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18 Great Career Fields for the Future (Next 10 Years)


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At high school and college graduations, it’s common to hear speakers urging young people to follow their passion. The idea is that if you try to make a living doing something you love, you’ll work harder at it, and success and prosperity will follow.

Unfortunately, in real life, it doesn’t always work out that way. If the field you feel most passionate about is in decline, such as journalism, pursuing it could mean many years of struggle just trying to find and keep a job. And if the jobs you’re able to find don’t pay a living wage, you could have trouble paying the bills even when you’re employed.

Increasingly, career experts in publications from Forbes to The New York Times are recommending a different approach: Instead of pursuing your passion, try to develop a passion for a job you can do well. And if at all possible, choose one that pays a good salary and is in a field that will have plenty of jobs in the years to come. That way, instead of constantly running after job opportunities, you can be in the enviable position of having employers running after you.

Pro tip: Before you apply for your next job, make sure your resume stands out to hiring managers. TopResume allows you to upload your resume for a free expert review by one of their professional writers.

How to Identify the Most Lucrative Fields

The Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a handy tool for finding the most promising career fields. It provides detailed information about hundreds of occupations, describing the work itself and the settings where people typically work.

More useful still, the OOH has a search feature that allows you to sort jobs based on how fast they’re likely to grow, how much they pay, and the education and training needed to get the job. That makes it possible to search for the best-paying, fastest-growing careers open to you right now with your current education level. It can also help you evaluate whether pursuing a college degree or other credentials is likely to pay off.

Job Growth

The careers people thought of as good jobs in the past aren’t necessarily good for the future. For example, 50 to 75 years ago, American manufacturing peaked, and factory jobs with superior pay offered workers with limited education a ticket to the middle class. But today, those jobs are mostly gone.

In the 2020s, there are more career openings in fields such as health care, technology, and food preparation and service. The OOH predicts that all these fields will grow by more than 10% between 2018 and 2028, while other sectors of the economy grow by an average of 4%.

Earning Potential

A good job should enable you to live in reasonable comfort. Even when you’re just starting out in your new career, you should be able to pay all your bills and afford a few small luxuries while still saving for emergencies. And as you advance in your career, your income should grow as well so you can meet long-term financial goals like buying a home, putting kids through college, or retiring.

So how much money is required to meet these goals? In a 2018 report, Pew calculated that the median income for a middle-class household in the United States was $78,442. However, since many middle-class households have more than one income earner, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to earn this much to support a middle-class lifestyle for yourself alone.

For a single person, Pew says an income of $78,281 is enough to qualify as “upper income.” A slightly lower income — around $70,000 — may not make you wealthy, but it should be enough to live comfortably.

Educational Requirements

Many jobs with favorable prospects for both growth and earnings require a college degree or even further education beyond college, such as medical school. That puts many young people today in a bind. They need a degree to get these desirable jobs, but getting one means investing years of their lives and tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of dollars. It’s not always clear whether the higher earnings after graduation can make up for starting their adult lives buried under a mountain of student loan debt.

However, some jobs offer high pay without a college degree. You can get them with only a two-year associate’s degree or some type of nonacademic training. Many of these jobs are in fast-growing fields, so the prospects for getting a job after completing your training can be better than they are for some college graduates.

Best Careers Fields of the Next Decade

By putting all these factors together, it’s possible to develop a list of careers that look like promising opportunities for the next 10 years or so. All the jobs on this list meet several criteria:

  • Fast Job Growth. They’re in fields the OOH predicts will grow “much faster than average.” That means the number of jobs is expected to increase by at least 8% between 2019 and 2029.
  • Thousands of New Jobs Projected. Since even a fast-growing field might not offer many job openings if it was very small to start with, the list includes only careers expected to add at least 14,000 new jobs between 2019 and 2029.
  • A Comfortable Wage. The OOH lists them as having a median pay of at least $70,000. (The median is the 50% mark, meaning half of all workers in this field earn more than this amount and half earn less.)

Most of the careers that meet these criteria fall into the broad fields of health care and technology. That’s not surprising, since these are both fast-growing sectors that tend to offer high wages.

However, within these fields, there is a wide range of positions to choose from. Some involve treating patients, some involve managing people, and others are mainly about working with computers. There are also a few jobs in other fields, such as finance and education, that tick all the boxes.

