Special Report

America's 25 Fastest Growing Jobs

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5. Occupational therapy assistants
> 2018-2028 projected employment change: +33.1% (43,800 to 58,300)
> Typical education needed for entry: Associate’s degree
> Median annual wage: $61,510

Occupational therapy assistants aide occupational therapists who help injured, disababled, or ill patients to recover and improve, develop, or maintain skills necessary for everyday life. As the population ages, these services will become more necessary as elderly Americans are at increased risk of potentially debilitating ailments like arthritis or stroke. The number of occupational therapy assistants in the U.S. is projected to climb 33.1% over the decade ending in 2028.

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4. Personal care aides
> 2018-2028 projected employment change: +36.4% (2.4 million to 3.3 million)
> Typical education needed for entry: High school diploma or equivalent
> Median annual wage: N/A

Personal care aides can work in a variety of settings, including private homes and nursing care facilities. Their work is typically non-medical and includes cooking, cleaning, and companionship. Demand for personal care aides services will likely grow in the coming years as the population ages and such workers are a relatively inexpensive care option. The number of personal care aides is projected to grow from 2.4 million in 2018 to 3.3 million in 2028.

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3. Home health aides
> 2018-2028 projected employment change: +36.6% (831,800 to 1.1 million)
> Typical education needed for entry: High school diploma or equivalent
> Median annual wage: N/A

Like personal care aides, home health aides will be in increasingly high demand in the coming years as they are a relatively inexpensive care option for a population that is increasingly aging. Home health aides typically have duties related to health care, such as checking pulse and temperature, administering medications, and helping with exercise routines. The number of home health aides in the U.S. is projected to climb 36.6% over the decade ending with 2028.

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2. Wind turbine service technicians
> 2018-2028 projected employment change: +56.9% (6,600 to 10,300)
> Typical education needed for entry: Postsecondary nondegree award
> Median annual wage: $52,910

Wind turbine service technicians are responsible for installing, repairing, and maintaining wind turbines used for power generation. Employment in the field is expected to climb 56.9% from 2018 to 2028, far surpassing the projected 5.2% employment growth across all occupations.

As the growing awareness and concern over global warming are increasingly forming policy decisions, electricity from renewable sources, like wind turbines, is becoming more common. Wind power, which is becoming less expensive due to taller towers with larger blades, is one of the fastest growing energy sources in the United States.

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1. Solar photovoltaic installers
> 2018-2028 projected employment change: +63.3% (9,700 to 15,800)
> Typical education needed for entry: High school diploma or equivalent
> Median annual wage: $44,890

Solar photovoltaic installers maintain, repair, and install solar panels. Like wind turbine technicians, the projected spike in employment for these workers is attributable in part to growing awareness and concern over global warming and the resulting shift towards renewable energy sources. Solar panels have become increasingly affordable for homeowners, and over the decade ending with 2028, employment for solar photovoltaic installers is projected to grow by 63.3%.