Fastest Growing Occupations, College Degree or Not

Fastest Growing Occupations, College Degree or Not

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Both the personal care aides and home health aides occupations are booming as an aging populace requires more personalized care. Choose either one of these occupations and you may earn just $20,000 per year on average.

Chances are neither path is of interest to you given your career plans and pay aspirations. Also, if you are like a lot of college students you may wonder if there will be a job waiting for you. That’s a very reasonable concern as entire occupations have dried up (telephone operators) while others have faded (travel agents).

Fortunately, among the occupations projected to yield the fastest job growth are some that today’s college students will be interested in pursing. We tapped US Bureau of Labor Statistics data to spotlight five for your consideration, occupations that may align with your academic pursuits.

Biomedical Engineers

What they do: According to the BLS, “Biomedical engineers analyze and design solutions to problems in biology and medicine, with the goal of improving the quality and effectiveness of patient care.”

Base education: Bachelor’s degree

Median annual pay: $81,540

2010 to 2020 increase: 62 percent

Physical Therapist Assistants

What they do: PTAs help patients recover from injuries, illnesses, and surgery and how to regain movement and manage their pain.

Base education: Associate degree

Median annual pay: $37,710

2010 to 2020 increase: 45 percent

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

What they do: Notes the BLS, “Diagnostic medical sonographers use special imaging equipment that directs sound waves into a patient’s body (in a procedure commonly known as an ultrasound, sonogram, or echocardiogram) to assess and diagnose various medical conditions.”

Base education: Associate degree

Median annual pay: $64,380

2010 to 2020 increase: 44 percent

Interpreters and Translators

Proficiency in two or more languages is a requirement of interpreters and translators, people who convert information from one language to another. The distinction between the two very much related occupations is not always clear, but the BLS notes that Interpreters work in spoken or sign language, while translators work in written languages.

Base education: Bachelor’s degree

Median annual pay: $43,300

2010 to 2020 increase: 42 percent

Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists

What they do: According to the BLS, “Market research analysts study market conditions in local, regional, or national areas to examine potential sales of a product or service. They help companies understand what products people want, who will buy them, and at what price.”

Base education: Bachelor’s degree

Median annual pay: $60,570

2010 to 2020 increase: 41 percent

BLS Information

The job information we’ve included represent BLS projections. Various factors can impact job growth and availability including the number of people that retire or move on to another field, local growth, industry demand and national economic changes.

You should also know that the median pay amounts listed may only give you a hint of what you can earn. The BLS breaks down its data further to reveal pay levels by percentiles, that is: 10, 25, 50, 75 and 90 percent. Further differences can be uncovered by reviewing state and metropolitan areas. Finally, new graduates should know that they’ll generally earn in the lower percentiles as pay rates generally rise with experience.

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Categories: Career Planning