Projected 2010-20 growth: 45.4%
The BLS predicts construction helpers of all kinds -- from plumber's assistants to carpentry helpers -- will see job opportunities boom as the construction industry recovers from the recession. The agency expects construction firms to add 26,300 plumber and pipefitter helpers during the current decade as orders pick up for new schools, offices, factories and power plants. A growing U.S. population should also boost demand for new housing, while increased home-renovation work should create additional construction-helper jobs of all types, the BLS predicts. Plumbing helpers (median pay: $27,010) typically carry tools and materials for plumbers, as well as set up and break down equipment and perform other basic tasks. The job generally requires only a high-school or general-equivalency degree, although some plumbing helpers learn their craft through trade schools or apprenticeships. The BLS predicts helpers with training or experience in multiple construction disciplines (plumbing, carpentry, etc.) will have the best shot at getting jobs in the next few years. Many employers will also favor military veterans, the agency says.