Job growth is an important consideration when choosing a career. Some of the fastest growing jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), include nurse practitioners, wind turbine service technicians, and data scientists.
Whether you’re preparing to enter the job market or switching careers, it’s good to know which industries and fields have the brightest hiring outlook. Keep reading for a breakdown of the fastest growing jobs in 2022 and beyond.
What Is Considered a Fast Growing Job?
The BLS regularly projects which occupations will see the highest growth. The most recent data available predicts changes from 2021 to 2031. Some occupations grow faster than others as demand for those jobs rises. A fast growing job is one that’s expected to grow at an above-average rate. Our list includes both on-site roles and remote opportunities. (Here’s a great roundup of more work-at-home jobs for retirees and stay-at-home parents.)
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Who Should Consider a Fast Growing Job?
Fast growing jobs are appealing to a wide range of people because it can be easier to find a position when there are more openings to go around. Companies may also be more likely to offer signing bonuses to attract talent.
However, it’s important to consider whether the current demand is sustainable over the long term. After large numbers of people rush to fill jobs in a specific industry, hiring may then taper off.
The economy is another consideration. A job that’s fast growing in a healthy economy may be less so in a downturn or recession. In-demand jobs that are connected to entertainment, travel, or recreation, for example, may be less attractive if people are cutting back their spending on trips to the movies, vacations, or costly hobbies.
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Pros and Cons of Being in a Fast Growing Job
Every job has advantages and disadvantages, and fast growing fields are no exception. Considering the potential benefits and drawbacks can help you to decide if pursuing a fast growing job makes sense for you.
|Pros of Fast Growing Jobs
|Cons of Fast Growing Jobs
|More room for advancement at a faster pace
|Accelerated job growth in newer industries may not be sustainable over the long-term
|Higher salaries if demand for qualified workers outpaces supply
|Fast growth does not always translate to higher pay, especially in fields that don’t require higher education
|Opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new industry or sector that’s poised for long-term growth and development
|May be more demanding in terms of the time involved and scope of duties
What To Expect in a Fast Growing Job
One of the main advantages of a fast growing job is that it may be easier to get hired when demand is high. Employers may also offer higher pay or enhanced employee benefits to attract talent. If a high salary is important to you, check out this list of the highest paying jobs by state.
On the other hand, landing a bigger entry-level salary isn’t guaranteed. Fast growing tech jobs, for instance, will pay more than food service jobs even if demand is at a similar level.
If you do manage to snag a higher salary with a fast growing job, it’s important to think about what you’ll be required to do in exchange for those paychecks. For example, accepting a role with a clean-energy startup could pay well, but if the company is small, you might be expected to work well beyond the standard 40-hour week.
Top 10 Fastest Growing Jobs in 2022
The BLS collects data on job growth and employment outlook across a variety of occupations. We’re breaking down the fastest growing jobs through 2031.
You may also be interested in our list of trades that make the most money.
1. Nurse Practitioner
Median annual pay: $120,680
Job growth outlook: 46%
Job description: Nurse practitioner (NP) is one of the fastest growing healthcare jobs. NPs can act as primary care providers or specialty care providers in doctor’s offices, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. NPs may specialize in a particular type of care, such as geriatrics or pediatrics.
• Assess patients to determine care needs
• Determine how to improve or manage patient health
• Develop strategies for implementing a plan of care
• High earning potential
• Well above-average job growth
• Opportunity to specialize
• Potentially a highly stressful job
• Requires advanced education
• May require working long shifts
2. Wind Turbine Service Technician
Median pay: $56,260
Job growth outlook: 44%
Job description: Install, repair, and service wind turbines. May work full-time or on-call for emergency repairs. This is one of the fastest growing trade jobs in 2022.
• Installing wind turbines
• Making necessary repairs to turbine equipment
• Completing regular maintenance and service to keep turbines operating properly
• Technical or trade school degree may be the only required education
• Opportunity to travel
• Job growth should hold steady as the industry develops
• Long on-the-job training period
• Candidates must be comfortable with heights
• Higher potential for accidental injury
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3. Usher, Lobby Attendant, and Ticket Taker
Median pay: $24,440/year
Job growth outlook: 41%
Job description: Service position typically in the entertainment industry. The main job of an usher is to show people to their seats. Lobby attendants greet the public, while ticket takers accept tickets from patrons seeking entry to a venue. This is a good low-pressure option for working after retirement.
• Escorting guests to their seats
• Greeting guests and managing the flow of traffic in lobby areas
• Taking tickets from guests
• Significant job growth is expected through 2031
• Higher education may not be required
• May offer flexible hours
• Generally among the lowest-paying jobs
• Requires dealing with the public on a regular basis
• May involve long hours
4. Motion Picture Projectionist
Median pay: $29,350/year
Job growth outlook: 40%
Job description: Responsible for setting up, operating, and maintaining projection equipment. Projectionists can work in movie theaters to ensure that films play properly for the attending audience. Because this role doesn’t require much interaction with customers or colleagues, it can be a good job for antisocial people.
• Operating motion picture equipment to project sounds and images
• Servicing and maintaining motion picture equipment to keep it in good working order
• Troubleshooting any problems that might arise during the operation of motion picture equipment
• A college degree may not be required
• May offer flexible hours
• Opportunity to work in entertainment or related creative field
• Employers may require several years of experience for new hires
• Lower pay scale compared to other fast growing jobs
• May require dealing with stressful or high-pressure situations
5. Restaurant Cook
Median pay: $30,010/year
Job growth outlook: 37%
Job description: Prepare food for diners. May also be responsible for ordering supplies, communicating with vendors, planning menus, and directing other members of the back-of-the-house staff. This job may be salaried or hourly.
