100 Top Jobs: Growing Careers

The Schools.com Top Jobs report ranks 100 professions across a variety of industries, education levels and salary ranges. Using data from the U.S. Department of Labor and Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov, 2010), the report utilizes employment projections to determine which occupations are poised for growth. These projections are based on past career trends, as well as a number of factors that impact employment growth and potential job openings. These factors include retirements and new job creation within an industry to meet increased demand.

100 Top Jobs: Growing Careers

Since the nation's earliest days, when agriculture offered employment opportunities and immigrants crossed the Atlantic in pursuit of land and opportunity, a strong workforce has helped provide the backbone of the U.S. economy. Today, as the population continues to grow, the number of jobs is expected to rise as well. Between 2010 and 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov, 2010) projects that total U.S. employment could increase nationwide by more than 20.4 million jobs, which equates to a job growth of about 14.3 percent. The BLS indicates this could be the result of anticipated increased demands in these sectors. Which occupations are projected to see the most growth?

Fastest Growing Careers: How Schools.com compiles the data

Taking a look at the fastest-growing occupations and industries in the U.S., as predicted by the BLS, could help determine where opportunity may exist in the future. Using statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor and the BLS (bls.gov, 2010), the Schools.com Top Jobs report features a list of the 100 top jobs throughout the U.S - occupations that are projected to have the largest growth percentage nationwide between 2010 and 2020.

The rankings are calculated based on projected employment growth and highlight occupations that could see increasing demand and have a favorable job outlook. Once prospective students or potential employees know which jobs have the highest growth outlooks, they can identify the education or career training that may help them to take steps toward possible future employment in these occupations.

Best Jobs for the Future: How to Explore these Top Careers

A number of factors are taken into consideration when selecting a profession, including job growth, salary, work environment, and the nature of the position, among others. Schools.com provides users multiple ways to access data and look through job information, including through the following features:

Interactive graphs: The Schools.com Top Jobs report features interactive graphs that allow users to search occupations by projected employment growth and average salary estimates, sorting them by industry. Interested in finding a health-related occupation that predicted to have more than a 35 percent growth rate between 2010 and 2020 and that offered a median nationwide annual salary above $54,000? The Schools.com Top Jobs report can point you in the right direction.

Projected job growth and average salary data from the BLS: Projected job growth and average salary are two of the most important factors when selecting an occupation, and they constantly shift to reflect the nature of the U.S. workforce and denote cultural changes. Apothecary, blacksmith and farmer might have been among the most common and lucrative occupations when the nation was founded, but they don't appear on the Schools.com Top Jobs report. Instead, modern-day positions like biomedical engineer, veterinary technologist and market research analyst are three of the top 20 predicted fastest-growing occupations listed, denoting changes in technology and the overall nature of the U.S. economy. Information on the jobs with the top salaries for different levels of education is also available.

Ranked occupations by the BLS: Individuals can use the Schools.com Top Jobs report to rank positions by expected employment growth. Personal care aide, home health aide and biomedical engineer are expected to be the top three highest-growth occupations in the report across the nation. Users can also search the jobs by median annual wage. Among the 100 jobs featured in the report, optometrist, software developer and actuary are in the top three spots in terms of projected median annual salary, and could appeal to those wanting to work toward an above-average income.

Fastest-growing jobs by metro area: In addition to national statistics, we also examined some of the largest metropolitan areas in the country for their job trends. Data on salary and growth potential are available for five of the top jobs in seven major cities and their environs.

  • Atlanta
  • Charlotte, N.C.
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles
  • Newark, N.J.
  • New York City
  • Virginia Beach

Search opportunities by filter: Occupations can be filtered by industry for details on projected growth rate and income. In addition, users can sort careers by previous work experience commonly required to attain the position, as well as the typical level of education needed for entry. This information provides additional career background, and can help prospective students determine what education or work experience they need in order to land their desired occupation. In addition, up to three occupations can easily be compared side-by-side, helping users figure out which one matches their individual priorities and interests. Individual careers are also highlighted by the skills, interests and tasks they involve, including the following:

  • What do biomedical engineers do?
  • What do early childhood educators do?
  • What do mechanical engineers do?
  • What do nurses do?

Schools.com puts growing careers at your fingertips

Combining these tools can help users to gain a portrait of the nation's top (predicted) jobs and provide students with their own searched career guides. Plus, many occupations have adjoining salary and career outlook information. These career profiles help outline what the occupation entails, necessary education or training, salary trends, and states with the highest projected employment. Overall, the Schools.com Top Jobs report and salary and career outlook pages can be helpful resources for prospective students or potential employees as they work their way along through training.

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