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TheStreet Open House

Don't Get Too Excited by Our 10 Fastest-Growing Professions

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Looking to build a career for yourself where there's healthy demand for you skills? Consider construction or health care.

The U.S. Labor Department found recently that the building and medical trades boast eight of the 10 professions the agency expects will see the fastest job growth during the current decade.

In fact, construction and health care host nine of the 10 fastest-growing jobs, if you count veterinary work as part of the medical field.

"We see a large number of health care occupations on the list because there's going to be greater demand for medical care as baby boomers grow older," says Teri Morisi of the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Morisi says the BLS also expects construction jobs to boom as the building business rebounds from a big hit it took during the Great Recession.

"We don't expect the building industry to recover all of the jobs it lost during the steep decline of the most recent recession," she says, "but some construction occupations are expected to grow rapidly as the economy recovers."

Unfortunately, junior-level positions such as home health aides and carpenter's helpers make up most of the jobs the BLS predicts will have the greatest growth rates.

That means many fast-growing professions will pay less than the $34,460 median wage U.S. workers enjoyed last year, the latest period with BLS data available.

Morisi believes companies are adding lots of lower-paying positions because bosses are shifting work to the least-costly employees capable of performing any given job duty.

"Helpers or aides or assistants are less expensive to employ, but they can take on some higher-paid workers' tasks," she says.

The expert also theorizes that employers can "offshore" some high-skills jobs, but can't move lower-paying, hands-on work such as home-health-aide duties overseas.

Here's a look at the 10 professions the BLS predicts will enjoy the greatest percentage expansion of available jobs during the current decade.

All projected increases refer to 2010-20 as a whole, a decade in which the BLS forecasts the average U.S. occupation will grow 14.3%. Median-pay figures refer to annual wages as of 2011.

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