The 30 Fastest Growing Occupations

According to the most recent study on this issue, the US Bureau of the statistics the chart below

Overview of the 2008-18 Projections-U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition

Population is the single most important factor in determining the size and composition of the labor force. The civilian labor force is projected to reach 166.9 million by 2018, which is an increase of 8.2 percent.

The U.S. workforce is expected to become more diverse by 2018. Among racial groups, Whites are expected to make up a decreasing share of the labor force, while Blacks, Asians, and all other groups will increase their share (Chart 2). Among ethnic groups, persons of Hispanic origin are projected to increase their share of the labor force from 14.3 percent to 17.6 percent, reflecting 33.1 percent growth.

The number of women in the labor force will grow at a slightly faster rate than the number of men. The male labor force is projected to grow by 7.5 percent from 2008 to 2018, compared with 9.0 percent for the female labor force.

The share of the youth labor force, workers aged 16 to 24, is expected to decrease from 14.3 percent in 2008 to 12.7 percent by 2018. The primary working-age group, those between 25 and 54 years old, is projected to decline from 67.7 percent of the labor force in 2008 to 63.5 percent by 2018. Workers aged 55 years and older, by contrast, are anticipated to leap from 18.1 percent to 23.9 percent of the labor force during the same period (Chart 3).

Total employment is expected to increase by 10 percent from 2008 to 2018. However, the 15.3 million jobs expected to be added by 2018 will not be evenly distributed across major industry and occupational groups. Changes in consumer demand, improvements in technology, and many other factors will contribute to the continually changing employment structure of the U.S. economy.

The next two sections examine projected employment change within industries and occupations. The industry perspective is discussed in terms of wage and salary employment. The exception is employment in agriculture, which includes the self-employed and unpaid family workers in addition to wage and salary workers. The occupational profile is viewed in terms of total employment including wage and salary, self-employed, and unpaid family workers.

Goods-producing industries. Employment in goods-producing industries has declined since the 1990s. Although overall employment is expected to change little, projected growth among goods-producing industries varies considerably (Chart 4).

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction. Employment in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction is expected to decrease by 14 percent by 2018. Employment in support activities for mining will be responsible for most of the job loss in this industry with a decline of 23 percent. Other mining industries, such as nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying and coal mining, are expected to see little or no change or a small increase in employment. Employment stagnation in these industries is attributable mainly to strict environmental regulations and technology gains that boost worker productivity.

Construction. Employment in construction is expected to rise 19 percent. Demand for commercial construction and an increase in road, bridge, and tunnel construction will account for the bulk of job growth.

Manufacturing. Overall employment in this sector will decline by 9 percent as productivity gains, automation, and international competition adversely affect employment in most manufacturing industries. Employment in household appliance manufacturing is expected to decline by 24 percent over the decade. Similarly, employment in machinery manufacturing, apparel manufacturing, and computer and electronic product manufacturing will decline as well. However, employment in a few manufacturing industries will increase. For example, employment in pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing is expected to grow by 6 percent by 2018; however, this increase is expected to add only 17,600 new jobs.

Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting. Overall employment in agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting is expected to decrease by 1 percent. Employment is projected to continue to decline because of rising costs of production, increasing consolidation, and more imports of food and lumber. Within this sector, the only industry that is expected to add jobs is support activities for agriculture and forestry, which includes farm labor contractors and farm management services. This industry is anticipated to grow by 13 percent, but this corresponds to an increase of only 13,800 new jobs.

Service-providing industries. The shift in the U.S. economy away from goods-producing in favor of service-providing is expected to continue. Service-providing industries are anticipated to generate approximately 14.5 million new wage and salary jobs. As with goods-producing industries, growth among service-providing industries will vary (Chart 5).

Utilities. Employment in utilities is projected to decrease by 11 percent through 2018. Despite increased output, employment in electric power generation, transmission, and distribution and in natural gas distribution is expected to decline because of improved technology that will increase worker productivity. However, employment in the water, sewage, and other systems industry is anticipated to increase 13 percent by 2018. As the population continues to grow, more water treatment facilities are being built. Further, changing Federal and State Government water quality regulations may require more workers to ensure that water is safe to drink and to release into the environment.

