalmic medical technicians grew by a whopping 678% over the past 10 years, creating an additional 1,830 new jobs.
Similar growth was witnessed in Arizona, where the number of such professionals swelled by 603%.
With equally impressive growth, the number of marriage and family therapists in Illinois jumped by 670%, adding an extra 2,210 jobs since 2012.
Manicurist and pedicurist jobs were other health care occupations that topped the rankings in three different states: Colorado, Texas and Wisconsin. In Texas, the number of people employed in these roles grew sixfold, from 1,150 to 6,610.
Business and Health Care Jobs Make Up Over 50% of All U.S. Jobs in 2021
Jobs in the business sector were also among the fastest-growing across several U.S. states over the past 10 years.
Indeed, just over half of all working Americans were employed in either a business or health care role in 2021.
And, combined with industrial sector jobs, 97 million U.S. professionals worked in one of these three major industries.
Business Jobs Across the U.S.
Regarding business sector jobs, Florida, New Hampshire and Utah all recorded high numbers of workers in the industry. In fact, Florida, paired with New York, saw the most significant increase in business jobs over the decade.
Notably, Florida’s number of education administrators grew 10 times between 2012 and 2022. Close behind, New York witnessed a 538% increase in the number of financial examiners, with an additional 11,000 new jobs on the market.
Wyoming was the only state in the country where business jobs accounted for less than 30% of the total. Instead, almost a quarter of the state’s workforce was employed in industrial roles.
Indiana and Alabama recorded similar figures.
Industrial Occupations Witness Significant Growth in 8 States
Regarding industrial jobs, Indiana enjoyed the largest growth over the previous 10 years, with roles in the sector swelling by 432%.
Specifically, 7,130 engine and machine assembly jobs were added over the decade, seeing the sector quadruple.
Meanwhile, South Carolina saw industrial sector jobs grow by 376%, while Virginia witnessed an increase of 350%.
Service Jobs Thrive in North Carolina Despite Pandemic
Jobs in hospitality and services were among the hardest hit during the pandemic, especially among restaurants and other entertainment venues.
Despite this, growth in the sector has been impressive over the decade, particularly in North Carolina. Indeed, fast food cooks topped the list of the fastest-growing service jobs in the state after witnessing a 1,705% growth.
Agricultural Jobs on the Rise in Maryland and Georgia
Maryland and Georgia were the only states in which farm and agricultural occupations increased over the previous decade. Maryland saw the number of farmworkers and laborers grow from 600 in 2011 to 2,320 by the end of 2021, an increase of 287%.
Meanwhile, the number of agricultural equipment operators rose to 940 by the end of the decade, a hike of 276%.
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