The U.S. economy gained 304,000 jobs in April, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be easy for many individuals to find employment in 2014 or over the next decade.
To boost your chances, of course, it’s probably worth targeting jobs that are experiencing rapid growth and have decent pay scales – such as work as a financial advisor.
Kiplinger does this work for jobseekers each year, looking at 10-year employment projections, education requirements and income figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“The BLS puts out employment projections every two years, and we look at the change of numbers for each job and the rate of change for each job,” explained Stacy Rapacon, online editor for Kiplinger, in an interview with ThinkAdvisor. “We also take into account the median income for each job and the typical educational requirement.”
Across all occupations, the BLS estimates 10-year job growth to be 10.8 percent. It also puts the average annual salary within the U.S. economy at $22,670 to $56,860.
This year, Kiplinger also factored in a job’s stress level, as measured by the BLS and analyzed by career expert Laurence Shatkin. The average stress level across the BLS is 53.1.
Financial advisors made the Best 10 List for a second year in a row, according to Rapacon.
“Once the economy got rockier in 2008, more people needed help with their finances,” she explained. “Plus, aging baby boomers need advice heading into retirement, and that has driven need for advisors.”
Read on for details on the Best 10 Jobs of the Future, ranked in relative order of job growth and salary range.
10-year growth projection: 35.5%
Annual salary range: $35,860 to $62,810
Total number of U.S. workers: 58,730
Typical education: high school diploma
Stress score: 46.2
Construction of new homes – many of which require brickmasons – is expected to include at least 1.07 million new homes this year, Kiplinger estimates, which is a 15% jump from last year.
“With the expansion of the housing market, a growth number of brickmasons will find plenty of opportunities,” Rapacon said.
“We had the issue of bubble [and its aftermath] for a while, but inventory is filling up and more construction is expected for 2014 and into the future,” she shared. “Bricks are a great way to build houses.”
9. Market Research Analyst
10-year growth projection: 31.6%
Annual salary range: $44,110 to $85,310
Total number of U.S. workers: 430,350
Typical education: bachelor’s degree
Stress score: 45.8
Market research analysts are needed to help companies improve their relationships with clients, for instance, and perform other data-centric tasks.
“There’s a general business need,” said Rapacon. “But the big factor driving demand for this job is the surge in ‘big data.’ Analysts are needed to deal with this and to crunch numbers that benefit businesses, which are looking for employees with a mathematical mindset and analytical thinking.”
8. Dental Hygienist
10-year growth projection: 33.3%
Annual salary range: $59,600 to $85,310
Total number of U.S. workers: 192,330
Typical education: associate’s degree
Stress score: 55.7
Or course, everyone needs to go to the dentist, says Kiplinger’s online editor, “and probably more than we want to go.”
The work of a dental hygienist requires less training than that of a dentist and some other posts in health care, she adds.
“It’s a great job if you don’t mind cleaning teeth, but it is stressful,” Rapacon added.
The median salary for a dental hygienist is more than double that of an assistant, according to the BLS.
7. Physical Therapist
10-year growth projection: 36.0%
Annual salary range: $67,700 to $93,820
Total number of U.S. workers: 195,670
Typical education: professional or doctoral degree
Stress score: 54.0
Growth in this field is tied to the explosion of aging baby boomers.
This population segment is growing,” Rapacon said, “and getting older requires more physical therapy.”
Many more workers will be needed to care for boomers who experience heart attacks and strokes, for instance. Plus, ongoing advances in medicine mean that people will live longer and require more rehabilitation.
These dynamics also are likely to push demand for occupational therapists up 29% over the next decade.
6. Civil Engineer
10-year growth projection: 19.7%
Annual salary range: $63,850 to $101,660
Total number of U.S. workers: 262,170
Typical education: bachelor’s degree