Where the Jobs Will Be Next Decade
<b>Where the Jobs Will Be Next Decade</b>

We know right about now you’re visualizing yourself by the Christmas fire, gorging on eggnog and holiday treats while trying to tune out the tenuous outside world. But this holiday season may be the perfect time to rethink your job prospects for the near future. The U.S. Bureau of Labor (BLS) recently released their predictions for how the work force will look in 2018. The results are both surprising and illuminating. Take a good, long look because these are the professions of the next decade. Maybe one of them will be your new calling. Photo Credit: TenSafeFrogs

#25: Survey Researchers
<b>#25: Survey Researchers</b>

It may not sound like a glamorous job title, but survey researchers (like market researchers) are responsible for figuring out what the American people think. They do public opinion polling for corporations, universities and government agencies. According to the BLS, the field is expected to grow faster than most because government agencies are relying more and more on polls to determine policy, while businesses are leaning more heavily on this data to determine where to invest money in advertising. Number of jobs in 2008: 23,000 Projected number of jobs in 2018: 31,000 Percentage Change: 30.3 Educational Requirements: Bachelor’s degree Current Salary: $36,000 annually on average Photo Credit: boltron-

#24: Computer Software Engineers (Systems)
<b>#24: Computer Software Engineers (Systems)</b>

This one shouldn’t come as too big a surprise. Just think about all the new computer technologies that have popped up in the last decade alone. Systems engineers in particular are more involved with the nitty gritty of designing a company’s computer network, effectively serving as network administrators. Existing software is continually being updated for businesses around the country and new web applications are always in the works, all of which will lead to an ever-increasing demand for computer software engineers. The only downside of this is that there will an extra hundred thousand nerds out there, speaking in code and jargon. Number of jobs in 2008: 395,000 Projected number of jobs in 2018: 515,000 Percentage Change: 30.4 Educational Requirements: Bachelor’s degree Current Salary: $92,000 annually on average Photo Credit: Teemu Mantynen

#23: Pharmacy Technicians
<b>#23: Pharmacy Technicians</b>

Americans rely heavily on pharmacies, but most of the time, the person you interact with there is not a pharmacist but rather a pharmacy technician, who is responsible for helping licensed pharmacists to sort through prescription requests. These technicians also work in nursing homes and hospitals. The BLS reports that more technicians will be needed in the coming years to deal with the increased number of elderly people (all the Baby Boomers out there). On top of this, insurance companies are expected to recommend that people lean even more on their pharmacies for basic medical care as a way to cut costs. The job itself may change a bit, too, as technicians take on more administrative duties that were previously held by pharmacy aides. Number of jobs in 2008: 326,000 Projected number of jobs in 2018: 426,000 Percentage Change: 30.6 Educational Requirements: Moderate-term on-the-job training Current Salary: $13 per hour on average Photo Credit: farm3.static.flickr.com

#22: Environmental Engineers
<b>#22: Environmental Engineers</b>

The Copenhagen talks last week may have been a bust, but that doesn’t change the fact that the focus in the near future will be on environmentally conscious technology. Besides global warming, these engineers also focus on creating technologies that can help with waste management, acid rain and pollution. Many businesses are currently shifting to these technologies, thereby providing a number of new job opportunities. Environmental engineers will be the super heroes of the next decade, working to save the world… with science. Number of jobs in 2008: 54,000 Projected number of jobs in 2018: 71,000 Percentage Change: 30.6 Educational Requirements: Bachelor’s degree Current Salary: Up to $56,000 in the first year with the possibility of earning more than $100,000 with enough experience Photo Credit: WikiCommons.org

#21: Occupational Therapist Aides
<b>#21: Occupational Therapist Aides</b>

Occupational therapist aides may not have as many hands on responsibilities as occupational therapist assistants do. However, this job does not require any special certification and can be a good introduction to the field. Aides schedule appointments and take care of the insurance paperwork. Even in this capacity, you get to help people overcome serious mental and physical obstacles. As with pharmacy technicians, a big reason for the expected increase in jobs in this field is due to the aging baby boom population. More elderly Americans means there is more of a need for rehabilitation after heart attacks, strokes and other ailments. Number of jobs in 2008: 8,000 Projected number of jobs in 2018: 10,000 Percentage Change: 30.7 Educational Requirements: Short-term on-the-job training Current Salary: $13 per hour on average Photo Credit: navy.mil

