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The Desirable Dozen: 12 of the fastest growing jobs in the United States


People have their own, personal, sometimes highly practical reasons for joining the military. More often than not, “I just wanted to have something to do” is not one of them.

If we apply that same thought to a job search – whether the job seeker is a transitioning service member, active duty service member, retired veteran or military spouse – the hunt for a job isn’t really about getting a job, even in our current competitive market. It’s about finding a satisfying, rewarding way of life. It’s about doing something you enjoy that will not only pay out a good salary, but will keep you interested, engaged, learning and advancing as the years progress.

As you consider your career, your goals, and future plans, it sometimes helps to start with a list of possibilities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles gobs of information about working in the United States, including this list of the fastest growing career fields. These professions appear on the list because the US Department of Labor has identified them as growing fields with projections to keep growing through 2020.


Personal care aides

2010 employment: 861,000

2020 projection: 1,468,000

Percent growth: 70.5

Median annual wage (2010): $19,640


Home Health Aides

2010 employment: 1,017,700

2016 projection: 1,723,900

Percent growth: 69.4

Median annual wage (2010): $20,560


Biomedical engineers

2010 employment: 15,700

2020 projection: 25,400

Percent growth: 61.7

Median annual wage (2010): $81,540


Brickmason, blockmason, stonemason, tile and marble setter helpers

2010 employment: 29,400

2020 projection: 47,000

Percent growth: 60.1

Median annual wage (2010): $27,780


Carpenter helpers

2010 employment: 46,500

2020 projection: 72,400

Percent growth: 55.7

Median annual wage (2010): $25,760


Veterinary technologists and technicians

2010 employment: 80,200

2020 projection: 121,900

Percent growth: 52.0

Median annual wage (2010): $29,710


Reinforcing iron and rebar workers

2010 employment: 19,100

2020 projection: 28,400

Percent growth: 48.6

Median annual wage (2010): $38,430


Physical therapist assistants

2010 employment: 67,000

2020 projection: 98,200

Percent growth: 45.7

Median annual wage (2010): $49,690


Pipelayer, plumber, pipefitter and steamfitter helpers

2010 employment: 57,900

2020 projection: 84,200

Percent growth: 45.4

Median annual wage (2010): $26,740


Meeting, convention and event planners

2010 employment: 71,600

2020 projection: 102,900

Percent growth: 43.7

Median annual wage (2010): $45,260


Diagnostic medical sonographers

2010 employment: 53,700

2020 projection: 77,100

Percent growth: 43.5

Median annual wage (2010): $64,380


Occupational therapy assistants

2010 employment: 28,500

2020 projection: 40,800

Percent growth: 43.3

Median annual wage (2010): $51,010


Some of these jobs require a bachelor’s degree – some require more or less education than that – just to get your foot in the door. Once you’ve found a career field and area of study, click here to look for schools or visit the Military Authority education benefits page to explore financial support. No one can look after your future better than you can. Now’s the time to get started.

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