The 20 Fastest Growing Jobs in the Next Decade

The 20 Fastest Growing Jobs in the Next Decade

By Matt Dallisson, 05/10/2021

The employment landscape is constantly shifting. While agricultural jobs played a big role in the 19th century, a large portion of U.S. jobs today are in administration, sales, or transportation. So how can job seekers identify the fastest growing jobs of the future?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects there will be 11.9 million new jobs created from 2020 to 2030, an overall growth rate of 7.7%. However, some jobs have a growth rate that far exceeds this level. In this graphic, we use BLS data to show the fastest growing jobs—and fastest declining jobs—and how much they each pay.

The Top 20 Fastest Growing Jobs

We used the dataset that excludes occupations with above average cyclical recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, jobs such as motion picture projectionists, ticket takers, and restaurant cooks were removed. Once these exclusions were made, the resulting list reflects long-term structural growth.

Here are the fastest growing jobs from 2020 to 2030, along with the number of jobs that will be created and the median pay for the position.

Occupation Percent employment change, 2020–2030P Numeric employment change, 2020-2030P Median annual wage, 2020
Wind turbine service technicians 68.2% 4,700 $56,230
Nurse practitioners 52.2% 114,900 $111,680
Solar photovoltaic installers 52.1% 6,100 $46,470
Statisticians 35.4% 14,900 $92,270
Physical therapist assistants 35.4% 33,200 $59,770
Information security analysts 33.3% 47,100 $103,590
Home health and personal care aides 32.6% 1,129,900 $27,080
Medical and health services managers 32.5% 139,600 $104,280
Data scientists and mathematical science occupations, all other 31.4% 19,800 $98,230
Physician assistants 31.0% 40,100 $115,390
Epidemiologists 29.6% 2,300 $74,560
Logisticians 29.5% 56,400 $76,270
Speech-language pathologists 28.7% 45,400 $80,480
Animal trainers 28.5% 17,200 $31,520
Computer numerically controlled tool programmers 27.4% 7,400 $57,740
Genetic counselors 26.2% 600 $85,700
Crematory operators and personal care and service workers, all other 24.8% 19,900 $28,420
Operations research analysts 24.6% 25,600 $86,200
Actuaries 24.5% 6,800 $111,030
Health specialties teachers, post-secondary 24.3% 58,900 $99,090

Wind turbine service technicians have the fastest growth rate, with solar photovoltaic (solar panel) installers taking the third slot. The rapid growth is driven by demand for renewable energy. However, because these are relatively small occupations, the two roles will account for about 11,000 new jobs collectively.

Nine of the top 20 fastest growing jobs are in healthcare or related fields, as the baby boomer population ages and chronic conditions are on the rise. Home health and personal care aides, who assist with routine healthcare tasks such as bathing and feeding, will account for over one million new jobs in the next decade. This will be almost 10% of all new jobs created between 2020 and 2030. Unfortunately, these workers are the lowest paid on the list.

Computer and math-related jobs are also expected to see high growth. The BLS expects strong demand for IT security and software development, partly because of the increase in people that are working from home.

The Top 20 Fastest Declining Jobs

Structural changes in the economy will cause some jobs to decline quite quickly. Here are the top 20 jobs where employment is expected to decline the fastest over the next decade.

Occupation Percent employment change, 2020–2030P Numeric employment change, 2020-2030P Median annual wage, 2020
Word processors and typists -36.0% -16,300 $41,050
Parking enforcement workers -35.0% -2,800 $42,070
Nuclear power reactor operators -32.9% -1,800 $104,040
Cutters and trimmers, hand -29.7% -2,400 $31,630
Telephone operators -25.4% -1,200 $37,710
Watch and clock repairers -24.9% -700 $45,290
Door-to-door sales workers, news and street vendors, and related workers -24.1% -13,000 $29,730
Switchboard operators, including answering service -22.7% -13,600 $31,430
Data entry keyers -22.5% -35,600 $34,440
Shoe machine operators and tenders -21.6% -1,100 $30,630
Legal secretaries and administrative assistants -21.0% -33,600 $48,980
Floral designers -20.1% -8,500 $29,140
Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants -18.7% -100,600 $63,110
Manufactured building and mobile home installers -18.4% -600 $35,120
Telemarketers -18.3% -21,900 $27,920
Order clerks -18.2% -24,400 $35,590
Timing device assemblers and adjusters -17.8% -200 $36,170
Print binding and finishing workers -17.5% -7,300 $34,260
Prepress technicians and workers -17.1% -4,800 $41,410
Tellers -16.9% -73,100 $32,620

Eight of the top 20 declining jobs are in office and administrative support. This could be cause for concern, given this category currently makes up almost 13% of employment in the U.S.—the largest of any major category. Jobs involved in the production of goods and services, as well as sales jobs, are also seeing declines.

In all cases, is likely the biggest culprit. For example, software that automatically converts audio to text will reduce the need for typists.

While the fastest declining jobs typically fall within the lower salary range, there is one outlier. Nuclear power reactor operators, who earn a salary of over $100,000, will see employment decline at a steep rate of -33%. No new nuclear plants have opened since the 1990s, and nuclear power faces steep competition from renewable energy sources.

Warning: Education Required

As the composition of employment shifts, it eliminates some jobs and creates others. For instance, while production jobs are declining, new opportunities exist for “computer numerically controlled tool programmers.” These workers develop programs to control the automated equipment that processes materials.

However, while many of the fastest growing jobs are higher paying, they typically also require advanced education.

Top 20 Fastest Growing Jobs Top 20 Fastest Declining Jobs
# with median salary > $41,950 17 5
# with post-secondary education required 16 0

Seventeen of the top 20 fastest growing jobs have a median salary higher than $41,950, which is the median salary for all jobs in total. Most also require post-secondary schooling. These opportunities are replacing jobs that only required a high school diploma.

With tuition costs soaring relative to inflation, this could create challenges for displaced workers or young people entering the workforce.

The post The 20 Fastest Growing Jobs in the Next Decade appeared first on Visual Capitalist.

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