#20: Compliance Officers
<b>#20: Compliance Officers</b>

Compliance officers work to ensure a business runs safely and conforms to any law governing their permit to operate. The growth in this sector will mostly be in management, business and financial occupations. Number of jobs in 2008: 260,000 Projected number of jobs in 2018: 341,000 Percentage Change: 31.1 Educational Requirements: Long-term on-the-job training Current Salary: Up to $50,000 in the first year Photo Credit: nafmo

#19: Self-Enrichment Education Teachers
<b>#19: Self-Enrichment Education Teachers</b>

Let’s just call them life skills teachers for short. Rather than focus on math or science, these teachers help students learn subjects like personal finance and pottery. The demand for these professionals will increase mainly because more Americans are looking to distinguish themselves in the workplace by cultivating skills not always taught in regular schools. According to BLS, the most popular subjects in the next few years will be personal finance, cooking and computer courses. Number of jobs in 2008: 254,000 Projected number of jobs in 2018: 335,000 Percentage Change: 32.1 Educational Requirements: Work experience in a related occupation Current Salary: $17 per hour on average Photo Credit: Aine D

#18: Veterinarians
<b>#18: Veterinarians</b>

Americans love their pets. Even in the recession, pet businesses were booming, and this trend isn’t likely to stop anytime soon. The BLS reports that the demand for veterinary care of common household pets like dogs is expected to grow modestly in the next decade. But interestingly, the cat population is supposed to increase significantly in those years, which means there is an extra demand for veterinarians who can treat them. Number of jobs in 2008: 60,000 Projected number of jobs in 2018: 79,000 Percentage Change: 33 Educational Requirements: First professional degree Current Salary: Up to $68,000 in the first year with the possibility of earning more than $100,000 with enough experience Photo Credit: Michele Eve

#17: Physical Therapist Assistants
<b>#17: Physical Therapist Assistants</b>

Physical therapists and their assistants will be in high demand in coming years, both because of the increased elderly population in this country and due to expected changes in health insurance policy that will make it easier for patients to get reimbursed for physical therapy. According to the BLS, physical therapists are expected to lean more heavily on assistants to handle the increased traffic of patients and provide many parts of the treatment. The best job prospects in this field will be in hospitals in rural areas, since most physical therapists flock to cities. Number of jobs in 2008: 64,000 Projected number of jobs in 2018: 85,000 Percentage Change: 33.3 Educational Requirements: Associate degree Current Salary: Up to $20 per hour in the first year Photo Credit: defense.gov

#16: Medical Assistants
<b>#16: Medical Assistants</b>

Medical assistants mostly handle the administrative tasks in a doctor’s office, but some assistants do perform hands on tasks like taking vital signs and preparing patients for their exams. Unfortunately, one big reason this profession is expected grow faster than most is because more Americans are expected to be obese and diabetic in the coming years. This, combined with the increase in the number of elderly Americans, will drive more patients to doctors’ offices around the country. Doctors, in turn, will need to rely on assistants to help deal with their newfound popularity. Number of jobs in 2008: 484,000 Projected number of jobs in 2018: 648,000 Percentage Change: 33.9 Educational Requirements: Moderate-term on-the-job training Current Salary: Up to $31,000 in the first year Photo Credit: farm3.static.flickr.com

#15: Computer Software Engineer
<b>#15: Computer Software Engineer</b>

These software engineers are similar to the systems engineers mentioned in #24, but they focus more on creating programs and databases for the end-user (i.e. you and me). Businesses nationwide will be in need of qualified programmers for years to come to help them update their software. Number of jobs in 2008: 515,000 Projected number of jobs in 2018: 690,000 Percentage Change: 34 Educational Requirements: Bachelor’s degree Current Salary: $85,000 annually on average Photo Credit: Teemu Mantynen

#14: Dental Assistants
<b>#14: Dental Assistants</b>

Dental assistants help with basic patient care, processing x-rays, applying local anesthesia and other tasks. Some of the reasons for this increased demand are rather interesting. It’s largely fueled by population growth and a “greater retention of natural teeth by middle-aged and older people.” Also, many older dentists are retiring and being replaced by younger professionals more interested in hiring assistants. Number of jobs in 2008: 295,000 Projected number of jobs in 2018: 401,000 Percentage Change: 35.8 Educational Requirements: Moderate-term on-the-job training Current Salary: $15 per hour within the first four years on the job Photo Credit: Wolfiewolf

