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The 10 Highest Paying Jobs Of The Future
Wall Street 24x7 ^ | 09/09/2012

Posted on 09/09/2012 4:08:10 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

The U.S. unemployment rate peaked at 10% in October 2009 and has since slowly improved, flirting with 8% earlier this month.

Despite the downward trend, the rate is still more than double prerecession levels.

As the economy continues to recover and more people return to the workforce, many are trying to find the right career—one that is hiring and pays well.

Knowing which jobs will be in high demand and pay the most is a good place to start. To serve as a guide, 24/7 Wall St. identified the best paying jobs of the future. These jobs will grow the most in the next decade, some as much as 60% by 2020. They also have median salaries that are close to double the national average of $34,450, and in some cases more.

Many of these occupations will be in highest demand because of changes in the nation’s population and in the way the country’s businesses operate. Last year, the first baby boomers turned 65. As this generation gets older, increasing medical needs will require more health care professionals. Of the 10 high-paying, high-growth occupations we reviewed, six are in the medical field. Because most of these positions are in the medical field, many require at least a master’s degree, and in many cases a doctoral degree. However, four have less demanding educational requirements, including the three that are growing the most. A career as a sonographer, projected to grow 43.5% with a median salary of $64,380, typically just requires an associate’s degree.

24/7 Wall St. identified the best paying jobs that also will have the highest demand for new workers in the future based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ National Employment Matrix, which forecasts job growth between 2010 and 2020 for the bureau’s more-than 1,000 listed jobs.

The Matrix was used to identify the professions that are going to grow the most as a percentage of 2010 employment figures by 2020. Of those, we then narrowed the list to jobs that also had a median annual income of at least $60,000 in 2010, 75% higher than the $34,450 national median average, and at least 5,000 positions. Using the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics, 24/7 Wall St. also identified the states with the highest concentration of jobs as of May 2011.

These are the best paying jobs of the future.

1. Optometrists

Pct. increase: 33.1%

Total new jobs (2010-2020): 11,300

Median income: $94,990

States with the most jobs per capita:Hawaii, North Dakota, Montana

Optometrists specialize in the care of eyes and vision. Their responsibilities include diagnosing eye injuries and diseases, as well as prescribing glasses and contact lenses. In order to practice, they are required to have a Doctor of Optometry degree, presently awarded by just 20 accredited programs, and must be licensed by the National Boards in Optometry.

Those who meet these qualifications are often extremely well-compensated: the top 10% of optometrists earned in excess of $166,400. With vision problems becoming more frequent as people grow older, the number of optometrists is expected to rise by 33.1% between 2010 and 2020.

2. Occupational Therapists

Pct. increase: 33.5%

Total new jobs (2010-2020): 36,400

Median income: $72,320

States with the most jobs per capita:Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire

“Occupational therapists treat patients with injuries, illnesses, or disabilities through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They help patients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working,” according to the BLS. Becoming an occupational therapist requires a master’s degree, which generally takes two years to complete.

The number of occupational therapists is expected to reach 145,200 by 2020, as an aging baby-boomer generation looks to maintain its independence and stay active.

3. Veterinarians

Pct. increase: 35.9%

Total new jobs (2010-2020): 22,000

Median income: $82,040

States with the most jobs per capita:Montana, Colorado, Iowa

In addition to pets, veterinarians tend to sick livestock, laboratory animals and other critters. The BLS projects that the number of veterinarians will increase by 22,000, or 35.9%, between 2010 and 2020. A rising national pet population, as well as the need for additional food supply inspection as the U.S. population grows, are among the reasons for the strong job growth. To practice, veterinarians must obtain a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, currently awarded by just 28 colleges nationwide, as well as a state license.

4. Medical Specialists, Except Epidemiologists

Pct. increase: 36.4%

Total new jobs (2010-2020): 36,400

Median income: $76,700

States with the most jobs per capita:Massachusetts, California, Washington

Though the roles of medical scientists vary from job to job, all study biological systems to understand their effects on human health. Medical scientists often work for the federal government, at research universities or in the private sector.

By 2020, the number of medical scientists is projected to increase to more than 136,000, as the population of the United States grows and ages and the demand for prescription drugs rises. Educational requirements are quite high, with most positions asking for either a doctorate or a medical degree. The annual pay of the top 10% of medical scientists was $142,800.

5. Audiologists

Pct. increase: 36.8%

Total new jobs (2010-2020): 4,800

2010 Median annual wage: $66,660

States with the most jobs per capita: New Mexico, Colorado, West Virginia

Audiologists treat patients who have problems with their hearing, balance or ears. A doctoral degree is necessary, as is a state license, though exact requirements differ by state. Explaining projected job growth, the BLS notes that “hearing loss increases as people age, so an aging population is likely to increase demand for audiologists.”

