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Home Careers Employment Update: The 20 Fastest Growing Jobs in America
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Employment Update: The 20 Fastest Growing Jobs in America

SimiJuly 5, 2018

There is a saying that goes, “Do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life.” However, the reality is somewhat different. People can’t always do what they love. In fact, most of the time the motivators for getting a job don’t include passion or desire. People try to get jobs that pay the most, or they get the job that is available to them.

Entering the job market with this kind of mindset almost always results in disappointment. But, people need to work. They need an income. This is not a choice each one of us makes. It is an absolute requirement. With the job market and global economic climate being what they are, unemployment has become a real possibility for thousands of people. How then does one avoid it?

The obvious answer is higher education. Although a degree doesn’t guarantee a job, it helps your chances, but it is not set in stone. In many cases, it is not the presence of a degree that counts, but rather which degree. Entering a saturated market is extremely competitive, even with a degree. This kind of market saturation changes with the times.

Jobs that are popular today might well have seemed quite risky only 10 years ago. Therefore, it is paramount to stay updated on the current status quo if you want to avoid extended periods of unemployment. Here are 20 of the fastest growing jobs in America.

1. Interpreter and Translator

There is something attractive about a person who can speak a foreign language. What the attraction is exactly, is not all that clear. But it is undeniable that multi-lingual people are desirable. Aside from the attraction part of speaking multiple languages, there is also work in this field.

Interpreters translate spoken dialogues or conversations from one language to another while translators do this same thing in writing. Here are the three different types of ways to interpret a language:

  • Simultaneous interpreting happens while a person is speaking.
  • Sight translation is the conversion of a written document into another language on the spot.
  • Consecutive translation happens after a person has concluded what they were saying.

Translators working in the written sphere can take on many forms. However, the end goal is the same. Once a translator has produced a document in another language, it must be identical to the original but in another language.

Due to the range and that people will always need to communicate with one another, multi-lingual people can choose from a huge variety of jobs. Employment for these positions is available in almost every field. This profession has a growth rate of 29 percent and the median income is $43,590.

2. Cartographer and Photogrammetrist

Cartographers and photogrammetrists are map makers. They take geographic data and put together charts and maps. The uses for these include politics and education. Cartographers produce maps that are user-friendly, while photogrammetrists are map makers who specialize in the surface of the Earth.

Cartographers need to take geographical data, such as annual precipitation and present it in a visual way. They collect this data from reports, ground surveys, satellite imaging and aerial photographs. They are not limited to producing new maps and also update maps already in existence.

Photogrammetrists, on the other hand, utilize spatial data. This includes distance and elevation. They are not only data interpreters but also have to collect the data themselves. They do this by planning satellite and aerial surveys. These surveys must cover the entire area of study. Once they gather the data, photogrammetrists produce maps they layer with Geographic Information System (GIS) data.

Both professions require at least a bachelor’s degree. This can be in the fields of surveying, geography, cartography or geomatics. The earth is not nearly as unknown as it used to be. There are no undiscovered continents or areas and yet, these professions are not obsolete. Geographical data varies, thus ensuring employability. The growth in this field sits at 29 percent with the medium pay being $60,930.

3. Operations Research Analyst

This job has its roots way back to World War II. In this case, an operations research analyst would have been a military planner. Today, they work for businesses and corporations. Their primary job is problem-solving.

These people are optimizers. They work at making a company cost effective and efficient. This includes human and monetary elements. An operational research analyst gathers data, interprets it and produces options to map the way forward. This would need to encompass allocation of money, human resources, facilities, and equipment. Techniques to produce these models are statistical analysis, data mining, mathematical modeling and optimization.

The job market for these analysts is not limited to the financial and manufacturing sectors. Companies like Google and LinkedIn hire them to make connections between profiles. The army hires them to plan supply delivery and to combat terrorism. They schedule flights for airlines and even help frame disaster relief plans for humanitarian agencies. Educational requirements for this job start at a bachelor’s degree.

Operations research analysts study the fields of industrial engineering, business or mathematics. Graduate programs in operations research analysis exist for people with bachelor’s degrees, but it is better to attain a master’s degree in one of the three fields. No one wants to spend money unnecessarily. This means employment is generally guaranteed for these analysts. The growth rate is sitting at 30 percent and the median salary which is $76,660.

