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    What Are the Fastest Growing Careers?

    By Lisa Freedland

    Lisa Freedland is a Scholarships360 writer with personal experience in psychological research and content writing. She has written content for an online fact-checking organization and has conducted research at the University of Southern California as well as the University of California, Irvine. Lisa graduated from the University of Southern California in Fall 2021 with a degree in Psychology.

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    Edited by Maria Geiger

    Maria Geiger is Director of Content at Scholarships360. She is a former online educational technology instructor and adjunct writing instructor. In addition to education reform, Maria’s interests include viewpoint diversity, blended/flipped learning, digital communication, and integrating media/web tools into the curriculum to better facilitate student engagement. Maria earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Literature from Monmouth University, an M. Ed. in Education from Monmouth University, and a Virtual Online Teaching Certificate (VOLT) from the University of Pennsylvania.

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    Updated: April 9th, 2024
    What Are the Fastest Growing Careers?

    It is not uncommon for college students to choose their majors based on potential salaries and job growth rates. It ultimately makes sense – a high job growth rate means that students will likely have an easier time finding a job post-graduation. So, then, what are the fastest growing careers? Let’s find out! 

    Keep on reading for a list of the careers with the highest job growth rates. We included average salary, growth rate, and a quick description for each job. All information is sourced from the updated U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

    Also read: Top 15 college majors for the future

    1. Wind turbine service technicians

    • 2022 Median Pay: $57,320 per year
    • Growth Rate (2022-32): 45% (Much faster than average)

    Wind turbine service technicians are responsible for keeping tabs on wind turbines. They install, repair, and perform maintenance on them when necessary. They also test electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic components of wind turbines, and replace any old or deteriorated parts. And, last, but certainly not least, wind turbine service technicians collect turbine data for the purposes of research and analysis. In terms of education, most wind turbine service technicians receive their training at a technical school and while on the job. With a growth rate much faster than average, wind turbine service technicians rank at the top (#1!) for high growth rates.

    Bureau of Labor Statistics

    2. Nurse practitioners

    • 2022 Median Pay: $129,500 per year
    • Growth Rate (2022-32): 38% (Much faster than average)

    Nurse practitioners are involved in the more clinical, hands-on aspects of healthcare such as treating illnesses and helping nurse patients back to health. In addition, nurse practitioners are in charge of assessing patients’ health, diagnosing diseases, prescribing treatments, and more. They can serve in a variety of settings, including hospitals, urgent care settings, private practices, or even directly in patients’ homes. To be qualified to do such tasks, nurse practitioners typically receive a master’s degree (Master of Science in Nursing). 

    Bureau of Labor Statistics

    And, by the way, if you’re interested in a nursing career, don’t forget to check out these articles:

    3. Solar photovoltaic installers

    • 2022 Median Pay: $45,230 per year
    • Growth Rate (2022-32): 22% (Much faster than average)

    Solar photovoltaic installers are responsible for installing and maintaining solar panels or other systems that convert sunlight into energy. Installers must be able to travel to job sites. They often work outdoors, but may sometimes be required to work in attics or other small crawl spaces. In terms of schooling, most solar photovoltaic installers have a high school diploma, but some also choose to take courses at local technical schools or community colleges. In addition, installers normally receive on-the-job training for up to 1 year.

    Bureau of Labor Statistics

    4. Occupational therapy assistants 

    • 2022 Median Pay: $63,450 per year
    • Growth Rate (2022-32): 23% (Much faster than average)

    Occupational therapy assistants work under occupational therapists. They help patients develop and relearn basic physical activities, such as driving, working, and getting dressed. OT assistants work in many settings and with a variety of patients. These include children, those with disabilities, adults, or those who have experienced traumatic injuries. Whoever you choose to help, becoming an occupational therapy assistant can be a rewarding experience, as you can see the difference you’re making in your patients’ lives. A high school diploma and an associate degree from an occupational therapy assistant program are required. 

    Bureau of Labor Statistics

    5. Statisticians

    • 2022 Median Pay: $99,960
    • Growth Rate (2022-32): 30% (Much faster than average)

    Statisticians use their knowledge of mathematical theories and techniques to help solve problems in business, the sciences, engineering, and more. They also design studies, surveys, and polls to collect data, which they analyze to communicate their findings to audiences. They create visual representations of these data and findings, which are shown to businesses to aid them in making decisions. While most statisticians have a master’s degree in mathematics or statistics, some positions are open to those who only have a bachelor’s degree.

