Ten Hottest Careers: 2010
Fastest Growing Occupations
2004 – 2014
Computer and healthcare jobs will be the hot ticket for the next several years. In fact, out of the top 10 fastest-growing jobs in the country, half are in healthcare and half are in computers. Rapid growth will continue to increase demand for workers in the computer and healthcare industries.
- Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts
Hot Ranking: #1
Average Salary Range: $46,480 – $78,060
Demand continues for network systems and data communication analysts. Within the next decade, the demand for more complex technologies will grow. And that means up to a 54 percent increase in growth. That makes this our no. 1 hot job. Network systems and data communications analysts design, test and evaluate systems such as:
- Local area networks (LANs)
- Wide area networks (WANs)
- The Internet and intranets
- Other data communications systems
Network systems and data communications analysts also research hardware and software products. Drawing from this research, they make necessary recommendations. A Bachelor’s degree is a prerequisite for many jobs. Relevant work experience is also very important. For more technically complex jobs, employers prefer candidates with graduate degrees.
- Medical Assistants
Hot Ranking: #2
Average Salary Range: $20,650 – $28,930 a year
Because of growth in the healthcare industry, the field of medical assisting continues to grow. In fact, the need for medical assistants will increase by an expected 52 percent in the next 10 years. Medical assistants perform administrative and clinical tasks to keep the offices of physicians and other health practitioners running smoothly. Medical assistants handle both administrative and clinical duties. They report directly to an office manager or physician. Most employers prefer graduates of formal programs in medical assisting. Many vocational-technical high schools, career colleges, academies and junior colleges offer medical assisting programs.
- Physician Assistant
Hot Ranking: #3
Average Salary Range: $57,110 – $83,560 a year
Demand continues to grow for physician assistants. In the next 10 years, the need for physician assistants will rise by nearly 50 percent. Physician assistants practice medicine under the supervision of physicians and surgeons. They perform diagnostic, therapeutic and preventative services. Routine tasks include:
- Examining and treating patients
- Ordering lab tests or X-rays
- Treating minor injuries
All states require that physician assistants complete an accredited, formal education program. They must also pass a national exam to obtain a license.
- Computer Application Software Engineers
Hot Ranking: #4
Average Salary Range: $59,130 – $92,130 a year
Computer-related positions continue to lead the job market. In the next decade, the need for computer applications software engineers will increase by 48 percent. Computer applications software engineers analyze users’ needs. With that information, they design, construct and maintain general computer applications software or specialized utility programs. Software engineers must possess strong programming skills. However, they are more concerned with developing algorithms and analyzing and solving programming problems than with actually writing code. Most employers prefer to hire those who have at least a Bachelor’s degree. Desirable candidates should also have broad knowledge of and experience with a variety of computer systems and technologies. Applications software engineers usually have degrees in computer science or software engineering.
- Physical Therapist Assistants
Hot Ranking: #5
Average Salary Range: $31,060 – $44,050 a year
Within the next 10 years, demand for physical therapist assistants will continue. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that this job will grow by 44 percent from 2004 – 2014. Under the supervision of physical therapists, assistants work with patients. Tasks assigned to assistants involve several forms of therapy including:
- Electrical stimulation
Assistants record the patient’s responses to treatment and report the outcome of each treatment to the physical therapist. Physical therapist assistants typically earn an Associate degree from an accredited physical therapist assistant program. Not all states require licensure or registration in order for the physical therapist assistant to practice.
- Dental Hygienists
Hot Ranking: #6
Average Salary Range: $22.72 – $33.82 an hour
The need for dental hygienists continues to grow. In response to increasing demands for dental care, jobs for dental hygienists will expectedly grow by 43 percent over the next decade. Dental hygienists provide a number of services for dental patients including:
- Removing soft and hard deposits from teeth
- Teaching patients how to practice good oral hygiene
- Providing other preventive dental care
Dental hygienists must be licensed by the state in which they practice. To qualify for licensure in nearly all states, a candidate must graduate from an accredited dental hygiene school. They must also pass both a written and clinical examination.
- Computer Systems Software Engineers
Hot Ranking: #7
Average Salary Range: $63,150 – $98,220 a year
As the demand for new technologies continues to increase, so does the need for computer systems software engineers. Job growth in this field will increase by 43 percent in the next 10 years. Computer systems software engineers work within a company to configure, implement and install complete computer systems. They examine computer needs of different departments. They also make suggestions about the company’s technical direction. Typically, those in the computer science or computer information systems field have a Bachelor’s degree.
- Dental Assistants
Hot Ranking: #8
Average Salary Range: $11.06 – $16.65 an hour
Dental assistants are in demand. In the next 10 years, the number of dental assistant positions will rise by 42 percent. Dental assistants perform a variety of patient care, office and laboratory duties. Assistants also:
- Sterilize and disinfect instruments and equipment
- Prepare trays of instruments for dental procedures
- Instruct patients on postoperative and general oral health care
Assistants must be a second pair of hands for a dentist. Therefore, dentists look for people who are reliable, work well with others, and have good manual dexterity. An increasing number of dental assistants are trained in programs offered by career colleges, academies, junior colleges or the armed forces.
- Network and Computer Systems Administrators
Hot Ranking: #9
Average Salary Range: $46,260 – $73,620 a year
Emerging technologies continue to revolutionize business. That’s why network and computer systems administrators continue to be in demand. The number of jobs in this field will increase by 38 percent in the next 10 years. Network administrators design, install and support an organization’s:
- Local area networks (LANs)
- Wide area networks (WANs)
- Internet and intranet systems
Entry-level network and computer systems administrators maintain and monitor computer systems. They typically work behind the scenes in an organization. After gaining experience and expertise, they are often able to advance into more senior-level positions. At senior levels, they take on more responsibilities. For systems administrators, many employers seek applicants with Bachelor’s degrees, although not necessarily in a computer-related field.
- Database Administrators
Hot Ranking: #10
Average Salary Range: $44,490 – $81,140 a year
Organizations continue to adopt and integrate sophisticated technologies. So naturally, the need for database administrators continues to grow. In the next 10 years, the number of jobs in this field will grow by 38 percent. The volume of sensitive data is growing rapidly. This means that the increasingly important aspects of a database administrator’s job are:
- Data integrity
- Backup systems
- Database security
Database administrators work with database management software. They determine ways to organize and store data. They identify user requirements, set up computer databases, and coordinate modifications to the computer database systems. For database administrator positions, many employers seek applicants who have a Bachelor’s degree in computer science, information science or management information systems (MIS).