4. Occupational Therapy Aide

Occupational therapy is a rehabilitation procedure. People who have been in accidents or are suffering from an illness and not able to perform certain functions seek out occupational therapy. An occupational therapist aide is a person who assists an occupational therapist or occupational therapist assistant.

These people don’t give patients any medical care directly. They completely function in a support capacity. These aides prepare equipment and materials, perform clerical tasks and escort patients from room to room. They work in hospitals, nursing care facilities and occupational therapist offices.

Unlike occupational therapy, these aides don’t need a college degree. All that is required is a high school qualification or related diploma. Training is on the job and it generally lasts up to a few weeks. During this training, you learn how to maintain the germ-free environment of the treatment rooms and how-to set-up and manage the equipment. The soft-skills required for this job would be good listening skills, excellent verbal communication, detail orientation and service orientation.

Until such a time when the medical field will be able to fully treat the effects of injury and illness, occupational therapists will exist. People will always get into accidents and get sick in some form or another. The median pay for this job is $26,550 while the growth rate is 31 percent.

5. Statistician

Statisticians collect, analyze, interpret and present data. The sectors they work in are market research, health, forensics, finance, government, education, sport and transportation.  A statistician doesn’t simply analyze data and then report their findings. They have to collect the data themselves most of the time by designing experiments and surveys.

Once they gather the data, the statistician will contextually analyze it. This process generally involves trying to find patterns or trends. This meaningful insight is then presented to the hiring body along with a strategy or plan for the way forward. Statisticians rarely work alone and are generally part of a larger team that includes varying professionals.

To perform at this job a person has to be highly logical and analytical, but there is also a large IT component. A statistician needs to have good interpersonal and communication skills if they are to work effectively in a team. Statistics is clearly a requirement when it comes to the educational background of a prospective statistician. Statisticians have a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, psychology, statistics, economics or geography.

If interested in working in the medical field, then a master’s degree in medical statistics, epidemiology or public health is helpful. This is a job which requires a human element, at least for the time being; thus, ensuring some form of job security. The median pay is $79,990 while the growth rate in this field is 34 percent.

6. Nurse Practitioner

A nurse practitioner is a position above a nurse. These people are advanced practice registered nurses. They earn a higher salary than regular nurses but also have more responsibilities. In 20 states in America, nurse practitioners have something called full practice authority. This means that they don’t need to work under a doctor.

They can examine, diagnose and treat patients. This includes prescribing medicine. Nurse practitioners may not have the prestige of being a fully qualified doctor. But they have something regular doctors don’t, which is their experience. Before attaining this position, all nurse practitioners work as a nurse for some time. This means they treat patient care in a unique way.

The first requirement for becoming a nurse practitioner is you need to already be a registered nurse. If you don’t have a bachelor’s degree in nursing science, you’ll need to get one first. The next step is getting a master’s degree in nursing. There are also some bridging courses that take a registered nurse to master’s level without an existing bachelor.

By becoming a nurse practitioner, you increase your job security substantially. These professionals provide at least 80 percent of the patient care that doctors do, so they earn a fair amount more than regular nurses. This medium pay is $95,350 while the growth rate is at 35 percent.

7. Commercial Diver

A commercial diver is a professional diver who is highly skilled and often work in hazardous environments. Offshore divers are by far the most common divers in this field. They work for gas and oil companies and live on the rigs or platforms. This is how most divers get into the commercial diving industry, and it can be a tough life at first.

Offshore divers don’t earn an enormous salary. They also tend to work throughout the week and basically at any hour of the day. This is usually seasonal work, and their wages may increase over time. Another type of commercial diver is an inland diver. As the name suggests, they work on projects in bodies of water that are inland. These include lakes, dams, rivers and harbors. The working environment is a lot safer than offshore diving but the earnings are also substantially lower.

Hazmat divers work in conditions even more dangerous than offshore divers. They frequently work in places where there are harsh chemicals or pollutants. Nuclear divers work under similarly dangerous conditions but, there is an added threat of radiation. Scientific divers are both scientists and divers. They collect and examine data collected underwater.

Military or naval divers perform underwater military operations and they repair submerged ships and equipment. This profession is one where passion can meet the need to find a job. Growth in this field is 37 percent and the median salary for the average diver is $45,890.