Wholesale trade. The number of workers in wholesale trade is expected to increase by 4 percent, adding about 255,900 jobs. The consolidation of wholesale trade firms into fewer and larger companies will contribute to slower-than-average employment growth in the industry.

Retail trade. Employment in retail trade is expected to increase by 4 percent. Despite slower-than-average growth, this industry is projected to add about 654,000 new jobs over the 2008-18 period. Slower job growth reflects both continued consolidation and slower growth in personal consumption than in the previous decade.

Transportation and warehousing. Employment in transportation and warehousing is expected to increase by 10 percent, adding about 445,500 jobs to the industry total. Truck transportation is anticipated to grow by 10 percent, and the warehousing and storage sector is projected to grow by 12 percent. Demand for truck transportation and warehousing services will expand as many manufacturers concentrate on their core competencies and contract out their product transportation and storage functions.

Information. Employment in the information sector is expected to increase by 4 percent, adding 118,100 jobs by 2018. The sector contains fast-growing computer-related industries. The data-processing, hosting, and related services industry, which is expected to grow by 53 percent, includes establishments that provide Web and application hosting and streaming services. Internet publishing and broadcasting is expected to grow rapidly as it gains market share from newspapers and other more traditional media. Software publishing is projected to grow by 30 percent as organizations of all types continue to adopt the newest software products.

The information sector also includes the telecommunications industry, whose employment is projected to decline 9 percent. Despite an increase in demand for telecommunications services, more reliable networks along with consolidation among organizations will lead to productivity gains, reducing the need for workers. In addition, employment in the publishing industry is expected to decline by 5 percent, which is the result of increased efficiency in production, declining newspaper revenues, and a trend towards using more freelance workers.

Finance and insurance. The finance and insurance industry is expected to increase by 5 percent from 2008 to 2018. Employment in the securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments and related activities industry is projected to expand 12 percent by 2018, which reflects the number of baby boomers in their peak savings years, the growth of tax-favorable retirement plans, and the globalization of securities markets. Employment in the credit intermediation and related activities industry, which includes banks, will grow by about 5 percent, adding 42 percent of all new jobs within the finance and insurance sector. Employment in the insurance carriers and related activities industry is expected to grow by 3 percent, translating into 67,600 new jobs by 2018. The number of jobs in the agencies, brokerages, and other insurance-related activities industry is expected to grow by 14 percent. Growth will stem from both the needs of an increasing population and new insurance products on the market.

Real estate and rental and leasing. The real estate and rental and leasing industry is expected to grow by 11 percent through 2018. Growth will be due, in part, to increased demand for housing as the population expands. The fastest growing industry in the real estate and rental and leasing services sector will be lessors of non-financial intangible assets (except copyrighted works), increasing by 34 percent over the projection period.

Professional, scientific, and technical services. Employment in professional, scientific, and technical services is projected to grow by 34 percent, adding about 2.7 million new jobs by 2018. Employment in computer systems design and related services is expected to increase by 45 percent, accounting for nearly one-fourth of all new jobs in this industry sector. Employment growth will be driven by growing demand for the design and integration of sophisticated networks and Internet and intranet sites. Employment in management, scientific, and technical consulting services is anticipated to expand at a staggering 83 percent, making up about 31 percent of job growth in this sector. Demand for these services will be spurred by businesses continued need for advice on planning and logistics, the implementation of new technologies, and compliance with workplace safety, environmental, and employment regulations.

Management of companies and enterprises. Management of companies and enterprises is projected to grow relatively slowly, by 5 percent, as companies focus on reorganization to increase efficiency.

Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services. Employment in this sector is expected to grow by 18 percent by 2018. The largest growth will occur in employment services, an industry that is anticipated to account for 42 percent of all new jobs in the administrative and support and waste management and remediation services sector. The employment services industry ranks fifth among industries with the most new employment opportunities in the Nation over the 2008-18 period and is expected to grow faster than the average for all industries. Projected growth stems from the strong need for seasonal and temporary workers and for specialized human resources services.

Educational services. Employment in public and private educational services is anticipated to grow by 12 percent, adding about 1.7 million new jobs through 2018. Rising student enrollments at all levels of education will create demand for educational services.

Healthcare and social assistance. About 26 percent of all new jobs created in the U.S. economy will be in the health care and social assistance industry. This industry which includes public and private hospitals, nursing and residential care facilities, and individual and family services is expected to grow by 24 percent, or 4 million new jobs. Employment growth will be driven by an aging population and longer life expectancies.

Arts, entertainment, and recreation. The arts, entertainment, and recreation industry is expected to grow by 15 percent by 2018. Most of the growth will be in the amusement, gambling, and recreation sector. Job growth will stem from public participation in arts, entertainment, and recreation activities  reflecting increasing incomes, leisure time, and awareness of the health benefits of physical fitness.

Accommodation and food services. Employment in accommodation and food services is expected to grow by 7 percent, adding about 838,200 new jobs through 2018. Job growth will be concentrated in food services and drinking places, reflecting an increase in the population and the convenience of many new food establishments.

Other services (except government and private households). Employment is expected to grow by 13 percent in other services. Personal care services comprise the fastest growing industry in this sector, at 32 percent. This industry includes barbers, salons, and spas, which have experienced growing demand as individuals increasingly are seeking to improve their personal appearance.

Government. Between 2008 and 2018, government employment, excluding employment in public education and hospitals, is expected to increase by 7 percent. Growth in government employment will be fueled by expanding demand for public safety services and assistance provided to the elderly, but dampened by budgetary constraints and the outsourcing of government jobs to the private sector. State and local governments, excluding education and hospitals, are anticipated to grow by 8 percent as a result of the continued shift of responsibilities from the Federal Government to State and local governments. Federal Government employment, including the Postal Service, is expected to increase by 3 percent.

Industry growth or decline will affect demand for occupations. However, job growth is projected to vary among major occupational groups (Chart 6).

Management, business, and financial occupations. Workers in management, business, and financial occupations plan and direct the activities of business, government, and other organizations. Their employment is expected to increase by 11 percent by 2018. These workers will be needed to help organizations navigate the increasingly complex and competitive business environment. A large portion of these jobs will arise in the management, scientific, and technical consulting industry sector. A substantial number, in addition, are expected in several other large or rapidly growing industries, including government, health care and social assistance, finance and insurance, and construction.

Employment in management occupations is projected to grow slowly over the projection period, increasing by 5 percent, an addition of 454,300 new jobs. Growth is being affected by declines in several occupations, including farmers and ranchers. Employment of farmers and ranchers is projected to decline as the agricultural industry produces more output with fewer workers.

Employment in business and financial operations occupations is projected to grow by 18 percent, resulting in 1.2 million new jobs. Increasing financial regulations and the need for greater accountability will drive demand for accountants and auditors, adding roughly 279,400 jobs to this occupation from 2008 to 2018. Further, an increasingly competitive business environment will grow demand for management analysts, an occupation that is expected to add 178,300 jobs. Together, these two occupations are anticipated to account for 38 percent of new business and financial operations jobs.

Professional and related occupations. This occupational group, which includes a wide variety of skilled professions, is expected to be the fastest growing major occupational group, at 17 percent, and is projected to add the most new jobs about 5.2 million.

Employment among health care practitioners and technical occupations, a subgroup of the professional and related category, is expected to increase by 21 percent. This growth, resulting in a projected 1.6 million new jobs, will be driven by increasing demand for health care services. As the number of older people continues to grow, and as new developments allow for the treatment of more medical conditions, more healthcare professionals will be needed.

Education, training, and library occupations are anticipated to add more than 1.3 million jobs, representing a growth rate of more than 14 percent. As the U.S. population increases, and as a larger share of adults seeks educational services, demand for these workers will increase.