#13: Veterinary Technicians
<b>#13: Veterinary Technicians</b>

Veterinary technicians perform lab tests and help treat animals. Many also do interesting research in areas as diverse as wildlife medicine and cloning. In fact, much of the growth in this profession will be in research labs across the country. One big factor is that there is usually a quick turnaround for veterinary technicians, so there is also a demand for recent graduates. Number of jobs in 2008: 80,000 Projected number of jobs in 2018: 108,000 Percentage Change: 35.8 Educational Requirements: Associate degree Current Salary: Up to $32,000 in the first year Photo Credit: Tobyotter

#12: Dental Hygienists
<b>#12: Dental Hygienists</b>

These are the evangelists of good oral hygiene. As long as there are people who fail to floss daily, there will be a need for dental hygienists. As with dental assistants, this profession is expected to expand rapidly thanks to population growth and the greater amount of older Americans who still, miraculously, have their original teeth and need to get regular care for them. Number of jobs in 2008: 174,000 Projected number of jobs in 2018: 237,000 Percentage Change: 36.1 Educational Requirements: Associate degree Current Salary: $46,000 annually on average (depending on the facility) Photo Credit: ^@^ina

#11: Physical Therapist Aides
<b>#11: Physical Therapist Aides</b>

Aides are responsible for keeping the physical therapy room running smoothly and helping patients move around. As we mentioned before when talking about physical therapist assistants, demand for aides will increase in the next decade mostly due to the increased elderly population in the United States and also as a means to cut down on the cost of physical therapy services. Number of jobs in 2008: 46,000 Projected number of jobs in 2018: 63,000 Percentage Change: 36.3 Educational Requirements: Short-term on-the-job training Current Salary: $24,000 annually on average (depending on the facility) Photo Credit: Inno'vision

#10: Athletic Trainer
<b>#10: Athletic Trainer</b>

No, the Yankees aren’t hiring (at least not as far as I know), but many other places are. Athletic trainers don’t just work for sports teams, they also educate employees in many different industries on how to prevent injuries in the workplace. Most of the job growth for athletic trainers will actually be off the field, in hospitals and health centers. In recent years, these professionals have started to be viewed like regular health care officials. And many expect the demand for athletic trainers will increase since they are a great cost effective means of preventative care. For example, as BLS notes, many states are already planning to require that there be an athletic trainer in every high school. Number of jobs in 2008: 16,000 Projected number of jobs in 2018: 22,000 Percentage Change: 37 Educational Requirements: Bachelor’s degree Current Salary: Up to $38,000 in the first year Photo Credit: WikiCommons.org

#9: Biochemists and Biophysicists
<b>#9: Biochemists and Biophysicists</b>

The future is bright for these overachievers. Biochemists study the chemical composition of living things and will be in high demand in the coming years as the need for biotechnology continues to increase and more biotech companies pop up. Biophysicists work more with neuroscience and bioinformatics (if you don’t know what that is, then you probably won’t ever need to know.) Both of these fields will only expand in the coming years. Number of jobs in 2008: 23,000 Projected number of jobs in 2018: 32,000 Percentage Change: 37.4 Educational Requirements: Doctoral degree Current Salary: $83,000 annually on average Photo Credit: NIOSH

#8: Skin Care Specialists
<b>#8: Skin Care Specialists</b>

Skin care specialists help to make Americans a bit more relaxed and pleasing to look at by giving facials, massages and sometimes applying makeup. Aside from a population increase in the coming years, this profession is expected to grow rapidly thanks to the newfound popularity of skin treatments in this country. In fact, most of the beauty industry (hair dressers, manicurists, etc) is expected to grow by about 20 percent in the next decade. Apparently, this may be the decade of American decadence and pampering. Number of jobs in 2008: 39,000 Projected number of jobs in 2018: 54,000 Percentage Change: 37.9 Educational Requirements: Postsecondary vocational award Current Salary: $14 per hour on average Photo Credit: Rasmussen College - Green Bay