8. Home Health Aide

This philanthropically centered job is perfect for those who desire to work with and help people. These people provide a broad range of care for the sick, elderly and injured. A home health aide helps patients with personal tasks, such as washing and dressing. There are also certain clerical and medicinal activities they do.

This includes monitoring a patient’s condition and vital signs, documentation of patient care, reporting problems to doctors and arraigning entertainment and transportation. The administration of medicine by home health aides is still debatable in many states, but they are slowly getting more power in this regard.

The workplace for home health aids is not always in a person’s private home. There are countless instances where they work in retirement homes, group homes or even assisted living facilities. Home health aids can focus on one person at a time or they can care for several people at once.

A college degree is not necessary for this job, but in most cases a high school diploma is sufficient. Some states require enrollment in specific courses whose content is related to the administration of this kind of aid. The earnings of a home health aide are generally $21,380 while the growth rate of this job is 38 percent.

9. Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical therapist assistants work directly with physical therapists to treat patients. The physical therapy process aims to help a person get back to their former physical capabilities. People who see physical therapists are those that for some reason or other have recently impaired physical faculties. This impairment could either be at the hands of disease or injury. There are even cases where people work with physical therapists instead of going for surgery, too.

When a person initially visits a physical therapist, they lay out a plan of action and discuss it with all parties involved, including a physical therapist assistant. Once they decide on a plan and their goals, they all work together with the patient to begin treatment.

The role of a physical therapist assistant may vary between each hiring therapist. Physical therapist assistants perform deep soft tissue massage, ultrasound, electrotherapy, therapeutic exercise and functional training. They work to relieve pain, restore function, prevent disability and promote motility.

Physical therapist assistants must have certification to perform this job. They must enroll in a physical therapy education program and pass a state set examination on the topic. Once they get their accreditation, physical therapy assistants can earn $54,410 while the growth rate in this field is 41 percent.

10. Wind Turbine Service Technician

Wind turbine service technicians are highly trained individuals, yet they don’t need to study for four years or obtain a master’s degree. A fair amount of the training is on the job. In fact, many employers hire a person and then provide and pay for the worker’s training and instruction.

A two-year associate degree in applied science is necessary for this job. Over the course of two years, students learn every aspect of wind turbines along with their related technology. They will also learn how to maintain and fix turbines as well as how they work. You can’t qualify to be a wind turbine service technician from any institution. Not all places of higher education offer courses on wind turbine technology and maintenance.

However, this job market is growing, which means that increasingly more institutions are offering such courses. As with any other qualification, it is best to obtain this one from a reputable institution. This will not only aid in employability, but the quality of education and training is better. This field is experiencing enormous amounts of growth due to the demand for clean energy. Currently, growth sits at 108 percent while the median pay is $48,800.

11. Optometrist

You only get one set of eyes your entire life, which means you need to look after them. This is where optometrists come in. These doctors are health-care providers who specialize in examining, detecting, diagnosing and treating conditions and disorders of the eye and other related visual systems. They do everything that ophthalmologists do, except they don’t perform surgery.

Optometrists work in research projects, teaching institutions, clinics, hospitals and the ophthalmic industry. While there are multiple environments open to optometrists, they generally work in clinical practice. It is here where they work with patients to test, treat and maintain the integrity of the patient’s eyes and sight. They give the patient various eye-examinations and also take a medical history which is sight-related.

They also come up with treatment plans for eye diseases or disorders. Optometrists prescribe glasses or contact lenses for those with impaired vision. Due to the specialized nature of this job, a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution is necessary. This job also requires a lot of patient interaction which means communication and listening skills are necessary. The growth rate in this field is 27 percent while the salary is $101,410.

12. Hearing Aid Specialist

Hearing aid specialists often work with the elderly because the highest incidence of hearing loss is among the elderly. A hearing aid specialist helps people who experience hearing impairment due to age. These specialists can’t diagnose and treat diseases that are more suited to ear, nose and throat specialists or audiologists.

The initial test a hearing aid specialist performs is an audiogram to check the level of hearing impairment in each ear. Once the specialist obtains these values, they can recommend treatments like hearing aids. A hearing aid specialist also guides the patient in their decision so they get a hearing aid that is comfortable, effective and user-friendly. It is the specialists’ job to ensure the patient gets the right hearing aid for them.

