Best Jobs with the Fastest Growth Potential – Continued – Page 2
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics want you to know the jobs to aim for with the greatest growth potential over the next several years. They have compiled a list of the top jobs with the most promise to drive prospective job seekers in the right direction. Perhaps the standard factory manufacturing jobs have gone and continue to move to Asia but there are plenty of new industries in addition to the growing medical sector due to the aging Baby Boomer population. Look for new service sectors to provide significant employment opportunity and growth. Those looking for a more stable future should take heed of these employment opportunities. Many trade schools, community colleges and four year colleges are gearing up for the anticipated industry growth fields. It’s up to you now to find your pathway to the future.
Fastest Growing Jobs/Occupations for Next Ten Years – Continued – Page 2
#11 – Occupational Therapist Aids
This is a growth area mainly due to the aging Baby Boomer population entering the later years of their working careers. There are generally more open positions than people to fill them. These positions are people-centric in nature and ideally suited to those who are social able and have a good level of compassion and empathy. This position can be very rewarding in that it helps people regain mobility and functionality. Occupational therapy aides may work for clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, senior facilities, high schools, colleges and sport teams. Occupational therapy (OT) aids work with individuals who sustain injuries incurred from occupational and general work environments. They help occupationally injured patients recover, improve and develop new living and work skills needed for everyday functioning and to reintegrate back into their work environments. Typically, the aid position will perform supportive activities for patients, while assistants are more directly involved in providing therapy to patients. Aids are generally the ones doing more menial tasks such as cleaning up therapy areas, washing linens, preparing equipment, and transporting patients. Both aids and assistants work under the direction and guidance of a fully licensed occupational therapist. Aids, assistants and therapists work together as a team to rehabilitate the occupationally injured patient and help them recover from injuries and once again perform everyday life-tasks that may include anything from brushing teeth, getting dressed and eating to once again using the tools of a client’s trade. Many occupational injuries involve spinal or brain damage that may include working with other rehab experts such as speech therapists, psychologists and other professionals. OT aid jobs can be great starting points and with enough additional schooling, can lead to jobs as occupational therapist assistants and full-blown occupational therapists. Schooling required for this position require at least a high school diploma or GED. Career colleges and trade schools offered both online and in physical settings offer courses in becoming an OT aid. Instruction in medical terminology, rehab team duties, record keeping and other basic OT duties are covered in these entry level course. Some of these training programs are only a month in duration with one year being the max. Hiring companies typically put occupational therapist aids through an extensive orientation and training program to establish standards in patient transportation and communication protocols. Most states do not require licensing of the aid position as they do with the assistant position. The median annual wage for occupational therapy aids is $27,800 per year as of 2015. The 2014 to 2024 growth figure is high at 31 percent.
#12 – Operations Research Analysts
This is a highly analytical position for those wishing to dig deep into numbers and figure out reasons for a wide variety of problems. Prospective career seekers should especially enjoy mathematics and focused analysis. Most work in this sector involves sitting behind a desk in an office environment working on a computer for long hours each day. Medium to large scale businesses can be very complex entities requiring constant analysis and ongoing tweaking of their operations to stay competitive and maximize profits. That’s where the operations research analyst steps in. They investigate and analyze complex operations using mathematical formulas, algorithms and other software to gather information, analyze the results. The data is used to improve organizational efficiencies and find solutions to complex corporate problems. The operational factors of companies need to be monitored and include looking at maintenance issues, labor costs, product costs, supplier reliability, supply chain management, distribution dynamics, equipment upgrades, downtime analysis, tax minimization and a wealth of other issues surrounding business operations. Operations research analysts can either be full time employees, if the company is large enough, or part-time contracted consulting firms. Either way, for companies to remain competitive in today’s interconnected, globalized world of big data, faster computers and advanced methodologies, they will need to retain these individuals on an ever-increasing basis over the next 10 years. Operations research analysts running their own consulting/contracting business require advanced master or doctorate degrees. The U.S. Department of Defense and other governmental agencies employ many individuals within this sector. Some degrees that may be accepted are management science, operations science, statistical analysis, engineering, computer science, along with mathematics majors. Logical thinking processes are crucial to this sector of work while having a proclivity towards critical thinking habits is important. Coding courses in Microsoft Visual Basic, C++ and SQL database languages are highly recommended disciplines. Most large corporate employers prefer advanced degree individuals but there are also entry level positions available to bachelor degree individuals. The median annual wage for operations research analysts is $78,630 per year as of 2015. The 2014 to 2024 growth figure is high at 30 percent.
