Top 10 Fastest Growing Careers
As the economy grows and technology develops, the career landscape shifts in response. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) tracks job growth in its Occupational Outlook Handbook. Certain jobs are expected to grow more than others in the coming years. The fields with anticipated growth include home health care, energy, education, mathematics, and more.
A CareerBuilder survey forecasted the most growth in high-wage (5.71%) and low-wage (5.69%) jobs between 2018 and 2023. Middle-wage employment is expected to grow at a much lower rate—3.83%. The survey defined low-wage jobs as those that pay $14.17 or less per hour, middle-wage jobs as $14.18-$23.59 per hour, and high-wage jobs as $23.60 or more per hour.
Here's a look at 10 of the fastest growing jobs from 2018-2028:
Solar Photovoltaic Installer
Solar photovoltaic (PV) installers assemble, install, and maintain all kinds of solar panel systems. Many of these systems are on rooftops or other structures. As solar energy becomes more common, there will be more and more PV installer jobs.
PV installers need to understand complex electrical and mechanical equipment. They also need to be comfortable being on their feet—and outside—most of the day.
To become a PV installer, you typically need at least a high school diploma. Many community colleges and trade schools have courses on PV design and installation. PV installers also receive training on the job.
If you are interested in solar energy and have mechanical skills, this could be the job for you.
Projected Job Growth Between 2018 and 2028: 63%
Median Annual Pay: $44,890
Read More: Jobs for People Who Want to Save the World
Wind Turbine Service Technician
Like PV installer jobs, wind turbine technician jobs will also increase as people turn to alternate sources of energy—in this case, wind. Also known as windtechs, wind turbine service technicians assemble, install, maintain, and repair wind turbines.
Wind turbine techs have to be comfortable working in confined spaces (wind turbines) and at tall heights. They generally learn their trade through community college courses or trade schools, many of which offer certificates and associate degrees in wind energy technology.
Projected Job Growth Between 2018 and 2028: 57%
Median Annual Pay: $52,910
Read More: Jobs for People Who Hate Working in an Office
Home Health and Personal Care Aide
Home health and personal care aides provide assistance to elderly adults or disabled or ill people who require help in their day-to-day lives. Aides help with eating, bathing, and dressing, and may also be responsible for giving medication or checking vital signs.
Home health and personal care aides generally work in a client's home, but are sometimes employed in group homes or assisted living facilities.
Most home health and personal care aides must pass an evaluation or receive a certification to work, depending on the state they live in. Some states require more formal training, in the form of classes at vocational schools, community colleges, or other similar programs.
Projected Job Growth Between 2018 and 2028: Home Health Aide – 37%, Personal Care Aide – 36%
Median Annual Pay: Home Health Aide – $24,200, Personal Care Aide – $24,020
Read More: Health Care Support Careers
Occupational Therapy Assistant and Aide
Occupational therapy assistants and aides help patients maintain, develop, or recover daily living skills. Both assistants and aides work under the supervision of an occupational therapist. Occupational therapy assistants help patients perform exercises and stretches and teach them how to use adaptive equipment. Occupational therapy aides clean and prepare treatment areas and equipment and perform administrative tasks like scheduling appointments.
Typically, occupational therapy assistants have an associate’s degree from a community college or technical school and state licensure. Occupational therapy aides have on-the-job training and often start with previous healthcare experience, as well as a high school diploma. Both assistants and aides need CPR and basic life support certification.
Projected Job Growth Between 2018 and 2028: Occupational Therapy Assistant – 33%, Occupational Therapy Aide – 19%
Median Annual Pay: Occupational Therapy Assistant – $61,510, Occupational Therapy Aide – $29,230
Read More: Careers in Occupational Therapy
Information Security Analyst
Doing business in a digital age means safeguarding the private data of consumers—or risking ugly public relations problems and possible legal woes. To minimize their exposure and protect their clients, companies hire information security analysts to prevent breaches and investigate intrusions when they happen.
Typically, information security analysts have a bachelor’s degree in an IT-related area of study. Some employers prefer candidates with certifications and/or an MBA.
