10 Fastest Growing Jobs in the Next Decade

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Health care will dominate job creation in the next decade, and employment opportunities for college educated workers will grow nearly twice as fast as jobs for high school graduates, according to comprehensive projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"The fastest growing jobs are mostly in health care and consulting," said Michael Wolf, an economist with BLS, which originally produced this report in 2008. "The fastest declining sectors are in low-skill manufacturing with apparel, textiles and fabrics."

Here are the five job categories that will add the most total people in the next decade.


If the wages look puny, don't be surprised. Fewer than one out of three Americans graduate from college today, so it's only natural for most new positions to not require a university education, or the higher salaries it confers.

But don't be fooled into thinking that the future of the American job is all food prep at $8 an hour. "In reality, seven of the top ten fastest growing jobs require a bachelor's degree or higher," Wolf says. Take a look at the five fastest growing jobs in the United States in the next decade:


You can spot two important trends here. First jobs for the college educated not only pay significantly higher, but also they're growing almost twice as quickly. The chart below is eye-opening. Employment opportunities for workers with Masters, professional, or associates degrees, are expected to grow between 16 and 19 percent by the end of the decade, almost twice as fast as the overall job market.

job growth decade education college.pngThe second trend is the triumph of the health care sector. Health care employment grew more than twice as fast as the total population between 1998 and 2008*, and health care is growing more than twice the rate of inflation. That's good for lab coats who need funding and low-skilled folks who need work. But is it good for the rest of us that health care employment and investment threatens to siphon resources from the rest of the economy?


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Two more graphs courtesy of economist Michael Mandel hammer the point home. The first shows health care growth in the decade before the BLS survey was taken. The second shows health care employment projection over the next few decades, assuming that medical inflation trends continue.

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Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

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