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The 20 Fastest Growing Jobs in the Next Decade



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
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
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
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
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

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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Mapped: The State of Economic Freedom in 2023

How free are people to control their own labor, property, and finances? This map reveals the state of economic freedom globally.



economic freedom

Mapped: The State of Economic Freedom in 2023

The concept of economic freedom serves as a vital framework for evaluating the extent to which individuals and businesses have the freedom to make economic decisions. In countries with low economic freedom, governments exert coercion and constraints on liberties, restricting choice for individuals and businesses, which can ultimately hinder prosperity.

The map above uses the annual Index of Economic Freedom from the Heritage Foundation to showcase the level of economic freedom in every country worldwide on a scale of 0-100, looking at factors like property rights, tax burdens, labor freedom, and so on.

The ranking categorizing scores of 80+ as free economies, 70-79.9 as mostly free, 60-69.9 as moderately free, 50-59.9 as mostly unfree, and 0-49.9 as repressed.

Measuring Economic Freedom

This ranking uses four broad categories with three key indicators each, both qualitative and quantitative, to measure economic freedom.

  1. Rule of law: property rights, judicial effectiveness, government integrity
  2. Size of government: tax burdens, fiscal health, government spending
  3. Regulatory efficiency: labor freedom, monetary freedom, business freedom
  4. Open markets: financial freedom, trade freedom, investment freedom

The 12 indicators are weighted equally and scored from 0-100. The overall score is then determined from the average of the 12 indicators.

Here’s a closer look at every country’s score:

