Back in January 2023 we reported on the US Department of Labor’s (DOL) job market projections for 2031. This week, while researching a new project, we found that the DOL updated its projections this month–September of 2023. While the changes are relatively small, the update is welcome as we enter the post-pandemic era. .
Now, the DOL has extended its projections to the year 2032. Jobs Job categories the Department projects to have the greatest increase in employment by 2032 include information technology, healthcare, stock work, food service, truck driving, market research, attorneys, accountants,, and senior leaders.
Salaries for the top 20 growth occupations vary widely. You’ll earn more in jobs that require higher skill levels, but you will have opportunities going forward regardless of your education and experience.
The top 20 job categories, updated by DOL on September 6, 2023, are included in the table below, along with median salaries.
|DOL job title||Employment, 2022||Employment, 2032||Employment change, 2022–32||Employment change, % 2022–32||Median wage, $, 2022|
|Home health and personal care aides||3,715.5||4,520.1||804.6||21.7||30,180|
|Stockers and order fillers||2,851.6||3,030.3||178.6||6.3||34,220|
|Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand||2,988.5||3,147.3||158.8||5.3||36,110|
|General and operations managers||3,507.8||3,655.1||147.3||4.2||98,100|
|Medical and health services managers||509.5||654.2||144.7||28.4||104,830|
|Light truck drivers||1,164.6||1,298.4||133.8||11.5||40,410|
|Market research analysts and marketing specialists||868.6||985.2||116.6||13.4||68,230|
|Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers||2,192.3||2,281.5||89.3||4.1||49,920|
|Computer and information systems managers||557.4||643.3||86.0||15.4||164,070|
|Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors||388.2||459.6||71.5||18.4||49,710|
|Accountants and auditors||1,538.4||1,605.8||67.4||4.4||78,000|
Last Modified Date: September 6, 2023
Source: US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table of Occupations with the .Most Job Growth 2022 and Projected 2032, Updated on September 6, 2023
Many high-growth jobs cannot be outsourced.
The first thing that jumped out at us when we looked at the listing was that several service industry jobs were near the top of the list. Specifically, three of the top four jobs include home healthcare aides and restaurant cooks, in addition to stockers and order pickers. A related category, freight and material handlers, is number six on the new DOL list.
All baby-boomers will be 65 years of age or more in 2030, according to the US Census, so it’s no surprise that demand for caregivers will increase nearly 805,000 workers, or almost 22% by 2032.
Homecare jobs cannot be outsourced. We doubt anyone wants a robot to care for them, either.
The work of restaurant cooks also cannot he outsourced to offshore workers, so it is also easy to see why there will be 20% job growth for restaurant cooks. While restaurants are reportedly trying robot burger-flippers, it could be cheaper to have people do the jobs. After all, the median wage for cooks was $34,110 in 2022.
Highest salaries are found in technology and leadership roles.
This year’s list indicates, as in previous years, that high-growth occupations in software development, operations management, and healthcare management had median salaries near or above $100,000 per year in 2022. Jobs in software development require skills that not everyone possesses. General management jobs normally require many years of experience, and the talent to lead people.
Lawyers also nmade the top 20 growth list with median salaries in excess of $135,000 per year. This job, of course, requires a law degree, in addition to an undergraduate degree, and state licensing.
Although the DOL projects high employment growth rates for software development, leadership, and roles in some licensed professions, the Department does not project future salaries in its tables. Leadership, several licensed profession, and software jobs have commanded high salaries for many years so we can reasonably expect this trend to continue.
Important professional jobs are also on the list.
The mid-range on the top 20 growth list, from a salary point of view, includes jobs such as registered nurses, with a median wage of more than $81,000 per year, accountants with median salaries of more than $78,000, and market researchers with median annual earnings just over $68,000 per year.
Heavy truck and tractor-trailer driving jobs also made the list with median wages of nearly $50,000 annually.
Although truck drivers earn less than many in professions requiring college degrees, it is a category that, based on our experience in workforce development programs, is perennially in demand. Some clients who started careers as truck drivers have advanced to leadership roles including company ownership.
There is good news and bad news in the updated statistics. Our good news is that the information economy of the 21st Century will continue generating jobs at all skill levels, partly due to an aging population. The bad news is that the service jobs available for those without the aptitude or training for high-wage technical, leadership, and healthcare jobs offer much lower salaries. Home care aide jobs, for example, paid less than 24% of the median wage earned by a software developer in 2022 although these jobs are number one and number two on the list, respectively. In other words, not all high-growth jobs will offer good wages.