Projected Job Growth Between 2018 and 2028: 32% growth
Median Annual Pay: $99,730
Read More: Information Security Analyst Job Description
A physician assistant (PA) conducts physical examines, diagnoses, and treats illnesses, and performs a number of other duties under the supervision of a doctor.
While a PA does not have to go to medical school or complete a residency (like most doctors), he or she does have to complete a master’s program, which typically lasts two years. He or she must be certified before practicing.
Projected Job Growth Between 2018 and 2028: 31%
Median Annual Pay: $112,260
Read More: Physician Assistant Careers
Statistician and Mathematician
Mathematicians and statisticians analyze data and perform various mathematical functions to address real-word problems. For example, they might design surveys or opinion polls to collect data, or analyze data from a poll to help a company improve its business. Many mathematicians and statisticians work for the government, while others work in research institutions.
Most, but not all, have at least a master’s degree in mathematics or statistics. Some, however (especially statisticians), have only a bachelor’s degree, especially for entry-level jobs.
Projected Job Growth Between 2018 and 2028: Statistician – 31%, Mathematician – 26%
Median Annual Pay: Statistician – $91,160, Mathematician – $105,030
Read More: Top Jobs for Mathematics Majors
Genetic counselors assess risks for inherited conditions, advising patients about risks for genetic disorders, such as cystic fibrosis and hemophilia. They educate patients about testing options and provide information about risks of specific disorders.
Typically, genetic counselors have a master’s degree in genetics or genetic counseling and are board certified. They often work in hospitals, doctors’ offices, and medical laboratories.
Projected Job Growth Between 2018 and 2028: 27%
Median Annual Pay: $81,880
Speech Language Pathologist
Speech language pathologists diagnose and treat speech, communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults. Also known as speech therapists, speech language pathologists may work in hospitals, schools, outpatient offices, and residential care facilities.
Typically, speech language pathologists have a master’s degree and are licensed by the state in which they practice.
Projected Job Growth Between 2018 and 2028: 27%
Median Annual Pay: $79,120
Physical Therapist Assistant and Aide
Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) and aides work with physical therapists. Assistants observe patients, help patients perform exercises, and might even help treat patients. For example, they might massage a patient or help the patient stretch.
Aides do slightly different tasks. They might set up equipment and provide physical support for patients who struggle to walk. They also typically help clean up or organize the physical therapy room. Aides typically make less money than assistants.
Most physical therapist assistants have a two-year associate degree from a physical therapy program, and many receive continued on-the-job training as well. Physical therapist aides generally need only a high school diploma and on-the-job training.
Projected Job Growth Between 2018 and 2028: Physical Therapist Assistants – 27%, Physical Therapy Aides – 23%
Median Annual Pay: Physical Therapist Assistants – $58,790, Physical Therapy Aides – $27,000
Read More: Careers in Physical Therapy
Other Fast-Growing Jobs
There are many other jobs in technology, healthcare, and energy that are on the rise. Below is a list of some of these other fast-growing jobs. Next to each job title is the expected change in employment from 2018 to 2028.
- Operations Research Analyst: 26% growth
- Nurse Practitioner: 26% growth
- Medical Assistant: 23% growth
- Phlebotomist: 23% growth
- Physical Therapist: 22% growth
- Massage Therapist: 22% growth
- Marriage and Family Therapist: 22% growth
- Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselor: 22% growth
- Software Developer: 21% growth
- Respiratory Therapist: 21% growth
- Actuary: 20% growth
- Market Research Analyst: 20% growth
- Orthotist and Prosthetist: 20% growth
- Taxi Driver, Ride-Hailing Driver, and Chauffeur: 20%
The Bottom Line
Some Occupations Are Expected to Grow Significantly in the Next Few Years: The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts growth in home health care, energy, education, mathematics, and more.
High-Wage and Low-Wage Jobs Will Grow the Most: Middle-wage employment is expected to grow at a much lower rate.
Not Every Fast-Growing Job Requires Years of Education: High-school graduates can train for jobs in green energy, healthcare, and other fields.