Accessibility information 

OOQ Online banner

Winter 2013–14 Vol. 57, Number 4

Occupational employment


<< Previous

Home Next >>

When choosing a career, jobseekers often want to know which occupations offer the best prospects. Generally, occupations that have rapid job growth, many new jobs, or many job openings—and good wages—promise better opportunities.

This section shows how employment in particular occupations is projected to change between 2012 and 2022. Many of the charts in this section show the occupations or occupational groups that are expected to grow fastest (highest percent growth) or gain the most jobs (highest numeric growth) in the coming decade.

Between 2012 and 2022, overall employment is projected to grow by about 11 percent. This overall growth rate is shown as a dotted vertical line in the first and fourth charts.

But when it comes to employment prospects, job growth tells only part of the story. Job openings for workers also come from the need to replace workers who retire or otherwise leave an occupation permanently. Some of the charts show the occupations that are expected to have the most openings for workers who are entering the occupation; these charts show projected openings both from job growth and from replacement needs.

Growth by occupational group

Most charts in this section focus on detailed occupations. To better illustrate general employment trends, however, charts at the beginning of the section show employment growth in broad groups of similar occupations. The federal government classifies workers into groups using the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. Aggregate occupational groups analyzed for the 2012–22 projections are in the table below:

Occupational groups analyzed for the 2012–22 projections, with examples of occupations

Aggregate occupational group

Examples

Management, business, and financial

Management analysts, cost estimators, accountants and auditors

Computer, engineering, and science

Computer systems analysts, civil engineers, medical scientists

Education, legal, community service, arts, and media

Rehabilitation counselors, teacher assistants, coaches and scouts

Healthcare practitioners and technical

Physical therapists, registered nurses, pharmacy technicians

Service

Home health aides, bartenders, childcare workers

Sales and related

Cashiers, retail salespersons, insurance sales agents

Office and administrative support

Customer service representatives, general office clerks, medical secretaries

Farming, fishing, and forestry

Agricultural inspectors, fishers and related fishing workers, fallers

Construction and extraction

Carpenters, construction laborers, oil and gas roustabouts

Installation, maintenance, and repair

Automotive service technicians and mechanics, HVAC mechanics and installers, general maintenance and repair workers

Production

Team assemblers, bakers, machinists

Transportation and material moving

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, taxi drivers and chauffeurs, hand packers and packagers

Growth by education assignment

To help guide students and jobseekers, some charts show occupations by education assignment. These charts are grouped by the typical level of education most workers need to enter an occupation: graduate degree, bachelor's degree, associate's degree or postsecondary non-degree award, high school diploma or equivalent, or less than a high school diploma.

  • Completion of a graduate degree typically requires a bachelor's degree plus 1 or 2 years of full-time study for a master's degree or at least 3 years of full-time study for a doctoral or professional degree.
  • Completion of a bachelor's degree typically requires at least 4 years of full-time study beyond high school.
  • Completion of an associate's degree typically requires 2 years of full-time study beyond high school. Postsecondary non-degree award programs typically last from several weeks to 1 year or more beyond high school.

Although the charts in this section are arranged by education assignment, columns within each chart also provide information about the work experience and training assignments for the occupations. Assignments for work experience in a related occupation are indicated in the appropriate column as follows: 5 years or more (5+), less than 5 years (<5), or none (N).

Assignments for on-the-job training typically needed to attain competency in an occupation are indicated in the appropriate column as follows: internship/residency (I/R), apprenticeship (A), long-term (L), moderate-term (M), short-term (S), or none (N).

  • An internship or residency is generally supervised in a professional setting and may occur before a worker is employed. Completion of the program is commonly required for state licensure or certification in some fields.
  • Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job training with occupation-specific instruction. Most programs last between 3 and 5 years.
  • Long-term on-the-job training lasts more than 12 months and either includes training on the job or combines work experience with formal instruction.
  • Moderate-term on-the-job training includes informal instruction and training on the job that lasts more than 1 month and up to 12 months.
  • Short-term on-the-job training includes informal training on the job or experience of 1 month or less.

Wages

Wages include hourly, weekly, or annual pay that people receive for the work that they do. Sales commissions, tips, and production bonuses also are part of the wages shown in these charts, but overtime pay and nonproduction bonuses are not.

For individual occupations, most charts include May 2012 median annual wage data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program. The median wage is the point at which half of the workers in an occupation earned more than the amount, and half earned less. In May 2012, the median annual wage for all workers was $34,750.

The highest median annual wage among the occupations in a given chart is in boldface type. For occupations with a median annual wage of more than $187,200, a specific wage figure is not given because the OES survey does not publish wage data above this amount. In these cases, the charts show that the median wage was greater than or equal to (≥) $187,200. Wages in these charts are for wage and salary workers only. Self-employed workers are not included in these measurements.

 

Percent change by occupational group

Percent change in employment by major occupational group, projected 2012–22

Projected percent change in employment measures the rate of expected growth or decline for each major occupational group between 2012 and 2022. Of the 22 major SOC groups analyzed for these projections, nearly half are expected to grow as fast as or faster than the average for overall projected employment growth during the decade.

 

Numeric change by occupational group

Numeric change in employment by major occupational group, projected 2012–22, in thousands of jobs

Projected numeric change in employment is the number of new jobs expected to be added to each major occupational group between 2012 and 2022. Of the 22 major SOC groups analyzed, the only group projected to lose jobs is farming, fishing, and forestry.

