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October 03, 2007
25 Fastest-Growing Occupations

Jobs in the information technology (IT) and health care and medical industries dominate the list of the fastest-growing occupations, according to a report by the Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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The number of positions for home health aides is expected to grow the fastest--by 56 percent--during the period of 2004-2014. The number of home health aide positions is projected to grow over 300,000 (from 624,000 to 973,700) during this period. Not far behind are network systems and data communications analysts--the number of these positions is projected to grow 55 percent (from 231,300 to 357,500), followed by two more positions in the health care/medical industry--medical assistants (52 percent) and physician assistants (50 percent).

Of the top 25 fastest-growing occupations, only a few are not in the health care/medical or IT industries, according to the report. Among these jobs are forensic science technicians (14th on the list), preschool teachers (21) and post secondary teachers (23).

All of the jobs in the IT industry require a bachelor's degree, while a number of the healthcare positions require only short to moderate on-the-job training. Thirteen of the jobs on the list require a bachelor's degree or higher.

25 Fastest-Growing Occupations
   
Employment
   
#
Occupation
2004
2014
Percent Change
Education or Training
1 Home health aides 624,000  973,700  56%  Short-term on-the-job training 
2 Network systems and data communications analysts 231,300  357,500  55%  Bachelor's degree 
3 Medical assistants 387,100  588,600  52%  Moderate-term on-the-job training 
4 Physician assistants 62,000  92,700  50%  Bachelor's degree 
5 Computer software engineers, applications 459,800  682,200  48%  Bachelor's degree 
6 Physical therapist assistants 58,700  84,600  44%  Associate degree 
7 Dental hygienists 157,800  226,200  43%  Associate degree 
8 Computer software engineers, systems software 340,300  486,500  43%  Bachelor's degree 
9 Dental assistants 267,400  381,700  43%  Moderate-term on-the-job training 
10 Personal and home care aides 701,200  988,500  41%  Short-term on-the-job training 
11 Network and computer systems administrators 278,400  385,200  38%  Bachelor's degree 
12 Database administrators 104,400  144,300  38%  Bachelor's degree 
13 Physical therapists 154,500  211,300  37%  Master's degree 
14 Forensic science technicians 9,800  13,400  36%  Associate degree 
15 Veterinary technologists and technicians 60,000  81,200  35%  Associate degree 
16 Diagnostic medical sonographers 42,300  57,000  35%  Associate degree 
17 Physical therapist aides 42,800  57,500  34%  Short-term on-the-job training 
18 Occupational therapist assistants 21,300  28,600  34%  Associate degree 
19 Medical scientists, except epidemiologists 72,500  97,200  34%  Doctoral degree 
20 Occupational therapists 92,100  123,100  34%  Master's degree 
21 Preschool teachers, except special education 430,700  573,300  33%  Postsecondary vocational award 
22 Cardiovascular technologists and technicians 44,900  59,500  33%  Associate degree 
23 Postsecondary teachers 1,628,200  2,152,600  32%  Doctoral degree 
24 Hydrologists 8,000  10,600  32%  Master's degree 
25 Computer systems analysts 486,500  639,500  31%  Bachelor's degree 
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