Jobs and occupations in high demand : 2010-2020 Projections

BLS 2010-2020 Projections: Employment change by occupation

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, the Bureau) is the principal fact-finding agency for the Federal Government in the broad field of labor economics and statistics. This BLS survey highlights the forecast on employment changes for different occupations.

Demand for jobs and occupations is affected by industry growth or decline. Many factors, including productivity and changes in business practices impact this job growth. Based on BLS survey, these are the latest projections on employments changes for major occupational groups for the period of 2010 to 2020:

Healthcare occupations: Employment among healthcare occupations is expected to increase by 29 percent. This growth, resulting in 3.5 million new jobs, will be driven by increasing demand for healthcare services. As the number of elderly individuals continues to grow, and as new developments allow for the treatment of more medical conditions, more healthcare professionals will be needed. Within this group, two occupations are expected to add a substantial number of jobs: registered nurses, with some 711,900 new jobs; and home health aides, with roughly 706,300 new jobs. Much of the growth in this pair of occupations will be the result of increased demand for healthcare services as the expanding elderly population requires more care.

Personal care and service occupations: Employment in personal care and service occupations is anticipated to grow by 27 percent over the next decade, adding more than 1.3 million new jobs. As consumers become more concerned with health, beauty, and fitness, the number of cosmetic and health spas will rise, causing an increase in demand for workers in this group. The personal care and service group contains a wide variety of occupations; however, two of them—personal care aides and childcare workers—will account for nearly two-thirds of the group’s new jobs. Personal and home care aides will experience increased demand as a growing number of elderly people require assistance. Childcare workers will add jobs as the population of children continues to grow and emphasis is increasingly placed on the importance of early childhood education, resulting in more formal preschool programs. These programs will increase demand for both childcare workers and preschool teachers.

Community and social services occupations: Employment in community and social services occupations is projected to increase by 24 percent, representing roughly 582,300 jobs. As health insurance providers increasingly cover mental and behavioral health treatment, and as the population of elderly people grows, the elderly will seek more and more social services and demand for these workers will rise.

Computer and information technology occupations: Computer and information technology occupations are projected to grow by 22 percent, adding 758,800 new jobs from 2010 to 2020. Demand for workers in these occupations will be driven by the continuing need for businesses, government agencies, and other organizations to adopt and utilize the latest technologies. Workers in these occupations will be needed to develop software, increase cyber security, and update existing network infrastructure.

Construction and extraction occupations: Construction and extraction workers build new residential and commercial buildings, roads, bridges, and other structures, and work in mines, quarries, and oil and gas fields. Employment of these workers is expected to grow 22 percent, adding about 1.4 million new jobs over the 2010–20 period. Construction trades and related workers, such as carpenters, painters, and plumbers, will account for about 1.1 million of these jobs. Gains will be widespread throughout this group, with construction laborers, carpenters, and electricians experiencing significant increases in employment. However, a large proportion of the projected gains reflect the recovery of nearly 2 million construction and extraction jobs lost to the 2007–09 recession, so employment is not expected to return to its pre-recession level by 2020.

Business and financial operations occupations: Employment in business and financial operations occupations is projected to grow by 17 percent, resulting in 1.2 million new jobs. Some of these jobs make up for jobs lost during the recession. In addition, increasing financial regulations and the need for greater accountability and more oversight will drive demand for accountants and auditors, adding roughly 190,700 jobs to that occupation. Further, as companies look for ways to control costs, demand will grow for management analysts, an occupation that is expected to add 157,200 jobs. Together, these two occupations are anticipated to account for 30 percent of new business and financial operations jobs.

Math occupations: Employment in math occupations is expected to grow by 17 percent, adding 19,500 jobs by 2020. About half of these positions, 9,400, will be occupied by operations research analysts. Demand for these workers will increase as technology advances and companies need analysts to help them turn data into valuable information that can be used to make better decisions in all aspects of the business.

Entertainment and sports occupations: Entertainment and sports occupations will grow by 16 percent, resulting in 128,900 new jobs by 2020. Increasing demand for coaches and scouts will account for more than half of employment growth in this group of occupations.

Life, physical, and social science occupations: Employment in life, physical, and social science occupations is projected to increase by nearly 190,800 jobs from 2010 to 2020, representing a growth rate of 16 percent. Growth will be widespread throughout several occupations in this group. Employment in life science occupations will increase by 58,300, driven largely by the need for medical scientists to conduct research and to create new medical technologies, treatments, and pharmaceuticals. Another 56,500 jobs are expected to be created in social science and related occupations, led by strong growth among clinical, counseling, and school psychologists.

Education, training, and library occupations: Education, training, and library occupations are anticipated to add more than 1.4 million jobs, representing a growth rate of more than 15 percent. As the school-age population increases, demand for elementary and middle school teachers and for teacher assistants will rise. In addition, more students are seeking higher education to meet their career goals, increasing demand for post-secondary teachers.

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations: Workers in installation, maintenance, and repair occupations install new equipment and maintain and repair existing equipment. These occupations are projected to add 800,200 jobs by 2020, growing by 15 percent. Job growth will be widespread among the occupations in the group, because workers in these occupations are integral to the maintenance and development of buildings, communication structures, transportation systems, and other types of infrastructure. Demand will increase as customers opt to make repairs rather than buy new items. However, nearly half of the job growth will be due to economic recovery, given that these occupations lost 454,700 jobs between 2006 and 2010.

