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The 20 Best Jobs of the Future
 

You may work in a growing field, but will it have openings in the future? This ranking will tell you where your best opportunities lie ahead.

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Want a job that pays well and will have plenty of openings in the next decade? Consider one of these occupations.

Business Insider compiled a ranking of the best jobs of the future based on how well they pay and how much they are projected to grow in the coming years.

They took the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' projections for the number of new jobs created between 2012 and 2022 and the 2012 median annual wage for each occupation and ranked them based on a combination (the geometric mean) of the two figures.

To focus this list on higher-quality jobs, we ranked only occupations with median wages higher than the 2012 median wage for all workers, which is $34,750. We used the total number of new jobs projected by 2022 rather than the percent rate of growth for the occupations, since some specialized occupations are expected to see steep growth but will provide a relatively tiny amount of job openings. 

20. Construction Managers 

78,200 predicted job openings by 2022

$82,790 median annual wage in 2012

What they do: Organize, plan, and supervise construction projects.

Typical Educational Requirements: Bachelor's degree

Why they're thriving: Managers of all kinds tend to have higher wages than those they supervise, and the BLS notes that managers make the highest median salary of any of the large occupational groups it studies. The construction sector was hit especially hard in the Great Recession. However, the BLS projects that over the next decade, construction employment will finally begin to return to pre-recession levels, allowing for impressive growth in the coming years.

19. Medical and Health Services Managers 

73,300 predicted job openings by 2022

$88,580 median annual wage in 2012

What They Do: Plan, direct, or coordinate medical and health services in hospitals, clinics, managed care organizations, public health agencies, or similar organizations.

Typical Educational Requirements: Bachelor's degree

Why They're Thriving: As with construction managers, managerial positions tend to do well financially. The BLS projects that, as Baby Boomers get older, and as Obamacare's reforms dramatically change the health insurance market, employment in the health-care sector is primed to take off in the near future.

18. Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing 

132,000 predicted job openings by 2022

$54,230 median annual wage in 2012

What They Do: Sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses or groups of individuals.

Typical Educational Requirements: Bachelor's degree

Why They're Thriving: Salespeople are needed in almost every industry. Any company that makes or sells something will need sales representatives, meaning this already large occupation will continue to grow.

17. Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerks 

204,600 predicted job openings by 2022

$35,170 median annual wage in 2012

What They Do: Obtain and use numerical data to complete financial records and maintain accounting records.

Typical Educational Requirements: High school diploma or equivalent

Why They're Thriving: As with sales representatives, most organizations need people keeping track of the money coming in and going out, resulting in a steady demand for good bookkeepers.

16. Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers

192,600 predicted job openings by 2022

$38,200 median annual wage in 2012

What They Do: Drive the vehicles that carry pretty much everything we consume.

Typical Educational Requirements: Post-secondary non-degree

Why They're Thriving: As the economy continues to recover from the recession, there will simply be a lot more stuff to move around. That means there will also be an increased need for people to move that stuff.

15. Licensed Practical and Vocational Nurses 

182,900 predicted job openings by 2022

$41,540 median annual wage in 2012

What They Do: Assist doctors and registered nurses and provide basic medical care to patients.

Typical Educational Requirements: Post-secondary non-degree

Why They're Thriving: Because of changing demographics in America and changes to how health insurance works, health care is going to be a quickly growing sector over the next few decades. Unlike registered nurses, who typically have an Associate's or Bachelor's degree in nursing, licensed practical nurses tend to only need about 12 to 14 months of post-high-school education.

14. First-line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers 

128,300 predicted job openings by 2022

$59,700 median annual wage in 2012

What They Do: Directly supervise and coordinate activities of construction or extraction workers.

Typical Educational Requirements: High school diploma or equivalent

Why They're Thriving: As the construction sector begins to fully recover from the recession, job openings in these occupations are expected to increase. 

13.Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists

131,500 predicted job openings by 2022

$60,300 median annual wage in 2012

What They Do: Research market conditions to help guide sales and marketing decisions.

Typical Educational Requirements: Bachelor's degree

Why They're Thriving: Most organizations need to understand the market they work in. Like sales representatives and bookkeeping clerks, firms in any industry will need market researchers to help get those insights.

12. Software Systems Developers 

82,800 predicted job openings by 2022

$99,000 median annual wage in 2012

What They Do: Develop high-level software systems in a variety of industries.