#13 – Personal Financial Advisors
Money management is important to ensure a strategy that allows for a comfortable retirement and financial security throughout one’s life. Personal financial advisors may also be known as financial planners. They help people plan by advising on issues of money that may include mutual fund choices, life insurance structuring, retirement planning, and annuity strategies for long-term investment. Individuals seeking a career in this area will typically have good organizational skills, be financially savvy and enjoy helping others experience financial security. A strong work discipline, good math aptitude and effective verbal and written communication skills are necessity for this position. This position requires lots of desk and screen time on a computer using specialized analytical software with access to online brokerage, financial trending and other money management tools. Educational considerations for a financial advisor typically require a specialized course in financial planning or a bachelor’s degree in some form of financial services. Many colleges offer structured programs for financial advisors. As emotions and money go hand in hand and many people struggle with emotional issues leading to financial problems, some courses or a degree in psychology is also a helpful addition. Perhaps more important to a degree is personal life experience in money matters. Creative people who have found ways around the challenges and financial difficulties life throws at us make the best financial advisors. Those who have helped a family or friends navigate through a bankruptcy, figured-out successful mutual fund management, or managed to save enough money to send a child to college without student loans or maybe found their way through their own hard financial times may help connect the adviser with their clients. Common life experiences not only advisors find real-world client solutions but bounds the advisor to the client in a special way through a magical human quality called empathy. Financial advisors may come from accountant, bookkeeper, CPA, insurance industry or stock broker backgrounds. Successful advisers typically maintain strong networks and connections with other financial industry professionals. While not all employers require it, a title of Certified Financial Planner requires 3 years of experience along with a multi-year study course in financial planning and the passing of a very difficult two-day examination. Some banks and financial institutions offer extensive training programs. A popular one is the Wells Fargo Advisors 31-week program that also assists the student in getting other necessary licenses such as the series 66 qualification which allows financial advisors to sell mutual funds and annuities. The median annual wage for personal financial advisor is $89,160 per year as of 2015. The 2014 to 2024 growth figure is high at 30 percent.
#14 – Cartographers and Photogrammetrists
Cartographers create maps. We all know about Google Maps and other online mapping resources that are highly interactive and provide us to plan trips and locate homes and businesses. With all the navigation apps and modern direction finding devices available, we would think cartographers would be a dying breed. Quite the contrary; this sector is anticipated to experience growth far above other job sectors over the 10-year window from 2014 to 2024. The increased reliance on and use of more accurate and complex computer system mapping in government, architecture and engineering has created the high demand for this profession. This is a job that will regularly get the person out of the office into the field where various GIS equipment is used for the collection of geographic information. A significant amount of desk/computer time is required back at the office to analyze, create and update the actual content. Cartographers and photogrammetrists collect important data and measurements from surveys and other means. They then update maps and charts that are many times used for local and regional governmental planning and emergency response, engineering and architectural purposes. They also create and update maps and globes for the academic sector at higher-level educational institutions. This is a rather specialized profession; most jobs are available at city, county, state and federal governmental agencies, engineering and architectural firms. As this is a field that creates graphic representations of geographic features, drawing and drafting are important skill for these individuals. Extensive computer skills using specialized GIS and other mapping applications is a requirement for this position. GIS systems capture, store, analyze, manage and present geographic data. These systems are highly specialized and complex and may require their own coursework. The evolution of new systems, software and equipment requires constant learning to keep up with the current state of the profession. Bachelor degree programs in cartography are offered at numerous schools. Certificate programs are available in a more limited number of schools for budding cartographers. Those wishing to break into this field should at least accomplish a certificate program which is typically one year of study. More serious upward mobile candidates should obtain a bachelor’s degree. Graduate degrees in this sector are also available but not typically pursued. Because they are so closely related, many times, a bachelor’s degree in geography can lead to employment as a cartographer or photogrammetrist. Additional coursework in geology, statistics, politics and biology can help establish a career in cartography. The median annual wage for Cartographers and Photogrammetrists is $61,880 per year as of 2015. The 2014 to 2024 growth figure is high at 29 percent.
