10 Fast-Growth Occupations

September 8, 2019
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Author: Tyran Saffold Jr

U.S. employment is projected to increase by 11.5 million from 2016 to 2026—which equates to a jump from 156.1 million to 167.6 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Universities should take note of these fast-growing occupations, within the industries listed, as they consider how to advise current and future students. Out of the fastest-growing occupations, as detailed by BLS, the top ten are as follows:

Fastest Growing Occupations

1. Solar Photovoltaic Installers:

People in this profession install, assemble and maintain solar panel systems on rooftops or other structures. In 2018, the solar industry generated $17 billion for the American economy. This industry is primed to take off as governmental authorities collectively make efforts to improve the condition of economies around the world.

Growth: 105.3 percent
Education Needed: High school diploma or equivalent

2. Wind Turbine Service Technicians:

Responsible for installing and repairing wind turbines. Wind electricity generation is expected to grow rapidly over the coming decade. As a result, additional technicians will be needed to install and maintain new turbines.

Growth: 96.1 percent
Education Needed: Postsecondary non-degree award (a certificate as a result of completing formal postsecondary education).

3. Home Health Aides:
A shortage of physicians and lack of access to healthcare will force many elderly people to seek non-traditional assistance at a cheaper cost through the use of home health aides.

Growth: 46.7 percent
Education Needed: High school diploma or equivalent

4. Personal Care Aides:
Slightly different from the responsibilities of home health aides, but still in the same occupational category. They are responsible for light cleaning, cooking, running errands, laundry, etc. They are hired to help with more emphasis on a friendly, natural connection to their clients.

Growth: 34.7 percent
Education Needed: High school diploma or equivalent

5. Physician Assistants:

People in this occupation practice medicine in collaboration with or under the supervision of a physician, depending on state laws. They can work with patients autonomously as physicians do not need to be on-site with them and assistance often occurs via electronic means when necessary.

Growth: 37.4 percent
Education Needed: Master’s Degree

6. Nurse Practitioners:
As an advanced practice registered nurse, they are trained to order and interpret diagnostic and laboratory tests, diagnose illness and disease, prescribe medication and formulate treatment plans. They are vital to the medical field and not much separates them from the physician assistants.

Growth: 36 percent
Education Needed: Master’s Degree

7. Statisticians

Simply put, statisticians gather numerical data and display it, helping companies make sense of quantities in order to facilitate educated decision-making. They’re an invaluable contribution to a company looking to get ahead of future economic curves.

Growth: 33.4 percent
Education Needed: Master’s Degree

8. Physical Therapist Assistants
These professionals help with patient recovery from key injuries, illnesses, and surgeries.

Growth: 30.8 percent
Education Needed: Associates Degree

9. Software Developers

Software developers are responsible for researching, designing, implementing and managing software programs, as well as testing and evaluating new programs. With the projected expanse of Robotics, Automation and AI in the workforce, software developers will be in high demand. The U.S. currently accounts for 31 percent, or approximately $1.6 trillion, of the world’s tech market.

Growth: 30.5 percent
Education Needed: Bachelors Degree

10. Mathematicians

Mathemeticians cover a wide range of occupations. Acoustic consultant, chartered accountant, data analyst, actuary and data scientist, just to name a few.

Growth: 29.4 percent
Education Needed: Master’s Degree

Of the ten fastest-growing industries, it is noted that half belong to the medical field, showing that the healthcare industry is expected to have the most overall growth through 2026. The solar industry still has the single highest occupational growth, in addition to expected financial growth in the billions by 2025. With such significant job growth in solar and healthcare occupations, it is well-advised to recommend these industries as a career path to current and future students. With solid growth potential and demand for workers, employment opportunities in these sectors should be abundant.