Industries With Job Growth

Five double-digit-growth industries for career changers

With the presidential election behind us, politicians may pay less attention to the unemployment rate for a while. But if you’re among the millions of Americans who are unemployed or underemployed, you may be considering a career change. The good news is the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) – which tracks employment trends in the U.S. – predicts double-digit growth in a number of industries between now and 2016.

Since the ability to manage and pay off debt is directly dependent on your income, adding dollars to your paycheck is an important way to decrease credit card balances and increase savings.

Here are five that the BLS expects to grow by nearly 30 percent in the next few years:

1. Brick layers – One problem with many growth industries is the amount of education you need to enter them. If you don’t have a college degree – or the time and money to get one – you can feel shut out. Here’s one industry where you can enter the work force with just a high school diploma and an on-the-job apprenticeship. Demand for brick masons will grow by 40 percent, the BLS predicts. The median pay for brick layers in 2010 was $45,410 per year.

2. Dental hygienists – Want a career in a healthcare related field without the investment of 12 years in college? Demand for dental hygienists will grow by 38 percent, according to the BLS. You’ll need a specialized associate’s degree to get into this field. The median pay in 2010 was $68,250 per year.

3. Occupational therapists – If you already have a bachelor’s degree in a healthcare related field and are looking to move into a growth area, occupational therapy jobs are expected to increase by 33 percent. Occupational therapists help patients with injuries, illnesses or disabilities to develop, recover and improve skills for daily living and working. You’ll need a master’s degree and the 2010 median income was $72,320.

4. Pharmacy technicians – If you’re seeing a pattern here, it’s no fluke. Healthcare related industries are expected to grow by leaps and bounds, in large part due to the aging of the population and the expectation of increased demands on the industry. Pharmacy technicians can earn $28,400 or more (the 2010 median), and need only a high school diploma to enter the field. The BLS predicts this industry will grow by 32 percent.

5. Tapers – Those who enjoy working with their hands, and who don’t have the inclination of resources for college, may find a home in this industry. Demand for drywall and ceiling tile installers and tapers is expected to grow 29 percent. You can enter the field with a high school degree (or less) and some on-the-job training, and expect to earn about $38,290 (2010 median pay).

Career changers can find plenty of opportunities in these and other growth industries. Researching growth and staying on top of what you’ll need to do to prepare for a career change will set you up for success when deciding if a move is right for you.

Source: BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook, www.bls.gov/ooh