Earning

These Could Be the Hottest 10 Jobs This Decade

Stacy Rapacon

With new job roles, products and industries emerging that didn’t even exist a decade ago—self-driving cars and drones, anyone?—the work world is evolving almost as quickly as you can update your resume.

And if you want to keep your own career fresh, you’d better stay on top of the latest developments, says Josh Wright of ESMI, a labor market analytics firm. “It’s very worthwhile for jobseekers to know what jobs are emerging and in demand, what skills employers are seeking and how all of that lines up with their interests and passions,” he says.

Curious which careers are on fire right now? We analyzed ESMI’s data on the latest job titles to be added to the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, and then ranked* the top 10. (You can check out the methodology at the end of the article.) Each one is experiencing high demand—and is projected to continue doing so over the next decade—and offers generous median salaries.

10. Computer Network Support Specialists

Total number of U.S. workers in 2016: 198,210
Projected 10-year growth rate: 12.5 percent
Median annual pay: $62,922
Typical education required: Associate’s degree

Found in IT departments nationwide, these specialized workers have emerged across all industries—particularly in computer systems design (of course) and telecommunications, which have adopted increasingly complex networks to keep their businesses running. As hardware and software evolve, you can expect continued growth, especially in New York City and Dallas—two of the metro areas with the highest employment of computer network specialists, according to the BLS.

9. Hearing Aid Specialists

Total number of U.S. workers in 2016: 6,299
Projected 10-year growth rate: 24.3 percent
Median annual pay: $51,468
Typical education required: High school diploma or equivalent

These workers administer and interpret hearing tests primarily in pharmacies, hospitals and doctors’ offices, as well as assist customers with picking out and fitting their hearing aids. The aging U.S. population is expected to help boost further need for these specialists.

8. Wind Turbine Service Technicians

Total number of U.S. workers in 2016: 7,061
Projected 10-year growth rate: 62.1 percent
Median annual pay: $44,658
Typical education required: Some college

The push for more eco-friendly energy sources is fueling demand for wind techs, who install and maintain wind turbines—mostly in places like Texas, California and Minnesota. Technicians typically attend technical school for a two-year program and continue training on the job in your first year. (There are a growing number of other opportunities in the renewable energy industries too.)

7. Computer Network Architects

Total number of U.S. workers in 2016: 150,524
Projected 10-year growth rate: 12.2 percent
Median annual pay: $98,528
Typical education required: Bachelor’s degree

Network architects design and build data communication networks, which can be as small as connecting two offices or as big as creating a cloud infrastructure to link many users nationwide. On top of a college degree (usually in computer science or a related field), you’d typically need at least five years of experience in the industry—for example, as a network and computer systems administrator or a computer systems analyst—to nab this gig.

6. Genetic Counselors

Total number of U.S. workers in 2016: 2,541
Projected 10-year growth rate: 18.9 percent
Median annual pay: $70,559
Typical education required: Master’s degree

These healthcare professionals can assess a patient’s risk for a variety of hereditary conditions, such as certain types of cancer, Down syndrome and cystic fibrosis. Most counselors specialize in prenatal, cancer and pediatric care, and often work in hospitals, doctors’ offices and medical labs. The advancement of testing possibilities has created greater opportunities for these workers and their services.

In order to become one, you usually have to obtain a bachelor’s degree in biology or another health care-related field, a master’s in genetic counseling or genetics, and finally, become certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling.

5. Nurse Midwives

Total number of U.S. workers in 2016: 5,450
Projected 10-year growth rate: 19.3 percent
Median annual pay: $98,428
Typical education required: Master’s degree

In general, nurses are in high demand these days in order to meet the needs of a growing and aging population, especially as more people become insured and seek medical services. Advanced-practice registered nurses, in particular, have more specialized training—after becoming an RN, you need a master’s, as well as board certification—and can provide services that were once reserved only for physicians. Certified nurse midwives provide women’s services, such as gynecological exams, family planning and prenatal care.

4. Information Security Analysts

Total number of U.S. workers in 2016: 86,563
Projected 10-year growth rate: 20.2 percent
Median annual pay: $89,572
Typical education required: Bachelor’s degree

The proliferation of cybercrime means a greater need for information security analysts, who plan and implement measures to protect organizations’ computer networks and systems across all industries. You typically need a college degree in computer science, programming or a related field to land this job.

3. Nurse Anesthetists

Total number of U.S. workers in 2016: 39,077
Projected 10-year growth rate: 17.7 percent
Median annual pay: $154,179
Typical education required: Master’s degree

Another kind of advanced-practice RN, nurse anesthetists provide anesthesia and pain management services to patients for surgical, therapeutic, diagnostic and obstetrical procedures. You must already have an RN license and one year of clinical experience in order to apply for an accredited nurse anesthetist program, which takes about two to three years to complete.

2. Web Developers

Total number of U.S. workers in 2016: 173,354
Projected 10-year growth rate: 28 percent
Median annual pay: $60,049
Typical education required: Associate’s degree

It seems like everyone has a website these days—and so the people who develop them are enjoying high demand. In order to become a web developer, you need to understand both programming and graphic design, and be skilled at keeping up with new updates in tools and computer languages throughout your career.

1. Nurse Practitioners

Total number of U.S. workers in 2016: 135,181
Projected 10-year growth rate: 28.8 percent
Median annual pay: $97,397
Typical education required: Master’s degree

Nurse practitioners can provide many of the same services as doctors, including writing prescriptions and ordering lab tests (other advanced-practice nurses may not be able to write scripts), which means they can help meet an increasing need for medical care, especially in underserved areas, such as inner cities. Like doctors, NPs typically select a specialty, like geriatric or pediatric health.

*Methodology: Rankings were calculated based on the current number of employees (10%), historical growth rate (15%), projected growth rate (25%) and median pay (50%).

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