Computer and mathematical science occupations are projected to add almost 785,700 new jobs from 2008 to 2018. As a group, these occupations are expected to grow more than twice as fast as the average for all occupations in the economy. Demand for workers in computer and mathematical occupations will be driven by the continuing need for businesses, government agencies, and other organizations to adopt and utilize the latest technologies.

Employment in community and social services occupations is projected to increase by 16 percent, growing by roughly 448,400 jobs. As health insurance providers increasingly cover mental and behavioral health treatment, and as a growing number of elderly individuals seek social services, demand for these workers will increase.

Employment in arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations is expected to grow by 12 percent from 2008 to 2018, resulting in almost 332,600 new jobs. Growth will be spread broadly across different occupations within the group. Media and communications occupations will add a substantial number of jobs, led by rapid growth among public relations specialists, who will be needed in greater numbers as firms place a greater emphasis on managing their public image. Employment among entertainers and performers and those in sports and related occupations also will increase, partly as a result of increasing demand for coaches and scouts. Furthermore, art and design occupations will see substantial growth, with demand increasing for graphic and interior designers. As more advertising is conducted over the Internet, a medium that generally includes many graphics, and as businesses and households increasingly seek professional design services, a greater number of these workers will be needed.

Employment in life, physical, and social science occupations is projected to increase by nearly 277,200 jobs over the 2008-18 projection period. This increase represents a growth rate of 19 percent, almost twice the average for all occupations across the economy. About 116,700 of these jobs are expected to be created among social science and related occupations, led by strong growth among market and survey researchers, as businesses increase their marketing efforts in order to remain competitive and as public policy firms and government agencies utilize more public opinion research. Employment in life science occupations, in addition, will increase rapidly as developments from biotechnology research continue to be used to create new medical technologies, treatments, and pharmaceuticals.

Architecture and engineering occupations are projected to add roughly 270,600 jobs, representing a growth rate of 10 percent. Much of this growth will occur among engineering occupations, especially civil engineers. As greater emphasis is placed on improving the Nation’s infrastructure, these specialists will be needed to design, implement, or upgrade municipal transportation, water supply, and pollution control systems.

Legal occupations will add the fewest new jobs among all professional and related subgroups, increasing by about 188,400. However, with a growth rate of 15 percent, this group will grow faster than the average for all occupations in the economy. Of the new jobs created, lawyers will account for 98,500 while paralegals and legal assistants will account for 74,100. Paralegals and legal assistants are expected to grow by 28 percent as legal establishments begin to expand the role of these workers and assign them more tasks once performed by lawyers.

Service occupations. The duties of service workers range from fighting fires to cooking meals. Employment in service occupations is projected to increase by 4.1 million, or 14 percent, which is both the second-largest numerical gain and the second-largest growth rate among the major occupational groups.

Among service occupation subgroups, the largest number of new jobs will occur in health care support occupations. With more than 1.1 million new jobs, employment in this subgroup is expected to increase by 29 percent. Much of the growth will be the result of increased demand for health care services as the expanding elderly population requires more care.

Employment in personal care and service occupations is anticipated to grow by 20 percent over the projection period, adding more than 1 million jobs. As consumers become more concerned with health, beauty, and fitness, the number of cosmetic and health spas will increase, causing an increase in demand for workers in this group. However, the personal care and service group contains a wide variety of occupations, and two of them, personal and home care aides, and child care workers will account for most of this group’s new jobs. Personal and home care aides will experience increased demand as a growing number of elderly individuals require assistance with daily tasks. Child care workers, in addition, will add jobs as formal preschool programs, which employ child care workers alongside preschool teachers, become more prevalent.

Employment in food preparation and serving and related occupations is projected to increase by roughly 1 million jobs from 2008 to 2018, representing a growth rate of 9 percent. Growth will stem from time-conscious consumers patronizing fast-food establishments and full-service restaurants.