These specialists are not doctors, so they don’t need a bachelor’s degree. They can obtain an associate degree from any institution that offers a program in hearing instrument specialist training. Most hearing instrument courses run for two years.

More than half of the population will experience some level of hearing loss in their later years. This means there will always be a need for hearing aid specialists. The growth rate in this field is 27 percent while the earnings are generally $43,010.

13. Audiologist

Like hearing aid specialists, audiologists also work with patients with hearing problems. The difference is in the variety of conditions each can detect and treat. An audiologist can test for, diagnose and treat a whole host of hearing-related conditions. They use computer, audiometers and other equipment in the diagnostic process.

Audiologists can help when a patient is experiencing problems with balance, ringing in the ears, or has a hearing impairment. They can provide treatment for all of these conditions including the dispensing of hearing aids. At times patient care in this field can be ongoing and quite involved.

If the patient’s condition is a progressive one, an audiologist will need to continuously update their treatment plan. In the case of patients who are incurable, the audiologist may even teach the family and patient how to communicate with each other. They are also responsible for educating patients on how to preserve and maintain their hearing.

Audiologists are doctors, which means they require a doctoral degree. They will also need a license to practice in each state. Because these people are doctors, they enjoy the benefits of relative job security along with a desirable salary. The growth of this job is 29 percent and the earnings are $73,060.

14. Genetic Counselor

Genetic counselors work in the medical field and advise patients on the topic of their genetics. After genetic testing, these counselors interpret the data and convey the information to patients. They identify risk factors in patients by taking a family medical history, too. Genetic testing is not required for every patient, so the counselor advises patients whether genetic testing is necessary or not.

These counselors generally work in hospitals or some other medical facility. They deal with a host of different patients in multiple different fields. They can work in the sphere of prenatal medicine, too, helping women who are pregnant or want to have children.

In pediatrics, they work with children and their families. In cardiovascular and neurology, they work with patients who are suffering from some sort of disease. Lastly, they work with cancer patients. Genetic counselors also work with other specialists such as pediatricians, oncologists, and many others. This depends on the type of condition the patient may be suffering from, though.

These counselors also act as the go-between for patients when it comes to the lab and insurance companies. They are there to advocate for the patients in this regard. A genetic counselor requires a master’s degree in a related field. Once attained, they can earn up to $67,500 and the growth rate sits at 29 percent.

15. Personal Financial Advisor

Personal financial counselors help people manage their money. The first step that a personal financial advisor takes is to assess the current financial position of their client. Once they do that, they work with clients to meet their financial goals.

Personal financial advisors counsel people on a variety of financial topics including investment, retirement, medical aid, mortgages and even planning for future educational needs. They need to be up to date on all the current investment opportunities to recommend the best possible way forward.

The relationship between a client and financial advisor is a long-term one. Once they lay out a financial plan, they need to keep track of their client’s finances and investments and report back to them. This generally happens at least once a year. Personal financial advisors find their clients by networking and advertising. Some financial advisors host seminars where they inform prospective clients on the services they provide.

Most of personal financial planners deal with a broad range of topics, but there are some who specialize in one particular area. This could be anything from risk management to retirement. A bachelor’s degree is required for this job, while further studying would aid in employability. Financial advisors can earn up to $81,060 and the growth rate of this job is 30 percent.

16. Physician Assistant

Physician assistants are medical practitioners who work in a team with other healthcare providers. They are involved in the examination, diagnosis and treatment of patients. Their role is dependent on the medical field in which they are working. But in general, their roles are quite broad.

Doctor’s assistants take patient medical histories, examine patients and conduct diagnostic tests. They also diagnose, treat and prescribe as well as educate and counsel patients. In different states, a physician’s assistant must be under varying amounts of supervision. But overall, they have a fair amount of freedom and scope.

If a physician assistant is working in surgery, they usually close incisions and work with the patient both pre and post-surgery. When working in pediatrics, they perform examinations on children and give them their scheduled vaccinations. This trend is the same throughout the different medical specialties.

