July 29, 2011
Five hot jobs: Digital age, aging population reshape employment projections
The Associated Press
If you’ve been fantasizing about becoming a farmer, it’s time to pick another daydream. No other occupation category has seen a bigger decline, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Twitter strategist or massage therapist? Now you’re talking.
A million new jobs are forecast to be created by 2018, propelled by health care, financial services, information technology and science occupations that are expected to see some of the greatest demand. Here are five fast-growing jobs that may be of interest to second-career seekers.
The number of accounting jobs is projected to grow 22 percent by 2018, according to the Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, as companies put a premium on their finances.
Attending graduate business school is the surest way to a lucrative accountant’s position with a major corporation. But those looking to restart their careers with a less-costly option can complete accounting certification programs in less than a year and still average $100,000 once they are certified, according to the Institute of Management Accountants.
Despite some layoffs and outsourcing of domestic jobs, work in the computer and IT-related fields continues to expand rapidly with no end in sight.
No IT occupation is hotter than network systems and data communications specialist. The government projections identified it as the No. 2 job in terms of expected growth over the coming decade, behind biomedical engineer and just ahead of home health aide.
Other booming IT occupations include computer software engineer, computer and information research scientist, network and computer systems administrator, and computer systems analyst.
Massage is a young industry that’s growing by leaps and bounds as more people learn about the benefits of massage therapy. It’s used to treat ailments, reduce stress, rehabilitate sports injuries and promote general health.
Therapists typically work 25 to 30 hours a week and average $37,000 to $45,000 a year working in a chiropractor’s office, spa or freestanding therapy business. It’s physically and mentally demanding work, says Michele Merhib, founder of Elements Therapeutic Massage, a franchise business.
It typically costs $7,000 to $12,000 to get the education and training required for licensing as a certified massage therapist, according to Merhib.
The number of massage therapists is projected to grow by 19 percent from 2008 to 2018, with more than 23,000 new jobs.
Caregiver for seniors
At $10 to $12 an hour, jobs in senior care pay far less than those of registered nurses and physician assistants, two of the most in-demand jobs in health care. But they are much easier to qualify for, and may be more plentiful as the 65-and-over population doubles from the current 37 million to 74 million by 2030.
Caregivers enable seniors to stay in their homes by assisting them with dressing, shopping, housekeeping, meal preparation, bathing and errands. They can get the required training to become a certified nurse’s aide or home health aide through community colleges or other accredited programs.
Caregiving jobs appeal most to empty nesters and those looking to work 20-25 hours a week and do something meaningful, says Peter Ross, founder and CEO of Senior Helpers.
“It’s not a high-paying job, but it’s an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life,” he says.
The social-media field is starting to take off, jobs-wise, as companies embrace a new type of marketing. Recent college grads have the edge as employers seek members of the younger generation to help target that demographic.
While many of the jobs available to college students or new grads are for social-media interns, the average salary for social-media jobs is $55,000, according to Simply Hired, a search-engine company that compiles online-jobs databases.
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