- Using Bureau of Labor Statistics data, we found 20 industries that employ a large number of people in fast-growing occupations.
- Healthcare and other services targeted to an aging population are poised to hire thousands of workers over the next decade.
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It's a new year and a new decade, and many Americans are spending their January looking for a new job.
We took a look at government projections for employment over the next decade to see what industries could be particularly appealing to job seekers in 2020.
Using Bureau of Labor Statistics employment projections that aim to predict how particular occupations are likely to grow or shrink between 2018 and 2028, and estimates of how many people in various occupations were employed in different industries in 2018, we found 20 industries that employ a lot of people in fast-growing occupations.
Specifically, for each industry group, we calculated the average percent growth rates for occupations employed in that industry, weighted by the number of employees with that occupation in each industry. While not an exact prediction of employment growth in each industry, this metric gives a good sense for which industries favor fast-growing jobs.
Several of the industries on the list are in the healthcare sector, which has seen booming job growth for the last several years . As America continues to age, demand for medical care and services targeted toward the elderly is likely to continue growing in the 2020s and beyond.
20. Foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors
The contractor industry employed 118,340 construction laborers in 2018, an occupation expected to grow by 10.5% by 2028. The industry also employed 101,140 carpenters, with a projected employment growth rate of 8.0%.
19. Special food services
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The special food services industry provides food outside of conventional restaurants, and includes sub-industries like caterers and food trucks. In 2018, the industry employed 168,040 combined food prep and serving workers, an occupational group projected to grow 17.3% by 2028.
18. Dentists' offices
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Dentists, as an occupation, are projected to see a 7.6% increase in employment over the next decade. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the number of dental hygienists to increase by 10.8%, and dental assistants to go up 11.2%.
17. Personal care services
In 2018, the personal care services industry employed 52,540 massage therapists, which are projected to have 22.2% growth in employment over the next decade. Similarly, the industry employed 317,060 hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists, with a projected growth rate of 8.5%, and 106,810 manicurists and pedicurists, an occupation expected to grow by 10.1%.
16. Computer systems design and related services
Tech occupations are among the fastest-growing in the country according to the BLS projections, and industries like computer systems design employ lots of them. As just one example, in 2018, the industry employed 320,220 applications software developers, which are projected to have a 25.6% employment growth rate between 2018 and 2028.
15. Nursing care facilities
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In what will become a recurring theme, several healthcare service industries appear on this list. Nursing care facilities employed 153,120 registered nurses in 2018, and that occupation is set to grow by 12.1% by 2028. Similarly, the industry employed 210,850 licensed practical and vocational nurses, an occupation with a projected employment growth rate of 10.7%.
14. General medical and surgical hospitals
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Hospitals are another industry employing large numbers of fast-growing healthcare occupations. Hospitals employed 121,120 medical and health services managers in 2018, and that occupation is projected to grow by 17.6% between 2018 and 2028. Hospitals also employed a whopping 1.7 million registered nurses.
13. Medical and diagnostic laboratories
Medical labs employed 60,770 clinical laboratory technologists and technicians in 2018, and BLS projects employment in that occupation to grow by 10.6% between 2018 and 2028. The industry also employed 41,790 phlebotomists , who specialize in drawing blood samples from patients. That occupation has a very impressive 23.0% projected employment growth rate by 2028.
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Many of the biggest occupations employed by restaurants are projected to have high employment growth between 2018 and 2028. Restaurant cooks are set to grow by 21.9%, combined food prep and serving workers by 17.3%, and waiters and waitress by 6.5%.
11. Software publishers
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About a fifth of the total 394,000 people employed in the software publishing industry in 2018 were applications-software developers, and that occupation is projected to have employment growth of 25.6% between 2018 and 2028.
10. Vocational rehabilitation services
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Vocational rehabilitation services provide employment and other services to disabled people. The industry employed 33,760 rehabilitation counselors in 2018, and BLS projects that occupation to grow by 9.8% by 2028.
9. Psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals
Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors are projected to have employment growth of 22.5% between 2018 and 2028, and mental health and substance abuse social workers a 17.8% growth rate.
8. Specialty hospitals
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Specialty hospitals focus on particular diseases and types of patients. Some examples include cancer hospitals, maternity hospitals, and hospitals treating chronic diseases. As with other healthcare industries on this list, specialty hospitals employ large numbers of fast-growing medical occupations, like registered nurses and nursing assistants.
7. Physicians' offices
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Similarly, doctors' offices employ large numbers of fast-growing medical professionals. Physicians' offices employed 84,720 nurse practitioners in 2018, and BLS projects that occupation will grow by 28.2% between 2018 and 2028. The industry also employed 76,480 family and general practitioners, with a 9.8% expected employment growth rate.
6. Outpatient care centers
Outpatient care centers employed 62,310 substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in 2018, an occupation BLS projects to have 22.5% employment growth between 2018 and 2028. The industry also employed 57,240 medical assistants, with a projected 22.6% growth rate.
5. Taxi and limousine service
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Taxi drivers and chauffeurs, who unsurprisingly make up about 2/3 of the total employment in the taxi and limo service industry, are projected to see employment growth of 19.5% between 2018 and 2028, according to BLS.
4. Continuing-care retirement communities and assisted-living facilities for the elderly
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The retirement community and assisted living facility industry employed 172,720 personal care aides in 2018, and that occupation is projected to have a huge 36.4% increase in employment by 2028. The industry also employed 163,950 nursing assistants, with a projected 8.9% growth rate.
3. Residential intellectual and developmental disability, mental health, and substance abuse facilities
AP Photo/Steve Pope
This industry employed 35,790 social and human service assistants in 2018, and BLS projects that employment in that occupation will increase by 12.6% between 2018 and 2028. The industry also employed 43,350 home health aides, an occupation with a projected 36.6% growth rate.
2. Individual and family services
The individual and family services industry provides assistance to vulnerable groups, including children, the elderly, and people with disabilities. The industry employed 118,130 social and human service assistants in 2018, and BLS projects that occupation will have employment growth of 12.6% by 2028. The industry also employed 48,630 social and community service managers, with a projected 13.0% growth rate.
1. Home healthcare services
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The home healthcare services industry employed 440,550 home health aides in 2018, representing about 1/3 of total employment in the industry. BLS projects that home health aides will have employment growth of 36.6% between 2018 and 2028, the third-highest growth rate among all occupations in the projections.
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