Typical Educational Requirements: Bachelor's degree

Why They're Thriving: The BLS projects that technology will continue to be a lucrative and growing sector over the next few years, and there will be strong demand for people who can write the basic software that technology depends on.

11. First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers 

171,500 predicted job openings by 2022

$49,330 median annual wage in 2012

What They Do: Directly supervise and coordinate the activities of clerical and administrative support workers.

Typical Educational Requirements: High school diploma or equivalent

Why They're Thriving: As companies launch and grow, they will need clerical workers, as well as supervisors that manage them. 

10. Lawyers

Attorneys Richard Strafer, left, and Howard Srebnick

74,800 predicted job openings by 2022

$113,500 median annual wage in 2012

What They Do: Represent clients in various types of legal proceedings and write legal documents.

Typical Educational Requirements: Professional degree

Why They're Thriving: There has been a shift in the legal field to using more paralegals and legal assistants to do basic work. Despite this, as the economy continues to improve and overall business picks up, there will also be increasing demand for highly paid, credentialed lawyers.

9. Carpenters

218,200 predicted job openings by 2022

$39,940 median annual wage in 2012

What They Do: Construct houses, other structures, and various frames and fixtures out of wood.

Typical Educational Requirements: High school diploma or equivalent

Why They're Thriving: This is another entry on the list that is heavily tied to the construction industry, which is projected to expand rapidly over the next few years as it climbs out of the depths of the recession.

8. Elementary School Teachers 

167,900 predicted job openings by 2022

$53,400 median annual wage in 2012

What They Do: Teach children foundational skills and concepts.

Typical Educational Requirements: Bachelor's degree

Why They're Thriving: As the U.S. population continues to grow, more teachers will be needed to educate children.

7. Computer Systems Analysts

127,700 predicted job openings by 2022

$79,680 median annual wage in 2012

What They Do: Analyze and improve information systems.

Typical Educational Requirements: Bachelor's degree

Why They're Thriving: Like construction and health care, computer technology is a field projected to continue growing at a good rate for the foreseeable future.

6. Management Analysts

133,800 predicted job openings by 2022

$78,600 median annual wage in 2012

What They Do: Study and evaluate organizations, and develop techniques and plans to improve efficiency.

Typical Educational Requirements: Bachelor's degree

Why They're Thriving: Companies are always trying to maximize their productivity, and there will likely continue to be a high demand for specialists who can guide them.

5. Accountants and Auditors

166,700 predicted job openings by 2022

$63,550 median annual wage in 2012

What They Do: Analyze financial records and ensure compliance with financial requirements and standards.

Typical Educational Requirements: Bachelor's degree

Why They're Thriving: In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the government responded with new financial regulations. An army of accountants will be needed to meet the new standards.

4. Specialist Physicians and Surgeons 

65,300 predicted job openings by 2022

At least $187,200 median annual wage in 2012

What They Do: Provide specialized medical care for patients. Some examples of specialist physicians include allergists, dermatologists, and neurologists.

Typical Educational Requirements: Doctoral or professional degree

Why They're Thriving: As we have seen, the medical sector is poised to continue its rapid growth in the next few years. Further, specialist doctors tend to do quite well for themselves -- the median income for these physicians falls in the highest part of the BLS range.

3. Software Applications Developers

139,900 predicted job openings by 2022

$90,060 median annual wage in 2012

What They Do: Design and develop software for clients and users.

Typical Educational Requirements: Bachelor's degree

Why They're Thriving: Application developers are similar to software systems developers, but they are more focused on the needs of users rather than on the back-end parts of computer systems. As with other computer-centered occupations, applications developers will benefit from the ongoing tech boom.

2. General and Operations Managers

244,100 predicted job openings by 2022

$95,440 median annual wage in 2012

What They Do: Direct and coordinate the operations and staff of organizations.

Typical Educational Requirements: Bachelor's degree

Why They're Thriving: Operations managers are another set of workers needed in almost every industry. As the economy continues to grow, organizations will need these employees to keep things running smoothly.

1. Registered Nurses

526,800 predicted job openings by 2022

$65,470 median annual wage in 2012

What They Do: Assess patients' needs and provide care to patients.

Typical Educational Requirements: Associate's degree

Why They're Thriving: Once again, the health-care sector is projected to quickly grow over the next many years, and there will be a huge need for registered nurses to take care of our aging population.

This article was originally published on Business Insider.

IMAGE: Jetta Productions/Getty
Last updated: Jan 23, 2014




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