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50 fastest-growing jobs for the future

  • 50 fastest-growing jobs for the future

    The fastest-growing jobs vary vastly: From solar photovoltaic installers to interpreters and translators, dozens of diverse sectors expect to soar before 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook.

    Stacker rounded up and researched the 50 fastest-growing jobs ranked by the projected growth rate between 2016–2026. Any professions that tied in projected growth were broken by the 2018 median annual wage of that vocation. Furthermore, any occupations that had the phrase “all other” in them were not included in the research since these occupations usually entail several similar jobs and cannot give accurate or detailed wage and growth data.

    O*Net, national occupational information network, detailed dozens of the fastest-growing jobs skills, tasks, and qualifications, showing similarities and trends in many of the professions, including the increased demand for green job professionals and medical field assistants. CNBC reported in 2017 that solar and wind jobs were on the rise and make up some of the 50 fastest-growing jobs.

    But it's not only the future of energy that directs the fastest-growing jobs; the aging population drives the medical field sector, which is calling for more assistants and specialists. “A number of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity, have become more prevalent in recent years. More physical therapists will be needed to help these patients maintain their mobility and manage the effects of chronic conditions,” reports the BLS.

    Home health aides were the most employed on the list and expect to reach over 4 million practitioners by 2026. Some of the soaring sectors now, including computing, engineering, and infrastructure professions, were popular a decade ago—even during the financial crisis—according to business media brand Fast Company.

    Whether or not the jobs on this list will stand the test of time remains to be seen, but matriculating into one of these fields now promises a bright future.

    You may also like: Jobs for millennials that didn't exist for their parents

  • #50. Interpreters and translators

    - Projected job growth rate 2016-2026: 18%
    - Number of jobs in 2016: 68,200
    - Projected employment change 2016-2026: +12,100
    - 2018 median annual wage: $49,930
    - Typical entry-level education: Bachelor's degree

    Increased migration to the U.S. and globalization has accelerated this job sector more quickly than the average of all occupations combined through 2026, reports the BLS. Interpreters, who change one language into another dialect or the spoken word into sign language, differ from translators, who convert written material from one language to another. In 2016, there were more than 68,000 interpreters and translators, with up to 30% working in professional, technical, and scientific services.

  • #49. Speech-language pathologists

    - Projected job growth rate 2016-2026: 18%
    - Number of jobs in 2016: 145,100
    - Projected employment change 2016-2026: +25,900
    - 2018 median annual wage: $77,510
    - Typical entry-level education: Master's degree

    The U.S. school system employed two out of five speech-language pathologists in 2016, while a majority of the rest worked in health care facilities. Professionals in the industry must be licensed to diagnose and treat children and adults who suffer from communication disorders due to developmental delay, autism, hearing loss, brain injury, and stroke amongst others. Increased awareness of speech disorders in children and baby boomers suffering speech-related impairments from aging expect to drive the sector's growth 18%.

  • #48. Optometrists

    - Projected job growth rate 2016-2026: 18%
    - Number of jobs in 2016: 40,200
    - Projected employment change 2016-2026: +7,200
    - 2018 median annual wage: $111,790
    - Typical entry-level education: Doctoral or professional degree

    Optometrists are #17 on the USA Today Best Jobs In America for 2019, with the newspaper reporting “those considering a career in health care may be inclined to focus on optometry because of the relatively high pay and low stress associated with it.” Vision degeneration in the aging population drives the employment sector, that requires state licensure and a Doctorate of Optometry. Up to 54% of the professionals own their own standalone business, while 16% work in offices with physicians.

  • #47. Social and community service managers

    - Projected job growth rate 2016-2026: 18%
    - Number of jobs in 2016: 147,300
    - Projected employment change 2016-2026: +26,500
    - 2018 median annual wage: $65,320
    - Typical entry-level education: Bachelor's degree

    Individual and family services were the largest employer of social and community service managers in 2016. Example jobs include: child welfare services director and community health service manager, who oversee programs, funding, and work with supporting agencies that assist low-income families, older adults, homeless, and veterans who suffer from substance abuse issues or have mental health needs.