• Prepping and preparing meals for diners
• Ensuring that food preparation areas remain clean and sanitary
• Managing and ordering inventory and supplies
• High school diploma or GED may be sufficient
• Flexible hours
• Room for advancement for those interested in kitchen management role
• Hours may be long
• Can be a high-stress job for cooks who work in a fast-paced environment
• Restaurant jobs typically don’t offer a high pay range
6. Data Scientist
Median pay: $100,910/year
Job growth outlook: 36%
Job description: Extract and analyze data. May collect or categorize data, offer interpretations of data, or create visual representations to showcase their findings. These individuals typically work in an office setting or from home.
• Collecting and organizing data
• Testing data and using it to develop algorithmic models
• Analyzing data to create recommendations for business entities
• Competitive pay and outstanding earning potential
• Opportunity to work a flexible schedule or remotely
• May appeal to people looking for a creative-adjacent job
• Some aspects of the job may be tedious or boring
• Hours can be long and require the completion of menial tasks
• Master’s degree or higher may be required for certain jobs
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7. Athlete or Sports Competitor
Median pay: $77,300
Job growth outlook: 36%
Job description: Participate in athletic events and competitions. They use their skills and talents to entertain sports fans and often have an opportunity to travel.
• Competing in athletic events
• Training for athletic events and maintaining good physical health
• Attending team meetings and other events scheduled by management
• No degree is necessary to become a professional athlete
• Some pro athletes earn millions
• Get paid to do what you love
• Vast majority of pro athletes aren’t banking seven figures
• Playing sports can take a physical toll and potentially lead to long-term health conditions
• May be stressful mentally and emotionally
8. Information Security Analyst
Median pay: $102,600/year
Job growth outlook: 35%
Job description: Information security analysts review an entity or organization’s security measures and develop strategies for protecting and safeguarding data. This is one of the fastest growing IT jobs as more companies turn their focus to increasing cybersecurity in order to prevent fraud or data hacks. This is a strong option if you need a job that will pay off your student loans.
• Analyzing security measures in order to look for potential flaws or weak spots
• Developing cybersecurity strategies to enhance a company or organization’s data safety
• Maintaining security software, including encryption and firewall services
• Job growth may be sustainable long-term as more companies seek to step up their cybersecurity efforts
• Salary ranges are competitive compared to other fast growing jobs
• May offer opportunity for remote work
• Some jobs may require a master’s degree or higher
• May be required to complete tasks on short notice
• Potentially stressful and high-pressure
Median pay: $95,570/year
Job growth outlook: 33%
Job description: Collect and analyze data, then use that data to solve mathematical problems. Also may organize data in order to prepare detailed reports on specific topics for private business, public companies, healthcare organizations, nonprofits, or government agencies.
• Collecting and analyzing data
• Applying mathematical theories to solve problems using the collected data
• Interpreting data and creating reports or visualizations to communicate their findings
• Solid earning potential
• Potentially one of the best jobs for introverts
• While technically a scientific field, statistics still allow for creativity
• May require advanced education
• Work can be complex and tedious
• Extroverts may not enjoy the large amount of independent work that’s often required
10. Umpire, Referee, and Other Sports Official
Median pay: $35,860/year
Job growth outlook: 32%
Job description: Participate in athletic events and ensure that the rules are being followed. They can work in professional sports leagues or amateur sports leagues, as well as recreational leagues for youth athletics.
• Officiating at sporting events
• Enforcing the rules of the game and applying penalties when necessary
• Keeping game play moving smoothly
• Can be a fun way for sports fans to earn a living
• Opportunity to work outdoors
• Advanced education and training typically aren’t required
• Umpires and referees may be subject to heckling or harassment from fans
• Pay isn’t as high as other fast growing jobs
• Sports officials can be subject to criticism from professionals in their industry
Fastest Growing Jobs by 2025 Outlook
The fastest growing jobs by 2025 include all of the options listed above. Other jobs projected to have above-average growth through 2031 include:
• Web developers
• Animal caretakers
• Taxi drivers
• Medical and health services managers
• Physician assistants
• Solar photovoltaic installers
• Animal trainers
• Physical therapist assistants
Which job skills will be most in demand by 2025? According to the World Economic Forum, the following skills will be highly sought after by employers within the next few years:
• Analytical thinking
• Complex problem solving
• Creativity, originality, and innovation
• Leadership and social influence
• Technology use, monitoring, and control
• Technology design and programming
• Resilience, stress tolerance, and flexibility
Some of these are “soft skills,” meaning they’re based around communication and self-management. However, it’s clear that technological skills and computer skills will continue to be an important consideration for employers in the future.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics regularly publishes lists of jobs with good potential for recent grads and career changers. This year’s list of the top fields for job growth include sports, entertainment, healthcare, computers, and data science. It’s a wide range, with something for everyone. And while some roles require a college degree, others welcome high school grads.
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What is the most needed job in 2022?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse practitioners are among the fastest growing jobs for 2022 and beyond. That’s due largely to increased demand for healthcare providers during the pandemic era, but it was also one of the fastest growing jobs pre-COVID.
What job has the highest future growth?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that nurse practitioners are set to see the highest job growth through 2031. The COVID pandemic, an aging population, and high turnover due to burnout combined to drive demand for qualified nurse practitioners.
Which jobs will be in demand in the next 10 years?
Some of the jobs that will be in the highest demand in the next 10 years include nurse practitioners, wind turbine service technicians, data analysts, statisticians, information security analysts, and restaurant cooks.
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