The 21 best jobs of the future

Healthcare and tech are among the fastest-growing sectors of the US economy, and several well-paying jobs in those industries are primed to expand dramatically in the next decade.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released its biennialprojections for job growth across hundreds of occupations between 2014 and 2024.

We took those projections and combined them with BLSestimates of the 2014 median annual earnings of those jobs — using the geometric mean of the two numbers — to come up with a ranking of the best jobs of the next decade. To focus on good, high-paying jobs, we restricted our list to those with salaries higher than the 2014 median annual wage of $35,540.

Read on to learn about the best jobs of the future, including the typical level of education required and what people do on a daily basis, according to O*NET descriptions of the jobs.

21. Elementary school teachers, except special education

21. Elementary school teachers, except special education

Projected new positions by 2024: 78,300

Median annual earnings in 2014: $54,120

What they do: Teach young children basic skills in schools

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor’s degree

20. Nurse practitioners

20. Nurse practitioners

Projected new positions by 2024: 44,700

Median annual earnings in 2014: $95,350

What they do: Treat and diagnose patients’ illnesses

Typical educational requirements: Master’s degree

19. Financial managers

19. Financial managers

Projected new positions by 2024: 37,700

Median annual earnings in 2014: $115,320

What they do: Direct financial activities at organizations

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor’s degree

18. Electricians

18. Electricians

Projected new positions by 2024: 85,900

Median annual earnings in 2014: $51,110

What they do: Install, maintain, and repair electrical equipment

Typical educational requirements: High-school diploma

17. Licensed practical and vocational nurses

17. Licensed practical and vocational nurses

Projected new positions by 2024: 117,300

Median annual earnings in 2014: $42,490

What they do: Care for patients in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and similar institutions

Typical educational requirements: Postsecondary non-degree award

16. Lawyers

16. Lawyers

Projected new positions by 2024: 43,800

Median annual earnings in 2014: $114,970

What they do: Represent clients in legal situations

Typical educational requirements: Professional degree

15. Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives

15. Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives

Projected new positions by 2024: 93,400

Median annual earnings in 2014: $55,020

What they do: Sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers

Typical educational requirements: High school diploma

14. Medical and health services managers

14. Medical and health services managers

Projected new positions by 2024: 56,300

Median annual earnings in 2014: $92,810

What they do: Plan, direct, or coordinate health services

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor’s degree

13. Software systems developers

13. Software systems developers

Projected new positions by 2024: 51,300

Median annual earnings in 2014: $102,880

What they do: Develop operating systems, compilers, and network software

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor’s degree

12. Market research analysts and marketing specialists

12. Market research analysts and marketing specialists

Projected new positions by 2024: 92,300

Median annual earnings in 2014: $61,290

What they do: Research market conditions and create marketing campaigns

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor’s degree

11. Physical therapists

11. Physical therapists

Projected new positions by 2024: 71,800

Median annual earnings in 2014: $82,390

What they do: Help patients recover from illnesses and injuries

Typical educational requirements: Doctoral or professional degree

10. Personal financial advisers

10. Personal financial advisers

Projected new positions by 2024: 73,900

Median annual earnings in 2014: $81,060

What they do: Advise clients on their finances

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor’s degree

9. First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers

9. First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers

Projected new positions by 2024: 121,200

Median annual earnings in 2014: $50,780

What they do: Supervise and coordinate the activities of clerical and administrative-support workers

Typical educational requirements: High-school diploma

8. Computer and information systems managers

8. Computer and information systems managers

Projected new positions by 2024: 53,700

Median annual earnings in 2014: $127,640

What they do: Plan, direct, and coordinate computer systems

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor’s degree

7. Management analysts

7. Management analysts

Projected new positions by 2024: 103,400

Median annual earnings in 2014: $80,880

What they do: Conduct research and develop procedures to allow organizations to run more efficiently

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor’s degree

6. Accountants and auditors

6. Accountants and auditors

Projected new positions by 2024: 142,400

Median annual earnings in 2014: $65,940

What they do: Examine, analyze, and interpret accounting records

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor’s degree

5. Physicians and surgeons, all other

5. Physicians and surgeons, all other

Projected new positions by 2024: 51,700

Median annual earnings in 2014: At least $187,200*

What they do: Treat patients in a variety of specialized fields

Typical educational requirements: Doctoral or professional degree

* BLS median annual earnings estimates for 2014 are capped at $187,200, and earnings for this occupational group fell at or above that cap

Computer systems analysts

4. Computer systems analysts

Projected new positions by 2024: 118,600

Median annual earnings in 2014: $82,710

What they do: Analyze data processing problems to develop and improve computer systems

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor’s degree

3. Software applications developers

3. Software applications developers

Projected new positions by 2024: 135,300

Median annual earnings in 2014: $95,510

What they do: Develop front-end user-oriented computer applications and programs

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor’s degree

2. General and operations managers

2. General and operations managers

Projected new positions by 2024: 151,100

Median annual earnings in 2014: $97,270

What they do: Plan, direct, or coordinate the operations of organizations

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor’s degree

1. Registered nurses

1. Registered nurses

Median annual earnings in 2014: $66,640

What they do: Assess patient health needs and care for patients

Typical educational requirements: Bachelor’s degree

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