Employment in building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations is expected to grow by almost 483,900 jobs over the projection period, representing a growth rate of 8 percent. As businesses place a larger emphasis on grounds aesthetics, and as households increasingly rely on contract workers to maintain their yards, grounds maintenance workers will see rapid growth. In addition, more building cleaning workers will be needed to maintain an increasing number of residential and commercial structures.

Protective service occupations are expected to gain the fewest new jobs among all service subgroups: about 400,100, or 12-percent growth. These workers protect businesses and other organizations from crime and vandalism. In addition, there will be increased demand for law enforcement officers to support the growing U.S. population.

Sales and related occupations. Sales and related workers solicit goods and services for businesses and consumers. Sales and related occupations are expected to add 980,400 new jobs by 2018, growing by 6 percent. As organizations offer a wider array of products and devote an increasing share of their resources to customer service, many new retail sales workers will be needed. Job growth in this group will be spread across a wide variety of industries, but almost half will occur in retail sales establishments.

Office and administrative support occupations. Office and administrative support workers perform the day-to-day activities of the office, such as preparing and filing documents, dealing with the public, and distributing information. Employment in these occupations is expected to grow by 8 percent, adding 1.8 million new jobs by 2018. Customer service representatives are anticipated to add the most new jobs, 399,500, as businesses put an increased emphasis on building customer relationships. Other office and administrative support occupations will experience declines as advanced technology improves productivity, decreasing the number of workers necessary to perform some duties.

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations. Farming, fishing, and forestry workers cultivate plants, breed and raise livestock, and catch animals. These occupations are projected to decline by about 1 percent, losing 9,100 jobs, by 2018. Productivity increases in agriculture will lead to declining employment among agricultural workers, offsetting small gains among forest, conservation, and logging workers.

Construction and extraction occupations. Construction and extraction workers build new residential and commercial buildings and also work in mines, quarries, and oil and gas fields. Employment of these workers is expected to grow 13 percent, adding about 1 million new jobs. Construction trades and related workers will account for about 808,400 of these jobs. Growth will result from increased construction of homes, office buildings, and infrastructure projects. Declines in extraction occupations will reflect overall employment stagnation in the mining and oil and gas extraction industries.

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations. Workers in installation, maintenance, and repair occupations install new equipment and maintain and repair older equipment. These occupations are projected to add 440,200 jobs by 2018, growing by 8 percent. More than 1 in 3 new jobs in this group will occur in the construction industry, because these workers are integral to the development of buildings, communication structures, transportation systems, and other types of infrastructure. As construction on these types of projects increases over the projection period, installation, maintenance and repair workers will be needed in greater numbers.

Production occupations. Production workers are employed mainly in manufacturing, where they assemble goods and operate plants. Production occupations are expected to decline by 3 percent, losing 349,200 jobs by 2018. As productivity improvements reduce the need for workers, and as a growing number of these jobs are off shored, demand for production workers will decline. Some jobs will be created in production occupations, mostly in food processing and woodworking.

Transportation and material moving occupations. Transportation and material moving workers transport people and materials by land, sea, or air. Employment of these workers is anticipated to increase by 4 percent, accounting for 391,100 new jobs. As the economy grows over the projection period, and the demand for goods increases, truck drivers will be needed to transport those goods to businesses, consumers, and other entities. In addition, a substantial number of jobs will arise among bus drivers, as well as taxi drivers and chauffeurs, as a growing number of people utilize public transportation.

Occupational growth can be considered in two ways: by the rate of growth and by the number of new jobs created by growth. Some occupations both have a fast growth rate and create a large number of new jobs. However, an occupation that employs few workers may experience rapid growth, although the resulting number of new jobs may be small. For example, a small occupation that employs just 1,000 workers and is projected to grow 50 percent over a 10-year period will add only 500 jobs. By contrast, a large occupation that employs 1.5 million workers may experience only 10 percent growth, but will add 150,000 jobs. As a result, in order to get a complete picture of employment growth, both measures must be considered.