RankCountry2023 Score
#1🇸🇬 Singapore83.9
#2🇨🇭 Switzerland83.8
#3🇮🇪 Ireland82.0
#4🇹🇼 Taiwan 80.7
#5🇳🇿 New Zealand78.9
#6🇪🇪 Estonia78.6
#7🇱🇺 Luxembourg78.4
#8🇳🇱 Netherlands78.0
#9🇩🇰 Denmark77.6
#10🇸🇪 Sweden77.5
#11🇫🇮 Finland77.1
#12🇳🇴 Norway76.9
#13🇦🇺 Australia74.8
#14🇩🇪 Germany73.7
#15🇰🇷 South Korea 73.7
#16🇨🇦 Canada73.7
#17🇱🇻 Latvia72.8
#18🇨🇾 Cyprus72.3
#19🇮🇸 Iceland72.2
#20🇱🇹 Lithuania72.2
#21🇨🇿 Czechia71.9
#22🇨🇱 Chile71.1
#23🇦🇹 Austria71.1
#24🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates70.9
#25🇺🇸 United States70.6
#26🇲🇺 Mauritius70.6
#27🇺🇾 Uruguay70.2
#28🇬🇧 United Kingdom69.9
#29🇧🇧 Barbados69.8
#30🇵🇹 Portugal69.5
#31🇯🇵 Japan69.3
#32🇧🇬 Bulgaria69.3
#33🇸🇰 Slovakia69.0
#34🇮🇱 Israel68.9
#35🇬🇪 Georgia68.7
#36🇶🇦 Qatar68.6
#37🇸🇮 Slovenia68.5
#38🇼🇸 Samoa68.3
#39🇯🇲 Jamaica68.1
#40🇵🇱 Poland67.7
#41🇲🇹 Malta67.5
#42🇲🇾 Malaysia67.3
#43🇧🇪 Belgium67.1
#44🇵🇪 Peru66.5
#45🇨🇷 Costa Rica66.5
#46🇭🇷 Croatia66.4
#47🇨🇻 Cabo Verde65.8
#48🇧🇳 Brunei Darussalam65.7
#49🇦🇱 Albania65.3
#50🇦🇲 Armenia65.1
#51🇪🇸 Spain65.0
#52🇧🇼 Botswana64.9
#53🇷🇴 Romania64.5
#54🇭🇺 Hungary64.1
#55🇵🇦 Panama63.8
#56🇲🇰 North Macedonia63.7
#57🇫🇷 France63.6
#58🇷🇸 Serbia63.5
#59🇻🇨 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines63.5
#60🇮🇩 Indonesia63.5
#61🇲🇽 Mexico63.2
#62🇨🇴 Colombia63.1
#63🇧🇦 Bosnia and Herzegovina62.9
#64🇬🇹 Guatemala62.7
#65🇩🇴 Dominican Republic62.6
#66🇧🇸 The Bahamas62.6
#67🇫🇲 Micronesia62.6
#68🇧🇭 Bahrain62.5
#69🇮🇹 Italy62.3
#70🇻🇺 Vanuatu62.1
#71🇰🇿 Kazakhstan62.1
#72🇻🇳 Vietnam61.8
#73🇲🇳 Mongolia61.7
#74🇸🇹 São Tomé and Príncipe61.5
#75🇦🇿 Azerbaijan61.4
#76🇵🇾 Paraguay61.0
#77🇲🇪 Montenegro60.9
#78🇽🇰 Kosovo60.7
#79🇱🇨 Saint Lucia60.7
#80🇹🇭 Thailand60.6
#81🇨🇮 Côte d'Ivoire60.4
#82🇹🇴 Tonga60.0
#83🇹🇿 Tanzania60.0
#84🇧🇯 Benin59.8
#85🇧🇿 Belize59.8
#86🇩🇲 Dominica59.7
#87🇸🇨 Seychelles59.5
#88🇹🇹 Trinidad and Tobago59.5
#89🇵🇭 Philippines59.3
#90🇧🇹 Bhutan59.0
#91🇲🇬 Madagascar58.9
#92🇰🇮 Kiribati58.8
#93🇯🇴 Jordan58.8
#94🇭🇳 Honduras58.7
#95🇴🇲 Oman58.5
#96🇲🇩 Moldova58.5
#97🇲🇦 Morocco58.4
#98🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia58.3
#99🇬🇭 Ghana58.0
#100🇫🇯 Fiji58.0
#101🇬🇲 The Gambia57.9
#102🇳🇦 Namibia57.7
#103🇸🇳 Senegal57.7
#104🇹🇷 Türkiye56.9
#105🇬🇾 Guyana56.9
#106🇬🇷 Greece56.9
#107🇸🇧 Solomon Islands56.9
#108🇰🇼 Kuwait56.7
#109🇺🇿 Uzbekistan56.5
#110🇰🇭 Cambodia56.5
#111🇧🇫 Burkina Faso56.2
#112🇬🇦 Gabon56.1
#113🇩🇯 Djibouti56.1
#114🇸🇻 El Salvador56.0
#115🇰🇬 Kyrgyzstan55.8
#116🇿🇦 South Africa55.7
#117🇲🇷 Mauritania55.3
#118🇹🇬 Togo55.3
#119🇪🇨 Ecuador55.0
#120🇸🇿 Eswatini54.9
#121🇳🇮 Nicaragua54.9
#122🇲🇱 Mali54.5
#123🇧🇩 Bangladesh54.4
#124🇳🇬 Nigeria53.9
#125🇷🇺 Russia53.8
#126🇳🇪 Niger53.7
#127🇧🇷 Brazil53.5
#128🇰🇲 Comoros53.5
#129🇬🇳 Guinea53.2
#130🇦🇴 Angola53.0
#131🇮🇳 India52.9
#132🇹🇳 Tunisia52.9
#133🇲🇼 Malawi52.8
#134🇲🇿 Mozambique52.5
#135🇰🇪 Kenya52.5
#136🇱🇰 Sri Lanka52.2
#137🇷🇼 Rwanda52.2
#138🇹🇩 Chad52.0
#139🇨🇲 Cameroon51.9
#140🇵🇬 Papua New Guinea51.7
#141🇱🇸 Lesotho51.6
#142🇳🇵 Nepal51.4
#143🇺🇬 Uganda51.4
#144🇦🇷 Argentina51.0
#145🇧🇾 Belarus51.0
#146🇹🇯 Tajikistan50.6
#147🇱🇦 Laos50.3
#148🇸🇱 Sierra Leone50.2
#149🇭🇹 Haiti49.9
#150🇱🇷 Liberia49.6
#151🇪🇬 Egypt49.6
#152🇵🇰 Pakistan49.4
#153🇬🇶 Equatorial Guinea48.3
#154🇨🇳 China48.3
#155🇪🇹 Ethiopia48.3
#156🇨🇬 Congo48.1
#157🇨🇩 Democratic Republic of the Congo47.9
#158🇿🇲 Zambia47.8
#159🇹🇱 Timor-Leste47.2
#160🇲🇻 Maldives46.6
#161🇹🇲 Turkmenistan46.5
#162🇲🇲 Myanmar46.5
#163🇸🇷 Suriname46.1
#164🇱🇧 Lebanon45.6
#165🇬🇼 Guinea-Bissau44.6
#166🇨🇫 Central African Republic43.8
#167🇧🇴 Bolivia43.4
#168🇩🇿 Algeria43.2
#169🇮🇷 Iran42.2
#170🇧🇮 Burundi41.9
#171🇪🇷 Eritrea39.5
#172🇿🇼 Zimbabwe39.0
#173🇸🇩 Sudan32.8
#174🇻🇪 Venezuela25.8
#175🇨🇺 Cuba24.3
#176🇰🇵 North Korea2.9
-🇮🇶 IraqN/A
-🇱🇾 LibyaN/A
-🇱🇮 LiechtensteinN/A

