Top 30 fastest-growing jobs by 2018

From Boston.com 10/11/2017

If you’re considering switching careers or are just starting to think about where to start yours, this is the list for you: The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projections of the 30 fastest-growing careers.

The projections, which are updated every two years, show that the total number of people employed in the United States will have increased 10.1 percent — by 15.3 million — between 2008 and 2018. However, some jobs will grow at a much faster rate during that period.

(Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook and Career Guide to Industries)

 

30. Fitness trainers and aerobics instructors

Projected increase in 2018: 29.4 percent

Number employed in 2008: 261,000

Median pay in 2008: $29,210

Education/training: Getting certified by one of the top certification organizations is becoming increasingly important, especially for personal trainers.

Job outlook: Aging baby boomers, one group that increasingly is becoming concerned with staying healthy and physically fit, will be the main driver of employment growth in fitness workers.

More on fitness trainers

Job openings in New England for fitness trainers

 

29. Occupational therapist assistants

Projected increase in 2018: 29.8 percent

Number employed in 2008: 27,000

Median pay in 2008: $50,830

Education/training: Occupational therapist assistants must attend a school accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education in order to sit for the national certifying exam for occupational therapist assistants.

Job outlook: The growing elderly population is particularly vulnerable to chronic and debilitating conditions that require therapeutic services. These patients often need additional assistance in their treatment, making the roles of assistants and aides vital.

More on occupational therapist assistants

Job openings in New England for occupational therapist assistants

 

28. Environmental engineering technicians

Projected increase in 2018: 30.1 percent

Number employed in 2008: 21,000

Median pay in 2008: $41,100

Education/training: Most employers prefer to hire someone with a two-year associate degree or other postsecondary training in engineering technology.

Job outlook: Competitive pressures will force companies to improve and update manufacturing facilities and product designs, although increased efficiencies and automation of many support activities will curtail job growth for engineering technicians.

More on environmental engineering technicians

Job openings in New England for environmental engineers

 

27. Personal financial advisers

Projected increase in 2018: 30.1 percent

Number employed in 2008: 208,000

Median pay in 2008: $69,050

Education/training: The minimum requirement for a financial adviser is a bachelor’s degree. However, it’s a field in which workers frequently attend training courses to keep up with changes in the industry.

Job outlook: Although this is expected to be one of the top 10 fastest-growing occupations, competition for new jobs is expected to be tough. Again, this industry’s growth can be attributed in large part to the millions of baby boomers who will soon retire.

More on personal financial advisers

Job openings in New England for personal financial advisers

26. Physical therapists

Projected increase in 2018: 30.3 percent

Number employed in 2008: 186,000

Median pay in 2008: $72,790

Education/training: The American Physical Therapy Association’s accrediting body accredits entry-level academic programs in physical therapy. A graduate degree and state licensing are required.

Job outlook: Changes to restrictions on reimbursement for physical therapy services by third-party payers will increase patient access to services and, thus, increase demand. The increasing elderly population will drive growth in the demand for physical therapy services.

More info on physical therapists

Job openings in New England for physical therapists

25. Survey researchers

Projected increase in 2018: 30.4 percent

Number employed in 2008: 23,000

Median pay in 2008: $36,220

Education/training: A bachelor’s degree is the minimum educational requirement for many market and survey research jobs. However, a master’s degree is usually required for more technical positions.

Job outlook: Survey researchers will increase much faster than average as public policy groups and all levels of governments increasingly use public opinion research to help determine a variety of issues.

More on survey researchers

Job openings in New England for survey researchers

 

24. Computer software and systems software engineers

Projected increase in 2018: 30.4 percent

Number employed in 2008: 395,000

Median pay in 2008: $85,430

Education/training: A bachelor’s degree and experience with a variety of software and systems are a must. However, engineers are expected to continue to educate themselves in the latest technology.

Job outlook: This occupation will grow as the demand for computer networking skills, particularly at companies, increases. The need for new Internet applications, system safety, and upgrading are a few of the specific needs this job handles.