Occupations with the fastest growth. Of the 20 fastest growing occupations in the economy (table 1), half are related to health care. Health care is experiencing rapid growth, due in large part to the aging of the baby-boom generation, which will require more medical care. In addition, some health care occupations will be in greater demand for other reasons. As health care costs continue to rise, work is increasingly being delegated to lower paid workers in order to cut costs. For example, tasks that were previously performed by doctors, nurses, dentists, or other health care professionals increasingly are being performed by physician assistants, medical assistants, dental hygienists, and physical therapist aides. In addition, patients increasingly are seeking home care as an alternative to costly stays in hospitals or residential care facilities, causing a significant increase in demand for home health aides. Although not classified as health care workers, personal and home care aides are being affected by this demand for home care as well.

Table 1. Occupations with the fastest growth
Occupations Percent change Number
of
new jobs
(in thousands)
Wages (May 2008 median) Education/training category
Biomedical engineers 72 11.6 $ 77,400 Bachelor’s degree
Network systems and data communications analysts 53 155.8 71,100 Bachelor’s degree
Home health aides 50 460.9 20,460 Short-term on-the-job training
Personal and home care aides 46 375.8 19,180 Short-term on-the-job training
Financial examiners 41 11.1 70,930 Bachelor’s degree
Medical scientists, except epidemiologists 40 44.2 72,590 Doctoral degree
Physician assistants 39 29.2 81,230 Master’s degree
Skin care specialists 38 14.7 28,730 Post secondary vocational award
Biochemists and biophysicists 37 8.7 82,840 Doctoral degree
Athletic trainers 37 6.0 39,640 Bachelor’s degree
Physical therapist aides 36 16.7 23,760 Short-term on-the-job training
Dental hygienists 36 62.9 66,570 Associate degree
Veterinary technologists and technicians 36 28.5 28,900 Associate degree
Dental assistants 36 105.6 32,380 Moderate-term on-the-job training
Computer software engineers, applications 34 175.1 85,430 Bachelor’s degree
Medical assistants 34 163.9 28,300 Moderate-term on-the-job training
Physical therapist assistants 33 21.2 46,140 Associate degree
Veterinarians 33 19.7 79,050 First professional degree
Self-enrichment education teachers 32 81.3 35,720 Work experience in a related occupation
Compliance officers, except agriculture, construction, health and safety, and transportation 31 80.8 48,890 Long-term on-the-job training
SOURCE: BLS Occupational Employment Statistics and Division of Occupational Outlook

Two of the fastest growing detailed occupations are in the computer specialist occupational group. Network systems and data communications analysts are projected to be the second-fastest-growing occupation in the economy. Demand for these workers will increase as organizations continue to upgrade their information technology capacity and incorporate the newest technologies. The growing reliance on wireless networks will result in a need for more network systems and data communications analysts as well. Computer applications software engineers also are expected to grow rapidly from 2008 to 2018. Expanding Internet technologies have spurred demand for these workers, who can develop Internet, intranet, and Web applications.

Developments from biotechnology research will continue to be used to create new medical technologies, treatments, and pharmaceuticals. As a result, demand for medical scientists and for biochemists and biophysicists will increase. However, although employment of biochemists and biophysicists is projected to grow rapidly, this corresponds to only 8,700 new jobs over the projection period. Increased medical research and demand for new medical technologies also will affect biomedical engineers. The aging of the population and a growing focus on health issues will drive demand for better medical devices and equipment designed by these workers. In fact, biomedical engineers are projected to be the fastest growing occupation in the economy. However, because of its small size, the occupation is projected to add only about 11,600 jobs.

Increasing financial regulations will spur employment growth both of financial examiners and of compliance officers, except agriculture, construction, health and safety, and transportation.

Self-enrichment teachers and skin care specialists will experience growth as consumers become more concerned with self-improvement. Self-enrichment teachers are growing rapidly as more individuals seek additional training to make themselves more appealing to prospective employers. Skin care specialists will experience growth as consumers increasingly care about their personal appearance.

