"Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?" That is a hard-to-answer question in the ever-changing U.S. job market. What if you could look into a crystal ball, and see the fastest growing occupations ten years from now?
While predictions about the future are hard, I recently came across a list of future jobs in demand by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). (Note: the original list included jobs predicted to grow between 2006 and 2016, but it’s been updated through 2022. Our post includes the previous data.)
This list is the BLS’s guess at how our world will change. Baby boomers will get older (personal and home care aides #2), Generation X will invest for retirement (personal financial advisers #6), Generations Y and "Millennials" will be in recovery (substance abuse counselors #10), while Generation Text will be even more high tech (computer software engineers #4).
Which job tops this list of future jobs in demand? Keep reading!
However, before you jump to one of the new "hot" careers, make sure you are earning what you deserve today by using the PayScale Salary Calculator.
Top 10 Jobs of the Future
While these careers are predicted to grow substantially (as a percentage of positions in 2006), that doesn’t automatically mean the pay will grow as well. Home Health Aides are supposed to increase in numbers by 48.7%, and that occupation is ranked #3, but the average hourly wage range is currently $11.50 to $7.50, depending on city according to PayScale salary data.
Will pay rise with increasing demand? Judging by nursing home aides (a related job), whether demand for workers outstrips supply, putting upward pressure on wages, will depend on immigration policy: many health care aides I have met in Seattle are recent immigrants.
Interesting side note: immigration is not a traditional left/right Republican/Democrat issue. Dick Armey, former conservative Republican House Speaker, is a strong proponent for expanding legal immigration, as was Ted Kennedy, the late liberal Democratic Senator from Massachusetts.
A List of Jobs of the Future, Cont’d
Medical Assistants are ranked at #5 with an expected increase in growth of 35.4%. This is another job that may experience big growth, but big pay? The current median hourly wage ranges from $10.50 to $14.50 with experience, which is better pay than for Home Health Aides. Like the Home Health Aides, this career requires on-the-job training or completion of a certification program.
Future of Computing Jobs
For those who prefer to work with computers instead of people, there is good news. Computer Systems Analysts come in at #6, with an expected increased workforce of 29%. This job requires extensive knowledge and/or a Bachelors Degree. The pay? Today, the median salary is pretty good, ranging from $69,400 (New York City) to $57,300 (Houston).
Demanding Jobs in the Future
This next one seems a little dubious. Customer Service Representative jobs are supposed to increase in number by 28.4%. I don’t know about you, but I can’t get a human voice on the phone to save my life at most companies.
This feels like an area where the BLS is missing the boat in predicting the future. Rapid changes in telecommunications and information technologies make this a job that can be either outsourced around the globe, or replaced by a well-designed website form, at least for many routine tasks.
The pay is also not particularly high. The median hourly wage for Customer Service Representatives is currently $14.50 to $10.25 in our database.
Before we get to number one, here are more of the fastest growing occupations, from 2006 to 2016, based on total number of workers needed:
Registered Nurses, increase of 23.5%
Postsecondary Teachers, increase of 22.9%
Management Analysts, increase of 21.9%
Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants, increase of 18.2%
Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers, increase of 18.1%
Receptionists and Information Clerks, increase of 17.7%
Accountants and Auditors, increase of 17.2%
Security Guards, increase of 16.9%
Food Preparation Workers, increase of 15.3%
The Winner: IT Jobs Future
The top position goes to Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts, which will see a whopping 53.4% increase in the number of jobs. The median salary ranges from $69,900 (Atlanta) to $49,000 (Houston).
Given the barriers which prevent most people from becoming technology analysts – the need for extensive technical knowledge and the ability to think logically 🙂 – demand could exceed supply, causing salaries could skyrocket.
How will your salary look in ten years? How does it look today? The PayScale Salary Calculator is a quick and easy way to compare positions. When you want powerful salary data and comparisons customized for your exact position, be sure to build a complete profile by taking PayScale’s full salary survey.