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25 Growing Career Fields You May Not Have Considered
When you were younger, you may have dreamed of a job that wasn't exactly realistic - astronaut, rock star, princess, president. Now that you're older, why not take a more adult approach and focus on job fields with higher-than-average growth potential?
By Sarah Wright
Promising Career Fields
Let's face it - the job market out there is tough, and despite recent improvements your prospects may not seem that much better. It may be time to focus more on the jobs you can get than the jobs you want. Of course, it doesn't necessarily have to be that bad. According to statistics complied by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), some of the jobs projected to have the most growth between 2010-2020 are highly desirable career fields. Some of them, particularly those in medicine, are even those that kids might cite as a future dream career.
If you're interested in becoming a nurse, you're in luck - the BLS has projected 26% growth in this field, with about 711,000 jobs being added by 2020.
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses
LPN and LVN differ from registered nurses in several ways, but they're similar in that they have good future prospects for job availability.
Home Health Aides
The job field for home health aides is expected to grow by almost 70% by 2020, making it one of the highest-percentage growth rate careers identified by the BLS.
Personal Care Aides
Like home health aides, personal care aides will see almost 70% more career opportunities in the next decade or so. The BLS indicated that these workers tend to earn slightly less than home health aides, though.
Hands-on careers in the medical field aren't for everyone, but that doesn't mean that you can't take advantage of growth in that field.
Physicians and Surgeons
The nation needs more doctors, so if you think you can make it through the grueling medical school education process, the BLS predicts that there will be plenty of jobs waiting for you when you're done.
This may be surprising news for Ph.D. students who've heard nothing but doom-and-gloom predictions for the academic job market, but the BLS lists postsecondary teachers (i.e. college professors) as one of the fastest-growing jobs, with 17.4% growth by 2020.
The BLS anticipates that by 2020, about 260,000 jobs will be added in this field.
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education
With a median annual wage of $51,660, elementary school teachers were among the highest earners on the BLS list of occupations with the largest job growth.
By 2020, the BLS expects there to be about 190,000 more positions in this field, for a growth of 14.8%.
The BLS anticipates that there will be about 3,440,000 office clerks in 2020, which is almost 17% more than there were in 2010.
Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerks
These lower-key accounting and financial jobs will see about 13% of growth by 2020.
Receptionists and Information Clerks
With about 23% job growth anticipated by 2020, this field is projected to have one of the most substantial margins of growth among those on the list.
Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers
Administrative supervisors are expected to see a smaller growth percentage than their subordinates, but they do tend get paid more.
Accountants and Auditors
Accounting might not be the world's most exciting job, but it's a good choice if you want to pick a field that's growing rather than shrinking.
In addition to being a handy skill, carpentry is a statistically smart career move.
About 21% more jobs are expected to be added to this field by 2020.
Landscapers and Groundskeepers
If you like being outside at work, you're in luck: the BLS is expecting about 240,000 jobs to be added to this field in addition to the 1,151,000 that existed in 2010.
Janitors and Non-Domestic Cleaners
Kids may not all dream of being janitors when they grow up, but it's a smart move for those who want some job security in a growth field.
The open road is going to be calling quite a few more people, with about 20% growth projected for truck drivers by 2020.
If you're college-bound, you probably aren't thinking of retail as a long-term career prospect, but there should be plenty of work in this field while you're in school.
Food Service Workers
This category includes prep cooks and workers at fast food restaurants, so it may not be what culinary students are looking for. Still, the BLS expects almost 400,000 jobs to be added to this field by 2020.
Customer Service Representatives
A growth of 15.5% is projected for this field.
A modest growth of 7.4% is expected in this field, so you might want to focus on other areas, particularly if you're going to be earning a college degree.
Waiters and Waitresses
With the BLS predicting 8.7% growth, waiters and waitresses are among the slowest-growing fields on the list.
The BLS expects 195,000 new security guard jobs to be added by 2020.
If you're a college student interested in any of these growing fields, visit your campus career center to find out what to do.