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Hot Jobs for the 21 st Century, 2004-2014

  • The number of women in the labor force is projected to increase from 68.4 million in 2004 to 75.9 million in 2014--a 10.9 percent increase. The number of men in the labor force is projected to increase from 79.0 million in 2004 to 86.2 million in 2014--a 9.1 percent increase. By 2014, women are projected to account for 47 percent of the total labor force.
  • By 2014, women’s labor force participation rate is projected to be 59.7 percent, compared with 59.2 percent in 2004. Men’s labor force participation rate will decrease slightly from 73.3 percent in 2004 to 71.8 percent in 2014.
  • In addition to the rise in labor force participants, there will also be increases in total employment over the 2004-2014 period. Total employment is projected to increase by 18.9 million jobs—from 145.6 to 164.5 million jobs.
  • The largest employment gains are projected to take place within professional and related occupations (6.0 million jobs) and service occupations (5.3 million jobs). In addition, these two occupational groups are projected to grow the fastest.
  • Every major occupational group will experience some amount of job growth except for farming, fishing, and forestry occupations along with production occupations; their projected occupation totals will be reduced by 1.3 and .7 percent, respectively.
  • As total employment continues to climb, it is important to be aware of the jobs that will have the fastest growth, the jobs with the largest numerical increases, and the education and training necessary to secure one of these jobs. Fastest job growth refers to the percentage change in employment within a particular occupation over a specific period of time. Numerical job growth refers to the total number of jobs created within an occupation over a specific period of time.
  • Sixteen of the 30 jobs with the fastest growth are health related, while 6 are computer related. Most of the remaining fast-growth occupations are in environmental services and education (See Table 1).
  • Fast-growth occupations have growth rates of 30 percent or higher, more than twice the average for all occupations—13.0 percent (See Table 1).
  • The fastest-growing major occupational group—professional and related occupations—is made up mostly of occupations that generally require postsecondary education or training. Examples of these are physician assistants, network systems and data communication analysts, computer software engineers, database administrators, physical therapists, preschool and postsecondary teachers, and environmental engineers.

  • The 30 jobs with the largest numerical growth are from a much broader occupational range than the 30 fastest-growing jobs. Eleven are service orientated, 4 are office and administrative support occupations, 3 are in health care support, 3 are food preparation and serving related, 3 are in building and grounds cleaning and maintenance services, 3 are in teaching, 3 are transportation and material moving occupations, among others (See Table 2).
  • Seventeen of the 30 occupations with the largest numerical declines have short-term on-the-job training as their most significant source of postsecondary education or training, 10 have moderate-term on-the-job training, and 3 have long-term on-the-job training.
  • Among the top 30 occupations with the largest growth, registered nurses require at least an associate degree; elementary teachers, accountants and auditors, computer software engineers and computer systems analysts usually require a bachelor’s degree; while postsecondary teachers, require a master’s or possibly a doctorate degree.
  • Carpenters is the only job requiring long-term on-the-job training, Examples requiring moderate on-the-job training are truck drivers, heavy and tractor-trailer; medical assistants; general maintenance and repair workers; and executive secretaries and administrative assistants.
  • The pay offered by growth occupations should be considered when choosing a job or career. While wage projections by occupations are not available, a look at the median weekly earnings of wage and salary workers who usually work full time in fast-growth and large-growth occupations provides additional job resource information (See Table 3).
  • The median weekly earnings of all wage and salary workers who worked full time in 2005 was $651 for both sexes--$585 for women and $722 for men. You may view the 2005 median weekly earnings of all full-time wage and salary workers at http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat39.pdf.
  • Even though an occupation may be projected to show faster than average growth and/or a large numerical increase, the median weekly earnings of that occupation could be much lower than the average for all workers (See Table 3).
Table 1
Occupations with the Fastest Job Growth, 2004-2014
(Numbers in thousands of jobs)
Employment Change
Occupation
2004
2014
Number
Percent
Total, all occupations 145,612 164,540 18,928 13
Health related occupations
Home health aides 624 974 350 56
Medical assistants 387 589 202 52.1
Physician assistants 62 93 31 49.6
Physical therapist assistants 59 85 26 44.2
Dental hygienists 158 226 68 43.3
Dental assistants 267 382 114 42.7
Personal and home care aides 701 988 287 41
Physical therapists 155 211 57 36.7
Veterinary technologists and technicians 60 81 21 35.3
Diagnostic medical sonographers 42 57 15 34.8
Physical therapist aides 43 57 15 34.4
Occupational therapist assistants 21 29 7 34.1
Medical scientists, except epidemiologist 72 97 25 34.1
Occupational therapists  92 123 31 33.6
Cardiovascular technologists and technicians 45 60 15 32.6
Biomedical engineers 10 13 3 30.7
Computer-related occupations
Network systems and data 
     communications analysts 231 357 126 54.6
Computer software engineers, applications  460 682 222 48.4
Computer software engineers,    
     systems software 340 486 146 43
Network and computer systems 
      administrators 278 385 107 38.4
Database administrators 104 144 40 38.2
Computer systems analysts 487 640 153 31.4
Other occupations
Forensic science technicians 10 13 4 36.4
Preschool teachers, except special education 431 573 143 33.1
Post-secondary teachers 1,628 2,153 524 32.2
Hydrologists 8 11 3 31.6
Hazardous materials removal workers 38 50 12 31.2
Employment, recruitment and placement specialists 182 237 55 30.5
Environment engineers 49 64 15 30
Paralegals and legal assistants 224 291 67 29.7
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review,
November 2005.

