Best Jobs for the Future 2019

Physical Therapist
Physical Therapist

The U.S. job market is looking good. Unemployment is near a 50-year low, and wages are even starting to rise after remaining stubbornly stagnant for years. But some career tracks lead to a more prosperous future than others.

To help identify which path is best for you and your net worth we made it our job to crunch the numbers. Starting with a list of 773 popular occupations, we narrowed the choices to 10 of the most promising professions by focusing on fields that are collecting generous paychecks now and are projected to expand greatly over the next decade. Also, though we favored jobs that don’t necessarily call for a huge investment in education to get started, certain career paths prove lucrative enough to be worth the extra time and money.

 

Best Jobs for the Future 2019

 

10. Physical Therapist

Physical Therapist
Physical Therapist

The need for physical therapy is expected to grow with the aging population, especially as people wish to remain active later in their long lives. Many more workers will be needed in this field to care for victims of heart attacks and strokes and to lead them through rehabilitation.

And with ongoing advances in medicine, more people will survive such traumas and need rehabilitative services. To provide them as a physical therapist, you’ll need a license to go along with your doctorate.

  • TOTAL NUMBER OF JOBS: 237,539
  • PROJECTED JOB GROWTH, 2017-2027: 27.1%
  • MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $85,694
  • TYPICAL EDUCATION: Doctoral degree

 

9. Physician

Physician
Physician

Health care coverage may be a hotly debated issue in the U.S., but the need for quality health care is universally acknowledged. And physicians are still considered the top dogs for diagnosing and treating patients, especially when it comes to more specific health issues. Some specialties included in this group of doctors are allergists, cardiologists, dermatologists, and radiologists.

Whatever your area of focus, expect to spend many years—and tuition dollars—on studying it. From the start of college, more than a decade will have passed before you finally become a board-certified practicing physician.

  • TOTAL NUMBER OF JOBS: 393,399
  • PROJECTED JOB GROWTH, 2017-2027: 13.7%
  • MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $200,774
  • TYPICAL EDUCATION: Doctoral degree

 

8. Physician Assistant

Physician Assistant
Physician Assistant

Want to avoid the time and cost of medical school, but still be a vital part of medical teams, working alongside physicians, surgeons, and other health workers? Physician assistants (PAs) are trained to diagnose and treat patients and are able to write prescriptions and order tests. In some areas, they may serve as primary care providers in clinics where physicians visit just sporadically, perhaps one or two times a week. But a PA’s specific duties and how strictly they must be supervised by a physician or surgeon vary by state.

  • TOTAL NUMBER OF JOBS: 112,463
  • PROJECTED JOB GROWTH, 2017-2027: 35.3%
  • MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $104,986
  • TYPICAL EDUCATION: Master’s degree

 

7. Information Security Analyst

Information Security Analysts
Information Security Analysts

Increasing digital dangers are pushing companies of all stripes to beef up their information security and hire more white hats. Banks and financial institutions, as well as tech firms, are particularly big employers of information security analysts. You can also find opportunities in hospitals and doctors’ offices, where the move to keep more digital records pushes the need to protect patients’ privacy.

To get started developing and implementing measures to safeguard an organization’s computer network, you likely need a bachelor’s degree in computer science, programming or another tech-related field. You may also need up to five years of work experience, perhaps as a network or systems administrator, to secure a management role

  • TOTAL NUMBER OF JOBS: 110,914
  • PROJECTED JOB GROWTH, 2017-2027: 27.2%
  • MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $95,506
  • TYPICAL EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree

 

6. Computer Systems Manager

Computer administration management and security
Developing programming

With the computerization of everything from phones and coffeemakers to cars and airplanes, you’d be hard-pressed to find a business that doesn’t rely on computers in one way or another. That puts the folks who run the computers in very high demand. Computer systems managers plan, coordinate and direct all the IT activities of an organization, helping to ensure its technological needs are being met and implemented effectively.

