5 Top Career Fields of 2016

Newsroom By Christine Wardlaw November 8, 2016

Looking for a new career? Want to make sure it’s in a growing field before you dive in?

Then it might be a smart idea to check out the Fastest Growing Occupations list from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This list shows the 20 occupations with the highest projected rate of growth between 2014-2024. Western Union (WU) has detailed 5 of these top career fields to give you a snapshot of what each job would entail and how fast each field is growing.

Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides

Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) and aides work under physical therapists to help patients recovering from injuries, illnesses, or surgeries to restore range of motion and mobility, and help manage pain. They typically work in physical therapy offices, hospitals, and medical clinics.

While physical therapist assistants directly administer therapy and exercises to patients under the guidance of a licensed physical therapist, aides help with a variety of tasks such as setting up and cleaning treatment areas, moving patients, filing, scheduling, and other administrative duties. Aides may also assist patients in filling out their insurance forms. Physical therapy assistant and aide positions are projected to grow at an average rate of 40%.

Interpreter signing to young couple

Interpreters and Translators

Can you speak multiple languages or speak sign language fluently? A job as an interpreter or translator might be a great path for you. Interpreters and translators convert communication from one language into another. Interpreters handle spoken or sign language, while translators deal with written language.

There are many job opportunities for both interpreters and translators. Interpreters may work within their communities, interpreting spoken language and sign language at community events, conferences, meetings, parent-teacher conferences, and even in government offices. They may also work in the legal system, interpreting at court proceedings, or in the medical system. Translators also have a wealth of work opportunities, from working in healthcare settings, to the legal system, to translating literary works into other languages. Interpreter and translator jobs are expected to grow at a rate of 29%.

Cartographers and Photogrammetrists

Love maps? Cartography has seen a surge of popularity in recent years with the widespread use of GPS technology and maps in mobile devices. Cartographers are mapmakers who design maps, generally by collecting geographic information and data from ground surveys, aerial photos, reports, and satellite images. They use that data to create visual representations, often in digital or graphic form. A photogrammetrist is a specialized mapmaker who uses analyzed data, satellite images, aerial photos, and light-imaging detection and ranging (LIDAR) technology to build models of the Earth’s surface to create maps.

Cartographers and photogrammetrists work in the online space but also create maps and perform aerial surveys for governments to assist in city planning, regional planning, national security, and public safety. Cartography and photogrammetry positions are expected to grow at a rate of 29%.

Home Health Aides

Home health aides assist elderly people and people with disabilities, illnesses, or impairments with their activities of daily living. They often work in patients’ homes or group homes, and assist with personal tasks like bathing, dressing, light housekeeping, and shopping, as well as medical tasks such as taking vital signs, changing bandages, and administering medication (depending on state law).

They may also prepare meals in accordance with their patients’ dietary needs, and help keep clients engaged in social activities with their communities. Home health aide jobs are expected to grow at a rate of 38%.

Female engineer at wind farm with plans

Wind Turbine Service Technicians

If you’ve ever seen a wind farm, you know that they’re comprised of massive stretches of wind turbines, or large mechanical devices that convert wind energy into electricity. The people who install, maintain, and repair wind turbines are known as wind turbine service technicians, or windtechs. Windtechs handle duties such as inspecting the exteriors of towers, inspecting and repairing equipment, performing routine maintenance, troubleshooting turbine issues, and collecting data for analysis. The projection of growth for wind turbine service technicians is at a whopping 108%, making it the fastest growing career path listed on the Fastest Growing Occupations list.

Do you work in any of these fields, and if so, what’s your favorite thing about your job? Let us know in the comments!