Everyone wants a little job security. But in these turbulent times filled with massive changes, how can any of us know if our careers are on solid ground?
Luckily, the Bureau of Labor Statistics crunched some numbers and came out with employment projections to the year 2024. So, which are the most in demand jobs? The aging population of Baby Boomers put more than a few health care careers on this list, but check out other popular options amongst the fastest growing careers of the future.
Expected increase in jobs: 10.9%
Median annual salary: $28,193
Food prep and service work has been a in demand job and by 2024 there'll be even more opportunities in this field. The BLS also includes fast food workers under this umbrella, which shows that no matter where you serve food, there will be upwards of 343,000 new jobs by 2024.
Food prep and service workers prepare salads, sauces, desserts, etc. according to proper preparation methods. They are responsible for standard food service work including sanitation duties, and various serving responsibilities. They also have knowledge of proper food handling procedures and government regulations regarding the food code. This job requires a high school diploma or its equivalent and 0-2 years of experience in the field or in a related area.
Expected increase in jobs: 12.7%
Median annual salary: $41,920
As cities get bigger and the world continues to industrialize, construction labor has become one of the fastest growing obs. And by 2024, there will be 147,400 more jobs in this field.
Construction laborers perform maintenance service and repairs in the areas of plumbing, carpentry, painting, plastering, machine servicing, electrical, or vehicle servicing. They are knowledgeable in the procedures and safety measures in area(s) of specialty. This job may require a high school diploma and 2-4 years of experience in the field or in a related area.
Expected increase in jobs: 13.7%
Median annual salary: $46,020
Electricians are a growing profession, with 85,900 projected new jobs by 2024. As new equipment is invented and becomes necessary for everyday life, electricians will be increasingly necessary making it one of the most in demand jobs.
Electricians Inspect, repair, install, modify, and maintain electrical/electronic systems, circuits and equipment. This job requires a high school diploma or its equivalent with 0-2 years of experience in the field or in a related area.
Expected increase in jobs: 14.3%
Median annual salary: $23,438
This may be a slightly unexpected entry on the list, but look for 158,900 new jobs for cooks by 2024! It looks like the restaurant business is booming, and with apps like GrubHub, Yelp, and OpenTable gaining traction, restaurant-going is not a dying art.
Restaurant cooks follow a menu to prepare and cook meats, fish, poultry, gravies, cereals, soups, vegetables and other food according to proper preparation methods. This job may require a high school diploma or its equivalent and at least 4 years of experience in the field or in a related area.
We've put together the three nursing related jobs on this list, since they all had a similar level of expected growth. Nursing is an ever-expanding profession, and will grow even faster as healthcare has more scientific breakthroughs. The number of registered nurses, for example, is expected to increase by 439,300 people by 2024.
Nursing assistants help nursing service personnel with a variety of patient care activities and related services necessary in caring for the personal needs and comfort of patients. They assist with personal hygiene, take vital signs and change bed linens. They also may serve and collect food trays, provide for between-meal nourishment, and clean, sterilize, store and prepare other supplies. This job requires a high school diploma or its equivalent and 0-2 years of related experience.
Licensed practical nurses administer nursing care under the supervision of a registered nurse. They participate in the implementation and evaluation of patient care, as well as ensuring the health, comfort and safety of patients. This job requires a high school diploma and certification as a licensed practical nurse, along with a familiarity with standard concepts, practices, and procedures within a particular field.
Registered nurses evaluate assigned patients and plans and implement or document nursing care. They also assist physicians during examinations and procedures, perform various patient tests, and administer medications within the scope of practice of the registered nurse. Additionally, they promote patients' independence by establishing patient care goals and teaching patients and families to understand conditions, medications, and self-care skills. This job requires an associate's degree.
