Finding the Right Job

Where America's Good Jobs Will Be

By Forbes.com staff

The American job-generation machine rolls on. The country will create 19 million new payroll jobs in the decade to 2014, according to projections by the U.S. Department of Labor, more than one new job for every seven that now exist.

But that doesn't mean they will be evenly spread across the economy. So whether you are setting out on your career or looking to take the next step up the ladder, you need to know where the jobs will be if you want to take advantage.

Go to Forbes.com to see the best-paid, fastest-growing jobs
Slideshow: The Best-Paid, Fastest-Growing Jobs

The fastest growth and largest increase in sheer numbers will be in professional occupations like information technology specialists, teachers and engineers. Such jobs are forecast to grow by 6 million, or 21.2%.

Hard on their heels will be nurses, cooks, janitors and other services workers. Their numbers are projected to increase by 5.3 million, or 19%.

Together, those two categories are expected to account for 41% of all jobs by 2014, up from 38.6% in 2004.

Management, business and financial occupations are also likely to see brisk growth. But they make up a relatively small slice of the employment market, just one job in ten. Their 14.4% growth rate translates into only 2.2 million new jobs.

However, chief executives, who numbered 444,000 in 2004, are forecast to break through the 500,000 mark. One sign of the changing times: By 2014, America will have more chief execs than machine tool operators, the Labor Department reckons.

That's good news, too, for headhunters: Their numbers are forecast to increase by 30% to 237,000 from 182,000

At the other end of the scale, farming, fishing and forestry will continue to shrink, at least in terms of the number of people working in them. A forecast 1.3% decline will take such employment on the land and at sea to barely 1 million jobs, or 0.6% of the total workforce, down from 0.7% in 2004.

By 2014, the number of lawyers in America is forecast to surpass the number of farm workers.

The biggest absolute loss of jobs is expected to be among production workers, especially in metalworking, heavy industry and textiles. The Labor Department is forecasting 79,000 fewer production jobs by 2014, a 0.7% decline, though food processing is a notable exception. Good news for the butcher and baker, if not the candlestick maker.

The Labor Department's projections are net numbers. Capitalism's cycle of creative destruction will cause far greater churn in the job market than those net figures suggest. The department itself reckons it will take 54.7 million job openings to create those extra 19 million jobs by 2014.

It will be a messy process for job seekers to navigate through. Jobs will come and go. There is no guarantee that available skills will match the openings, or that the openings will be where the appropriate skills are.

America's social and geographical mobility has helped the U.S. cope with that better than other developed economies. It is part of what former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan called the flexibility that is America's great strength.

To find out where the jobs will be in America, we trawled through the Labor Department's detailed statistics to find both the fastest-growing payroll jobs and the occupations where absolute numbers of jobs are forecast to increase the most.

What came out on top? Home health aides (up 56%) and retail sales people--up 736,000, though that is only half as many as America’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores, now employs. But neither of those are particularly high-paying jobs.

To find where the good jobs will be, we eliminated all those in our list where the median pay was not in the top 25% of all occupations. That left us with a fastest-growing list of 17 jobs and a most-new-jobs list of seven occupations.

Click on the links below to see what they are. To flesh out the second list, we have added five more occupations where the median pay is above average.

For both lists we also show the level of education or training you will likely need to get one. Tip for the future: Stay in school.

Click here for the best-paid, fastest-growing jobs.

Click here to see well-paying jobs with the most growth.

Back to All Business: Finding the Right Job.

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