There are not very many audiologists, and a projected 36.8% increase in jobs would bring the total number of audiologists to 17,800 by the end of the decade. Annual salaries exceeded $102,210 for the top 10% of audiologists.

6. Dental Hygienists

Pct. increase: 37.7%

Total new jobs (2010-2020): 68,500

Median income: $68,250

States with the most jobs per capita: Michigan, Utah, Idaho

From 2010 to 2020, the number of dental hygienists is projected to rise by 37.7% to more than 250,000. Factors driving ncreased demand for this occupation include ongoing research linking oral health to general health, as well as an aging population keeping more of its teeth. Dental hygienists typically do not need a professional degree or previous work experience, though they often need an associate’s degree and a license. Typical job responsibilities include cleaning teeth and taking dental X-rays.

7. Physical Therapists

Pct. increase: 39.0%

Total new jobs (2010-2020): 77,400

Median income: $76,310

States with the most jobs per capita:Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine

Physical therapists assist patients by helping to address and correct dysfunctional movement and pain. They are required to have a postgraduate professional degree, typically a Doctor of Physical Therapy, and a license.

Those completing these prerequisites join one of the fastest-growing professions in the country—by 2020, the number of positions is expected to rise by 39%.

The BLS states that “demand for physical therapy services will come, in large part, from the aging baby boomers, who are staying active later in life than previous generations did.” The top 10% of physical therapists earned more than $107,920.

8. Market Research Analysts And Marketing Specialists

Pct. increase: 41.2%

Total new jobs (2010-2020): 116,600

Median income: $60,570

States with the most jobs per capita: Delaware, Massachusetts, New York

Market research analysts work in most industries, monitoring and forecasting marketing and sales trends, as well as collecting and analyzing data on their companies’ products or services.

To become a market research analyst, a bachelor’s degree is typically required, though many analysts have a master’s degree. Citing increases in the use of market research across all industries, the BLS projects the number of positions in the field will rise to almost 400,000 by 2020. Top-earning market research analysts made more than $111,440 annually.

9. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

Pct. increase: 43.5%

Total new jobs (2010-2020): 23,400

Median income: $64,380

States with the most jobs per capita: Rhode Island, Florida, South Dakota

Diagnostic medical sonographers work in hospitals and other facilities, conducting ultrasounds on patients and analyzing the resulting images. The BLS projects an increase of 43.5% in the number of positions between 2010 and 2020, which would raise the total number of such jobs to 77,100.

Explaining the driving factors behind the growth, the BLS states that “as ultrasound technology evolves, it will be used as a substitute for procedures that are costly, invasive or expose patients to radiation.” Sonographers typically need an associate’s degree, and many employers prefer candidates to have professional certification. The top 10% of sonographers made more than $88,490 annually.

10. Biomedical Engineers

Pct. increase: 61.7%

Total new jobs (2010-2020): 9,700

Median income: $81,540

States with the most jobs per capita: Massachusetts, Utah, Minnesota

The work of biomedical engineers typically involves designing or maintaining biomedical equipment, such as artificial organs and X-ray machines. These jobs often require a great deal of technical knowledge in fields such as biology, engineering, math and chemistry. Because of this, a bachelor’s degree is typically needed. The professional requirements come with impressive compensation. The median income for such jobs was $81,540 and the top 10% earned more than $126,990.

Between 2010 and 2020, the number of biomedical engineers is projected to rise by 61.7%, more than four times the projected growth rate for all jobs, which is 14%. To explain its growth projections for the profession, the BLS cites the baby boomer generation’s growing demand for biomedical devices and procedures as it “seeks to maintain its healthy and active lifestyle.”

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Society
KEYWORDS: highestpaying; jobs; salary; wages
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1 posted on 09/09/2012 4:08:13 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

“physical therapists” please, no one can even get into physical therapy school from what I hear

2 posted on 09/09/2012 4:10:26 PM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: SeekAndFind

Forgot Concentration Camp Guard and Death Panel member which will be the real growth potions in Obama’s 2nd term.

3 posted on 09/09/2012 4:13:18 PM PDT by MNJohnnie (Giving more money to DC to fix the Debt is like giving free drugs to addicts think it will cure them)
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To: SeekAndFind

It is a good time to be old, not young.

4 posted on 09/09/2012 4:18:08 PM PDT by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: SeekAndFind

What is the difference between a physical therapist and an occupational therapist? (they both sound very similar to me)

5 posted on 09/09/2012 4:19:54 PM PDT by momtothree
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To: SeekAndFind

They’re all health-related. After Obamacare’s been around for awhile, I’ll bet they won’t be good occupations.

