The 6 Fastest-Growing Careers In The United States

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), we can expect some serious job growth in certain occupations over the coming years. In fact, in some lines of work we can expect nearly one million new jobs to become available for qualified applicants over the next decade.

The BLS published a report of the occupations expected to add the most jobs between 2012 and 2022. Here are six areas of employment which are expected to grow particularly fast, and what qualifications will be required from job-seekers.

6. Nurses (RNs and LPNs)
Thanks to an aging U.S. population and the push to provide access to health care to more Americans, it's no surprise that the need for health care workers such as nurses is expected to soar in the coming years. In fact, it is estimated that there will be more than 700,000 new nursing jobs created in the United States between LPNs and RNs over the next decade, which translates to growth of about 20%.

A Licensed Practical Nurse, or LPN, requires some education beyond high school and a certificate, and the average annual salary is $41,500 per year. For those who are willing to complete a degree, a Registered Nurse, or RN, requires an associate's degree, although many employers prefer a Bachelor's. Registered nurses earn an average of $65,470 per year and also have one of the lowest unemployment rates of all occupations.

flickr/ Studentky

5. Software Developers
With the rapid evolution in computing technology that is expected in the coming years, there will be a growing need for people who know how to create and optimize software.

The need for software developers is expected to grow by nearly 23% over the next decade, and those interested will need at least a bachelor's degree in the field. However, software developers are paid very well, with an average salary of just over $90,000 per year.

wikipedia/ Matthew (WMF)

4. Construction/Carpentry workers
The need for homes, offices, and other buildings is expected to rise over the coming years, and the need for skilled workers to build them is expected to rise with it.

There are expected to be more than 478,000 new jobs created in the fields by 2022, and they don't even require a high school diploma. Average salaries range from about $30,000 for construction laborers to about $40,000 for skilled carpenters.

flickr/ Paul Keheler

3. Medical Assistants
This job is a mix of traditional office work like answering phones and filling out insurance forms, with additional medical responsibilities like drawing blood and administering injections.

The aging population is expected to increase demand for medical assistants by 29%, and the job requires a post-high school certification program which usually takes about a year to complete. Once certified, the median salary for medical assistants was $29,370 as of the BLS's report.

flickr/ The National Guard

2. Medical Secretaries
A medical secretary's job can be described as managing the flow of patients through a doctor's office. Medical secretaries check patient in, collect co-payments, and obtain insurance information and also assist with medical reports and take patient histories. There are similar education requirements to medical assistants (usually a certificate is sufficient), and the median salary is slightly higher, at $31,350.

wikipedia/ AaronY

1. Personal Care Aides/ Home Health Aides
These occupations are perhaps the most direct beneficiaries of the aging Baby Boomer population, with demand expected to grow by more than 48% by 2022.

Personal care and home health aides perform household chores that patients are unable to do such as cooking and cleaning, and also may perform some nursing functions like bandaging wounds and bathing clients. There are no minimum education requirements, but there are some certification and training requirements for aides that receive funding from Medicare or Medicaid.

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Matthew Frankel

Matt brought his love of teaching and investing to the Fool in order to help people invest better, after several years as a math teacher. Matt specializes in writing about the best opportunities in bank stocks, real estate, and personal finance, but loves any investment at the right price. Follow me on Twitter to keep up with all of the best financial coverage!

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