You need at least five years of related work experience, as say an analyst in the same field, in order to move up to manager. To get started, a bachelor’s degree in information technology or another computer-related field is typical

  • TOTAL NUMBER OF JOBS: 384,340
  • PROJECTED JOB GROWTH, 2017-2027: 14.4%
  • MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $138,142
  • TYPICAL EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree

 

5. Marketing Research Analyst

Marketing Team
Marketing Team

Like statisticians (#20 on this list), these workers are big beneficiaries of the big-data boom. Market research analysts help companies navigate an increasingly competitive business landscape by crunching numbers and studying market conditions and consumer behavior. With their analyses, they can develop effective marketing strategies, which may include setting appropriate prices and choosing advantageous store locations.

While a bachelor’s degree can get you in, a master’s degree can help you secure a top spot. Prospective market research analysts should study marketing research or a related field, such as statistics or math. Work experience or a strong background in statistical and data analysis will give you an added advantage.

  • TOTAL NUMBER OF JOBS: 634,330
  • PROJECTED JOB GROWTH, 2017-2027: 24.4%
  • MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $62,828
  • TYPICAL EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree

 

4. Financial Manager

Financial Advisor
Financial Advisor

Managing a company’s cash flow is a good way to direct income into your own coffers. Financial managers get paid handsomely to build long-term financial plans that help organizations achieve their goals by controlling risk, maximizing returns on investment and deploying cash wisely. Many of these workers are employed by finance and insurance firms, but a broad mix of organizations—including those in professional, scientific and technical services, government and manufacturing—benefit from their expertise.

While a bachelor’s in finance, economics or other related field is typically the minimum education level expected for this job, many employers are looking for people with a master’s in business administration or similar.

  • TOTAL NUMBER OF JOBS: 610,056
  • PROJECTED JOB GROWTH, 2017-2027: 19.1%
  • MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $122,733
  • TYPICAL EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree

 

3. Health Services Manager

Health Services Manager
Health Services Manager

The increasing demand for medical services calls for more people to manage them. Health services managers may oversee the functions of an entire medical practice or facility—as a nursing home administrator, for example—or a specific department, as a clinical manager for, say, surgery or physical therapy. Health information managers work specifically on maintaining patient records and keeping them secure, an especially important task as everyone is shifting to digital.

A bachelor’s in health administration is the ticket to this profession, but a master’s in health services, long-term-care administration or public health is also common among these workers.

  • TOTAL NUMBER OF JOBS: 371,020
  • PROJECTED JOB GROWTH, 2017-2027: 21.0%
  • MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $96,517
  • TYPICAL EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree

 

2. Nurse Practitioner

Registered Nurse
Registered Nurse

Advancing technology, a greater focus on preventive care and an aging population will mean a growing number of patients requiring care in hospitals, doctors’ offices, long-term care facilities, and even private homes. Nurse practitioners (NPs) are highly sought after to meet that need. NPs able to provide much of the same care as full-fledged doctors, including performing routine checkups and writing prescriptions, and they can work independently. Exact guidelines vary by state.

  • TOTAL NUMBER OF JOBS: 172,102
  • PROJECTED JOB GROWTH, 2017-2027: 35.2%
  • MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $103,947
  • TYPICAL EDUCATION: Master’s degree

 

1. App Developer

App Developer
App Developer

Why become an app developer? Check the palm of your hand (or maybe in the couch cushions) for the answer. The proliferation of mobile technology is driving demand for the development of new applications of all kinds, from news and games to music and social sharing. Systems software developers, who create the operating systems for computers and mobile devices, are also poised for prosperity. From about 409,800 jobs currently, the workforce is projected to grow by 13.3% by 2027. Systems software developers earn a median income of $106,653 a year.

A college degree in computer science, software engineering or a related field is a standard requirement to land most software-development jobs, but a master’s degree can give you a leg up on the competition.

  • TOTAL NUMBER OF JOBS: 878,990
  • PROJECTED JOB GROWTH, 2017-2027: 30.4% (All jobs: 9.7%)
  • MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $100,857 (All jobs: $43,992)
  • TYPICAL EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree