Thirty fastest growing occupations projected to account for 19 percent of new jobs from 2016 to 2026

October 30, 2017

From 2016 to 2026, employment is projected to increase by 11.5 million, or 7.4 percent. Employment in the 30 fastest growing occupations is projected to increase by 2.2 million, accounting for 19 percent of all new jobs. The occupation solar photovoltaic installers is projected to add 11,900 new jobs, or an increase of 105.3 percent, largest among all occupations.

Projected 2016–26 employment change and median annual wages in 2016 for fastest growing occupations
Occupation Projected percent change
in employment, 2016–26
Median annual
wage in 2016(1)
Projected
employment in 2026

Solar photovoltaic installers

105.3% $39,240 23,200

Wind turbine service technicians

96.1 $52,260 11,300

Home health aides

46.7 $22,600 1,337,000

Personal care aides

37.4 $21,920 2,770,100

Physician assistants

37.4 $101,480 145,900

Nurse practitioners

36.0 $100,910 211,500

Statisticians

33.4 $80,500 49,600

Physical therapist assistants

30.8 $56,610 115,500

Software developers, applications

30.5 $100,080 1,084,600

Mathematicians

29.4 $105,810 4,000

Bicycle repairers

29.4 $27,630 16,100

Medical assistants

29.1 $31,540 819,000

Physical therapist aides

29.1 $25,680 67,100

Occupational therapy assistants

28.9 $59,010 50,700

Information security analysts

28.4 $92,600 128,500

Genetic counselors

28.3 $74,120 3,900

Operations research analysts

27.4 $79,200 145,300

Forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists

26.6 $36,230 2,200

Health specialties teachers, postsecondary

25.9 $99,360 294,000

Derrick operators, oil and gas

25.7 $48,130 13,900

Physical therapists

25.0 $85,400 299,800

Occupational therapy aides

24.7 $28,330 9,300

Roustabouts, oil and gas

24.5 $37,340 62,300

Phlebotomists

24.4 $32,710 152,600

Rotary drill operators, oil and gas

24.2 $54,430 20,800

Nursing instructors and teachers, postsecondary

24.0 $69,130 84,200

Massage therapists

23.5 $39,860 198,100

Service unit operators, oil, gas, and mining

23.4 $48,610 51,100

Respiratory therapists

23.4 $58,670 160,600

Diagnostic medical sonographers

23.2 $69,650 82,900
Footnotes:

 

(1) Wage data cover non-farm wage and salary workers and do not cover the self-employed, owners and partners in unincorporated firms, or household workers.

Following solar photovoltaic installers, employment among wind turbine service technicians is expected to grow by 5,500 over the 2016–26 period, an increase of 96.1 percent. Combined, home health aides and personal care aides are projected to add 1.2 million jobs, for growth rates of 46.7 percent and 37.4 percent, respectively. Overall, health care industries and their associated occupations are expected to account for a large share of new jobs in the projection period, as the aging population continues to drive demand for health care services.

Of the 30 fastest growing occupations in the 2016–26 period, in terms of employment, four had a median annual wage of over $100,000 in 2016. All four of those occupations—physician assistants; nurse practitioners; software developers, applications; and mathematicians—are also among the top 10 fastest growing occupations. 

These data are from the BLS Employment Projections and Occupational Employment Statistics programs. For more information, see the Monthly Labor Review article, "Projections overview and highlights, 2016–26," by T. Alan Lacey, Mitra Toossi, Kevin S. Dubina, and Andrea B. Gensler, October 2017. Additional information about these and many other occupations may be found in the Occupational Outlook Handbook or "Employment Projections — 2016–26" (HTML) (PDF).

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Thirty fastest growing occupations projected to account for 19 percent of new jobs from 2016 to 2026 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/thirty-fastest-growing-occupations-projected-to-account-for-19-percent-of-new-jobs-from-2016-to-2026.htm (visited November 19, 2017).

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