Only four countries in the world have a score of 80 or above, Ireland, Singapore, Switzerland, and Taiwan, categorizing them as completely free economically.

Let’s now look at things from a more regional perspective.


map of economic freedom in europe in 2023

From a regional perspective, Europe ranks the strongest in economic freedom.

Despite being a powerhouse within Europe, Germany ranks 10th in the continent, with a score of 73.7. One of the categories Germany scored the weakest in was government spending (28.3/100). Over the last three years, government spending has averaged 49% of GDP.

Ireland ranks third globally, scoring particularly high in categories like property rights and judicial effectiveness. The country also has no minimum capital requirement—which is typically a banking regulation and corporate law issue determining how many assets an organization must hold—making it attractive for businesses to set up shop on the Emerald Isle.


map of economic freedom in Africa in 2023

Currently, Africa is the continent with the least economic freedom in the world, however, it is also the region with the highest potential for economic growth. A booming population, and thus, labor force, are promising for future innovation. In fact, it’s anticipated that Africa will see an increase of 2.5 billion people by the end of the century.

The lowest scoring country in Africa is Sudan, a country under further strain thanks to rife civil conflict. Historically, economic development has been constrained by rampant corruption and a lack of institutional capacity.

Conversely, Botswana registered the highest score on continental Africa (64.9), ranking higher than countries like France and Italy.

The Americas

map of economic freedom in the americas in 2023

In the Americas, the United States ranks 3rd regionally—25th overall—with a score of 70.6. The report attributes the categorization of U.S. as only “mostly free” to issues like inflation, increasing government debt, and unchecked deficit spending. Public debt currently sits at a figure equivalent to more than 128% of GDP.

In South America, Chile comes out on top, ranking above many other economic powerhouses like the U.S., the UK, and Japan. However, the 2021 election of a new Constitutional Assembly could risk the current economic state, as it favors a much more socialist approach to the economy.

East Asia and Oceania

map of economic freedom in asia and oceania in 2023

China’s score is among the lowest in East Asia & Oceania, ranking 154th in the world categorizing it as a repressed economy. The ruling Chinese Communist Party routinely exercises direct control over economic activity. China’s protectionist stance towards foreign investment and a plethora of trade tariffs imposed by other nations also factor in here.

In India, where public debt is equivalent to about 84% of GDP, fiscal health is the worst-scoring category. Additionally, much of the economy remains quite informal; a large share of people work in jobs without tax slips, recorded income, or formal contracts protecting them, which challenges labor freedoms.

The Middle East and Central Asia

map of economic freedom in the middle east and central asia in 2023

It may come as no surprise that the United Arab Emirates has the highest score in the Middle East. The UAE has implemented various measures and initiatives, such as tax exemptions, duty-free zones, streamlined business registration processes, and flexible regulatory frameworks to encourage entrepreneurship and foreign direct investment. As well, the top individual and corporate tax rates in the country are 0%.

Türkiye’s lowest scoring category relates to judiciary effectiveness and the rule of law. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has already been in power for two decades, recently won the country’s election, again cementing his authority over Turkish politics. This makes it unlikely that Türkiye’s economic freedom score will recover in the short to medium term.

Where Does This Data Come From?

Source: The Index of Economic Freedom from the Heritage Foundation

Data notes: A number of countries were not ranked due to unavailable data or other factors, like ongoing war, that made it difficult to properly assess the economy. These countries include: Ukraine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Liechtenstein, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen.

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