Projections of occupational employment, 2014–24

December 2015

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When it comes to making career decisions, reliable information about employment prospects is key. The charts in this article can help; they show employment change in occupations between 2014 and 2024 as projected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Occupations classify jobs according to the type of work performed. For example, people who help retail customers find and buy products are in the occupation of retail salespersons. These charts show projections by major occupational group and detailed occupation.

Between 2014 and 2024, overall employment is projected to grow by about 7 percent. The dotted vertical line in charts 1 and 4 show the overall growth rate. Many of these charts also show median annual wages, the point at which half of the workers earned more than the amount and half earned less. In May 2014, the median annual wage for all workers was $35,540. Wages of self-employed workers are not included. 

(For more information on interpreting the charts, understanding wage data, and how we develop the projections, read about our methodology.)

Growth by major occupational group

To illustrate general employment trends, these charts show employment growth in broad groups of similar occupations. The federal government classifies workers into groups using the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system.

Occupational groups related to healthcare are projected to have the fastest employment growth. (See chart 1.)


Healthcare-related occupational groups also are projected to add the most jobs. (See chart 2.)


About 46.5 million job openings for workers entering an occupation are projected across 22 occupational groups. These openings are a combination of those arising from the need to replace workers who are leaving an occupation and from employment growth in the occupation. (See chart 3.)

Growth by detailed occupation

BLS projects employment for 819 detailed occupations. Those projected to have the fastest growth, most new jobs, and largest number of job openings are highlighted in these charts. Another chart shows the occupations that are projected to have the most job losses. 

Some occupations that have fast growth rates have a relatively small number of workers, as is the case with wind turbine service technicians and commercial divers. These small, fast-growing occupations may not have as many new jobs as some larger occupations that are projected to have average growth, such as general and operations managers and maids and housekeeping cleaners. 

Of the fastest growing occupations, more than half are related to healthcare. (See chart 4.)


As chart 5 shows, personal care aides and registered nurses are expected to gain the most jobs: more than 400,000 each. 


Most job openings for workers entering an occupation are projected to come from the need to replace workers who retire or leave the occupation for other reasons, rather than from the need to fill newly created jobs. (See chart 6.)


The large occupation of bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks is projected to lose the most jobs over the decade. (See chart 7.)

Growth in occupations by education assignment

The charts in this section are grouped by the typical education that workers need to enter an occupation: graduate degree, bachelor’s degree, associate’s degree or postsecondary nondegree award, high school diploma or equivalent, or no formal educational credential.

These charts also include information about work experience and training assignments. For work experience in a related occupation, the assignments are as follows: 5 years or more, less than 5 years, or none. Assignments for on-the-job training typically needed to attain competency in an occupation are as follows: internship/residency; apprenticeship; long-term, moderate-term, or short-term training; or none.

Definitions for the education, experience, and training categories are available from the BLS Employment Projections program.

Graduate degree

All of the occupations that typically require a graduate degree to enter and are projected to add the most jobs have median annual wages that are higher than the median annual wage for all workers. (Hover over bars in chart 8.) 


In addition to requiring a graduate degree, several of the occupations shown in chart 9 typically require related experience to enter or on-the-job training to attain competency. (Hover over bars in chart 9.) 

Bachelor's degree

All of the occupations that typically require a bachelor's degree to enter and are projected to add the most jobs have median annual wages that are higher than the median annual wage for all workers. (Hover over bars in chart 10.)


In addition to requiring a bachelor's degree, about half of the occupations shown in chart 11 typically require related experience to enter or on-the-job training to attain competency. (Hover over bars in chart 11.)

Associate's degree or postsecondary nondegree award

Twelve of the 20 occupations that typically require an associate's degree or postsecondary nondegree award to enter and are projected to add the most jobs have median annual wages that are higher than the median annual wage for all workers. (Hover over bars in chart 12.)


Few of the occupations shown in chart 13 typically require on-the-job training to attain competency, in addition to an associate's degree or postsecondary award; none require related experience at the entry level. (Hover over bars in chart 13.)

High school diploma

Eleven of the 20 occupations that typically require a high school diploma to enter and are projected to add the most jobs have median annual wages that are higher than the median annual wage for all workers. (Hover over bars in chart 14.)


In addition to requiring a high school diploma, all of the occupations shown in chart 15 typically require either related experience to enter or on-the-job training to attain competency. (Hover over bars in chart 15.)

No formal educational credential

Of occupations that typically do not require a formal educational credential to enter and are projected to add the most jobs, the occupation of construction and maintenance painters has a median annual wage that is higher than the median annual wage for all workers. (Hover over bars in chart 16.)


Although the occupations shown in chart 17 typically do not require a formal education credential for entry, all require on-the-job training to attain competency; restaurant cooks also need related experience to enter the occupation. (Hover over bars in chart 17.)

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