The Cities With the Jobs of the Future

MainStreet

Given how bad the job market is, it may be difficult to believe that there are dozens of professions looking to hire more employees now and in the coming years. The hard part is finding out what these professions are and where they are located, and of course, deciding if you're willing to move to them if necessary.

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To help guide you to where you can find the jobs of the future now, MainStreet sifted through data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to find the 10 occupations that are expected to expand the most by 2018 and paired this with separate BLS data on the cities with the greatest concentration of these jobs in 2010. We've listed the top 10 fastest-growing occupations here along with the three cities that have the highest number of these jobs in relation to their overall job market.

Not only might this list offer some hints about where you can get your footing in a thriving industry, but it may just show which cities are best suited for the 21st-century economy based on how much of their labor force is already working in industries with a great outlook.

The Fastest-Growing Job: Biomedical Engineer

No profession has better prospects for the rest of the decade than biomedical engineering. Between 2008 and 2018, this occupation will add more than 11,000 jobs. That may only be a fraction of the number added to some of the other professions on this list, but it represents a 78% increase overall. And if you want to land a job in this field, your best bet may be to make your way to either Massachusetts or California. These two states not only have some of the most prominent engineering schools in the country including M.I.T and the University of California, San Diego, but as the data show, there are plenty of job opportunities once you graduate.

Cities Where These Jobs Are Concentrated

Santa Rosa-Petaluma, Calif.: 0.75 biomedical engineers for every 1,000 jobs (130 biomedical engineers in total)

Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.: 0.66 biomedical engineers for every 1,000 jobs (1,090 biomedical engineers in total)

Salt Lake City: 0.64 biomedical engineers for every 1,000 jobs (380 biomedical engineers in total)

2nd Fastest-Growing Job: Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts

These professionals are responsible for designing and testing the information technology systems used by businesses, and their services will only be more in demand in the future as the communications hardware and software continues to change and be improved upon. As a result, this profession is expected to add more than 150,000 jobs between 2008-2018, an increase of 53.4%. By and large, the BLS data show that most of those in this industry tend to be employed by computer systems design companies and the various telecommunications carriers and often work along the East Coast.

Cities Where These Jobs Are Concentrated

Tallahassee, Fla.: 6.63 analysts for every 1,000 jobs (1,070 analysts in total)

Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Ark.-Mo.: 5.7 analysts for every 1,000 jobs (1,120 analysts in total)

Washington, D.C.: 5.67 analysts for every 1,000 jobs (13,050 analysts in total)

3rd Fastest-Growing Job: Home Health Aides

As with personal and home care aides, the home health aide occupation is expected to add 460,000 jobs between 2008-2018, an increase of 50%, at least in part because the population is getting older and will come to rely more and more on the care that these workers provide. But if you live in a city like Goldsboro, N.C., chances are you probably already know someone who works in this industry. That's because home health aide positions account for nearly 1 in 20 jobs in this metropolitan area. Perhaps the fact that 13.7% of this area's population is 65 or older, about a percent higher than the national average, has something to do with it.

Cities Where These Jobs Are Concentrated

Goldsboro, N.C.: 48.03 home health aides for every 1,000 jobs (2,060 home health aides in total)

Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas: 34.61 home health aides for every 1,000 jobs (4,280 home health aides in total)

Duluth, Minn.-Wisc.: 31.58 home health aides for every 1,000 jobs (3,850 home health aides in total)

4th Fastest-Growing Job: Personal and Home Care Aides

These aides help the elderly and the disabled with their day-to-day living needs, and as the population ages and medical advancements help those with disabilities live longer, the demand for these aides will only continue to increase. According to the BLS, the personal and home care aide profession will add 375,000 jobs between 2008-2018, a 46% increase. Needless to say, with so many more jobs, every state will likely see increases going forward. But if you're looking to get into the industry now, no state has a greater number of these positions than Texas, which currently has more than 100,000 aides and is home to the three cities with the highest concentration of these positions.

Cities Where these Jobs Are Concentrated

Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas: 69.37 aides for every 1,000 jobs (8,580 aides in total)

McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas: 63.76 aides for every 1,000 jobs (14,000 aides in total)

Laredo, Texas: 57.75 aides for every 1,000 jobs (4,890 aides in total)

5th Fastest-Growing Job: Financial Examiners

Financial examiners are the ones who ensure that organizations comply with government regulations, a service that the country will certainly continue to need for years to come. The BLS estimates that this profession will add 11,000 jobs between 2008-2018, a 41% growth. Most of those employed in this profession work in state or federal government.

Cities Where These Jobs Are Concentrated

Des Moines, Iowa: 1.45 financial examiners for every 1,000 jobs (460 financial examiners in total)

San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, Calif.: 0.91 financial examiners for every 1,000 jobs (860 financial examiners in total)

Richmond, Va.: 0.78 financial examiners for every 1,000 jobs (460 financial examiners in total)

6th Fastest-Growing Job: Medical Scientists (Except Epidemiologists)

For as long as there are diseases, we will need medical scientists to find cures for them, and in the coming decade we will likely see many more in this profession trying to do just that. The BLS estimates that this profession will add 44,000 jobs between 2008-2018, a 40% increase. At the moment, the two states with the highest concentration of these jobs are California and Massachusetts, which boast many of the top universities and hospitals for this profession. Likewise, Durham, N.C., has by far the highest concentration of medical scientists of any metropolitan area, which should come as little surprise given its proximity to Duke and the University of North Carolina.

Cities Where These Jobs Are Concentrated

Durham, N.C.: 11 medical scientists for every 1,000 jobs (2,940 medical scientists in total)

Framingham, Mass: 4.84 medical scientists for every 1,000 jobs (750 medical scientists in total)

Madison, Wis.: 4.34 medical scientists for every 1,000 jobs (1,400 medical scientists in total)

7th Fastest-Growing Job: Physician Assistants

Hospitals are expected to rely more on physician assistants going forward to help bring down primary care costs, as these workers are generally cheaper than physicians and can handle many of their tasks, including consulting patients and prescribing medication. According to the BLS, this profession will add 30,000 jobs between 2008-2018, an increase of 29%. Best of all, the median pay for these jobs is nearly $90,000 a year. So if you want to get into the industry now, you might consider making a move to small cities like Glens Falls, N.Y., which has no shortage of job openings for physician assistants at the moment.

Cities Where These Jobs Are Concentrated

Glens Falls, N.Y.: 2.42 physician assistants for every 1,000 jobs (120 physician assistants in total)

State College, Pa.: 2.23 physician assistants for every 1,000 jobs (150 physician assistants in total)

Lewiston-Auburn, Maine: 2.12 physician assistants for every 1,000 jobs (100 physician assistants in total)

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