    Bureau of Labor Statistics

    6. Home health and personal care aides

    • 2022 Median Pay: $30,180 per year
    • Growth Rate (2022-32): 22% (Much faster than average)

    Home health and personal care aides have similar duties to nurses. They are responsible for monitoring the conditions and health of people with disabilities or illnesses and helping them carry out daily activities. They also perform housekeeping tasks for patients, including doing laundry, washing dishes, and shopping for groceries. Home health and personal care aides are often supervised by nurses. They can sometimes provide basic health services such as checking patients’ pulses, temperatures, or breathing rates. These aides can also provide medications to patients. They require less schooling than nurses, with most (but not all) home health and personal care aides having a high school diploma. To work in certified home health or a hospice agency, however, one may need to complete formal training or pass a standardized test.

    Bureau of Labor Statistics

    7. Physical therapist assistants

    • 2022 Median Pay: $57,240 per year
    • Growth Rate (2022-32): 19% (Much faster than average)

    Physical therapist assistants work under the supervision of physical therapists. These assistants  help patients who are recovering from injuries regain movement and minimize pain. Their duties are often directly related to patient care. Duties include cleaning the treatment area, transporting patients, and helping patients attempt to exercise or do physical activity. Last, but certainly not least, they keep track of patients’ statuses and progress and report these to a physical therapist. To become a physical therapist assistant, individuals typically need an associate degree in addition to a license or certificate.

    Bureau of Labor Statistics

    Read more: Top physical therapy scholarships

    8. Medical and health services managers

    • 2022 Median Pay: $104,830 per year
    • Growth Rate (2022-32): 28% (Much faster than average)

    Medical and health service managers plan and coordinate medical and health services, and typically manage health facilities, a specific department, or a medical practice. Their specific duties, however, include improving the efficiency and quality of healthcare services, developing department goals, recruiting and training new staff members, and more. As managers, they also communicate with other medical staff and department heads, and make sure that their facility is up to date and compliant with recent laws and regulations. While most medical and health service managers hold a bachelor’s degree, Master’s degrees are also quite common for those in the profession. Many also have prior experience working in a healthcare facility.

    Bureau of Labor Statistics

    9. Physician assistants

    • 2022 Median Pay: $126,010 per year
    • Growth Rate (2022-32): 27% (Much faster than average)

    Physician assistants’ duties go further than that of a nurse but are not quite on the level of a surgeon. They’re responsible for examining patients, interpreting diagnostic tests (think x-rays and blood tests), giving treatment, prescribing medicine, and more. PAs also assess and record patients’ progress. Physician assistants generally have a master’s degree and need to be licensed (in every state). 

    Bureau of Labor Statistics

    10. Information security analysts

    • 2022 Median Pay: $112,000 per year
    • Growth Rate (2022-32): 32% (Much faster than average)

    Last, but certainly not least, are information security analysts! Information security analysts are responsible for planning and executing security measures to keep companies’ and organization’s systems and data safe. Duties include monitoring organization’s networks for security breaches and  installing security software. The analyst keeps up with the latest information technology (IT) security trends and recommends appropriate security enhancements to clients. Information security analysts most often have a bachelor’s degree in a computer or computer-science related field. They are more likely to be hired if they have prior experience in a similar profession.

    Bureau of Labor Statistics

    Also see: Information technology major overview

    Final thoughts

    As you can see,  the fastest growing careers encompass a wide variety of positions and fields. It’s a huge benefit if a career is fast growing. Remember, though, that it’s more important to go for a job that you think you’ll enjoy. Otherwise, you may just end up leaving a job that has many positions available because you didn’t enjoy it. 

    For a longer list, we recommend checking out this list of the fastest growing occupations from the Bureau of Labor Statistics themselves. And, no matter what career you decide to pursue, we wish you the best. Remember to apply for all the scholarships you are eligible for!

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    Also see: Highest paying careers to consider

    Frequently asked questions about the fastest growing careers

    What careers pay the most?

    It’s no surprise that many of the highest paying careers are in STEM fields, with a focus on medicine. Check out our list of the highest paying careers with data sourced right from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    What careers have the happiest employees?

     Although it’s good to know that you’re likely to secure a job in a field that’s rapidly growing, it’s just as (if not more important) to be happy in your new position. So, which careers tend to have the happiest employees? According to Indeed, some of the happiest jobs include teaching assistants, sound engineering technicians, estheticians, and event planners! If you’ll notice, all these jobs are incredibly different, both in terms of salary and job description. So, rather than looking for a job based on money or external pressure, we highly recommend you pursue something you like and that you believe you’ll be happy in.

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