#7: Physician Assistants
<b>#7: Physician Assistants</b>

Physician assistants are much more hands on than medical assistants. They are trained to provide real diagnoses and preventative care to patients, though they are still second fiddle to the doctor in charge. If any health care reform should pass in the near future, there will be lots more people out there with some insurance coverage looking to visit a doctor. So hospitals and doctors offices across the country are expected to rely more on assistants to provide cheaper primary care and free up physicians from having to take care of routine duties. Number of jobs in 2008: 75,000 Projected number of jobs in 2018: 104,000 Percentage Change: 39 Educational Requirements: Master’s degree Current Salary: Up to $75,000 in the first year Photo Credit: joguldi

#6: Medical Scientists
<b>#6: Medical Scientists</b>

As our biotechnology has improved, so has our understanding of various diseases. But more medical scientists are needed to  analyze all that new data. The fate of this field ultimately rests on the budget of the National Institute of Health. But for now, the future seems bright, especially as research projects for big name diseases like AIDS and cancer continue to grow and get funding. Number of jobs in 2008: 109,000 Projected number of jobs in 2018: 154,000 Percentage Change: 40.4 Educational Requirements: Doctoral degree Current Salary: Up to $67,000 in the first year and more than $100,000 with enough experience Photo Credit: NIOSH

#5: Financial Examiners
<b>#5: Financial Examiners</b>

Financial examiners make sure institutions actually abide by government regulations. This field is expanding for one very obvious reason: because we need it to. Number of jobs in 2008: 27,000 Projected number of jobs in 2018: 38,000 Percentage Change: 41.2 Educational Requirements: Bachelor’s degree Current Salary: Up to $60,000 annually for the first four years Photo Credit: Neubie

#4: Personal and Home Care Aides
<b>#4: Personal and Home Care Aides</b>

These aides help the disabled and chronically ill at home and in various health care facilities across the country. Aides usually help patients with basic tasks like bathing and grooming, as well as preparing meals and doing laundry. This field is expected to grow because of the increase in the elderly population in America and also because patients are often forced to leave hospitals sooner in order to cut costs. This means there are more recently discharged patients in need of home care. Number of jobs in 2008: 817,000 Projected number of jobs in 2018: 1,193,000 Percentage Change: 46 Educational Requirements: Short-term on-the-job training Current Salary: $11 per hour (depending on the facility you work for) Photo Credit: ulrichkarljoho

#3: Home Health Aides
<b>#3: Home Health Aides</b>

Strangely enough, the BLS decided to split up the previous position into two. So apparently, if you’re interested in this line of work, you also have the option to become a home health aide. While personal and home care aides usually work for private agencies (or sometimes get hired directly by the family), home health aides work for government-funded agencies. The choice is yours. Number of jobs in 2008: 922,000 Projected number of jobs in 2018: 1,383,000 Percentage Change: 50 Educational Requirements: Short-term on-the-job training Current Salary: $12 per hour (again, depending on the facility you work for) Photo Credit: sunshinecity

#2: Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts
<b>#2: Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts</b>

This is a pretty fancy title for jobs in telecommunications and web development. It’s a particularly smart field to get into, according to BLS, because companies are always updating their IT services and implementing new technologies. Or to put it differently, there’s this thing called the Internet and apparently it’s going to be around for a while. Number of jobs in 2008: 292,000 Projected number of jobs in 2018: 448,000 Percentage Change: 53.4 Educational Requirements: Bachelor’s degree Current Salary: Up to $50,000 in the first year Photo Credit: codiceinternet

#1: Biomedical Engineers
<b>#1: Biomedical Engineers</b>

Forget about doctors. If you’re looking to hitch up with someone successful, you better start courting those biomedical engineering students. Biomedical engineers are responsible for developing the technology that helps doctors make your life better. You can thank these guys for some of the major advances in medicine like prosthetic limbs and MRI’s. It will fall largely on biomedical engineers to create new cost effective methods for treating sick and elderly Americans in the next decade. Number of jobs in 2008: 16,000 Projected number of jobs in 2018: 28,000 Percentage Change: 72 Educational Requirements: Bachelor’s degree Current Salary: Up to $60,000 in the first year For a list of jobs that will decline the most in the next decade, check out our coverage here. Photo Credit: WikiCommons.org

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