1. Software Developer

Software developers design and write the software that runs on devices like computers and phones. Some developers create applications for specific tasks, while others work on the operating systems used by devices and networks. Software development involves figuring out what users need, designing and testing software to meet those needs, making upgrades to older programs, and maintaining and documenting software to make sure it keeps working correctly in the future.

  • Work Environment: Most software developers work for businesses that publish software or manufacture computers and other devices. They do most of their work sitting in front of a computer in a corporate office, although some work at home. They typically work full time, often putting in overtime hours, and they often work in teams.
  • Educational Requirements: Software developers typically have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field, such as software engineering. Some employers prefer applicants with a master’s degree. The job also requires strong skills and experience in computer programming. Many developers gain programming experience by doing an internship with a software company while in college. Developers need to continue their education throughout their careers, staying up to date with new computer languages and programming tools.
  • Earnings: The OOH puts the median annual wage for software developers at $105,590. Findings from Payscale, which polls people in different fields about their salaries, back up this claim. Its median reported income for “computer software engineers, applications” is $103,000.
  • Job Growth: Software development is a vast field. According to the OOH, there were roughly 1.47 million software developers in the U.S. in 2019. By 2029, the OOH predicts this field will grow by 22%, adding another 316,000 jobs.

Click here to search for software developer jobs.

2. Medical and Health Services Manager

Health care is a big and complicated business. Providing care to patients is only part of it. There’s also the work of scheduling appointments, collecting payments, keeping medical records, and coordinating with other care providers. Medical and health services managers oversee all these activities, leaving health care providers with more time for their patients.

  • Work Environment: Medical and health services managers work in all kinds of health care settings where lots of patients and providers are under one roof. That includes group medical practices, hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes.
  • Educational Requirements: To become a medical or health services manager, you typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in a field such as health administration or health management, plus some experience working in the health care field. Many people in this field also have master’s degrees that take two or three years to complete, including a year of working under supervision in an actual health care setting.
  • Earnings: According to the OOH, medical and health services managers earned a median income of $100,980 in 2019. However, Payscale puts the median salary for these workers at only $70,800.
  • Job Growth: According to the OOH, there were 422,300 medical and health services managers in the U.S. in 2019. This number is expected to increase by a whopping 32%, or 133,200 jobs, by 2028.

3. Postsecondary Teacher

A postsecondary teacher is any teacher who works with students beyond the high school level. These educators can teach any subject, but the OOH notes that demand is rising particularly fast for health, business, and nursing teachers. In addition to teaching classes, postsecondary teachers commonly engage in research, publish books and papers, and advise students about choosing a college major and achieving their career goals.

  • Work Environment: Postsecondary teachers work in public and private colleges and universities, junior or community colleges, and professional schools. Many postsecondary instructors teach part time, and some teach classes at multiple schools. Some hold full-time jobs in a field such as law while teaching a class or two on the side.

  • Educational Requirements: Most postsecondary teachers have a Ph.D. in the field they teach. A doctoral program takes years to complete on top of a four-year college degree. However, some community colleges accept instructors with only a master’s degree. In some cases, postsecondary teachers also need to have work experience in their field.

  • Earnings: According to the OOH, the average annual salary for postsecondary teachers was $79,540 in 2019. However, Payscale reports a much lower median salary of $50,800 for postsecondary teachers in most subject areas. Payscale also notes that salaries vary widely depending on the subject taught — from $40,100 for vocational teachers to $67,100 for nursing instructors.

  • Job Growth: In 2019, there were over 1.3 million postsecondary instructors and teachers in the U.S. The BLS expects this field to grow by 9%, adding 121,500 new jobs, by 2029.

Student Watching Teacher Lesson Online Class Virtual Remote Learning

4. Nurse Practitioner

A nurse practitioner, or NP, is a type of nurse with more training and more authority than a registered nurse (RN). Rather than just assisting doctors, NPs can perform many of a doctor’s functions themselves. According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), an NP can diagnose illnesses, prescribe medications, and manage a patient’s overall care.