Transportation and material moving: Transportation and material moving workers transport people and materials by land, sea, or air. Employment of these workers is anticipated to increase by 15 percent, accounting for 1.3 million new jobs, nearly restoring employment to pre-recession levels. As the economy grows over the 2010–20 period and the demand for goods increases, truck drivers will be needed to transport those goods to businesses, consumers, and others.

Media and communications occupations: Media and communications occupations are projected to experience employment growth of 13 percent, adding 106,100 jobs, led by rapid growth among public relations specialists. The growth of social media will result in the need for more workers to maintain an organization’s public image. Interpreters and translators are also expected to add a significant number of jobs by 2020 as demand for these workers grows because of both a large increase in the number of non–English-speaking people in the United States and continued globalization.

Sales occupations: Sales workers solicit goods and services for businesses and consumers. Sales and related occupations are expected to add 1.9 million new jobs by 2020, offsetting the 1.1 million jobs lost in these occupations from 2006 to 2010. As organizations offer a wider array of products and devote an increasing share of their resources to customer service, many new retail sales workers will be needed. More than half of the job growth in this group will occur in retail sales establishments.

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations: Employment in building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations is expected to grow by almost 664,000 jobs over the next decade, representing a growth rate of 12 percent. Part of the employment growth will be due to recovering some of the 246,100 jobs lost to the recession. As businesses continue to value the appearance of their surrounding grounds, and as households increasingly rely on contract workers to maintain their yards, grounds maintenance workers will see rapid employment growth. In addition, more building cleaning workers will be needed to maintain an increasing number of facilities, especially those related to health care.

Legal occupations: Legal occupations will increase by about 131,000, representing a growth rate of 11 percent. Lawyers will account for 73,600 of these new jobs. This growth reflects continued demand for legal services from government, individuals, and businesses alike. Paralegals and legal assistants are expected to account for 46,900 new jobs as legal establishments attempt to reduce costs by assigning these workers more tasks that were once performed by lawyers.

Protective service occupations: Protective service occupations are expected to add about 364,500 jobs, reflecting an 11-percent growth rate. More than half of the job growth in this group will occur among security guards. Demand for these workers will stem from business and other organizations that have concerns about crime and vandalism. In addition, demand for law enforcement workers will increase as the nation seeks to maintain the safety of its growing population.

Architecture and engineering occupations: These jobs are projected to grow by 10 percent from 2010 to 2020. Much of the growth in this group will be due to recovery from the recession, with 149,800 jobs lost from 2006 to 2010. Growth among engineering occupations, especially civil engineers, is expected to be high, with the occupation adding 51,100 positions. As the nation’s infrastructure ages, a greater emphasis will be placed on maintaining existing structures as well as designing and implementing new roads, water systems, and pollution control systems.

Arts and design occupations: Employment in arts and design occupations is projected to grow by 10 percent from 2010 to 2020, resulting in almost 76,100 new jobs. Nearly half of this growth is expected to occur among graphic designers. As more advertising is conducted over the Internet, a medium that generally includes many graphics, and as businesses increasingly seek professional design services, a greater number of graphic designers will be needed.

Food preparation and serving occupations: Employment in food preparation and serving occupations is projected to increase by roughly 1.1 million jobs from 2010 to 2020, reflecting a growth rate of 10 percent. Some of the growth will be the result of recovering jobs lost during the recession—202,100 from 2006 to 2010. Growth will stem from time-conscious consumers patronizing fast-food establishments and full-service restaurants. Thirty-nine percent of this growth is expected to occur among fast-food and counter workers as customers continue to rely on low-price food options.

Office and administrative support: Office and administrative support workers perform the day-to-day activities of an office, such as preparing and filing documents, dealing with the public, and distributing information. Employment in these occupations is expected to grow by 10 percent, adding 2.3 million new jobs by 2020. Most job gains in these occupations represent recovery from the recession. General office clerks, who are needed to carry out a variety of daily tasks in the workplace, will add 489,500 new jobs, the largest number of new jobs among all office and administrative support workers. Customer service representatives also are projected to experience employment growth, adding 338,400 new jobs as businesses increasingly emphasize building customer relationships. In addition, large gains in employment are expected for bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks, as well as among receptionists and information clerks.

Management occupations: Employment in management occupations is projected to grow slowly over the coming decade, increasing by 7 percent and adding 615,800 new jobs. Most management occupations are expected to add jobs, except farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers. Employment of farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers is projected to decline by 8 percent, chiefly because the agricultural industry will be facing rising land and capital prices and declining sales of some of its outputs, such as wheat and corn.

Production occupations: Production workers are employed mainly in manufacturing, where they assemble goods and operate plants. Production occupations are expected to grow by just 4 percent, adding 356,800 jobs by 2020. These new jobs represent less than 20 percent of the 2.1 million jobs lost by this group from 2006 to 2010. Textile, apparel, and furnishing workers are projected to lose 65,500 jobs by 2020 due to improvements in productivity, and as a growing number of jobs in the occupation are offshored. However, some production jobs will still be created over the next decade, mostly in metal and plastic working and in assembling and fabricating.

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations: Farming, fishing, and forestry workers cultivate plants and breed and raise livestock. Employment in these occupations is projected to decline by about 2 percent, with 19,400 jobs lost by 2020. Productivity increases in agriculture will be a prime cause of the decline, offsetting small gains among forest, conservation, and logging workers.

Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012–13 Edition

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