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The 20 Fastest Growing Jobs in the Next Decade

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Fastest Growing Jobs in the Next Decade

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How is the Job Market Shifting Over the Next Decade?

The employment landscape is constantly shifting. While agricultural jobs played a big role in the 19th century, a large portion of U.S. jobs today are in administration, sales, or transportation. So how can job seekers identify the fastest growing jobs of the future?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects there will be 11.9 million new jobs created from 2020 to 2030, an overall growth rate of 7.7%. However, some jobs have a growth rate that far exceeds this level. In this graphic, we use BLS data to show the fastest growing jobs—and fastest declining jobs—and how much they each pay.

The Top 20 Fastest Growing Jobs

We used the dataset that excludes occupations with above average cyclical recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, jobs such as motion picture projectionists, ticket takers, and restaurant cooks were removed. Once these exclusions were made, the resulting list reflects long-term structural growth.

Here are the fastest growing jobs from 2020 to 2030, along with the number of jobs that will be created and the median pay for the position.

OccupationPercent employment change, 2020–2030PNumeric employment change, 2020-2030PMedian annual wage, 2020
Wind turbine service technicians68.2%4,700$56,230
Nurse practitioners52.2%114,900$111,680
Solar photovoltaic installers52.1%6,100$46,470
Statisticians35.4%14,900$92,270
Physical therapist assistants35.4%33,200$59,770
Information security analysts33.3%47,100$103,590
Home health and personal care aides32.6%1,129,900$27,080
Medical and health services managers32.5%139,600$104,280
Data scientists and mathematical science occupations, all other31.4%19,800$98,230
Physician assistants31.0%40,100$115,390
Epidemiologists29.6%2,300$74,560
Logisticians29.5%56,400$76,270
Speech-language pathologists28.7%45,400$80,480
Animal trainers28.5%17,200$31,520
Computer numerically controlled tool programmers27.4%7,400$57,740
Genetic counselors26.2%600$85,700
Crematory operators and personal care and service workers, all other24.8%19,900$28,420
Operations research analysts24.6%25,600$86,200
Actuaries24.5%6,800$111,030
Health specialties teachers, post-secondary24.3%58,900$99,090

Wind turbine service technicians have the fastest growth rate, with solar photovoltaic (solar panel) installers taking the third slot. The rapid growth is driven by demand for renewable energy. However, because these are relatively small occupations, the two roles will account for about 11,000 new jobs collectively.

Nine of the top 20 fastest growing jobs are in healthcare or related fields, as the baby boomer population ages and chronic conditions are on the rise. Home health and personal care aides, who assist with routine healthcare tasks such as bathing and feeding, will account for over one million new jobs in the next decade. This will be almost 10% of all new jobs created between 2020 and 2030. Unfortunately, these workers are the lowest paid on the list.

Computer and math-related jobs are also expected to see high growth. The BLS expects strong demand for IT security and software development, partly because of the increase in people that are working from home.

The Top 20 Fastest Declining Jobs

Structural changes in the economy will cause some jobs to decline quite quickly. Here are the top 20 jobs where employment is expected to decline the fastest over the next decade.

OccupationPercent employment change, 2020–2030PNumeric employment change, 2020-2030PMedian annual wage, 2020
Word processors and typists-36.0%-16,300$41,050
Parking enforcement workers-35.0%-2,800$42,070
Nuclear power reactor operators-32.9%-1,800$104,040
Cutters and trimmers, hand-29.7%-2,400$31,630
Telephone operators-25.4%-1,200$37,710
Watch and clock repairers-24.9%-700$45,290
Door-to-door sales workers, news and street vendors, and related workers-24.1%-13,000$29,730
Switchboard operators, including answering service-22.7%-13,600$31,430
Data entry keyers-22.5%-35,600$34,440
Shoe machine operators and tenders-21.6%-1,100$30,630
Legal secretaries and administrative assistants-21.0%-33,600$48,980
Floral designers-20.1%-8,500$29,140
Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants-18.7%-100,600$63,110
Manufactured building and mobile home installers-18.4%-600$35,120
Telemarketers-18.3%-21,900$27,920
Order clerks-18.2%-24,400$35,590
Timing device assemblers and adjusters-17.8%-200$36,170
Print binding and finishing workers-17.5%-7,300$34,260
Prepress technicians and workers-17.1%-4,800$41,410
Tellers-16.9%-73,100$32,620

Eight of the top 20 declining jobs are in office and administrative support. This could be cause for concern, given this category currently makes up almost 13% of employment in the U.S.—the largest of any major category. Jobs involved in the production of goods and services, as well as sales jobs, are also seeing declines.

