The job market goes up and down, and sometimes it can be difficult to predict which fields are going to do well, and which will see little or no job growth at all. The minimum wage debate has been monopolizing much of the news coverage lately, and there are still several jobs that don’t even pay minimum wage. Thankfully, some of these jobs pay fairly well once you count tips, but not all of them are going to see continued job growth.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released information on the 20 occupations with the biggest change of employment between 2014 and 2024. Looking for a job in one of these fields or occupations is a great idea if you are hoping to change fields, have a potentially more stable job with a positive future outlook, or you want to know where to look for abundant jobs.
The occupations included in the Bureau of Labor Statistics list vary greatly when it comes to the field that they fall under, so there are opportunities for many different kinds of positions, from wind turbine service technicians to personal financial advisors. Some positions require little education or training, and some require a Master’s or even a doctoral degree.
Here are 10 of the jobs that you can bet will be abundant in 2017 and beyond.
1. Wind turbine technicians
It’s no surprise that wind turbine technicians are at the top of this list. According to Energy.gov, the projected growth of the wind industry is 404.25 gigawatts across 48 states by 2050 (a projected increase of 180.15 GW since 2030). As a result, we will certainly need technicians to install and repair the wind turbines. If you’re comfortable working with heights, and you like to work outside, then this might be the job for you. The typical entry-level education is some college but no degree, and the median annual wage was $51,050 in May 2015. Plus, the field is growing quickly: Employment of wind turbine service technicians is projected to grow 108% from 2014 to 2024.
2. Occupational therapy assistants
If you enjoy helping people recover, or you want to help people improve their ability to work and live each day, but you don’t want to become a full occupational therapist, then becoming an assistant or aid is a possibility. Assistants and aides can help provide the therapy or give support, and work with the therapists. Therapy assistants need an associate’s degree, and may need to be licensed; aides usually have a high school diploma.
The 2015 median pay was $54,520 per year, or $26.21 per hour. Work experience in a similar field often isn’t required, and the employment change was a noteworthy 40% from 2014-2015.
3. Physical therapy assistants
Similar to occupational therapists, this is a great job for someone who likes to help others. Physical therapy assistants work directly with the therapists to help patients recover from an injury or illness. The median pay is slightly lower than it is for occupational therapy assistants and aides ($42,980 per year, or $20.66 per hour), but the employment change is also 40%. The required education is also similar.
Many people find that assistant therapy positions can be very fulfilling, and since the pay is also decent, this can be a great choice if you want a job that is projected to keep hiring.
4. Home health aides
Unfortunately, home health aides don’t get paid very much ($21,920 median per year, or $10.54 per hour), and this may cause some people to shy away from these positions. However, the work is certainly meaningful, as aides help people who have an illness, disability, or impairment. They can work with older adults, and work in the patient’s home, but can also work in a group setting or day services program.
The job outlook is 38%, which is certainly promising, but this is one job which requires you to determine whether or not taking this job would harm your budget. No formal education is required, and short-term job training is available.
5. Nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners, and nurse midwives
If you’re willing to go through some school or educational classes, you might find that it’s worth your time in order to get a job in this field. With a median pay of $104,740 per year ($50.36 per hour), these jobs certainly pay well enough for many people. The job duties for each position can vary by state and by practice, but often nurses and nurse practitioners, as well as midwives, have many varied and interesting job duties. A Master’s degree is required for these positions, but the job outlook is 31%, which is still much faster than most occupations.
6. Physical therapists
You probably noticed that physical therapist assistants are facing a strong job outlook, and physical therapists are projected to do almost as well (34%). You will need a doctoral or professional degree, but the median pay for 2015 was $84,020 or $40.40 per hour. Like the assistants, therapists help patients improve their movement, manage pain, and help prevent further issues as well. Benefits of this career include making a difference, becoming a movement expert, having job security, (potentially) loving your job, and having location flexibility and the opportunity to become an entrepreneur.
Like analyzing things? Want to make $80,110 per year (or $38.51 per hour)? If you’re willing to get a Master’s degree, you won’t have to worry about work experience or on-the-job training. Statisticians are seeing a 34% job growth outlook, and enjoy using statistical analysis and methods to look over data and help fix problems. Statisticians can work in many different fields, and also many different locations. About 15% of statisticians work for the federal government, 14% are in scientific research and development services, and 13% pursue finance and insurance.
8. Operations research analyst
This is another position that requires a great deal of analysis and math. These analysts also use mathematical and analytical methods, and they focus on helping organizations handle issues and solve problems. The median pay was $78,630 per year in 2015 ($37.80 per hour), and the job outlook is 30% growth. Most operations research analysts work full-time in office settings, so if you like to sit at a desk this might be a great fit for you. However, if you are someone who likes to move around and be outside, then you might need to consider a different job.
9. Personal finance advisors
Most people want more money, right? If you choose to become a personal financial advisor, you can help people make wiser decisions when it comes to money, and hopefully provide intelligent and helpful financial advice to people from all walks of life. All you will need is a bachelor’s degree, and long-term on-the-job training is often available. The job outlook is 30%, and the median pay was $89,160 per year, and $42.86 per hour in 2015. This is also a position that can bring you to almost any city or state in the country, because financial advisors are needed everywhere.
10. Genetic counselor
If you’re willing to get a Master’s degree, becoming a genetic counselor can be an extremely interesting career, and will allow you to study DNA. The median pay in 2015 was $72,090, or $34.66 per hour, and the job outlook was 29%. Genetic counselors meet with individuals or families, and help determine the risk of inherited conditions. They also can provide information to health care providers. You may work in your own office, at a hospital, or at a doctor’s office. You will need to become certified in order to be a genetic counselor.