  • #46. Financial managers

    - Projected job growth rate 2016-2026: 18.71%
    - Number of jobs in 2016: 580,400
    - Projected employment change 2016-2026: +108,600
    - 2018 median annual wage: $127,990
    - Typical entry-level education: Bachelor's degree

    Financial managers' projected job growth of 18.71% through 2026 is due to increased globalization and “an increased emphasis on risk management within the financial industry, and this trend is expected to continue,” reports the BLS. Financial managers, who must have a bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, or economics, advise clients on investments, taxes, and estate planning, among other financial matters.

  • #45. Veterinarians

    - Projected job growth rate 2016-2026: 18.84%
    - Number of jobs in 2016: 79,600
    - Projected employment change 2016-2026: +15,000
    - 2018 median annual wage: $93,830
    - Typical entry-level education: Doctoral or professional degree

    As a doctor of everything animal, veterinarians provide a significant amount of services including vaccinations, wound treatment, setting bones, or performing surgeries. Practicing medicine on animals requires extensive schooling and licensure and comes at a cost. “The work can be emotionally stressful, as veterinarians care for abused animals, euthanize sick ones, and offer support to the animals' anxious owners,” reports the BLS.

  • #44. Cartographers and photogrammetrists

    - Projected job growth rate 2016-2026: 19.05%
    - Number of jobs in 2016: 12,600
    - Projected employment change 2016-2026: +2,400
    - 2018 median annual wage: $64,430
    - Typical entry-level education: Bachelor's degree

    Though there is a 19.05% growth rate for cartographers and photogrammetrists, who collect data to create online and mobile maps and surveys, the occupation is only expected to create 2,400 new positions before 2026. The need for more cartographers and photogrammetrists to develop accurate maps comes from government planning, forest and waterway management, and the operation of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), “which are increasingly being used to map and locate areas that are in need during natural disasters,” according to the BLS.

  • #43. Hearing aid specialists

    - Projected job growth rate 2016-2026: 19.12%
    - Number of jobs in 2016: 6,800
    - Projected employment change 2016-2026: +1,300
    - 2018 median annual wage: $52,770
    - Typical entry-level education: High school diploma or equivalent

    The profession ranked 29 of 30 in U.S. News & World Report's Best Health Care Support Jobs of 2019. “Hearing Aid Specialists made a median salary of $54,860 in 2017. The top 25% in the industry made a median salary of $70,140 that year, while the lowest-paid 25% made $39,670,” reports the media outlet. Furthermore, a specialist's opportunity for advancement and salary is ranked as above average, while the job's stress level rated below average.

  • #42. Computer and information research scientists

    - Projected job growth rate 2016-2026: 19.35%
    - Number of jobs in 2016: 27,900
    - Projected employment change 2016-2026: +5,400
    - 2018 median annual wage: $118,370
    - Typical entry-level education: Master's degree

    Increasing data collection and growing cybersecurity concerns are calling for more computer and information research scientists, who test software system operations, create computing language, and analyze algorithms. Up to 28% of the professionals in the industry work for the federal government and software publishers, while engineering and scientific services employ many of the remaining computer and information research practitioners in the U.S.

  • #41. Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers

    - Projected job growth rate 2016-2026: 19.45%
    - Number of jobs in 2016: 83,800
    - Projected employment change 2016-2026: +16,300
    - 2018 median annual wage: $27,540
    - Typical entry-level education: High school diploma or equivalent

    Along with a high school diploma, veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers must graduate from a National Association of Veterinary Technician in America-approved program and pass an exam. Some job priorities include assisting veterinarians, cleaning and exercising animals, providing first aid, and administering medications. “Increases in consumers' pet-related spending are expected to drive employment in the veterinary services industry, which employs most veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers,” reports the BLS.

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