First, a caveat: Choosing the 10 fastest growing careers in the country is an inexact science because smaller niche fields may be left out of government and private calculations and predictions.
However, no matter the source, it is clear that many fields in the medical and health field – due to current dire shortages of doctors and nurses – are predicted to boom for much of this decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as well as analysts such as Money Magazine and CNN.
Others on this list are related to the 2007 recession or to the continuing demand for computer-related skills.
Registered nurses. If you’re not a registered nurse and you want a good-paying job that’s expected to be in demand, this is a great choice. There were 2.6 million registered nurses as of 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics, with a 22 percent increase in numbers expected by 2018. Nursing shortages now being felt throughout the country explain the tremendous demand for this profession.
Home health aides. As the baby boomers get older, they are requiring more and more medical attention. Many are turning home health care workers, though some of this demand is being satisfied by registered nurses. Still, not all of these jobs require college degrees and the demand is expected to be huge, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This field is expected to expand by 48 percent in the decade ending in 2018.
Dental assistants. As many dentists focus on mastering new technology and procedures that bring in more cash, they are hiring more and more dental assistants for assistance with these additional procedures, as well as help with more routine dental responsibilities. This is a job with significant flexibility, as about one-third of all dental assistants in 2008 had part-time hours.
Accountants and auditors. In fallout from the recession of 2007, there is an increasing demand for financial advice and services. This can range from full-time work to seasonal jobs doing tax returns. In all, this field is expected to swell by 22 percent by 2018. The average career growth for the decade ending in 2018 is 8 percent.
Nursing aides, orderlies. Another area of the health field with huge growth potential, with an estimated growth of 34 percent by 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics. This is part of a trickle-down effect from the general nursing shortage. While the bulk of these openings are projected in hospital settings, jobs will also be available in doctor’s offices and nursing care facilities.
Survey work. Another field where a college degree is not required. This job includes both conducting surveys as well as the higher-paying job of designing and writing surveys for companies. Growth for this field is estimated at 30 percent.
Computer software engineers, programmers. Computer expertise continues to be in strong demand as more and more small businesses and individuals stoke the demand. These careers are a great choice because training is available in certified programs for a year or even less. Additionally, a large number of computer programmers work on a freelance basis, allowing some people to test this field without giving up their current full-time job.
Pharmacy technicians. Back to the aging baby boomers who are hiring more and more home health care workers. This segment of the population also is getting sick on a more regular basis, putting more demand on the pharmacy field. Education and training is significant in this field, which is expected to grow by 25 percent.
Computer network, systems analysis. A 21 percent growth is expected in this field, which is all the more impressive because that means more than 45,000 new jobs are expected to be created between now and 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Again, if you’re searching for a field you can enter with a year or less of training that has a great future, this and other careers related to computers is a great choice.
Teachers, K-12. Whether you’re talking about elementary school teachers or middle school and high school, these careers need bodies – between 15 and 22 percent more teachers will be needed by 2018 between the three different school levels.
(photo by jdlasica)