  • Work Environment: NPs work in all types of health care settings. They can practice in clinics, hospitals, urgent care centers, emergency rooms, nursing homes, schools and universities, private practices, or public health departments.
  • Educational Requirements: To become an NP, you must already be a licensed RN. That can mean earning either a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in nursing. Then, on top of that, you must complete a graduate program, receive advanced clinical training, and earn your national certification.
  • Earnings: The current edition of the OOH groups NPs together with other advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), including nurse midwives and nurse anesthetists. It says APRNs as a group earn a median income of $115,800 per year. Other statistics from the BLS put the median income for NPs at $109,820 as of May 2019.
  • Job Growth: According to the BLS, there were 200,600 NPs in the U.S. in May 2019. However, the AANP puts the figure much higher than that, saying there were more than 270,000 NPs in the country in 2019. The OOH predicts that the demand for all APRNs, including NPs, will rise by 45% between 2019 and 2029. That adds up to a total of 117,700 new jobs in this field, including 110,700 jobs for NPs specifically.

Click here to search for nurse practitioner jobs.

5. Financial Manager

Every company, from a corner grocery store to a Fortune 500 company, has to deal with money. If the business is big enough, it may hire a financial manager to deal with that side of the business. Financial managers keep track of an organization’s income and spending, looking for ways to maximize profits and reduce costs. They create financial reports, manage investments, and help direct the organization’s long-term financial goals.

  • Work Environment: Financial managers can work for any kind of organization, including businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies. They’re high-level employees who work closely with top executives and the departments that gather data. Most financial managers work full time, and some put in more than 40 hours per week.
  • Educational Requirements: To become a financial manager, you typically need a four-year college degree in finance, accounting, economics, or business administration. Some employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree in one of these fields. The job also requires relevant work experience in a financial field, such as accounting, sales, or banking.
  • Earnings: The median income for financial managers in 2019 was $129,890, according to the OOH. However, financial managers surveyed by Payscale reported a lower median of $76,800.
  • Job Growth: As of 2019, there were 697,900 financial managers in the U.S. The BLS predicts this field will grow 15% by 2029, adding 108,100 new jobs.

Click here to search for financial manager jobs.

6. Management Analyst

Management analysts, also known as management consultants, help businesses find ways to run more efficiently. They come into a company and observe its procedures, interview staff, and analyze financial data. Then they advise managers on how to reduce costs (for example, by doing the same job with fewer workers) or boost revenues (for example, by increasing the amount of a product a company can produce in a day).

  • Work Environment: Management consultants often work for many different companies throughout the year. They divide their time between their own offices and their clients’ worksites. The job often involves travel and working long hours on tight deadlines.
  • Educational Requirements: In general, a management analyst must have at least a bachelor’s degree in a field such as business, economics, finance, marketing, or psychology. Many companies prefer to hire analysts with a master’s in business administration (MBA). Companies also often look for analysts with work experience in their field. For example, tax preparation firms may prefer candidates who have previously worked as accountants.
  • Earnings: The OOH puts the median annual salary for management analysts at $85,260 for 2019. However, Payscale estimates the median salary at only $69,700.
  • Job Growth: There were 876,300 management analysts in the U.S. in 2019, according to the OOH. By 2029, this field is expected to grow by 11%, adding 93,800 jobs.

Click here to search for management analyst jobs.

7. Physical Therapist

Physical therapists help people with injuries or illnesses that cause pain and impair movement. They use techniques like stretches or other exercises and body manipulation to help patients improve their mobility and reduce pain.

  • Work Environment: Physical therapists can work in hospitals, private offices, clinics, and nursing homes. Sometimes they also work with patients in their homes.
  • Educational Requirements: A physical therapist must earn a doctor of physical therapy (DPT) degree from an accredited program. These programs usually take three years to complete after college. Some programs let students earn a bachelor’s degree and a DPT at the same time over six or seven years.
  • Earnings: The OOH says physical therapists earned a median income of $89,440 in 2019. However, Payscale gives a much lower estimate of $73,400.
  • Job Growth: In 2019, there were 258,200 physical therapists in the U.S., according to the OOH. By 2029, there are expected to be 47,000 more, an increase of 18%.

Click here to search for physical therapist jobs.

8. Construction Manager

When you pass a construction site, you typically see many construction workers busy with the hands-on job of building. Construction managers aren’t always visible on the scene, but they’re always there behind it. From coming up with the initial cost element to supervising workers to making sure the work is up to code, they’re involved in every stage of the building process.