More on computer software engineers

Job opening in New England for software engineers

23. Pharmacy technicians

Projected increase in 2018: 30.6 percent

Number employed in 2008: 326,000

Median pay in 2008: $28,500

Education/training: No formal training required. In most states, pharmacy technicians must be registered with the state board of pharmacy. In some states applicants must possess a high school diploma or its equivalent and pay an application fee.

Job outlook: The increased number of middle-aged and elderly people—who use more prescription drugs than younger people—will spur demand for pharmacy workers throughout the projection period. In addition, as scientific advances lead to new drugs, and as more people obtain prescription drug coverage, pharmacy workers will be needed in growing numbers.

More on pharmacy technicians

Job openings in New England for pharmacy technicians

 

22. Environmental engineers

Projected increase in 2018: 30.6 percent

Number employed in 2008: 54,000

Median pay in 2008: $74,020

Education/training: A bachelor’s degree in engineering is required for almost all entry-level engineering jobs. College graduates with a degree in a natural science or mathematics occasionally may qualify for some engineering jobs.

Job outlook: A shift in emphasis toward preventing problems rather than controlling those which already exist, as well as increasing public health concerns resulting from population growth, also are expected to spur demand for environmental engineers.

More on environmental engineers

Job openings in New England for environmental engineers

 

21. Occupational therapist aides

Projected increase in 2018: 30.7 percent

Number employed in 2008: 8,000

Median pay in 2008: $28,890

Education/training: Occupational therapist aides usually receive most of their training on the job. Qualified applicants must have a high school diploma, strong interpersonal skills, and a desire to help people in need.

Job outlook: The growing elderly population is particularly vulnerable to chronic and debilitating conditions that require therapeutic services. These patients often need additional assistance in their treatment, making the roles of assistants and aides vital.

More on occupational therapist aides

Job openings in New England for occupational therapist aides

 

20. Compliance officers*

Projected increase in 2018: 31.1 percent

Number employed in 2008: 260,000

Median pay in 2008:$53,760

Education/training/job outlook: Varies (e.g. loan officer or claims adjuster, as pictured; see this list for details). Purpose is to examine, evaluate, and investigate eligibility for or conformity with laws and regulations governing contract compliance of licenses and permits, and other compliance and enforcement inspection activities not classified elsewhere.

More on compliance officers

Job openings in New England for compliance officers

*except agriculture, construction, health and safety, and transportation

 

19. Self-enrichment education teachers

Projected increase in 2018: 32.1 percent

Number employed in 2008: 254,000

Median pay in 2008: $40,920

Education/training: In general, there are few educational or training requirements for a job as a self-enrichment teacher beyond being an expert in the subject taught.

Job outlook: The need for self-enrichment teachers is expected to grow as more people embrace lifelong learning and course offerings expand.

More on self-enrichment education teachers

Job openings in New England for self-enrichment education teachers

 

18. Veterinarians

Projected increase in 2018: 33.0 percent

Number employed in 2008: 60,000

Median pay in 2008: $79,050

Education/training: Veterinarians must complete a four-year post-grad program to receive a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. That’s no easy task — admission to veterinary school is competitive. Before practicing, veterinarians must also be licensed by the state.

Job outlook: Pet owners are increasingly seeking nontraditional services, such as preventative dental care. Advances in the field are also allowing veterinarians to offer procedures common for humans, including hip replacement, blood transfusions, and cancer treatment, creating a need for more professionals.

More on veterinarians

Job openings in New England for veterinarians

 

17. Physical therapist assistants

Projected increase in 2018: 33.3 percent

Number employed in 2008: 64,000

Median pay in 2008: $46,300

Education/training: PTAs are required to complete an accredited, two-year program that combines semesters of academic study and hands-on clinical experience. After completing the program, PTAs must be accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association. Depending on the state of employment additional testing and licensing may be required.

Job outlook: Job opportunities should be particularly good in acute hospital, skilled nursing, and orthopedic settings, where the elderly are most often treated. Job prospects should be especially favorable in rural areas, as many physical therapists tend to cluster in highly populated urban and suburban areas.

