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by Vault Careers | February 07, 2011


The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently updated their employment projections for the year 2018, including the top fastest growing industries. Though diverse in function, the thriving—and hiring--industries all have a common thread: return on investment.

Some of the industries listed involve non-essential products or services, like tutoring and enrichment classes, or product upgrades like better software and web hosting. But each justifies their costs by ensuring a savings down the road. Take at-home healthcare: once considered a luxury, it becomes practical when compared to in-patient hospital care.

Since many of the jobs within these industries require post-secondary education, ROI is also a theme for working in them. The training requirements are demanding, but preparing to work in health care, IT, consulting, and family services jobs equips employees with skills that are easily adapted to different careers and job titles. And they're all safely nestled in industries that are going from strength to strength, which may be the best pay off of all.

Below are five of the top fastest growing industries, and the jobs they encompass—each sorted from lowest to highest degree of required education.

1. Management, scientific, and technical consulting services (6.2 rate of change)

Jobs Affected:

  • • Compliance officers, except agriculture, construction, health and safety, and transportation, 31.05% (Long-term on-the-job training)
  • • Environmental engineering technicians , 30.1% (Associate degree)
  • • Biomedical engineers, 72.02% (Bachelor's degree)
  • • Financial examiners, 41.16% (Bachelor's degree)
  • • Environmental engineers , 30.62% (Bachelor's degree)
  • • Survey researchers, 30.36 (Bachelor's degree)
  • • Personal financial advisors , 30.13% (Bachelor's degree)
  • • Biochemists and biophysicists , 37.42% (Doctoral degree)


As the need for consultants arises multiple across industries—with needs including planning and logistics, compliance with government regulations, environmental concerns, employee benefits, and workplace safety issues—hiring will be on the increase, and this industry (which encompasses experts in many diverse fields) is predicted to be the fastest growing on the list.


2. Individual and family services (4.0)/Other educational services (4.5 rate of change)

Jobs Affected:

  • • Occupational therapist aides , 30.74% (Short-term on-the-job training)
  • • Personal and home care aides, 45.99% (Short-term on-the-job training)
  • • Fitness trainers and aerobics instructors, 29.41% (Postsecondary vocational award)
  • • Occupational therapist assistants, 29.78% (Associate degree)
  • • Athletic trainers, 36.95% (Bachelor's degree)
  • • Self-enrichment education teachers, 32.05% (Work experience in a related occupation)


Personal care and home care aides should see an increase in hiring to correspond with an increasing elderly population.

The education field receives steady business from the government in most economic climates, but individual purchases of tutoring, exam prep, and enrichment services will boost the field, and thus employment, due to an increasingly competitive job market.


3. Home health care services (3.9 rate of change) / Outpatient, laboratory, and other ambulatory care services (2.8 rate of change)

Jobs Affected:

  • • Home health aides, 50.01% increase in employment (Short-term on-the-job training)
  • • Physical therapist aides , 36.29% (Short-term on-the-job training)
  • • Pharmacy technicians, 30.57% (Moderate-term on-the-job training)
  • • Skin care specialists, 37.86% (Postsecondary vocational award)
  • • Veterinary technologists and technicians, 35.75% (Associate degree)
  • • Veterinarians , 32.95% (First professional degree)
  • • Physical therapists , 30.27% (Master's degree)
  • • Medical scientists, except epidemiologists, 40.36% (Doctoral degree)


This industry actually benefits from cost-concerns of its patrons, primarily individuals, as they opt to receive outpatient and/or home care instead of expensive hospital visits.


4. Offices of health practitioners (3.0 rate of change)

Jobs Affected:

  • • Dental assistants, 35.75% (Moderate-term on-the-job training)
  • • Medical assistants, 33.9%% (Moderate-term on-the-job training)
  • • Dental hygienists , 36.14% (Associate degree)
  • • Physical therapist assistants, 33.28% (Associate degree)
  • • Physician assistants , 38.99% (Master's degree)


An aging population will require more health care services, as better technology increases productivity. The result is an ability to take on more business, and thus hiring increases in all levels and types of health care.


5. Computer systems design and related services (3.8 rate of change) / Data processing, hosting, related services, and other information services (3.8)

Jobs Affected:

  • • Network systems and data communications analysts , 53.36 (Bachelor's degree)
  • • Computer software engineers, applications, 34.01% (Bachelor's degree)
  • • Computer software engineers, systems software, 30.44% (Bachelor's degree)


New software and applications are considered long-term, money saving/making investments, which are popular in a poor economy. An increased need for remote access and better security will also boost hiring in the field.

Data processing, Web hosting, and related services should also see strong growth because of an increasing market share from traditional media. Employment will not increase as fast as output, however, due to increased productivity.

--Cathy Vandewater,


Filed Under: Job Search

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