Non-Traditional Careers - Projections
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Non-Traditional Careers

Labor Force

The labor force is estimated to increase by 12.8 million persons between 2006 and 2016; about 6.3 million (49 percent) will be women.

In 2016, women are expected to comprise 46.5 percent of the estimated 164.2 million persons in the labor force. 


During the 2006-2016 period, total employment is projected to increase by 10.4 percent from 150.6 to 166.2 million.

Over the 2006-2016 period, employment in professional and related occupations is projected to grow at the same rate as employment in service occupations both at 16.7 percent.

Between the 2006-16 period, production occupations are expected to see a loss of slightly more than half a million jobs (528,000).

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations will decline by 29,000 jobs due to increased mechanization, rising imports of food and fish, and consolidation of the agricultural industry. 

Occupations: Fastest Growth

The fastest growing occupations are dominated by professional and related occupations associated with health care and the provision of social and mental health services. Examples of these occupations are:

  • Health related: personal and home care aides; home health aides; medical assistants; substance abuse and behavior disorder counselors; social and human service assistants; physical therapists assistants; pharmacy technicians; dental hygienists; and mental health counselors; mental health and substance abuse social workers; dental assistants; physical therapists; and physician assistants.
  • Computer related: network systems and data communications analysts; computer software engineers, applications; computer systems analysts; database administrators; and computer software engineers, systems software.
  • Personal care and service related: makeup artists; theatrical and performance; skin care specialists; manicurists and pedicurists.
  • Other fast growing occupations: veterinary technologists and technicians; personal financial advisors; veterinarians; financial analysts; gaming surveillance officers and gaming investigators; forensic science technicians; marriage and family therapists; gaming and sports book writers and runners; and environmental science and protection technicians, including health.

Rapid growth in health-related occupations reflects an aging population that requires more health care, a wealthier population that can afford better health care, and advances in medical technology that permit more health problems to be treated more aggressively.

The fastest growing health-related and personal care occupations are already dominated by women and it stands to reason that women will continue to do so. 

Occupations: Largest Growth

The 30 occupations with the largest job growth are much less concentrated in professional and related occupations than the 30 fastest growing occupations.

Examples of these are:

  • Professional and managerial: registered nurses; general and operations managers; computer software engineers, applications; accountants and auditors; management analysts; computer systems analysts; and network systems and data communications analysts.

    Service related: retail salespersons; janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners; child care workers; maids and housekeeping cleaners; and security guards.
  • Office and administrative support: office clerks, general; bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks; executive secretaries and administrative assistants; receptionists and information clerks; and customer service representatives.
  • Health care support: home health aides; nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants; personal and home care aides; and medical assistants.
  • Food preparation and serving related: waiters and waitresses; combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food; and food preparation workers.
  • Teaching: post secondary teachers; elementary school teachers, except special education; and teacher assistants.
  • Transportation and material moving: truck drivers, heavy and tractor-trailer; laborers and freight and stock, and material movers, hand; and truck drivers, light and delivery services.
  • Other: landscaping and grounds keeping workers; carpenters; and maintenance and repair workers, general.

Short-term on-the-job training is the level of post-secondary education or training most workers will need to become fully qualified in the majority of these large growth occupations.

Sources: US Department of Labor, Census Bureau, Womens Bureau, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics


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