To become a physician assistant, you need a master’s degree. This amounts to at least two years of studying at a post-graduate level. You also need a license and some experience when it comes to the care of patients.

Physician assistants are vital to the medical team. As long as doctors are necessary, these assistants will be able to find a job. The salary they earn is generally around the $95,820 mark and the growth rate is 30 percent.

17. Ambulance Driver and Attendant

Ambulance drivers and attendants form part of the first responder team. They aid emergency personnel in their tasks. This includes driving the ambulance or assisting the driver and providing first aid like splints, bandages and oxygen. They also help emergency service providers on a call and maintain the integrity and sanitary environment of the ambulance.

Ambulance drivers and attendants stock supplies, report the details of accidents to hospital workers and aid in the transport of patients on stretchers, too. These workers don’t need a college degree, so a high school diploma is sufficient. However, they need to host a range of skills and abilities, including good judgment as this is a high-risk job. Ambulance workers also need well-developed communication skills, both written and verbal.

Listening skills play a vital role in an emergency. Ambulance attendants and drivers also need to be service orientated, because a huge portion f their job involves helping people. This means that a person lacking people skills would probably fail in this career.

Along with this list of skills, there are some abilities that come in handy on the job. They include manual dexterity, quick reaction times, spatial orientation, control precision, clarity of speech and a fast wrist-finger speed, to name but a few. The median salary for these emergency workers is $24,080 and the current growth rate of the job is 33 percent.

18. Physical Therapist

Physical therapists specialize in something called modalities. These are techniques that relieve pain, improve function and movement and prevent permanent disability. Patients who visit physical therapists have sustained some form of injury that has impaired their movement. Some people suffer from debilitating diseases and conditions like cerebral palsy, arthritis, low-back pain, head injuries or broken bones.

When a patient first visits a physical therapist, they do a thorough examination and medical history. The physical therapist works with each patient forge a recovery or treatment plan which includes milestones and goals. Physical therapists treat patients long-term. They are responsible for assisting patients during their recovery, as well as recording their progress and other medical indicators.

Physical therapists tend to work in teams with multiple different healthcare practitioners. This could include doctors, specialists, physical therapy aides and assistants. They must be able to responsibly delegate to their aides and assistants, too.

To become a physical therapist, you need a doctoral degree in physical therapy. Along with this educational requirement are good interpersonal skills, communication skills, stamina, compassion and dexterity. If these soft skills are present along with the required qualification, then a physical therapist could earn up to $82,390. The growth rate in this profession is 34 percent.

19. Chef and Head Cook

Some 15 years ago Jamie Oliver, famous as The Naked Chef, helped launch the food revolution. Soon others joined him, such as Gordon Ramsay, Nigella Lawson and Marco Pierre White. This boom in food and cooking in the media is encouraging many to be chefs.

This boost in the culinary job market has taken on various forms. There are now gourmet food trucks on every corner and ingredient-specific restaurants popping up. There has also been a general increase in the flavor and quality of the food. If you would rather get in on the action, there are many avenues you could take to become a chef.

While cooking school in a good place to hone one’s skills, it is not a requirement. A lot of chefs only have a high school diploma and learn on the job. It can take years to work your way up the food chain in the kitchen, but it is also quite a journey. The growth rate of chefs in America is 10 percent and the median salary that is on offer is $43,180.

20. Occupational Therapy Assistant

Occupational therapy assistants work directly under the supervision of occupational therapists. Their main job is a support one for occupational therapists. Occupational therapy assistants work with patients to help in their care and recovery.

Once an occupational therapist has set out a plan for the rehabilitation of a patient, they task an assistant with helping the recovery team. They help the patient perform the prescribed activities to reach their recovery goals, too. This includes teaching patients stretches and movements that aid in injury recovery.

Occupational therapy assistants also record data regarding the recovery of the patient. They work with developmentally disabled people to help them exist and function in society, too.

The work environment for occupational therapy assistants is as varied as those of occupational therapists. They can work in home health care agencies, nursing facilities, hospitals and occupational therapist offices. Although you don’t need a bachelor’s degree, you will need an associate degree or complete a one-year certificate program in a related field.

This job deals with the caring of patients, so you’ll need to be service oriented and compassionate. The salary for this job is on average $56,950 and the growth rate is currently sitting at 43 percent.

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