The Top 10 Growing Career Fields

Which careers are growing in 2010 and beyond?

Is your child unsure of what career field they want to go into?  Or what they are going to major in at college?  The following data from the U.S. Labor Department might help. The U.S. government tracks employment and careers. The government regularly publishes the results. Here are some of the fastest growing career fields for the current decade from 2008 to 2018 as revealed by the U.S. government’s own publications.*

1. Self-enrichment teachers

Do you enjoy educating children and adults? Self-enrichment teachers provide instruction on a wide variety of subjects that students take for fun or self-improvement such as cooking, personal finance, photography, pottery, and painting.  Or you can provide one-on-one instruction in a variety of subjects, including singing, or playing a musical instrument.  To qualify to teach, you need to be an expert in your field, and part of your training may include the appropriate certificate or degree.

2. Financial examiners

If you like working with numbers and are detail-oriented, you may benefit from training as a financial examiner. These professionals oversee compliance with laws and regulations governing financial and real estate transactions, and financial and securities institutions. They examine and establish authenticity of financial records. And in this era of increasing federal and state financial regulations, expect employment growth both of financial examiners and of compliance officers with bachelor’s degrees.

3. Biomedical engineers

Biomedical engineers combine their knowledge of biology and medicine with engineering to develop devices and procedures that provide medical and health-related solutions. They perform research to develop products and systems including prostheses, artificial organs, medical instruments, and health management and care delivery systems. Many biomedical engineers have a master’s degree or even a doctorate.

4. Skin-care specialists

Do you enjoy helping people look and feel their best? Skin-care specialists, or estheticians, cleanse and beautify the skin. Estheticians give head and neck massages, facials, full-body treatments, and even apply makeup. Employment of personal appearance workers is expected to grow by 38 percent from 2008 to 2018 – much faster than the average. You may need to be state-licensed and have a certificate or associate degree.

5. Network systems and data communications

Do you enjoy working with computers? Network systems and data communications analysts design, test, and evaluate systems such as the internet, corporate intranets, wide area networks (WANs), local area networks (LANs), and other data communications systems. According to the U.S. government, this dynamic career is expected to grow 23 percent from 2008 to 2018, much faster than average for all occupations. You can enter this growing career field with many different levels of formal education.

6. Medical scientists (except epidemiologists)

Are you interested in helping to eradicate serious diseases? Medical scientists study human diseases in order to improve human health, and they carry out biomedical research on bacteria, viruses, and other infectious agents. For most prospective medical scientists, a Ph.D. in a biological science is the minimum education required.

7. Dental assistants

Oral health is important to overall health! Working under the supervision of dentists, dental assistants perform a variety of patient care, office, and laboratory duties. An increasing number of dental assistants are trained in one-year programs offered by community and junior colleges, trade schools, technical institutes, or the Armed Forces. Many states require dental assistants to obtain a license or certification. According to the U.S. government, dental assisting is expected to be among the fastest growing career fields over the 2008-18 projection period, with employment expected to grow by 36 percent.

8. Physician assistants

Unlike medical assistants, who perform routine clinical and clerical tasks, physician assistants (PAs) provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive healthcare services under the supervision of physicians and surgeons. From 2008 to 2018, job opportunities for PAs are expected to grow by 39 percent, much faster than the average for all occupations. While requirements vary by state, physician assistants generally have a college degree and a two-year PA program degree.

9. Biophysicists and biochemists

Biophysicists research how physics, including mechanical and electrical energy, is connected to living cells and organisms. Biochemists research the chemical composition of living organisms. To enter this growing field you need a bachelor’s or master’s degree, but to perform research or work in development positions, biological scientists typically need to hold a Ph.D. in biology or one of its subfields.

10. Physical therapist assistants

If you enjoy helping people recover from illness or injury, you may enjoy this growing career field. Under the direction and supervision of physical therapists, physical therapist assistants provide part of a patient’s treatment including massages, exercises, electrical stimulation, hot and cold packs, traction, paraffin baths, and ultrasound. The projected rate of growth for this career? Twenty-nine percent, much faster than the average for all occupations.

* U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Occupational Employment Projections to 2018.”

Until next time,

Scott Weingold

Related Articles:
How to Guarantee Your Child Gets a Job After College
What are the Top Colleges by Salary Potential?

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Editor's Note: Scott Weingold has been ranked the #1 “College Financial Aid Expert Worth Knowing About” in the entire country by  He has co-authored the book, “The Real Secret To Paying For College. The Insider’s Guide To Sending Your Child To College – Without Spending Your Life’s Savings.” Scott also publishes a popular free online newsletter, “College Funding Made Simple" which reveals insider’s tips, methods, and strategies for beating the high cost of college.

Scott is the co-founder and a principal of the widely renown College Planning Network, LLC – the nation’s largest and most reputable college admissions and financial aid planning firm. CPN is a proud member of the Better Business Bureau, the National Association of College Funding Advisors, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

Scott, along with his college funding advisory team, helps thousands of families throughout the country with their college planning needs and offers a series of free educational webinars and workshops on “How To Pay For College Without Going Broke In The Process!” He's been featured or mentioned in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Yahoo News,, Voice America with Ron Adams, Crains Cleveland Business, and on Cleveland Connection with James McIntyre.  Scott has published numerous articles and is a professional speaker who has addressed thousands of audiences online and offline throughout the United States.  His actionable insights and candid, open approach have earned him & his team numerous media interviews, citations, and speaking opportunities, and his free online video workshop is one of the Internet’s most widely viewed pieces in the college funding space.