The BLS lists these two careers together, probably because they're both on the rise and work hand-in-hand. Market research analysts perform research and pore over market data in an attempt to figure out if conditions are suitable for a particular product or service. Analysts are responsible not only for determining how conditions and changes in the industry will affect sales, but also for surveying competitors as well. Although laborious, it is the backbone of every marketing plan.
Once an analyst has done his/her due diligence and the project moves forward, it's up to the marketing specialist to create a program that will advance the product and grow market share. Understanding consumer trends to effectively reach customers is a vital job component, and knowledge of how media works is also a must. These two jobs will see nearly 92,300 additional positions open up by 2024, according to the BLS.
Expected increase in jobs: 18.8%
Median annual salary: $64,401
Any job that has to do with technology will be most in demand in the coming years. Just look at software developers: there will be 135,300 new people with this job by 2024. Additionally, since it's a specialized job, the salary is fairly high.
Software developers design, modify, develop, write and implement software programming applications. They support and/or install software applications/operating systems. They also participate in the testing process through test review and analysis, test witnessing and certification of software. This job requires a bachelor's degree in a related area and 0-2 years of experience in the field or in a related area.
Expected increase in jobs: 20.5%
Median annual salary: $38,188
As we advance in the field of medicine, it is clear that there will be many more jobs available. There will be 108,200 more medical secretary jobs by 2024. This is an incredible entry level job in medicine because it doesn't require any extra schooling, but you still get to work in a growing field.
Medical secretaries provide secretarial support to clinical staff, obtain pre-certifications as required by health care insurers or managed care providers, inform patients of costs for care being provided, and guide them to appropriate resources for further information. They are often expected to type routine correspondence and reports from dictation or handwritten copy, as well as answer telephones, screen callers, relay messages, and greet visitors. This position requires a high school diploma or its equivalent and 0-2 years of related experience.
Expected increase in jobs: 20.9%
Median annual salary: $58,478
We're living in a digital age, and jobs related to computers and IT are among the fastest growing jobs. In fact, 118,600 new jobs in this field will be created by 2024.
Computer systems analysts research, analyze, and modify programming systems including encoding, testing, debugging, and installing to support an organization's computer systems. They will consult with users to identify current operating procedures and to clarify program objectives. They also may assist in writing manuals for users to describe installation and operating procedures.
Expected increase in jobs: 23.5%
Median annual salary: $33,350
Medical assistants are increasingly in demand, as nearly 138,900 jobs will open up by 2024. As evidenced by this and a few other jobs on the list, healthcare industry seems to be one of the fastest growing job markets that will provide a great deal of employment in the future.
Medical assistants help with examination and treatment of patients under the direction of a physician. This usually includes interviewing patients, measuring vital signs, and recording information on patients' charts. Sometimes, they may be required to draw and collect blood samples from patients and prepare specimens for laboratory analysis.. This job requires a high school diploma, a medical assistant certificate, and 0-2 years of experience in a related field.
Expected increase in jobs: 38.1%
Median annual salary: $23,904
Although it's lower on the income scale, home care aides make up for it by being one of the most in demand jobs. In fact, the BLS says more than 348,400 new jobs in this field will open up by 2024.
Home health and personal care aides help people who are disabled, chronically ill, or cognitively impaired. They also come to the homes of older adults who may need assistance but want to remain in their own residences and out of fully assisted living. Aides are important because they bath and dress clients, as well as providing light housekeeping. Occasionally and depending on the state in which they work, aides can give a client medication or check vital signs under the direction of a nurse or other healthcare practitioner.
With the Baby Boomers aging, it's a sure bet this career is one that will be in constant demand over the next few years.
While predictions are not guarantees of employment, keeping a careful eye on where job growth is headed. It will help you avoid nasty employment surprises and potentially maximize your career opportunities. And Salary.com can help.
The first thing you should do is research, so you're able to come to the table armed with the knowledge of what your job is worth. Use our free Salary Wizard below to find out what's a fair salary for your position. You can enter your location, education level, years of experience and more to find out an appropriate salary range before you negotiate.