If this job sounds like a rather futuristic profession, then indeed it is, or at least it was. How many people recall the last time they remember someone replying with the phrase “genetic counsellor” when asked what another person did for a living? However, genetic counselors are perhaps not so esoteric once it is understood what they do. Genetic counsellors are becoming more prevalent and in demand throughout our society. In addition to new clinics dedicated to the profession, doctors are also realizing the need for more in-depth family historical genetic data doctors are increasingly adding this information to their screening of patients. Genetic councilors collect detailed family histories, provide genetic testing, do genetic risk calculations and then provide patients and family members with data obtained from these procedures. These tests determine risk factors for hereditary conditions in patients through newly developed and less expensive than previous methods of DNA testing. These counsellor’s jobs entail the interpretation and dissemination of information of family histories of potential disease and dangerous conditions found in the genetic code of individuals. This allows for advanced detection of conditions and the ability to possibly empower advanced protocols to mitigate potential diseases. They may look for risk factors for cancer, muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s heart disease or many other conditions where genetic markers in DNA determine a propensity towards a certain condition. Genetic counsellors typically work closely with doctors, lab technicians and other medical professionals. Having a warm and understanding personality is important to take on this job. The ability to empathize with others and show compassion is also extremely important. These individuals can truly be considered counsellors as they also help patients cope with a bad diagnosis. These positions require a Master’s degree in genetic counseling. Fewer than needed graduate colleges current offer these courses at the needed level, so the selection process can be rigorous and demanding for entry. Maintaining an outstanding GPA during an individual’s undergraduate work is crucial if they hope to obtain placement in a genetic counsellor graduate program. Undergraduate work in biology, chemistry, psychology and genetics prior to entry to a graduate level program is typical. This is a state licensed position in most jurisdictions that requires passing a comprehensive examination to become a Certified Genetic Counsellor. Genetic counsellors work at universities, hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices and even laboratories. The median annual wage for genetic counselor is $72,090 per year as of 2015. The 2014 to 2024 growth figure is high at 29 percent.
Interpreters and translators
Globalization and immigration and the Internet have made the world is a much smaller place. Companies are multinational now and may have offices in addition to manufacturing and distribution facilities in foreign countries. High-tech industries have created a need for skilled computer and machine coders with high-functioning technical skills but whom may lack a high command of the English language. Add to this a much more diverse employee base due to immigration, and the picture becomes clear for future employment opportunities of this sector. There is a growing need for translators and interpreters so corporations can effectively conduct their business. These individuals should be personable and friendly and enjoy interaction with other cultures. They should have a high attention to detail to ensure accuracy and minimize misunderstandings. This profession enjoys a very large number of self-employed individuals somewhere in the range of 25%. As with any other entrepreneur running their own business, they should possess good marketing, networking and recordkeeping skills. Interpreters are high functioning individuals with advanced language skills who read, speak and write fluently in at least one additional language other than English. Interpreters work with the spoken language as an intermediator between two individuals. Specialty translators can translate various languages into international sign language. Translators work with textual contents to construe and convert one form of a written language to another. Most often the base language for either an interpreter or translator in the United States is English. Their second language is many times Mandarin, Cantonese, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, French, German or other European languages. Most interpreters and translators hold bachelor’s degrees but this is not always a requirement as obtaining language skills may come from family language experience or an immersion in a culture. Many colleges and universities throughout the U.S. offer bachelor and master degree programs in translation science. It is generally recommended that additional classes in business, economics or the humanities are included in a student’s curriculum to become specialists and become proficient in the terminology of certain business sectors. Besides superior English reading and writing and pronunciation skills, native-level proficiency is required in at least one foreign language. Certification may be a requirement for many corporate level positions and offers greater opportunities for advancement. Internship programs are highly encouraged to help develop native-level skills quickly as well as to enhance a potential hire’s resume. Some corporations may additionally provide language training programs to ensure a certain level of compliance with their corporate needs. Most of these positions are available in very large cities with significant business and political centers such as New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington DC. The median annual wage for interpreters and translators is $44,190 per year as of 2015. The 2014 to 2024 growth figure is high at 29 percent.