Of the 20 fastest growing occupations, 12 are in the associate degree or higher category. Of the remaining 8, 6 are in an on-the-job training category, 1 is in the work experience in a related occupation category, and 1 is in the post secondary vocational degree category. Eleven of these occupations earn at least $10,000 more than the National annual median wage, which was $32,390 as of May 2008. In fact, 9 of the occupations earned at least twice the National median in May 2008.

Occupations with the largest numerical growth. The 20 occupations listed in table 2 are projected to account for more than one-third of all new jobs 5.8 million combined over the 2008-18 period. The occupations with the largest numerical increases cover a wider range of occupational categories than do those occupations with the fastest growth rates. Health occupations will account for some of these increases in employment, as will occupations in education, sales, and food service. Office and administrative support services occupations are expected to grow by 1.3 million jobs, accounting for about one-fifth of the job growth among the 20 occupations with the largest growth. Many of the occupations listed in the table are very large and will create more new jobs than occupations with high growth rates. Only 3 out of the 20 fastest growing occupations home health aides, personal and home care aides, and computer software application engineers also are projected to be among the 20 occupations with the largest numerical increases in employment.

Table 2. Occupations with the largest numerical growth
Occupations Number
of
new jobs
(in thousands)
Percent change Wages (May 2008 median) Education/training category
Registered nurses 581.5 22 $ 62,450 Associate degree
Home health aides 460.9 50 20,460 Short-term on-the-job training
Customer service representatives 399.5 18 29,860 Moderate-term on-the-job training
Combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food 394.3 15 16,430 Short-term on-the-job training
Personal and home care aides 375.8 46 19,180 Short-term on-the-job training
Retail salespersons 374.7 8 20,510 Short-term on-the-job training
Office clerks, general 358.7 12 25,320 Short-term on-the-job training
Accountants and auditors 279.4 22 59,430 Bachelor’s degree
Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants 276.0 19 23,850 Post secondary vocational award
Post secondary teachers 256.9 15 58,830 Doctoral degree
Construction laborers 255.9 20 28,520 Moderate-term on-the-job training
Elementary school teachers, except special education 244.2 16 49,330 Bachelor’s degree
Truck drivers, heavy and tractor-trailer 232.9 13 37,270 Short-term on-the-job training
Landscaping and grounds keeping workers 217.1 18 23,150 Short-term on-the-job training
Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks 212.4 10 32,510 Moderate-term on-the-job training
Executive secretaries and administrative assistants 204.4 13 40,030 Work experience in a related occupation
Management analysts 178.3 24 73,570 Bachelor’s or higher degree, plus work experience
Computer software engineers, applications 175.1 34 85,430 Bachelor’s degree
Receptionists and information clerks 172.9 15 24,550 Short-term on-the-job training
Carpenters 165.4 13 38,940 Long-term on-the-job training
SOURCE: BLS Occupational Employment Statistics and Division of Occupational Outlook

The education or training categories and wages of the occupations with the largest numbers of new jobs are significantly different than those of the fastest growing occupations. Twelve of these occupations are in an on-the-job training category, and just 7 are in a category that indicates any post secondary education. Ten of the 20 occupations with the largest numbers of new jobs earned less than the National median wage in May 2008.

Occupations with the fastest decline. Declining occupational employment stems from falling industry employment, technological advances, changes in business practices, and other factors. For example, technological developments and the continued movement of textile production abroad are expected to contribute to a decline of 71,500 sewing machine operators over the projection period (table 3). Fifteen of the 20 occupations with the largest numerical decreases are either production occupations or office and administrative support occupations, both of which are adversely affected by increasing plant and factory automation or the implementation of office technology, reducing the need for workers in those occupations. The difference between the office and administrative support occupations that are expected to experience the largest declines and those which are expected to see the largest increases is the extent to which job functions can be easily automated or performed by other workers. For instance, the duties of executive secretaries and administrative assistants involve a great deal of personal interaction that cannot be automated, whereas the duties of file clerks adding, locating, and removing business records can be automated or performed by other workers.