More info on physical therapist assistants

Job openings in New England for physical therapist assistants

 

16. Medical assistants

Projected increase in 2018: 33.9 percent

Number employed in 2008: 484,000

Median pay in 2008:$28,300

Education/training: A one-year certificate or two-year associate’s degree program is often required, but medical assistants also receive specific on-the-job training from their employer.

Job outlook: The medical industry is expected to expand because of technological advances and the growing elderly population. As the health care industry expands, more practices and clinics requiring large support staffs are opening.

More on medical assistants

Job openings in New England for medical assistants

 

15. Computer applications software engineers

Projected increase in 2018: 34.0 percent

Number employed in 2008: 515,000

Median pay in 2008:$85,430

Education/training: Those with practical experience and at least a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field should have the best opportunities. Employers will continue to seek computer professionals with strong programming, systems analysis, interpersonal, and business skills.

Job outlook: Demand for computer software engineers will increase as computer networking continues to grow.

More on computer applications software engineers

Job openings in New England for software engineers

 

14. Dental assistants

Projected increase in 2018: 36.1 percent

Number employed in 2008: 174,000

Median pay in 2008:$32,380

Education/training: In most states, there are no formal education or training requirements to become an entry-level dental assistant.

Job outlook: There will be many opportunities for entry-level positions, but some dentists prefer to hire experienced assistants, those who have completed a dental-assisting program, or have met state requirements to take on expanded functions within the office.

More on dental assistants

Job openings in New England for dental assistants

 

13. Veterinary technologists and assistants

Projected increase in 2018: 35.8 percent

Number employed in 2008: 80,000

Median pay in 2008: $28,900

Education/training: Most entry-level veterinary technicians have a 2-year associate degree from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)-accredited community college program. All states require passing a credentialing exam following coursework.

Job outlook: Veterinary technologists will enjoy excellent job opportunities due to the relatively few graduates from 4- year programs—about 500 annually.

More on veterinary technologists

Job openings in New England for dental assistants

 

12. Dental hygienists

Projected increase in 2018: 36.1 percent

Number employed in 2008:174,000

Median pay in 2008: $66,570

Education/training: Dental hygienists must get a state license to practice. A degree from dental hygiene school is also usually required.

Job outlook: The demand for dental services will grow because of population growth, older people increasingly retaining more teeth, and a growing emphasis on preventative dental care. To help meet this demand, facilities that provide dental care, particularly dentists’ offices, will increasingly employ dental hygienists, often to perform services that have been performed by dentists in the past.

More on dental hygienists

Job openings in New England for dental hygienists

 

11. Physical therapist aides

Projected increase in 2018: 36.3 percent

Number employed in 2008: 46,000

Median pay in 2008: $46,140

Education/training: Physical therapist aides are not licensed and do not require higher education, though a high school diploma is usually required. Training is completed on the job.

Job outlook: Long term, this occupation will be in demand because the number of people with disabilities or limited function is expected to grow.

More info on physical therapist aides

Job openings in New England for physical therapist aides

 

10. Athletic trainers

Projected increase in 2018:37.0 percent

Number employed in 2008: 16,000

Median pay in 2008: $39,640

Education/training: A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is required for almost all jobs as an athletic trainer. In 2009, 47 states required athletic trainers to be licensed or registered.

Job outlook: Job prospects should be good for athletic trainers in the healthcare industry and in high schools. Those looking for a position with a professional or college sports team may face competition.

More on athletic trainers

Job openings in New England for athletic trainers

 

9. Biochemists and biophysicists

Projected increase in 2018: 37.4 percent

Number employed in 2008: 23,000

Median pay in 2008: $54,230

Education/training: A PhD is usually necessary for independent research, particularly in academia, as well as for advancement to administrative positions. A bachelor’s or master’s degree is sufficient for some jobs in applied research, product development, management, or inspection.

Job outlook: Biological scientists enjoyed very rapid employment gains over the past few decades—reflecting, in part, the growth of the biotechnology industry.