  • Work Environment: Although construction managers often have a permanent office, they spend most of their time on construction sites. Working from a field office, they keep track of the project and make daily decisions about what to do next. Many construction managers are in charge of multiple projects and must travel between different building sites.
  • Educational Requirements: Most construction managers have both a bachelor’s degree in a construction-related field, such as building science, and previous experience assisting an experienced construction manager. For smaller construction projects, it’s possible to become a construction manager with only an associate’s degree in construction management or construction technology plus work experience.
  • Earnings: The OOH says the median salary for a construction manager was $95,260 per year in 2019. However, construction managers surveyed by Payscale report median earnings of only $69,700.
  • Job Growth: According to the OOH, there were 476,700 jobs in construction management in 2019. By 2029, this field should grow by 8%, adding 40,400 new jobs.

Click here to search for construction manager jobs.

9. Information Security Analyst

Businesses hire information security analysts to protect their computer networks and systems from cybercrime. These professionals install antivirus software and other safeguards to protect sensitive information, watch for security breaches and investigate them when they occur, and periodically test the network to look for gaps a hacker could exploit. They also prepare recovery plans to help the company get its system working in case of an attack. That can involve removing harmful software from the computer system and restoring data from backups.

  • Work Environment: Information security analysts work for companies in many fields, including computing, finance, insurance, and consulting. They typically work full time, sometimes more than 40 hours per week.
  • Educational Requirements: To become an information security analyst, you typically need a four-year college degree in a computer-related field. Some companies look for applicants who have an MBA in information systems, which requires an additional two years of study after college. Also, companies prefer analysts to have experience in a related field. For instance, if they want to hire someone for database security, they look for someone with experience as a database administrator.
  • Earnings: According to the OOH, information security analysts in the U.S. earned a median salary of $99,730 in 2019. Payscale does not report earnings for this field.
  • Job Growth: The OOH says there were 131,000 information security analysts in the U.S. in 2019, and that number is growing rapidly. By 2019, the field is expected to add 40,900 new jobs, representing 31% overall growth.

Click here to search for information security analyst jobs.

10. Computer & Information Systems Manager

A computer and information systems manager is in charge of all the computer-related activities within a company or other organization. The job can involve analyzing computer needs, recommending upgrades to the system, installing and maintaining computers and software, and directing other computer-related professionals, such as software developers and information security analysts.

Many organizations have multiple people in charge of computer and information systems management, each with a different set of responsibilities. For instance, a company can have a chief information officer who keeps track of the organization’s overall goals related to technology and information, a chief technology officer (CTO) who is responsible for designing and implementing specific technology solutions, various information technology (IT) directors who manage the technology needs of specific departments, and an IT security manager who handles network and data security.

  • Work Environment: All kinds of large companies have computer and information systems managers. However, the biggest employers of these professionals are computing, information, and finance companies. Most computer and information systems managers work full time, and some work more than 40 hours per week.
  • Educational Requirements: In general, candidates for this job must have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer or information science. Many computer and information systems managers have MBAs. Getting this job also requires work experience in a related IT field — at least five years’ experience for a director and 15 or more for a CTO.
  • Earnings: It’s not easy to get this job, and companies pay well for people with the right qualifications. According to the OOH, computer and information systems managers earned a median income of $146,360 in 2019. As usual, Payscale puts the median salary somewhat lower, but it’s still a respectable $103,000.
  • Job Growth: There were 461,000 computer and information systems managers in the U.S. in 2019. By 2029, the OOH predicts, there will be 46,800 more. That’s an overall growth rate of 11% for this profession.

Click here to search for computer and information systems manager jobs.

Information Technology Systems Management Man Working It

11. Speech-Language Pathologist

Speech-language pathologists, also known as speech therapists, work with patients who have difficulty speaking or swallowing. They assess these patients’ problems, diagnose their causes, and develop programs to treat them.

  • Work Environment: Nearly 40% of all speech-language pathologists work in schools. Most others work in health care settings such as doctor’s offices, hospitals, and nursing homes. A few speech-language pathologists are self-employed.
  • Educational Requirements: Most speech-language pathologists have at least a master’s degree in their field. Degree programs in speech-language pathology don’t usually require you to have a specific type of undergraduate degree. But they often require you to complete specific courses before signing up.
  • Earnings: The median pay for speech-language pathologists in 2019 was $79,120, according to the OOH. However, Payscale’s survey of people in this field found their median salary was $65,700.
  • Job Growth: The OOH says there were 162,600 speech-language pathologists in the U.S. in 2019. This field is expected to grow 25% by 2028, adding 40,500 new jobs.