In all cases, automation is likely the biggest culprit. For example, software that automatically converts audio to text will reduce the need for typists.

While the fastest declining jobs typically fall within the lower salary range, there is one outlier. Nuclear power reactor operators, who earn a salary of over $100,000, will see employment decline at a steep rate of -33%. No new nuclear plants have opened since the 1990s, and nuclear power faces steep competition from renewable energy sources.

Warning: Education Required

As the composition of employment shifts, it eliminates some jobs and creates others. For instance, while production jobs are declining, new opportunities exist for “computer numerically controlled tool programmers.” These workers develop programs to control the automated equipment that processes materials.

However, while many of the fastest growing jobs are higher paying, they typically also require advanced education.

Top 20 Fastest Growing JobsTop 20 Fastest Declining Jobs
# with median salary > $41,950175
# with post-secondary education required 160

Seventeen of the top 20 fastest growing jobs have a median salary higher than $41,950, which is the median salary for all jobs in total. Most also require post-secondary schooling. These opportunities are replacing jobs that only required a high school diploma.

With tuition costs soaring relative to inflation, this could create challenges for displaced workers or young people entering the workforce.

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Misc

Where Unemployment Benefits are the Highest, in OECD Countries

Ranking countries and their unemployment benefits, measured by the percentage of previous employed income received after a year out of work.

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This chart ranks OECD countries by their level of unemployment benefits.

Ranked: Unemployment Benefits in OECD Countries

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

This graphic ranks OECD countries by their level of unemployment benefits offered. This is measured by the percentage of previous in-work income a person would earn after being unemployed for one year.

Calculations reference a single person without children, whose previous in-work earnings were 67% of the average wage in each country. Data for this graphic and article can be accessed at OECD.org.

ℹ️ As of 2024, the OECD has 38 member countries plus several accession candidates.

OECD Countries by Unemployment Support

Luxembourg tops the rankings of OECD countries by unemployment benefits. Workers in the country can receive 87% of their previous employed income for up to a full year out of work.

RankCountry% of previous in-work
income received
after 1 year
1🇱🇺 Luxembourg87
2🇧🇪 Belgium78
3🇩🇰 Denmark78
4🇧🇬 Bulgaria*77
5🇵🇹 Portugal75
6🇨🇭 Switzerland72
7🇳🇴 Norway67
8🇫🇷 France66
9🇪🇸 Spain66
10🇳🇱 Netherlands64
11🇸🇪 Sweden64
12🇮🇹 Italy62
13🇮🇸 Iceland61
14🇩🇪 Germany60
15🇫🇮 Finland58
16🇦🇹 Austria51
17🇲🇹 Malta*49
18🇬🇷 Greece47
19🇪🇪 Estonia45
20🇸🇮 Slovenia44
21🇳🇿 New Zealand42
22🇭🇷 Croatia*41
23🇨🇾 Cyprus*38
24🇯🇵 Japan38
25🇷🇴 Romania*38
26🇮🇪 Ireland35
27🇦🇺 Australia32
28🇵🇱 Poland31
29🇰🇷 South Korea23
30🇨🇦 Canada22
31🇮🇱 Israel22
32🇱🇹 Lithuania21
33🇨🇿 Czechia20
34🇬🇧 UK16
35🇱🇻 Latvia14
36🇸🇰 Slovakia10
37🇹🇷 Türkiye10
38🇭🇺 Hungary9
39🇺🇸 U.S.9

*Not formally in the OECD. Data unavailable for Costa Rica, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico. Figures current up to 2023.

However, there are stipulations to receiving this money. This includes being fit and willing to work as well as already registered in the National Employment Agency.

After a 10 percentage point gap, Belgium and Denmark all but tie at second place at 78%.

Bulgaria, Portugal, and Switzerland round out the top six, all supporting their unemployed with more than 70% of their previous incomes.

It’s worth pointing out here that five of these top six countries have some of the highest personal income taxes in the world.

On the other end of the rankings, the workers in the U.S. and Hungary only receive 9% of their earlier incomes after a year out of work.

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