It’s no secret that today’s job market is difficult, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t opportunities out there for people with the right skills. And, if you’re interested in pursuing vocational education, the news gets even better because many of the most-popular trade school careers are in the fields projected to experience the greatest growth over the next decade. With this being the case, it’s no wonder that enrollment at American vocational schools and technical colleges is skyrocketing.
It is common knowledge that the Medical and Technology professions will enjoy tremendous growth between now and 2018, but they aren’t the only fields that will be hiring. Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest projections, the 50 fastest-growing occupations also include vocationally-trained positions in the Legal and Finance industries, as well as many of the skilled technical fields traditionally associated with trade schools (e.g. HVAC mechanics). The simple fact is, there has never been a better time to graduate with a vocational degree or certificate from an accredited California trade school.
Popular Trade School Careers
The following section discusses those trade school careers that appear on the list of the 50 fastest-growing occupations in California between now and 2018.
Network Systems Analyst
As our world becomes increasingly integrated with computer technology and network systems in particular, the need for professionals who can design, test, analyze and evaluate these networks will explode. For those vocational students who choose to train for a career in this field, the future is expected to be extremely bright. With greater-than 50% growth in new jobs over the next seven years, Network Systems Analyst is projected to be the second-fastest growing occupation in both California and nation over the next seven years.
As mentioned earlier, it’s a well-known fact that the health care industry is expected to boom over the next decade and, as it does, the demand for Physician Assistants will increase dramatically. These assistants are invaluable team members in a wide range of health care facilities, from hospitals to private practices and perform numerous patient-care tasks under the supervision of a physician. The Physician Assistant occupation is projected to grow at the seventh-fastest rate of any profession, adding nearly 30,000 new jobs nationally over the next decade for a 39% increase.
Skin Care Specialist
Also called Estheticians, Skin Care Specialists are licensed in numerous techniques that treat and improve the appearance of their patient’s facial skin. Most work in spas or salons, and many open their own businesses after gaining enough experience. This classic trade school career ranks eighth on the list of fastest growing professions with a projected 38% growth in jobs.
Physical Therapist Aide and Assistant
Ranked 11th and 17th respectively on the list of fastest-growing occupations, Physical Therapist Aides and Assistants help patients rehabilitate from injury or other physical problems. Aides typically work under the supervision of either a Physical Therapist, or the Physical Therapist Assistant. Growth for these two professions will be over 33% nationally through 2018, and over 40% in California.
Dental Hygienist and Dental Assistant
Much like the physical therapy field, the need for dentistry is expected to grow dramatically over the next several years leading to a high demand for Dental Hygienists and Assistants. These two positions are vital to any successful dental practice, and represent the 12th and 14th-fastest growing occupations with growth rates of 36% each.
Veterinary Technologist and Technician
America’s love for its pets is not expected to change anytime soon and, for that reason, the demand for professionals who can assist in the treatment and diagnosis of disease in animals will be high in the future. Veterinary Technologists and Technicians rank 13th on the Bureau of Labor Statistics list, expecting an increase of over 29,000 jobs (36%) between now and the end of the decade.
Working in both administrative and clinical capacities, Medical Assistants perform a wide range of valuable tasks at health care facilities and are increasingly in demand. Always a popular career choice among vocational students, this occupation will add approximately 165,000 jobs nationally over the next seven years for a health 34% increase.
Occupational Therapist Aide and Assistant
Another field with similar growth projections to physical therapy is occupational therapy. Occupational Therapist Aides and Assistants work under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist to help patients rehabilitate from physical or mental problems and re-enter the work force. The need for both of these occupations is expected to rise by over 30%, and both vocations can be learned during two-year trade school programs.
Fitness Trainer and Aerobics Instructor
As Americans strive to become healthier in the future, Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors will be sought after in greater numbers than ever before. With a forecasted 29% increase by 2018 (that’s 77,000 new jobs), making a career out of going to the gym and helping others reach their fitness goals has never been easier.
HVAC Mechanic and Installer
Always popular vocational school careers, HVAC Mechanics and Installers will be hired in greater numbers than at any other time in memory over the next decade. These specialists who work to make sure that heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment works properly, and is installed correctly, will see 86,000 new jobs created in their industry by 2018. This 28% increase over current employment levels will make HVAC the 32nd-fastest growing occupation during that time.
If you’ve always dreamed of getting into the Legal profession, but becoming a lawyer isn’t in the cards for you, then becoming a Paralegal might not be a bad place to start. These vocationally-trained professionals assist attorneys with the day-to-day operation of their offices by performing a wide range of supporting tasks. Increased demand for Paralegals should create 74,000 new jobs (a 28% increase) in the next decade (www.BLS.gov).
The field of radiation oncology uses radiation to treat cancer, and the Radiation Therapist’s role in this is to assist the physician with fluoroscopy, X-rays or CT scans. Demand for this occupation in California is expected to increase by 30%, just ahead of the 27% national average over the remainder of the decade per www.BLS.gov.
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