 

Table 2
Selected Occupations with the Largest Job Growth, 2004-2014
(Numbers in thousands of jobs)
Employment Change
Occupation
2004
2014
Number
Percent
Retail salespersons 4,256 4,992 736 17.3
Registered nurses 2,394 3,096 703 29.4
Postsecondary teachers 1,628 2,153 524 32.2
Customer service representatives 2,063 2,534 471 22.8
Janitors and cleaners, except maids 
     and housekeeping cleaners 2,374 2,813 440 18.5
Waiters and waitresses 2,252 2,627 376 16.7
Combined food preparation and serving
     workers, including fast food 2,150 2,516 367 17.1
Home health aides 624 974 350 56
Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants 1,455 1,781 325 22.3
General and operations managers 1,807 2,115 308 17
Personal and home care aides 701 988 287 41
Elementary school teachers, 
      except special education 1,457 1,722 265 18.2
Accountants and auditors, 1,176 1,440 264 22.4
Office clerks, general 3,138 3,401 263 8.4
Laborers and freight, stock, and 
      material movers, hand 2,430 2,678 248 10.2
Receptionists and information clerks 1,133 1,379 246 21.7
Landscaping and groundskeeping workers 1,177 1,407 230 19.5
Truck drivers, heavy and tractor-trailer 1,738 1,962 223 12.9
Computer software engineers, applications 460 682 222 48.4
Maintenance and repairs workers, general 1,332 1,533 202 15.2
Medical assistants 387 589 202 52.1
Executive secretaries and administrative assistants 1,547 1,739 192 12.4
Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing,
     except technical and scientific products 1,454 1,641 187 12.9
Carpenters 1,349 1,535 186 13.8
Teacher assistants 1,296 1,478 183 14.1
Child care workers 1,280 1,456 176 13.8
Food preparation workers 889 1,064 175 19.7
Maids and housekeeping cleaners 1,422 1,587 165 11.6
Truck drivers, light or delivery services 1,042 1,206 164 15.7
Computer systems analysts 487 640 153 31.4
Source:   U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review
November 2005. 

 

Table 3
2005 Median Weekly Earnings of Selected Growth Occupations
Median Weekly Earnings, 2005
                                                                                                            (Both Sexes)            
Total, all occupations $651
Occupations with fastest job growth
      Computer software engineers $1,401
Physician assistants 1,155
Database administrators 1,116
Computer scientists and systems analysts 1,091
Postsecondary teachers 1,072
Network systems and data communications analysts 1,062
Network and computer systems administrators 1,058
Physical therapists 1,036
Medical scientists 935
Dental hygienists 895
Paralegals and legal assistants 740
Preschool and kindergarten teachers 521
Dental assistants 474
Personal and home care aides 390
Nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides  388
  Occupations with largest job growth
Computer software engineers $1,401
General and operations managers 1,099
Computer scientists and systems analysts 1,091
Post-secondary teachers 1,072
Registered nurses 935
Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing,
     except technical and scientific products 920
Accountants and auditors 887
Elementary and middle school teachers 826
Maintenance and repair workers, general 631
Truck drivers 624
Carpenters 556
Office clerks, general 518
Industrial truck and tractor operators 499
Retail salespersons 494
Receptionists and information clerks 466
Laborers and freight, stock and material movers, hand 456
Janitors and building cleaners 408
Teacher assistants 398
Personal and home care aides 390
Nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides  388
Waiters and waitresses 352
Maid and housekeeping cleaners 335
Child care workers 332
Food preparation workers 321
Combined food preparation and serving workers,
     including fast food 310
Source:  U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Monthly Labor Review, 
November 2005 and Employment and Earnings, 2006.