Industries and occupations related to health care, personal care and social assistance, and construction are projected to have the fastest job growth between 2010 and 2020.
As the population continues to age, older groups of Americans are expected to have more rapid growth than younger groups. The 16-to-24 age group is anticipated to experience little population change, with a growth rate of 0.3 percent during 2010–20, while the population ages 25 to 34 is projected to grow 10.5 percent over same timeframe. Meanwhile, the 45-to-54 age group is expected to shrink by 7.6 percent, reflecting the slower birthrate following the baby-boom generation. As the baby boomers continue to age, the 55-and-older population is projected to increase by 29.1 percent, more than any other age group.
With only one spouse working, most of these jobs that do not require a bachelor’s degree are unlikely to support a middle-class lifestyle for a family. But for a two-wage earner family, these jobs can provide a reasonably comfortable lifestyle. Here are the income figures for the five occupations projected to add the greatest number of new jobs.
|Occupation||Number of new jobs added||Percent change||Wages (May 2010 median)||Entry-Level Education||Related Work Experience||On-the-job Training|
|Registered Nurses||711,900||26||$64,690||Associate’s degree||None||None|
|Retail Salespersons||706,800||17||20,670||Less than high school||None||Short-term on-the-job training|
|Home Health Aides||706,300||69||20,560||Less than high school||None||Short-term on-the-job training|
|Personal Care Aides||607,000||70||19,640||Less than high school||None||Short-term on-the-job training|
|Office Clerks, General||489,500||17||26,610||High school diploma or equivalent||None||Short-term on-the-job training|
A married couple working at any combination of these jobs would land above the “contemporary” poverty line – $33,686 for a family of four. Based on the median wages from this chart, a registered nurse and a personal care aide would bring in a total income of $84,330. However, it should be noted that the trend is for a nurse with a bachelor’s degree or a diploma to fare better in the job market. But even combining the two lowest paying jobs from this chart would generate $40,200 total annual income.