 

Job openings by occupational group

Job openings by major occupational group, projected 2012–22, in thousands of openings

This chart shows the number of job openings that the major occupational groups are projected to have over the 2012–22 decade. Openings for new workers occur not only when jobs are added to the economy but also when current workers leave an occupation permanently. In most of these occupations, the need to replace workers who leave an occupation is projected to create more job openings than those expected from job growth.

Fastest growing occcupations

Percent growth in employment, projected 2012–22

Projected percent growth in employment measures how fast an occupation is expected to add jobs. The 20 occupations in the chart are projected to grow the fastest over the 2012–22 decade. Many of these fast-growing occupations are related to healthcare.

 

Most new jobs

Numeric growth in employment, projected 2012–22, in thousands of jobs

Projected numeric growth in employment measures how many new jobs are expected to be added in each occupation. These 20 occupations are projected to gain the most new jobs from 2012 to 2022 and account for about 38 percent of all jobs expected to be added over the decade.

 

Most job openings

Job openings due to growth and replacement needs, projected 2012–22, in thousands of openings

These occupations are projected to have the most job openings due to growth and the need to replace workers who leave the occupation permanently. Many of these are service-related occupations, which are projected to have numerous openings over the 2012–22 decade. For most of the occupations in this chart, the need to replace workers leaving the occupation is projected to create more openings than those expected from job growth.

 

Graduate degree

Occupations that have the most growth and that typically require a master's, doctoral, or professional degree to enter the occupation, projected 2012–22, in thousands of jobs

Of occupations that typically require a master's, doctoral, or professional degree for entry, these are projected to add the most new jobs between 2012 and 2022. An increasing need for treatment of obesity, diabetes, and other diseases in the population is expected to account for some of the growth in healthcare occupations.

 

Occupations that have the most job openings and that typically require a master's, doctoral, or professional degree to enter the occupation, projected 2012–22, in thousands of openings

Of occupations that typically require a master's, doctoral, or professional degree for entry, these are projected to have the most job openings between 2012 and 2022. Job openings in healthcare and social services occupations are expected to arise, in part, from the needs of an aging population.

 

Bachelor's degree

Occupations that have high growth and that typically require a bachelor's degree to enter the occupation, projected 2012–22, in thousands of jobs

Of selected occupations that typically require a bachelor's degree for entry, these are projected to add the most new jobs between 2012 and 2022. As businesses continue to rely heavily on technology, computer-related occupations such as software developers and computer systems analysts are expected to experience high growth.

 

Occupations that have many job openings and that typically require a bachelor's degree to enter the occupation, projected 2012–22, in thousands of openings

Of selected occupations that typically require a bachelor's degree for entry, these are projected to have the most job openings between 2012 and 2022. The large number of projected openings for teachers reflects the many teaching jobs that exist, the need to replace teachers who are expected to retire, and rising student enrollments.

 

Associate's degree or postsecondary non-degree award

Occupations that have the most growth and that typically require an associate's degree or postsecondary non-degree award to enter the occupation, projected 2012–22, in thousands of jobs

Of occupations that typically require an associate's degree or postsecondary non-degree award for entry, these are projected to have the most job growth between 2012 and 2022. Most of the occupations are in healthcare, which is projected to add many jobs in response to the needs of an aging population and those seeking treatment for disease.

 

Occupations that have the most job openings and that typically require an associate's degree or postsecondary non-degree award to enter the occupation, projected 2012–22, in thousands of openings

Of occupations that typically require an associate's degree or postsecondary non-degree award for entry, these are projected to have the most job openings between 2012 and 2022. Healthcare occupations are projected to have many job openings as medical advances increase the average life span and create new options for treating disease.

 

High school diploma or equivalent

Occupations that have high growth and that typically require a high school diploma or equivalent to enter the occupation, projected 2012–22, in thousands of jobs

Of selected occupations that typically require a high school diploma or equivalent for entry, these are projected to have the most job growth from 2012 to 2022. Most of the occupations require that workers get some form of on-the-job training to attain competency.

 

Occupations that have many job openings and that typically require a high school diploma or equivalent to enter the occupation, projected 2012–22, in thousands of openings

Of selected occupations that typically require a high school diploma or equivalent for entry, these are projected to have the most job openings between 2012 and 2022. Duties in several of these occupations, including first-line supervisors, often involve the direction of workers with less seniority. These supervisory occupations typically require some work experience in a related occupation, in addition to a high school diploma or equivalent.

 

Less than a high school diploma

Occupations that have the most growth and that typically require less than a high school diploma to enter the occupation, projected 2012–22, in thousands of jobs

Of occupations that typically require less education than a high school diploma for entry, these are projected to have the most job growth between 2012 and 2022. Personal care aides and home health aides together are projected to add more than 1 million new jobs, largely because their services are expected to be in demand as the population ages.

 

Occupations that have the most job openings and that typically require less than a high school diploma to enter the occupation, projected 2012–22, in thousands of openings

Of occupations that typically require less education than a high school diploma for entry, these are projected to have the most job openings between 2012 and 2022. Several of these occupations are related to food service. Most of these occupations are expected to have high numbers of job openings over the decade because of the need to replace existing workers who leave the occupations permanently.

 

Most job losses

Decline in employment by selected occupation, projected 2012–22, in thousands of jobs

These selected occupations are projected to lose numerous jobs over the 2012–22 decade. There are many reasons why occupations experience declines in employment, including increasing worker productivity. Even in these occupations, however, the need to replace workers who leave is expected to create some job opportunities.

<< Previous

Home Next >>

 

How to best view PDF files Download the PDF of the entire article.

 


BLS homepage  DOL hompage
E-Mail: ooqinfo@bls.gov
Last Updated: December 16, 2013