In the early 1800s, gas lamplighters completed an important job. Each night, they’d light the flames on the gas lamps around the city. In the morning, they’d snuff them out again. But once electricity came onto the scene, that job faded into history.
Whenever technology advances, the professional landscape changes with it. Some jobs disappear, but others grow by leaps and bounds. By training for a growing field, you can improve your chances for job security in the years to come.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these are seven of the fastest-growing careers today. Check out the forecasted growth of these jobs, and learn how you can get in on the action.
1. Wind turbine service technicians
As the world moves toward sustainable energy sources, there will be more and more “green” jobs. Because of that, it makes sense that wind turbine service technicians are one of the fastest-growing jobs today. BLS predicts a whopping 108 percent growth outlook for this position over the next seven years.
You could make $52,260 per year installing and repairing wind turbines. Most technicians learn the trade at a technical school and gain plenty of hands-on experience. Besides ample training, the job has one more requirement: You can’t be afraid of heights.
2. Commercial divers
If you’re comfortable in the water, you might be interested in becoming a commercial diver, another of today’s fastest-growing jobs. BLS predicts 37 percent job growth for divers, where you could make $53,990 per year inspecting and repairing equipment underwater.
Most divers go to diving school; the best ones are accredited by the Association of Commercial Diving Educators. Although the work can be physically demanding, you’ll definitely have the most-unique workspace of all your friends.
3. Physical therapists
Physical therapists help their patients manage pain and recover from injury. As a physical therapist, you’ll show patients how to do therapeutic exercises and improve their mobility. You might incorporate alternative treatments, like yoga and massage therapy.
Most physical therapists complete a three-year doctor of physical therapy program. You might also need to complete an internship and meet state licensing requirements. This worthwhile job — which commands a median salary of $85,400 — is predicted to grow by an impressive 34 percent over the next few years.
Without statisticians, we might never have all this data about the fastest-growing careers. Statisticians collect and analyze data to understand patterns and predict trends. They can work in any field or industry, whether that’s in academia, private business, or government.
To become a statistician, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in statistics or math (though many employers also require a master’s degree). The job pays well, with a median salary of $80,500 per year. And here’s another statistic you’ll like: BLS predicts the job will by grow by 34 percent.
5. Nurse practitioner
Nurse practitioners are advanced registered nurses that largely share the same responsibilities as doctors. They examine patients, diagnose diseases, and give treatments. In 21 states, nurse practitioners can work independently of a physician.
Not only does this job help people in a major way, but it also pays well. According to the BLS, the median pay for nurse practitioners in 2016 was $107,460. What’s more, this career is expected to grow by 31 percent over the next few years, a rate much faster than the 7 percent national average for all occupations.
So, how can you snag one of the 53,400 positions expected to open up before 2024? You’ll need to become a registered nurse and earn your Master of Science in nursing. If you worry about accruing student debt while pursuing this career field, you’ll be happy to hear that nurses qualify for student loan forgiveness.
In addition to other requirements, you’ll need a license and certification in your state. You might need one, for instance, in an area such as pediatric care or family medicine. As a nurse practitioner, you’ll continue to take classes and earn credits throughout your career.
6. Ambulance drivers
Even with self-driving cars on the horizon, BLS expects ambulance drivers to be one of the fastest-growing careers. In fact, there could be 33 percent more ambulance drivers in 2024 than there were in 2014.
To work as an ambulance driver, you must complete 80 to 120 hours of basic EMT training. Plus, you’ll need to be able to handle high-pressure situations that involve medical emergencies. Although you’ll be helping save lives, the work doesn’t pay very well. The BLS puts the median salary at $23,850 per year.
7. Personal financial advisor
If you’re a wizard with your personal finances, you might excel at advising others. As a personal financial advisor, you’ll help individuals manage their finances. You might help with taxes, mortgages, or retirement planning.
You could work at a financial services firm or break out on your own as an independent contractor. Although requirements vary based on your specific role, most financial advisors have a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Plus, a master’s degree or certification could boost your credentials and attract clientele.
By advising others about their income, you’ll be making a median of $90,530 per year. And you don’t have to worry about your job getting taken over by robo-advisors — the BLS predicts that the number of personal financial advisors will grow by 30 percent before 2024.
Safeguard your future by pursuing the fastest-growing careers
With technology advancing at a rapid pace, it’s hard to predict what the future will look like. Some jobs that are common today could be replaced by machines before we know it.
You don’t want to find out the hard way that the job you have today will be gone tomorrow. If you’re still figuring out your career, consider training for one of the fastest-growing jobs listed above.
Check out data from the BLS to learn which careers are expanding and which ones are going the way of the gas lamplighter. That way, you can ensure job security — and financial well-being — for years to come.
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