A few weeks ago I discussed the positive trend for college students better anticipating the job market and preparing accordingly. What current and future careers are offering the best prospects for young people? But this information is also for those stuck in low-paying or jobs unsuitable for them. I include both college educated and those without a full degree.
For a good starting point, go to www.bls.gov/emp/. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has more data than you could ever dream of or want. Its website also has employment projections listed comparing actual employment during 2012 (with median income earned) with the numbers expected in 2022.
Concerning the 30 fastest growing occupations, you can quickly see the pattern. The most common denominator is human health-care of all stripes and colors. They range from personal care aides, median 2012 income of $19,910, to physician assistants, at $90,930. The first category is expected to be the number two in growth of 48.8 percent in ten years.
The fastest rate of growth is expected for industrial psychologists at 53.4 percent, but this will still be an extremely small number of people. Science education will obviously still be the key for all health-care workers. As a health-care consumer myself, I hope these folks have great people-caring skills too.
If you are more of a construction type of person, there will be a lot of potential too. The fourth fastest growing vocation is insulation workers. Seventh category is that of helpers for brick masons, stone masons, and similar skilled craftsmen. The actual brick masons and stone masons are on the list too, just with somewhat slower growth.
The government bureau also lists these by the greatest change in workers needed. That list is similar but contains retail sales, food preparation, administrative assistants, customer service reps, and general managers in the top ten. Even in these areas, the workers with the most education and the best work ethic and attitudes will be able to rise in responsibility and pay.
For those who don’t mind getting their hands dirty and studying STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), welding as an occupation has a terrific potential. The average age of welders in the U.S. is 55, and the American Welding Society estimates that by 2020, there will be a shortage of 290,000 in the field. Manufacturing is clearly on the upswing, aided by the boom in energy development from Texas to North Dakota and east to Pennsylvania.
But exercise caution in choosing a college or technical school. Some are more than willing to take your money even though you may not have a good job at the end of the training. However, read an encouraging report by Matthew Philips about welding at www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-03-20. The best advice I ever received was to pursue the field I would enjoy working in even if I didn’t need the money. If you enjoy it that much, it won’t feel so much like work.
(Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Advice is intended to be general in nature. Statistics from Worden Brothers, Inc., TC2000, 2014.)
Ron Finke is president of Stewardship Capital in Independence. Stewardship Capital is a registered investment adviser. Reach Finke at firstname.lastname@example.org.