Recently, we posted an update for the US Department of Labor’s (DOLs) 20 occupations with the largest projected job growth between 2021 and 2031. But, jobseekers sometimes want to know what occupations are expected to experience the largest percentage rate increase in demand. Fortunately, the DOL makes this data readily available. We have summarized it below. Additionally, we’ve offered our comments and analysis under the table.
You’ll find the expected medical, technology, and service occupations on the list. There are also occupations you may not have expected to see.
|DOL Job Title||Employment||Employment||%change||Median Wage|
|2021 (000)||2031 (000)||2021–31||2021|
|1. Nurse practitioners||246.7||359.4||45.7||$120,680|
|2. Wind turbine service technicians||11.1||16.1||44.3||$56,260|
|3. Ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers||63.2||88.8||40.5||$24,440|
|4. Motion picture projectionists||2.0||2.8||40.3||$29,350|
|5. Cooks, restaurant||1,255.6||1,715.6||36.6||$30,010|
|6. Data scientists||113.3||153.9||35.8||$100,910|
|7. Athletes and sports competitors||15.8||21.5||35.7||$77,300|
|8. Information security analysts||163.0||219.5||34.7||$102,600|
|10. Umpires, referees, and other sports officials||13.2||17.4||31.7||$35,860|
|11. Web developers||95.3||124.1||30.3||$77,030|
|12. Animal caretakers||290.7||377.6||29.9||$28,600|
|14. Taxi drivers||128.5||165.1||28.5||$29,310|
|15. Medical and health services managers||480.7||616.9||28.3||$101,340|
|17. Physician assistants||139.1||177.5||27.6||$121,530|
|18. Solar photovoltaic installers||17.1||21.7||27.2||$47,670|
|19. Animal trainers||52.9||67.2||27.1||$31,280|
|20. Physical therapist assistants||96.5||122.1||26.5||$61,180|
Important healthcare jobs will experience rapid growth.
Some of the fastest growing occupations are related to health services. Salaries for the most rapidly growing medical and health occupations vary. Physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and healthcare managers had 2021 median salaries in excess of $100,000 per year. Physical therapy assistants earned median salaries just above $61,100.
The rapid increase in demand for healthcare workers started before the Pandemic. It has been attributed to an aging population with greater health and personal care needs. The COVID19 Pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated the demand for essential healthcare workers.
Demand for technology professionals is rapidly increasing.
Several occupations that made the top 20 rapid growth occupations list are related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematical (STEM) subjects. They include wind turbine service technicians, solar photovoltaic (PV) installers, statisticians, data scientists, and information security analysts.
Again, workers in the occupations that usually require university degrees—statisticians, information security analysts, and data scientists earned median salaries above $95,000 per year in 2021.
Other technology and mathematical jobs have less-demanding educational requirements, and offer modest salaries. Those seeking installer and technician jobs working on renewable energy technology equipment—photovoltaic solar systems and wind turbines–will earn median salaries near $50,000 per year with high school diplomas and technical training.
Recent infrastructure legislation, which included renewable energy funding may further increase demand for expertise in wind turbine and solar power installation and maintenance workers.
Cybersecurity and supply chain issues seem to be in the news almost every day, too, so there is little doubt demand will continue increasing for experts in these fields.
A range of other occupations round out the list.
The variety of occupations on the remainder of the list is interesting. Other jobs on the top 20 rapid growth list include animal care and training jobs, professional athletes, umpires and other sports officials, choreographers, theater ushers, movie projectionists, restaurant cooks, and taxi drivers. While we do not have enough space in this post to review each occupation in detail, we’ll hit some highlights.
Sports Jobs: Initially, I was surprised to see the role of athletic competitor listed as a rapidly growing occupation. After all, it is not a job many of us can aspire to fill. But, with all baby-boomers reaching traditional retirement age and, perhaps, having leisure time to watch sports by 2030, and a plethora of streaming TV networks seeking content, demand for more sporting events, and athletes to play in them, is not surprising.
A point worth noting is that the 2021 median salary for athletic competitors was $77,300 per year. It’s apparently like many other occupations—only a handful of professionals earn millions of dollars, while most strive to earn a living wage.
Entertainment Occupations: Similarly, the increasing number of adults reaching traditional retirement age could explain the demand for entertainment industry professionals such as choreographers and other treater workers.
Concluding Comments Taken together, DOL’s list of occupations with the highest growth rate, and the list of occupations that are expected to add the most jobs in coming years offer lots of choices. Although you will have a chance to earn more in healthcare and other STEM occupations requiring degrees, there will be plenty of opportunities for those that do not choose to pursue technical fields requiring a great deal of training.