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30 Top Jobs of 2008

Rachel Zupek, CareerBuilder.com Writer
Copyright CareerBuilder, LLC -- reprinted with permission
A new year means new beginnings: new resolutions, ideas and friends; new habits, relationships and goals; new salaries, titles and responsibilities. And perhaps most importantly, new jobs. Lots of ‘em. And not just for 2008, either - until 2016.

Total employment is expected to increase by 15.6 million jobs during the 2006-16 decade, according to the most recent employment projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Almost all of this growth will occur in the service-providing sector, which will account for 75 percent of all jobs in 2016.

Professional and related professions and service occupations are projected to grow most quickly, accounting for more than six of 10 new jobs created throughout 2006-2016. Twenty-eight of the 30 fastest-growing jobs are in professional and related occupations and service positions.

Interested in getting in on the new job action this year? Here are the 30 fastest-growing growing occupations for 2006-2016, according to the BLS.

1. Network systems and data communications analysts
2006 employment: 262,000
2016 projection: 402,000
Percent growth: 53.4
Salary range: $46,360 or more
Education/training: Bachelor’s degree

2. Personal and home care aides
2006 employment: 767,000
2016 projection: 1,156,000
Percent growth: 50.6
Salary range: Less than $21,220
Education/training: On-the-job training

3. Home health aides
2006 employment: 787,000
2016 projection: 1,171,000
Percent growth: 48.7
Salary range: Less than $21,220
Education/training: On-the-job training

4. Computer software engineers, applications
2006 employment: 507,000
2016 projection: 733,000
Percent growth: 44.6
Salary range: $46,360 or more
Education/training: Bachelor’s degree

5. Veterinary technologists and technicians
2006 employment: 71,000
2016 projection: 100,000
Percent growth: 41
Salary range: $21,260 - $30,560
Education/training: Associate degree

6. Personal financial advisors
2006 employment: 176,000
2016 projection: 248,000
Percent growth: 41
Salary range: $46,360 or more
Education/training: Bachelor’s degree

7. Makeup artists, theatrical and performance
2006 employment: 2,000
2016 projection: 3,000
Percent growth: 39.8
Salary range: $30,630 - $46,300
Education/training: Postsecondary vocational award

8. Medical assistants
2006 employment: 417,000
2016 projection: 565,000
Percent growth: 35.4
Salary range: $21,260 - $30,560
Education/training: Moderate on-the-job training

9. Veterinarians
2006 employment: 62,000
2016 projection: 84,000
Percent growth: 35
Salary range: $46,360 or more
Education/training: First professional degree

10. Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors
2006 employment: 83,000
2016 projection: 112,000
Percent growth: 34.3
Salary range: $30,630 - $46,300
Education/training: Bachelor’s degree

11. Skin care specialists
2006 employment: 38,000
2016 projection: 51,000
Percent growth: 34.3
Salary range: $21,260 - $30,560
Education/training: Postsecondary vocational award

12. Financial analysts
2006 employment: 221,000
2016 projection: 295,000
Percent growth: 33.8
Salary range: $46,360 or more
Education/training: Bachelor’s degree

13. Social and human service assistants
2006 employment: 339,000
2016 projection: 453,000
Percent growth: 34.3
Salary range: $21,260 - $30,560
Education/training: Moderate on-the-job training

14. Gaming surveillance officers and gaming investigators
2006 employment: 9,000
2016 projection: 12,000
Percent growth: 33.6
Salary range: $21,260 - $30,560
Education/training: Moderate on-the-job training

15. Physical therapist assistants
2006 employment: 60,000
2016 projection: 80,000
Percent growth: 32.4
Salary range: $30,630 - $46,300
Education/training: Associate degree

16. Pharmacy technicians
2006 employment: 285,000
2016 projection: 376,000
Percent growth: 32
Salary range: $21,260 - $30,560
Education/training: Moderate on-the-job training

17. Forensic science technicians
2006 employment: 13,000
2016 projection: 17,000
Percent growth: 30.7
Salary range: $30,630 - $46,300
Education/training: Bachelor’s degree

18. Dental hygienists
2006 employment: 167,000
2016 projection: 217,000
Percent growth: 30.1
Salary range: $46,360 or more
Education/training: Associate degree

19. Mental health counselors
2006 employment: 100,000
2016 projection: 130,000
Percent growth: 30
Salary range: $30,630 - $46,300
Education/training:  Master’s degree

20. Mental health and substance abuse social workers
2006 employment: 122,000
2016 projection: 159,000
Percent growth: 29.9
Salary range: $30,630 - $46,300
Education/training: Master’s degree

21. Marriage and family therapists
2006 employment: 25,000
2016 projection: 32,000
Percent growth: 29.8
Salary range: $30,630 - $46,300
Education/training: Master’s degree

22. Dental assistants
2006 employment: 280,000
2016 projection: 362,000
Percent growth: 29.2
Salary range: $21,260 - $30,560
Education/training: Moderate on-the-job training

23. Computer systems analysts
2006 employment: 504,000
2016 projection: 650,000
Percent growth: 29
Salary range: $46,360 or more
Education/training: Bachelor’s degree

24. Database administrators
2006 employment: 119,000
2016 projection: 154,000
Percent growth: 28.6
Salary range: $46,360 or more
Education/training: Bachelor’s degree

25. Computer software engineers, systems software
2006 employment: 350,000
2016 projection: 449,000
Percent growth: 28.2
Salary range: $46,360 or more
Education/training: Bachelor’s degree

26. Gaming and sports book writers and runners
2006 employment: 18,000
2016 projection: 24,000
Percent growth: 28
Salary range: Less than $21,220
Education/training: On-the-job training

27. Environmental science and protection technicians
2006 employment: 36,000
2016 projection: 47,000
Percent growth: 28
Salary range: $30,630 - $46,300
Education/training: Associate degree

28. Manicurists and pedicurists
2006 employment: 78,000
2016 projection: 100,000
Percent growth: 27.6
Salary range: Less than $21,220
Education/training: Postsecondary vocational award

29. Physical therapists
2006 employment: 173,000
2016 projection: 200,000
Percent growth: 27.1
Salary range: $46,360 or more
Education/training: Master’s degree

30. Physician assistants
2006 employment: 66,000
2016 projection: 83,000
Percent growth: 27
Salary range: $46,360 or more
Education/training: Master’s degree


Rachel Zupek is a writer and blogger for CareerBuilder.com. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.


This article has been reprinted with permission from CareerBuilder.com.