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12 Fastest Growing Jobs in America

written by: •edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 5/25/2011

Are you interested in learning more about what sort of career would fit you and your skills? If so, you might want to check out the fastest growing jobs in America for ideas.

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    Why Worry About Job Growth?

    What Are the Fastest Growing Jobs in America? If you're looking to get into a field, but you want to make sure your job will still be around a few years from now, you might want to worry about job growth. If you're in college thinking about your future job and wondering what to major in, or even if you're in high school, being familiar with America's fastest growing jobs can help you determine a course for action.

    Even if you don't currently possess the qualifications, knowing what the fastest growing jobs in America are and what you will need in order to perform those jobs can give you the edge over others. Here is a list of the top twelve fastest growing jobs in America, along with the qualifications you will need in order to perform each job.

    Image Credit: Courtesy of sxc.hu/svilen001

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    1. Biomedical Engineers, Biochemists, and Biophysicists

    According to the US Department of Labor statistics, biomedical engineering is the fastest growing occupation, projected to have a growth rate of 72% between now and 2018. Biochemistry and biophysics are also on the list, with an estimated growth of 37.4% between now and 2018. To become a biochemist or biophysicist, you will need a doctoral degree. Biomedical engineering, on the other hand, requires just a bachelor's degree. All three fields have very high salaries associated with them ($51,540 or more a year).

    Biomedical engineers are responsible for creating life-saving products for patients. They work in research mostly and are expected to have a high level of scientific understanding. While a bachelor's degree is required, a master's degree is recommended in order to be competitive in the field.

    Biochemists may work in research at a university or they may work for a company. Some work for nonprofits and for government agencies. Most biochemists will need a doctorate degree. Biophysicists study the ways in which organisms move, develop, think, see, live, and hear. A biophysicist will write up research and will often work at universities. They also typically hold doctoral degrees.

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    2. Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts

    Network systems and data communications analysts make up the second fastest growing jobs in America, with an expceted growth rate of 53.4 percent. Like biomedical engineers, network systems and data communications analysts need to have bachelor's degrees, and they will make a salary of more than $51,540 per year. Network systems and data communications analysts work to create network systems for computers that are usfeul for their clients. They work with a vairety of people to crate and evaluate systems and ensure that software meets the needs of clients.

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    3.Home Health Aids and Personal and Home Care Aids

    Many of the fastest growing jobs in America are associated with health and medical care. Home health aids and personal and home care aids are expected to grow by 50% and 46%, respectively. While these jobs are very low paying (under $21,590 a year), they are nonetheless needed. Neither job requires a degree, with on-the-job-training provided. Though, if one did have a nursing degree, it would certainly give them an edge up on the competition (and possibly justify a higher level of pay).

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    4. Financial Examiners

    Financial examiners are expected to experience a job growth of 41.2% between now and 2018. Financial examiners can expect to make over $51,540 a year. Most will need at least a bachelor's degree. Tasks associated with being a financial examiner include inspecting cash reserves, checking internal control procedures, establishing guidelines for regulations, evaluating data and meeting minutes, and more. You will need to be good with accounting, economics, math, and people skills to succeed as a financial examiner.

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    5. Medical Scientists

    picture Medical scientists of all types except for epidemiologists are experiencing a projected job growth of 40.4% from now until 2018. As was stated on page one, careers in the medical fields and medical technology fields are growing very quickly. Medical scientists can expect very high pay (over $51,540 per year) and they can expect to need a doctoral degree. Medical scientists are responsible for researching human diseases and they can work long hours in laboratories.

    Image Credit: Image courtesy of sxc.hu/bubbels.

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    6. Physician Assistants

    Physician assistant jobs are expected to grow at a rate of 39% through 2018. A physician assistant might be asked to work under the direct supervision of physicians and surgeons. They are allowed to provide healthcare services to patients, so long as they are working under this supervision. They take medical histories, examine and treat patients, and they can even make diagnoses. A master's degree is required for this sort of work. Physician assistants are highly paid workers, making $51,540 a year or more on average.

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    7. Skin Care Specialists

    Skin care specialists, also known as estheticians, treat the facial skin in order to maintain it and enhance its appearance. Estheticians can expect a job growth rate of 37.9% between now and 2018. Skin care specialists usually have some form of vocational training award. On average, skin care specialists make between $21,590 and $32,380 a year.

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    8. Athletic Trainers and Physical Therapist Aids

    Athletic trainers and physical therapists are expected to experience job growth of 37% and 36.3% respectively. An athletic trainer generally must possess a bachelor's degree and can expect to make between $32,390 and $51,530 a year. Physical therapist aids make between $21,590 and $32,380 per year and they need to have on-the-job training, but generally can enter into the field without additional education past high school.

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    9. Dental Hygienists and Dental Assistants

    Teeth are important to our health and dental hygienists (growing at 36.1%) and dental assistants (growing at 35.8%) help keep our teeth healthy. Dental hygienists need to have at least an associate's degree while dental assistants receive some on-the-job training. There is a huge difference in pay between the two positions, so it is worth it to get the two-year degree. Dental hygientists average between $32,390 and $51,530 a year whereas dental assistants only make $21,590 to $32,380 a year on average.

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    10. Computer Software Engineers, Applications

    Americans love their computers so it's no suprirse that computer software engineers have a position on the list of the fastest growing jobs in America. This group of employees can expect their field to grow 34% over the next decade and they can expect to make, on average, more than $51,540 per year developing applications. A bachelor's degree is required for this field.

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    11. Self-Enrichment Education Teachers

    Self-enrichment education teachers are growing at a rate of 32% between now and 2018. This specific field of education is high paying, meaning that self-enrichment educators are paid between $32,390 and $51,530 per year, and they have experience in the field they are teaching in. Self-enrichment teachers are those providing instructions in a variety of high-interest fields that people take classes in for fun (i.e. phtoography, writing, singing, etc.).

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    12. Compliance Officers

    Rounding out the list of America's fastest growing jobs is the job of the compliance officer. The compliance officer outside of agriculture, construction, health and safety, and transportation can expect his or her field to grow 31.1% between now and 2018. Compliance officers are responsible for ensuring eligibility for programs and compliance with laws. Compliance officers, on average make between $32,390 and $51,530 per year. This job can be undertaken with long-term on-the-job training.