Special Report

America's 25 Fastest Growing Jobs

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20. Medical assistants
> 2018-2028 projected employment change: +22.6% (686,600 to 841,500)
> Typical education needed for entry: Postsecondary nondegree award
> Median annual wage: $34,800

Medical assistants work in places like hospitals and doctors’ offices and carry out administrative tasks. The occupation is one of several in the health care sector to rank on this list. The number of Americans working as medical assistants is projected to grow by 22.6% between 2018 and 2028 as the baby boom population ages and will need more frequent medical care and services.

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19. Physical therapist aides
> 2018-2028 projected employment change: +22.8% (49,800 to 61,200)
> Typical education needed for entry: High school diploma or equivalent
> Median annual wage: $27,000

Physical therapists is one of the fastest growing professions — and just as demand for physical therapists is projected to grow in the coming years, so, too, will demand for their aides. Aides help in physical therapists’ offices by carrying out tasks not directly related to patient care. These tasks include setting up equipment, cleaning the treatment area, and taking care of clerical duties.

Demand for physical therapists and their aides is projected to climb as the baby boom generation ages and will need physical therapy services. Additionally, the rising prevalence of chronic conditions like diabetes in obesity in the general population will also drive up demand for physical therapy services as Americans with these conditions often need assistance to remain mobile.

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18. Phlebotomists
> 2018-2028 projected employment change: +23.0% (128,300 to 157,800)
> Typical education needed for entry: Postsecondary nondegree award
> Median annual wage: $35,510

Responsible for drawing blood, typically for the purposes of tests, transfusions, donations, or research, phlebotomists have a highly specialized role in the health care industry. Employment in the occupation is projected to grow by 23.0%, driven by growing need for blood tests for medical diagnostics and surges in the need for blood donation, fomented by health emergencies.

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17. Health specialties teachers, postsecondary
> 2018-2028 projected employment change: +23.2% (254,800 to 313,900)
> Typical education needed for entry: Doctoral or professional degree
> Median annual wage: $97,320

Postsecondary health specialties teachers teach courses in subjects like dentistry, public health, and laboratory technology at colleges and universities. Just as demand for many different types of health care workers is projected to climb in the coming years, so too will demand for educators who prepare them for the different health care careers. From 2018 to 2028, the number of Americans working as health specialties teachers in colleges and universities is projected to climb by 23.2%.

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16. Forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists
> 2018-2028 projected employment change: +24.1% (2,200 to 2,800)
> Typical education needed for entry: High school diploma or equivalent
> Median annual wage: $45,270

As forest fires become more common in the U.S., especially along the West Coast, the need for those who enforce fire regulations, inspect forests for hazards, and try to prevent blazes will increase significantly. Of all the jobs growing the fastest, the forest fire inspector and prevention specialist career field is projected to employ the fewest Americans in the next decade. Even after a projected 24.1% increase in this sector, there will only be 2,800 forest fire inspectors in the U.S. in 2028.