More on biochemists and biophysicists

Job openings in New England for biochemists and biophysicists

 

8. Skin care specialists

Projected increase in 2018: 37.9 percent

Number employed in 2008: 39,000

Median pay in 2008: $32,040

Education/training: Training programs for skin care specialists can be found in both high schools and post-secondary vocational schools.

Job outlook: Estheticians are the skin care specialists who will likely see the most job growth, but all parts of the industry are expected to expand as more skin treatments become available in spas and medical facilities.

More on skin care specialists

Job openings in New England for estheticians

 

7. Physician assistants

Projected increase in 2018: 39.0 percent

Number employed in 2008: 75,000

Median pay in 2008: $81,230

Education/training: Physician assistant educational programs usually take at least 2 years to complete for full-time students. Most programs are at schools of allied health, academic health centers, medical schools, or 4-year colleges.

Job outlook: Physicians and institutions are expected to employ more PAs to provide primary care and to assist with medical and surgical procedures because PAs are cost-effective and productive members of the healthcare team.

More on physician assistants

Job openings in New England for physician assistants

 

6. Medical scientists

Projected increase in 2018: 40.4 percent

Number employed in 2008: 109,000

Median pay in 2008: $72,590

Education/training: A PhD in the biological sciences typically qualifies people to research basic life processes or particular medical problems and to analyze the results of experiments.

Job outlook: Medical scientists have enjoyed rapid gains in employment since the 1980s—reflecting, in part, the growth of biotechnology as an industry.

More on medical scientists

Job openings in New England for medical scientists *except epidemiologists

 

5. Financial analysts

Projected increase in 2018: 41.2 percent

Number employed in 2008: 27,000

Median pay in 2008: $73,150

Education/training: Financial analysts are required to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Job outlook: As the financial industry grows in size and complexity, so will the demand for analysts, particularly at mutual funds.

More on financial analysts

Job openings in New England for financial analysts

 

4. Personal and home care aides

Projected increase in 2018: 46.0 percent

Number employed in 2008: 817,000

Median pay in 2008: $19,690

Education/training: Some states only require on-the-job training; other states may require formal training that can be completed at community colleges, vocational schools, home health care agencies, and elder care programs.

Job outlook: Rapid job growth is expected because of the projected rise in the number of elderly people, who are increasingly relying on home care.

More on personal and home care aides

Job openings in New England for home care aides

 

3. Home health aides

Projected increase in 2018: 50.0 percent

Number employed in 2008: 922,000

Median pay in 2008: $21,440

Education/training: Home health aides are not required to have a high school diploma; they receive most of their training on the job from experienced aides or nurses. Classroom training, lectures, and workshops may be required depending on employer.

Job outlook: While personal and home care aides provide mostly housekeeping and routine services, home health aides provide more extensive health care than family and friends can manage. A growing demand for home services among the elderly and the pressure to contain costs by moving patients home sooner will make home health aides one of the fastest growing aide professions. A possible downside, however, is that most employers only hire on-call hourly workers and do not offer benefits.

More on home health aides

Job openings in New England for home health aides

 

2. Network systems and data communications analyst

Projected increase in 2018: 53.4 percent

Number employed in 2008: 292,000

Median pay in 2008: $66,310

Education/training: Most jobs require a bachelor’s degree, although some only require a two-year degree. Employers also place a high value on relevant work experience.

Job outlook: This profession will grow because, as businesses implement more and newer technology, more professionals will be needed to monitor efficiency and set up networks.

More on network systems and data communications analysts

Job openings in New England for network analysts

 

1. Biomedical engineers

Projected increase in 2018: 72.0 percent

Number employed in 2008: 16,000

Median pay in 2008: $77,400

Education/training: A bachelor’s degree in engineering is required for almost all entry-level engineering jobs.

Job outlook: The aging of the population and a growing focus on health issues will drive demand for better medical devices and equipment designed by biomedical engineers.

More on biomedical engineers

Job openings in New England for biomedical engineers