Fastest Growing Jobs in America
How will the job market evolve in the next decade? Fortune takes a look at some of the fastest growing professions in the U.S.
The number of registered nurses is expected to swell to 3.2 million by 2018, accounting for approximately 581,500 new jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's up from 2.6 million today, and it represents the largest overall growth projection out of all occupations in the U.S. economy, for good reason.
Americans aged 65 and older will make up 19% of the population in 2030, up from 12.4% in 2000. As the population ages and the growth of the working-age population slows down, there will be an increased demand for health care services in general, and home health care services in particular. In the past year, the home health care services industry has experienced sales growth of 11.2%, making it the fastest growing industry in the U.S., according to Sageworks, a financial analysis company.
Along with registered nurses, Sageworks projects that home care aids, physician assistants, pharmacists, and other medical professions will be in high demand for the foreseeable future.
Network Systems and Data Analysts
This occupation's full title is "network systems and data communication analysts." And while it's a mouthful, it is worth remembering as it's the second-fastest growing occupation in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In simpler terms, these analysts are the folks who design and build the systems that we use to connect to the web, from work or home.
In many ways, these are the folks that make communication possible in our Internet-centric world. So perhaps it's not so surprising that they are in high demand, and will be for the foreseeable future. BLS's latest employment outlook report estimates that the profession will grow by 53.4% to almost 448,000 workers between 2008 and 2018.
What would all that planning and design by network and data analysts be worth without software? Not a whole lot, which explains why the BLS expects the cadre of software engineers and application developers to swell to 689,900 by 2018 (up from 514,800 in 2008). Whether they are building business software, constructing an operating system, developing games, or designing mobile apps, software engineers have a wide array of career avenues to consider.
And it surely does not hurt that the worldwide smartphone market grew by 50% between the second quarter of 2009 and 2010, according to the market research firm IDC. The impressive growth of the smart mobile industry over the past few years will only add fuel to the fire of the impressive job prospects for application developers, as smartphone users have come to expect increasingly advanced software applications to justify the increased expense of their phones.
Biomedical engineering is expected to be the fastest growing occupation, with a whopping growth project of 72% between 2008 and 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It's not much of a surprise, given that this field lies at the nexus of technology and health care, two ballooning industries within the U.S. economy.
The immense growth of biomedical engineering will be driven by the demand for new treatments for diseases and the increasingly higher expectations of aging patients to maintain an active lifestyle. Indeed, the pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing industry experienced 11.1% sales growth in the past year, according to Sageworks.
From developing artificial organs, medical devices like pace makers, or refining imaging technology that allows doctors to examine patients in more precise ways than ever before, biomedical engineers will have plenty to work on in the coming decade.
Accountants and Auditors
While number crunching and bean counting has certainly not fallen out of style in recent memory, the economic fallout of the past few years has placed renewed focus on financial regulation. And with the passage of the federal financial reform bill in June, companies will need an even larger cohort of auditors and accountants to parse through new regulations to make sure they are in compliance.
The accounting profession is poised to experience 22% growth between 2008 and 2018, with an anticipated 279,400 new jobs in the field by 2018, according to the BLS.
Our love for the dogs, cats, and fish in our lives truly knows no bounds. Pet care was one of the only sectors of the retail industry that grew during the recession.
According to the 2009-2010 National Pet Owners Survey, 62% of U.S. households owned at least one pet in 2008, accounting for approximately 71 million households. And the American Pet Products Association estimates that pet owners will spend almost $48 billion on their pets. Just under $24 billion of that will be spent on medicine and veterinary care, as more Americans than ever before open their wallets to spring for treatments for an ailing animal family member.
It's no surprise, then, that veterinarians are listed as one of the fastest growing professions in the U.S. -- the number of vets is expected to expand by 36% between 2008 and 2018.