One of the best ways to ensure you are employable and paid a good salary is to look for a job that fits your interests and has a high projected growth potential coupled with a high level of compensation. These are the six professions that are growing the fastest and paying the most, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Physician assistants are responsible for carrying out routine clinical procedures under the supervision of a physician. The medical field is highly competitive, and demand for competent caregivers and healthcare professionals continues to grow exponentially because the services are needed by virtually everyone. Individuals who don't want to invest in a lengthy stint in medical school can opt for a high-paying position caring for patients as a physician assistant. If this sounds like a field that would interest you, you need a master's degree to get your foot in the door, but the average annual compensation of $90,930 more than makes up for this. Another big plus is that the field is expected to grow by more than 30 percent between 2012 and 2022.
Health Specialties Teachers
If you have a passion for teaching and a working knowledge of the medical field, colleges and universities are actively seeking teaching staff, and the positions pay very well. Health specialties teachers are hired by schools to teach health care related subjects to students majoring in health-related degree programs. If you sign on as an instructor, you can expect to be compensated with more than $80,000 each year. This field is experiencing accelerated growth, with the number of positions projected to increase nearly 70 percent by 2022. You need a doctoral degree or a professional license to enter this in-demand field, so if you do choose this career path, you must spend a number of years on higher education.
A dental hygienist works under the supervision of a dentist to provide cleaning services and other minor procedures. If you're not interested in spending years in school to reap the rewards of a high-paying position, dental hygienists are in high demand, and the entry requirement is an associate's degree. Your average yearly salary will hover around $70,000, and the field is expected to continue growing at a rate of 64 percent, so getting a job after graduation should be easy.
Even though you need a doctoral degree for this profession, it's still a worthy profession to pursue. Your extra educational investment pays off quickly because income rates are very good for physical therapists -- you can make around $80,000 a year. Physical therapists assist individuals in recuperating from injuries, surgeries, or physical defects through exercises treatment procedures. Physical therapy is a popular field due to the 70 percent expected increase in jobs in the next few years and the not-so-demanding, Monday-through-Friday work. The high level of reported job satisfaction is also a bonus.
Market Research Analyst
If you have an independent streak and enjoy working with numbers and making predictions based on data and AB testing, you might enjoy working as a market research analyst. Market research analysts gather information and data to determine the best types of strategies to increase conversions for businesses of all sizes. You need to invest in a bachelor's degree, but the payoff can be enormous. Most market research analysts make around $90,000 a year -- sometimes more in a position at a global corporation. Job growth is better than average in this field, with an expected 40 percent increase by 2022.
Information Security Analyst
If you're into computers, and you have a working knowledge of networks and security, this position might pique your interest. An information security specialist helps individuals and companies secure their networks and computers from threats like hacking and viruses by analyzing networks for vulnerabilities. This is another field where high growth is anticipated and the demand continues to increase -- by 2022, the field should grow by nearly 27 percent. Many analysts freelance and report six-figure earnings by their third year of operation. The earnings are a bit less than a position in healthcare, but the educational requirements are usually less stringent than most health-related jobs. A bachelor's degree will open doors to entry-level positions paying nearly $90,000, and you may be able to wrangle a little more if you can show your employers you have the skills to keep their networks secure.
Money isn't everything, but adequate compensation can help you achieve your financial goals much faster. It pays to do your homework to make sure the field you want to get into is a realistic goal. Too many people don't research their chosen professions before paying for an education and end up finding it difficult to get a job or earn a good income. If you are looking to switch career fields into one of these professions, here are some tips on refreshing your resume.
Choosing to intern with a prospective employer is a great way to get your foot in the door and find out if the job is for you. You can also talk to others in your chosen industry to get the inside information about the field of your choice. Current and former workers can open your eyes to the ins and outs of a particular position, as well as the not-so-attractive parts. The biggest thing to keep in mind is to look for a position that you love that also has a great projected growth rate and an adequate level of compensation.