For today's Generation Z workforce, endless job possibilities exist. When their grandparents were asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?", their answers didn't vary much. Teacher. Doctor. Firefighter. Careers along those lines.
But thanks to technological advancements in everything from streaming services to solar power, Gen Zers have a lot more jobs open to them.
And their priorities are different, too, when it comes to work. The 2021 Gen Z Spotlight Report from the Carson College of Business at Washington State University, said that in the workplace, Gen Zers want to make a positive impact on the world (83%), have high ambition (79%) and desire a healthy work-life balance. In addition, 69% of them worry about the growth potential of their career.
So, using information provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, GOBanking Rates identified 10 careers that either are rapidly growing in the number of jobs available this decade, provide the ability to be creative or offer the chance to help others or the environment.
Last updated: Sept. 14, 2021
Wind Turbine Service Technicians
2020 Median Pay: $56.230
Projected Job Growth, 2020-30: 68%
At the start of 2021, the United States had 67,000 wind turbines, with about 3,000 added annually, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. And someone needs to install them and tend to their upkeep. Enter wind turbine service technicians. Workers who fill these jobs typically learn the skills in a technical school or community college and earn a certificate in wind energy technology. On-the-job training generally follows.
2020 Median Pay: $111,680
Projected Job Growth, 2020-30: 52%
It shouldn’t be a surprise that a career in a health profession has one of the highest projected growth rates on the list. A nurse practitioner, also called an advanced practice registered nurse, typically has a bachelor’s degree in nursing, plus at least a master’s or advanced degree. Nurse practitioners also must pass a national certification exam and meet all state requirements. They often are the primary or specialty healthcare provider for a patient and, in most jurisdictions, can perform or order diagnostic tests, prescribe medicines and create treatment plans.
Solar Photovoltaic Installers
2020 Median Pay: $46,470
Projected Job Growth, 2020-30: 52%
As the cost of solar panels fall, the number of installations is increasing — and the business is booming. As of 2020, the industry provided more than 230,000 jobs in the U.S., and it brought in more than $25 billion of private investment, the Solar Energy Industries Association reports. That’s led to the need for solar photovoltaic installers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only a high school diploma is needed to fill the job, but some people will take courses at a technical school or community college. On-the-job training can last up to one year.
2020 Median Pay: $28,800
Projected Job Growth, 2020-30: 49%
The pandemic changed the way we ate in 2020 – a lot more takeout – but restaurants still need cooks. So do schools, hotels, hospitals and other locations. A restaurant cook can learn on the job or take classes at vocational or culinary schools. Longer educational programs could last as long as two years and offer advanced cooking classes that touch on international food, for example. There’s also advancement to the job from kitchen positions such as a food prep worker.
Performer/Athlete Agents or Business Managers
2020 Median Pay: $75,420
Projected Job Growth, 2020-30: 46%
You want to play pro baseball but can’t hit the curve ball. You dream of being an opera singer but can’t hit the high note. That won’t deny you a chance to work in sports or in the entertainment world. Over this decade, the need for agents or business managers for athletes and performers is projected to grow by 46%. The type of education needed depends on the role you’ll fill. If you’re a business manager, you’ll need to be skilled in accounting, promotions and marketing. Agents often have advanced degrees in subjects such as sports marketing or even law degrees because negotiating and executing contracts are a big part of the job.
Makeup Artist, Theatrical and Performance
2020 Median Pay: $106,920
Projected Job Growth, 2020-30: 37%
Broadway and other theaters went dark for many months because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the performing arts are back – and apparently so are the jobs. Makeup artists who work on theatrical performances earn a median salary in excess of $100,000 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their job involves a great attention to detail, knowledge of cosmetics, the study of production details and, finally, a steady hand. Artists use makeup to either enhance of change the appearance of actors, making sure to select products that will not irritate the performers’ skin. The job requires the ability to recreate the same appearance every day, whether for another day of shooting a movie or for nightly theatrical performances.
Occupational Therapy Assistants
2020 Median Pay: $62,940
Projected Job Growth, 2020-30: 36%
Working in conjunction with an occupational therapist, an OT assistant works with patients who need help to improve or recover the skills they need for everyday life. They often find jobs in the practice of an occupational therapist, in a nursing facility or a hospital. States set the rules and regulations for occupational therapy assistants, but typically, they need a two-year degree from an accredited program. High school courses in biology or healthcare are good primers before entering an OT assistant program.
2020 Median Pay: $92,270
Projected Job Growth, 2020-30: 35%
At 35%, the growth rate for statisticians is significantly higher than the national average, but it’s not a job for everyone. Statisticians’ duties straddle both math and science, and they could partner on projects with everyone from engineers to government analysts. Statisticians collect data, and they do so after determining sample type and size by designing surveys, polls or experiments that will provide targeted results. They also conduct tests to review the validity of the data. The results often are used by education, healthcare and government agencies, as well as for research and development.
Information Security Analysts
2020 Median Pay: $103,590
Projected Job Growth, 2020-30: 33%
As threats of cyberattacks increase, so does the need for information security analysts. Their responsibility is to protect the computer systems and networks for organizations of all sizes. Information security analysts typically will have a bachelor’s degree in computer science pr programming, information assurance or a related field, and some jobs also will require successful applicants to hold an MBA in information systems. A variety of certificates in information systems also are available.
Film and Video Editors
2020 Median Pay: $67,250
Projected Job Growth, 2020-30: 33%
The movie industry was virtually shut down during the pandemic, with the U.S. box office losing $5 billion in 2020, Forbes reported. But like theatrical production, filmmaking appears to be finding its footing again if the projected job growth is an accurate indicator. Film and video editors typically hold a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting, film or a related field. Many colleges today offer degrees in cinematography and video production.
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