These 10 Jobs Pay at Least $50,000 and Will Be Hiring Like Crazy in 2018 (and Beyond)

Will you be starting a career in the next several years, or do you know someone who will? You might want to take a look at the fastest-growing occupations earning $50,000 or more. Specific jobs across various industries are expected to grow between 28% and 96% by 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here are the 10 fastest-growing jobs, their salaries, and by what percentage they are expected to grow. Our list of these expanding jobs ends with the No. 1 most-rapidly growing occupation. (Hint: Those who are afraid of heights need not apply!)

10. Genetic counselors

This requires a master’s degree, not a medical degree. | M-imagephotography/ iStock/Getty Images Plus

  • Expected employment increase: 28%
  • Median wage: $74,120

Genetic counselors assess people’s risk for a variety of inherited conditions like genetic disorders and birth defects. Genetic counselors work in hospitals, doctors’ offices, laboratories, and university medical centers. Requirements for this profession typically include a master’s degree in genetics and board certification. This occupation’s projected growth rate, at 28%, is well above the overall expected growth rate among all occupations of 7%.

Next: As cybersecurity concerns grow, so does the demand for these professionals.

9. Information security analysts

Laptop keyboard with lock and chain

Information security is needed now more than ever. | Bet_Noire/iStock/Getty Images

  • Expected employment increase: 28%
  • Median wage: $92,600

Information security analysts plan and implement security measures to protect the computer network of a company or organization. They might work for computer companies, consulting firms, or business and financial companies. Information security analysts typically have a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field. This profession should grow at a 28% rate over the next decade, according to BLS projections.

Next: A quickly-growing profession involves helping people get back into the routine of living.

8. Occupational therapy assistants

Physical therapist massaging a patient using device

They often work in hospitals and nursing care. | kali9/iStock/Getty Images

  • Expected employment increase: 29%
  • Median wage: $59,010

Occupational therapy assistants help patients improve and maintain skills needed for daily life and working. They typically work in occupational therapists’ offices, as well as in hospitals and nursing care facilities. In addition to working directly with patients, they spend much of their time setting up equipment. Working as an occupational therapy assistant requires an associate’s degree from an accredited program. This profession is projected to grow by 29% over the next decade.

Next: This rapidly-growing occupation is perfect for those good with numbers.

7. Mathematicians

French mathematician Cedric Villani

A mathematician often works in science or for the government. | Joel Saget/AFP/GettyImages

  • Expected employment increase: 29%
  • Median wage: $105,810

Mathematicians may conduct research in fundamental mathematics. Or, they may apply math techniques to solve problems in fields such as science and management. Mathematicians often work for the federal government or for science/engineering research companies. Those pursuing this profession typically need a master’s degree in mathematics, but in some cases, a bachelor’s degree is sufficient. The BLS expects this occupation to grow by 29% by 2026.

Next: This is a lucrative field for creative types with logical minds.

6. Software developers, applications

Software developers can make more than $100,000 a year. | iStock/Getty Images

  • Expected employment increase: 30%
  • Median wage: $100,080

Developers of software applications are the creative minds behind applications that enable people to do tasks (play games, make lists, do calculations, record information, communicate) on a computer, smartphone, or other devices. Software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and possess strong computer programming skills. This profession’s projected employment increase by 2026 is 30%.

Next: This growing medical occupation requires an associate’s degree.

5. Physical therapist assistants

Physical therapist

They help patients recover from injuries or illnesses. | iStock/Getty Images

  • Expected employment increase: 31%
  • Median wage: $56,610

Physical therapist assistants help patients who are recovering from injuries and illnesses to regain movement. They do so by carrying out the plan of a physical therapist. They help patients to exercise and stretch in order to relieve damages. This often involves using equipment or machines. Physical therapist assistants entering the profession need an associate’s degree and a state license. This fast-growing profession is expected to increase by 31% over the next decade.

Next: This profession was rated the No. 1 best business job.

4. Statisticians

Man looking at futuritic display

There are so many different ways this job can go. | NicoElNino/iStock/Getty Images

  • Expected employment increase: 33%
  • Median wage: $80,500

Statistics is the science of using data to make decisions. Since it is relevant in almost all fields of work, there are many opportunities. Statisticians decide what data is needed for a particular project. They collect the data, then analyze and interpret it before reporting conclusions. Statisticians often work for the federal government or in the private sector for science and engineering research companies. While it’s possible to get a statistician job with a bachelor’s degree, employers more often require a master’s degree. This occupation should grow by 33% by 2026, according to the BLS. U.S News and World Report rated this profession No. 1 in Best Business Jobs.

Next: This occupation with a six-figure salary is projected to grow 36%.

3. Nurse practitioners

A nurse practitioner performs a lot of the same duties as doctors. | Bowdenimages/Getty Images

  • Expected employment increase: 36%
  • Median wage: $100,910

Nurse practitioners coordinate patient care and may provide primary and specialty healthcare. They often perform many of the same duties as physicians, including doing physical exams, ordering lab tests, and prescribing medications. One big difference between this profession and a doctor is a nurse practitioner needs less schooling. A master’s degree is usually required, however, as well as a state license and national certification. The BLS predicts this expanding profession will grow 36% over the next decade.

Next: 96% of these professionals would recommend their fast-growing occupation to others.

2. Physician assistants

female doctor writing notes while talking to a patient

They help the doctors do their jobs. | iStock/Getty Images

  • Expected employment increase: 37%
  • Median wage: $101,480

Physician assistants work under the supervision of doctors. Job duties may include diagnosing illnesses, developing treatment plans, assisting in surgeries, and performing procedures. There seems to be some job satisfaction: 96% of physician assistants would recommend their career to others, according to a 2015 study. To get this job, you’ll typically need a master’s degree as well as a state license. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts this occupation will grow 37% by 2026.

Next: For the fastest-growing job in America, you can’t be afraid of heights.

1. Wind turbine service technicians

wind turbine

Despite the government’s take, wind turbines are still becoming more common.  | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

  • Expected employment increase: 96%
  • Median wage: $52,260

Generating electricity through wind turbines is becoming a more common practice. Wind turbine technicians maintain and fix the turbines’ electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic components. As such, they generally spend their days lifted up high, working on turbines. Most wind turbine technicians attend a technical school to learn their trade, followed by on-the-job training. This occupation is projected to grow by a whopping 96% by 2026.

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