The aging American population is once again at the heart of the growth in this job sector over the ten-year period from 2014 to 2024. It may seem repetitive attributing so many jobs to Baby Boomers, but these Americans are such a giant demographic they tend to influence a lot of job sector; especially as they move into retirement age. Audiologists specialize in hearing problems and other issues related to the ear’s function. These may include tinnitus, balance and vertigo. They do in-depth assessments of individual’s hearing and inner ear conditions and may suggest and implement interventions such as hearing aids, surgery or implants to patients. Since the frustration of compromised hearing may lead to emotional or mental-related stress, they must also assess these situations for possible referral to other professionals. Audiologists use specialized equipment including specialized audiometers that determine hearing sensitivity and the ability to distinguish characteristics between speech and background noise. These sensitive instruments determine the extent of hearing damage and assist in diagnosis and a path to correction. The work environment of an audiologist may be anywhere from a clinic, hospital, private-practice office or military facility to a public or private school setting. As far as education level, audiologists are essentially doctors and require a doctorate degree as such. This means an additional four years of graduate work after undergraduate work of a bachelor’s degree. The graduate program of most colleges requires an intern program completion. Areas of study for an audiology doctoral program include those typical of a medical degree such as anatomy, physiology, genetics, diagnosis, psychology and pharmacology. This position is almost always a state-licensed position where a comprehensive state test must be accomplished prior to working in the field. The American Board of Audiology and American Speech-Language-Hearing Association also offers additional certified status’ but they are not always required in all states. Some of the qualities needed by an audiologist include a likable and pleasant bedside manner, an ability to effectively communicate and empathize with patients, critical-thinking, problem-solving aptitude and excellent organizational and record keeping skills. The median annual wage for audiologists is $74,890 per year as of 2015. The 2014 to 2024 growth figure is high at 29 percent.
Hearing Aid Specialist (Great Starting Point Career)
Some additional titles for this category may include hearing aid fitter and hearing instrument technician. These individuals measure, assess and fit individuals with hearing improvement and amplification devices to improve their communicative abilities, resulting in a better quality of life for their patients. Driven by the same Boomer generational factors as audiologists, hearing aid specialist careers are almost at the same level of demand as an audiologist. These individuals should be people-oriented and have patience, kindness and compassion for individuals with hearing handicaps. They should be able to exhibit superior communication skills to cater to individuals who may be audibly challenged. Good written communication skills and detailed organizational skills are important for this field as testing, fitting and technical accuracy is crucial. For those interested in a career in hearing related fields but aren’t quite ready to go through the extensive schooling of a master’s or doctorate’s degree program in audiology, there are a couple of entry-level, associate degree options. Hearing aid specialist is a logical starting career space that can lead to bigger opportunities in the future as an audiologist. As an entry level career with only associate-level college requirements, it may be a means for those who want to make a difference in people’s lives to find their path. As mentioned above, schooling for this job title entails an associate level program in hearing instrument science as the minimum to break into the field. Another associate-level course in the audiology-related fields is the associate’s degree in communications disorders. This program typically leads to a career in speech-language pathology as an assistant to a speech pathologist, which is normally a state licensed position while a hearing aid specialist is not. Both associate level courses are great starting points for those seeking a career in audiology work. The communications disorders degree has an emphasis on communications disorders, physiological acoustics, language development, phonetics and the American Sign Language (ASL) instruction whereas hearing instrument science tends to be more focused on the hardware of hearing aids, acoustics, hearing assessment, fitting and measurement and auditory disorders. The median annual wage for hearing aid specialist is $49,600 per year as of 2015. The 2014 to 2024 growth figure is high at 27 percent.
Becoming an optometrist requires a significant amount of schooling but the job comes with a high level of professional status and a lifetime of lucrative payback with a great opportunity for advancement. This field also offers very good growth prospects mainly due to an increased need for medical services for our aging Baby Boomer population. Optometrists deal with eye inefficiencies, visual problems and disorders including injuries to the eye. Through testing, optometrists determine glass and contact lens prescriptions, check for diseases like glaucoma determine depth and color perception and the patient’s ability to focus their eyes. In today’s world, optometrists assess vision correction, diagnose and treat sight issues using highly specialized and inexpensive equipment. An optometrist’s natural progression within his field is to the profession of ophthalmologist. The difference between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist is the type of conditions they can diagnose and treat with the more complex going to the ophthalmologist. Ophthalmologists typically are unlimited in the range of eye diseases they deal with including the ability to do surgery and prescribe medication. Some also do scientific research on eye diseases and can be responsible for new surgical techniques and procedures in addition to going on as a specialist. Even though optometrists are technically not considered doctors, they must obtain a graduate level degree called a doctor of optometry (OD). This is typically obtained after the successful completion of three years of graduate school, sometimes more, after completion of a typical 4-year undergraduate degree. A focus on relevant or related fields like biology, chemistry, or physiology are recommended in the bachelor’s program studies. Optometry graduate programs are competitive and in high demand. There are generally more applicants than available spots so maintaining a good GPA is crucial to get enrolled in a university program. All states license Optometrists through performance testing program. Many optometrists own their own businesses, so small business administration classes such as marketing, accounting and so forth are recommended. The median annual wage for optometrists is $103,900 per year as of 2015. The 2014 to 2024 growth figure is high at 27 percent.