In the years after the recession eliminated millions of jobs in the U.S., the labor market has partly recovered. Up to this point in 2014, approximately 1.6 million new jobs have been created in the U.S. And over the ten-year period from 2012 – 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment will grow by about 15 million jobs, or roughly 11%. The trick for workers, of course, is to know what fields hold the most promise, since some of those 15 million new jobs will take better advantage of economic, demographic, and workplace trends.
For example, the numbers of industrial-organizational psychologists are projected to grow 53% — the fastest growing field in the nation – and jobs in the healthcare sector are also anticipated to grow significantly faster than those in other occupations. BLS examined 1,000 occupations in the U.S. and estimated employment figures and predictions for 2012 and 2022; based on their calculations, here are the fastest growing jobs in America.
10. Physical Therapist Assistants
9. Genetic Counselors
8. Occupational Therapy Assistants
7. Masons’ Helpers
6. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
5. Interpreters and Translators
4. Mechanical Insulation Workers
3. Home Health Aides
2. Personal Care Aides
1. Industrial-Organizational Psychologists
Occupations with the biggest predicted growth rates tend to be those that benefit from the nation’s changing demographics. In a recent interview with 24/7 Wall St., chief economist for the BLS Martin Kohli pointed out that the effects of an aging population, “combined with innovations that provide new treatments” has rapidly expanded health care spending. And with greater spending comes an increasingly demand for jobs to offer those services to patients.
In fact, health support occupations combined are expected to grow an average of 28% by 2022; not surprisingly, then, 6 jobs on the top 10 list belong to the health care sector.
Other hot jobs are expected to get a boost from economic trends. For example, the BLS estimates that our current economic rebound (assuming that it lasts) will create increased demand for construction and renovations. While construction work is expected to grow 25%, specialty trades like masons’ assistants are expected to grow at an even higher rate of 45%.
Government and private sector initiatives will also likely drive growth in various job sectors. New federal health care legislation through the Affordable Care Act should increase access to health care as well as the scale of the health care industry itself. Meanwhile, in light of environmental trends, mechanical insulators could benefit from greater attention to environmental sustainability.
Yet many of the occupations with the biggest estimated growth rates are not particularly large. Only two professions – home health and personal care aides – are estimated to rank among the biggest employment expansion in 2022. Moreover, there doesn’t seem to be any measurable trends related to wages or education levels among the jobs with the highest growth rates. These hot jobs all have multiple levels of median wages as well as widely differing educational prerequisite.