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The Five Fastest-Growing Jobs

Despite continuing mostly gloomy news about unemployment, a new book has some very good news: Some industries are growing rapidly.

Career expert Dr. Laurence Shatkin Ph.D., helped research and develop the book, "100 Fastest-Growing Careers."

And he pointed to the five fastest-growing areas on "The Early Show on Saturday Morning."

How Did He Compile the List?

Shatkin told CBS News:

"I used the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Labor, which provides growth projections through 2018 for 288 major jobs that encompass 90 percent of the workforce. I started by sorting all of those jobs based on their percent of the projected growth through 2018, from highest to lowest. I then sorted the jobs based on the projected number of annual new job openings, also from highest to lowest. For these 288 jobs, the average (mean) growth rate is 10.6 percent, and the average number of openings annually is 15,692.

"From these two lists I created a third list based on the relative position of each job on the first two lists. I did this by adding the score for each job's position on the lists. For example, a job with a high percentage of growth and a high number of new job openings appears toward the top.

"Perhaps you're wondering why I use figures for both job growth and number of openings. Aren't these two ways of saying the same thing? Actually, both are important. A job may have a fast growth rate overall, but it may be a relatively small occupation with not many people employed in it. So jobs with both a high rate of growth and many openings offer the best opportunity."

THE FIVE FASTEST GROWING JOBS

1. Home Health Aides and Personal and Home Care Aides

Percent Growth Through 2018: 48 percent
Annual Job Openings: 103,050; greater demand in places where people retire, such as the Sun Belt.
Median Annual Earnings: $9.46 median hourly wage-and-salary for personal and home care aides. $9.85 median hourly-wage for home health aides.
Education and Training: Home health aides must receive formal training and pass a competency test to work for certified home health or hospice agencies that receive reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid. Personal home care aides, however, face a wide range of requirements, which vary from state to state. Home health aides and personal and home care aides are usually trained on the job by registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, experienced aides, or their supervisors.
Industries Employing the Largest Numbers of Personal and Home Care Aides
Individual and family services; employment services; residential mental retardation, mental health and substance abuse facilities; vocational rehabilitation services; and home health care services.
Industries Employing the Largest Numbers of Home Health Aides
Nursing care facilities; residential mental retardation, mental health and substance abuse facilities; home health care services; individual and family services; and community care facilities for the elderly.
Significant Points:
• Job opportunities are expected to be excellent because of rapid growth in home health care and high replacement needs.
• Training requirements vary from state to state, the type of home services agency, and funding source covering the costs of services.
• Many of these workers work part time and weekends or evenings to suit the needs of their clients.

Computer Network, Systems, and Database Administrators

Percent Growth Through 2018: 30 percent
Annual Job Openings: 46,080; most openings in urban areas.
Median Annual Earnings: $67,710 for network and computer systems administrators. $71,550 for database administrators.
Education and Training: Required to have a bachelor's degree, although an associate degree or professional certification, along with related work experience, may be adequate for some positions. Most of these workers begin as computer support specialists before advancing into network or systems administration positions. Common majors for network and systems administrators are computer science, information science and management information systems (MIS).
Industries Employing the Largest Numbers of Network and Computer Systems Administrators:
Management of companies and enterprises; computer systems design and related services; wired telecommunications carriers; colleges, universities, and professional schools; and elementary and secondary schools.
Significant Points:
• Employment is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations and add 286,600 new jobs over the 2008-2018 decade.
• Excellent job prospects are expected.
• Workers can enter this field with many different levels of formal education, but relevant computer skills are always needed.

3. Registered Nurses

Percent Growth Through 2018: 22 percent
Annual Job Openings: 103,900; good opportunities in almost all geographic locations.
Median Annual Earnings: $63,750 for registered nurses.
Education and Training: There are three typical educational paths to registered nursing-a bachelor's of science degree in nursing (BSN), an associate degree in nursing (AND), and a diploma. BSN programs, offered by colleges and universities, take about 4 years to complete. AND programs, offered by community and junior colleges, take about 2 to 3 years to complete. Diploma programs, administered in hospitals, last about 3 years.
Industries Employing the Largest Numbers of Registered Nurses
Employment services; general medical and surgical hospitals; offices of physicians; home health care services; and nursing care facilities.
Significant Points:
• Registered nurses constitute the largest health-care occupation, with 2.6 million jobs.
• About 60 percent of registered nursing jobs are in hospitals.
• Overall job opportunities are expected to be excellent, but may vary by employment and geographic setting; some employers report difficulty in attracting and retaining an adequate number of registered nurses.

4. Medical Assistants

Percent Growth Through 2018: 34 percent
Annual Job Openings: 21,780; good opportunities in almost all geographic locations.
Median Annual Earnings: $28,650 for wage-and-salary medical assistants. *The earnings of medical assistants vary, depending on their experience, skill level, and location.
Education and Training: Medical assisting programs are offered in vocational-technical high schools, postsecondary vocational schools, and community and junior colleges. Postsecondary programs usually last either 1 year and result in a certificate or diploma, or 2 years and result in an associate degree. Formal training in medical assisting, while generally preferred, is not required. Many medical assistants are trained on the job, and usually only need to have a high school diploma or the equivalent.
Industries Employing the Largest Numbers of Medical Assistants:
General medical and surgical hospitals; colleges, universities, and professional schools; offices of physicians; outpatient care centers; and offices of other health practitioners.
Significant Points:
• Job prospects should be excellent.
• About 62 percent of medical assistants work in offices of physicians.
• Some medical assistants are trained on the job, but many complete one-year or two-year programs.

5. Accountants and Auditors

Percent Growth Through 2018: 22 percent
Annual Job Openings: 49,750; most openings in urban areas.
Median Annual Earnings: $60,340 for wage and salary accountants and auditors.
Education and Training: Need at least a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field. Some employers prefer applicants with a master's degree in accounting or with a master's degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting. Many accountants and auditors choose to obtain certification to help advance their careers, such as becoming a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
Industries Employing the Largest Numbers of Accountants and Auditors:
Accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services; management of companies and enterprises; insurance carriers; local government; and state government.
Significant Points:
• Most jobs require at least a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field.
• Job opportunities should be favorable; those who have earned professional recognition through certification or licensure, especially a CPA, should enjoy the best prospects.
• Much-faster-than-average employment growth will result from an increase in the number of businesses, changing financial laws and regulations, and greater scrutiny of company finances.

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