How to Land Some of The Fastest Growing Occupations in The Us

As a student, have you sometimes stopped your research mid-way, stuck, overwhelmed, afraid you don’t know what to do with a million questions racing in your head? The following may sound familiar to you:

  • Would I ever get a job?
  • How much money would I earn annually?
  • Would there be enough jobs in my field when I graduate?
  • Am I in the right field?

Sure, these may not be the big questions like “what is the meaning of life”, but they may cause you enough confusion to lose sleep over.

Don’t worry though, we’ve all been there. In fact, if you’re looking to get some of those questions answered, you may have come to the right place. Here you’ll find what some of the fastest growing occupations in America are for the decade 2012-2022, as well as what degrees you may need (whether on-campus or online) to obtain them.

Fastest Growing Occupations

Information Security Analysts

Expected Job Growth: 37%
Current Average Salary: $86,170 per year

With increasing cyber crime, the need for information security analysts to combat these attacks may steadily grow as well. Such jobs suit people who have a keen eye for detail, are able to analyze computer systems and could come up with new ways to keep their company’s data safe.

If you wish to become an information security analyst, you may be required to obtain a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field, such as bachelors degree in computer science or programming (although a well-rounded computer education is preferred). Your chances may also improve if you graduate with a master’s in business administration (MBA) in information systems.

You may also need to gain work experience in a similar field, such as IT (information technology) and get an information security certificate, for example, the Certified Information Systems Security Professional.

Physical Therapists

Expected Job Growth: 36%

Current Average Salary: $79,860 per year

The number of people who suffer from serious injuries or illnesses are expected to increase, and only physical therapists (PTs) are equipped enough to help them lessen their pain and regain their movements.

If you wish to become a physical therapist, you will need to get a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree in program accredited by a reputable body, for example, the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education. You will also need to get a license, the requirements of which may vary according to state but usually include passing the National Physical Therapy Examination.

Physical Therapy Assistants

Expected Job Growth: 41%
Current Average Salary: $52,160 per year

Similarly, the number of physical therapy assistants (PTAs) required by the healthcare industry are also expected to increase. These usually work under a physical therapist’s supervision and aid the patient to a speedy recovery.

In order to become a PTA, most states require you to get an associate’s degree from an accredited physical therapy assistant program. All states (except Hawaii) also require PTAs to be certified or licensed by passing the National Physical Therapy Examination. You may also need to undergo state-administered exams and background checks.

Occupational Therapy Assistants

Expected Job Growth: 43%
Current Average Salary: $53,240 per year

Patients needing direct care and guidance in order to resume their daily working lives are expected to increase. That’s why healthcare organizations may need more occupational therapy assistants to work closely with the patients to guide them through various support and therapeutic activities.

In order to get this job, you need to at least get an associate’s degree from an accredited occupational therapy assistant program (usually available at a technical school or community college). Most states may also require a license. For this, you may have to pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam, complete all fieldwork requirements and take continuing education classes.

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

Expected Job Growth: 46%
Current Average Salary: $65,860 per year

Diseases are growing more and more complex day-by-day, and the need to accurately detect symptoms is equally crucial. Therefore, diagnostic medical sonographers may be in high demand for conducting tests using special imaging equipment to aid physicians and help patients get better.

If you wish to become a diagnostic medical sonographer, you may need an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in an accredited program. You may also need to get professional certification, either for getting a license and/or to improve your chances of getting employed. However, requirements may vary from state to state.

Industrial-organizational Psychologists

Expected Job Growth: 53%
Current Average Salary: $83,580 per year

Psychology is another specialized field where professionals may expect to experience a boom in the upcoming years.

Those students who wish to become professionals usually need a specialist degree or a doctoral degree in psychology, such as a PhD or Psy.D. In some cases, a master’s degree may also be enough. You may also need to get professional certification or a license in order to practice. Licensing laws may vary according to state, but in order to get licensed, you are usually required to complete a pre-doctoral or a post-doctoral supervised experience, an internship, and/or a residency program.

Health Specialties Teachers (post-secondary level)

Expected Job Growth: 36%
Current Average Salary: $81,140 per year

More instructors specializing in health may be needed in academic institutions (beyond high school level) in the coming years.

Those students who wish to teach health specialties for post-secondary education may find that requirements may vary depending on the type of educational institution. Most of these teachers usually have a PhD. However, a master’s degree may be enough for working in a community college, and most technical or trade schools may only require certification or work experience.

Personal Care Aides

Expected Job Growth: 49%
Current Average Salary: $19,910 per year

Personal care aides may be needed to help the elderly, sick and injured in carrying out their daily tasks.  Most personal care aides are trained on the job (by nurses or their employer) and are usually expected to have a high school diploma.

Some states require formal education or certificates, which are available from community colleges, elder care programs, vocational schools, and home health care agencies. Certain states may also need a background check and a competency evaluation. Students who wish to become personal aides should also look into receiving training in first aid and CPR.

There is a lot of potential in various occupations if you know where to look. However, the above list takes into account only those professions which may experience growth at a faster than average rate in the coming years.



States with the highest employment level in this occupation:



Employment per thousand jobs

Location quotient

Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage

California 16600.111.2618.1337720
Florida 11300.141.6817.9737370
Illinois 9600.161.9217.937240
Texas 7600.070.7816.6234570
New York 6500.070.8520.1241840


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