6 posted on 09/09/2012 4:20:14 PM PDT by popdonnelly (The first priority is get Obama out of the White House.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Of the 10 high-paying, high-growth occupations we reviewed, six are in the medical field.

I count 9 here.

All listed are medical except #8.

7 posted on 09/09/2012 4:21:51 PM PDT by what's up
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To: yldstrk

They offer those courses at every rinky-dink vocational school in L.A. How effective those courses are remain to be seen.

8 posted on 09/09/2012 4:22:13 PM PDT by max americana (Make the world a better place by punching a liberal in the face)
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To: SeekAndFind
Being a member of the Obamacare Death Panels will be the most lucrative occupation of all...

...think about how big the bribes will be from those you have the power to “euthanize.”

9 posted on 09/09/2012 4:25:43 PM PDT by Happy Rain ("Who needs Michelle? The MSM keep Obama satisfied.")
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To: SeekAndFind

0. Scammers and swindlers

Pct. increase: 141.2%

Total new jobs (2010-2020): 216,600

Median income: $160,570

States with the most jobs per capita: Florida, Illinois, New York.

Swindlers and scammers are constantly scanning new developments in business, government and society. They find flaws in these developments while they are still being adopted, and get off with large sums of money before anyone realizes that they are being rooked.

To become a swindler or scammer, the ability to do self-directed research and analysis is required. A practical background in math and some technical skills may be required, although many scammers rely purely on social skills that are easily picked up. Self-confidence, impudence, and quick decisive action are the most important skills needed.

10 posted on 09/09/2012 4:37:40 PM PDT by proxy_user
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To: momtothree

Physical therapists concentrate on muscle, nerve and bone problems.

Occupational therapists deal with “activities of daily living.” Including eating, talking, dressing oneself, etc.

11 posted on 09/09/2012 4:38:22 PM PDT by maica
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To: maica

Thank you, maica! Both sound like interesting work IMHO.

12 posted on 09/09/2012 4:44:26 PM PDT by momtothree
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To: MNJohnnie
I guess being a Soldier Of The Future is out for an occupation.

13 posted on 09/09/2012 4:47:54 PM PDT by wally_bert (There are no winners in a game of losers. I'm Tommy Joyce, welcome to the Oriental Lounge.)
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To: SeekAndFind

How about carbon credit manipulators?

14 posted on 09/09/2012 4:50:44 PM PDT by beethovenfan (If Islam is the solution, the "problem" must be freedom.)
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To: MNJohnnie

Plus IRS employees to enforce Obamacare.

15 posted on 09/09/2012 5:09:18 PM PDT by heye2monn
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To: SeekAndFind

And the money to pay them will come from the magical, growing mountain of debt.

16 posted on 09/09/2012 5:12:15 PM PDT by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of rotten politics smelled around the world.)
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To: yldstrk

What I’ve been hearing for years is that there are way too many PT and OT graduates for the available positions. Insurance now limits PT visits and has restricted their activities for quite awhile. I have heard some MDs comment about PT :”I don’t know what they do down there.”

I know some private practice vets. Life is hard. Their large animal clients have retired or went bankrupt or sold out before either happened. Herds remaining are diminished. Lots of competition for small animal work,margins have risen, if you aren’t a sole practitioner w/an established practice and loyal clients, the positions available are in corporate practices as an associate.

Can’t speak for the rest, but my hygienist was crying the blues 4 years ago because people were being laid off and losing insurance and new jobs had minimal insurance that didn’t cover her work.

Now, let’s have some balance and also hear what it costs to get these degrees.

17 posted on 09/09/2012 5:13:52 PM PDT by reformedliberal
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To: SeekAndFind

1. Baby momma median income 60,000 tax free
2. Baby daddy / crack dealer median income unlimited but short life expectancy
3. Political money laundering, median income unlimited
4. Political hack, median income all you can steal
5. Presidential boy toy
6. Social organizer
7. EPA Regulator
8. Food cop
9. Gun runner
10. False flag organizer

Shrinking lines of work or classes of population

1. Small businessman
2. Self-funded retiree becoming all but non-existent
3. Patriots
4. Free people

18 posted on 09/09/2012 5:14:41 PM PDT by Sequoyah101 (Half the people are below average, they voted for oblabla.)
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To: SeekAndFind

These are the “top paying jobs of the future?” Really? How depressing.

19 posted on 09/09/2012 5:16:20 PM PDT by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
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To: what's up

And, the problem with #8 is that it can be done, at least in theory, from anywhere in the world. Practical experience is that cultural factors have shown the difficulty in outsourcing parts of these jobs, at least. But the threat will tend to hold salaries down, I think.

20 posted on 09/09/2012 5:26:06 PM PDT by bigbob
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