Click here to search for speech language pathologist jobs.

12. Physician Assistant

The job of a physician assistant (PA) is similar to that of an NP. PAs work under a doctor’s supervision to provide care to patients. They can do many of the same tasks as doctors, including examining patients, ordering and interpreting tests, diagnosing illnesses, prescribing medicine, and delivering preventative care and treatments like immunizations or setting a broken bone. In some areas, especially rural ones, a PA can serve as a patient’s primary health care provider.

  • Work Environment: PAs can work in various health care settings, including doctor’s offices, hospitals, and clinics. Most PAs work full time.
  • Educational Requirements: To become a PA, you must earn a master’s degree from an accredited program. That typically takes two years after college. Many people who become PAs already have experience in the health care field as RNs, paramedics, or EMTs.
  • Earnings: According to the OOH, PAs earned a median salary of $112,260 in 2019. However, according to Payscale, the median salary was only $88,100.
  • Job Growth: The OOH says there were 125,500 PAs in the U.S. as of 2019, and 339,300 more jobs will be added in this field by 2029. That’s an increase of 31%, making this one of the fastest-growing occupations in the country.

Click here to search for physician assistant jobs.

13. Industrial Engineer

An engineer is anyone who designs, builds, or maintains any kind of system. An industrial engineer specifically designs, builds, and maintains the systems that industries rely on to make goods and provide services. These complex systems include workers, machines, materials, energy, and information.

An industrial engineer’s job to make all these parts work together as efficiently as possible. They can apply their skills to anything from moving heavy parts around in a factory to ensuring that workers get paid on time.

  • Work Environment: Industrial engineers work in a variety of settings. They often have to travel to observe how a business works in person. For instance, they might spend one day in a factory watching workers assemble parts. The next day, they might be at a desk in an office using a computer to analyze the data they’ve collected and figure out how to improve those workers’ efficiency.
  • Educational Requirements: Most industrial engineers have bachelors’ degrees in industrial engineering. Some have degrees in related fields, such as mechanical, electrical, or general engineering. Industrial engineers who work in research and development or teach at colleges and universities generally need a master’s degree. Some colleges and universities offer five-year industrial engineering programs that provide both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree upon graduation.
  • Earnings: According to the OOH, the median income for industrial engineers in the U.S. in 2019 was $88,020. However, Payscale estimates the median income for this field at only $68,000.
  • Job Growth: In 2019, there were 295,800 industrial engineers in the U.S. By 2029, the OOH predicts, there will be 30,000 more, an increase of about 10%.

Click here to search for industrial engineer jobs.

14. Operations Research Analyst

An operations research analyst’s job is to help businesses find the best, most cost-effective solutions to complex problems. They use mathematical and analytical methods to find the best strategies for allocating resources, managing supply chains, developing production schedules, and setting prices. For instance, they could help a supermarket manager figure out how to organize products on the shelves or help an automaker decide how many cars of each model to produce in each of its factories.

  • Work Environment: Operations research analysts spend most of their time in offices. However, they sometimes need to travel to meet with clients or observe business processes. Nearly all operations research analysts work full time, and most work in teams.
  • Educational Requirements: Most entry-level jobs in this field require a bachelor’s degree, and some employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree. Common college majors for future operations research analysts include business, operations research, mathematics, engineering, and computer science.
  • Earnings: According to the OOH, operations research analysts’ median income was $84,810 in 2019. Payscale reports a lower median income of $63,400.
  • Job Growth: As of 2019, there were 105,100 operations research analysts in the U.S. The OOH expects that number to increase by 25%, or 26,100 jobs, by 2029.

Click here to search for operations research analyst jobs.

15. Occupational Therapist

An occupational therapist helps patients with injuries, illnesses, or disabilities that make it difficult for them to perform everyday tasks. Their job is partly helping the patients develop or improve the skills they need for daily living and partly helping them find workarounds to make tasks easier.

  • Work Environment: According to the OOH, about half of all occupational therapists work in hospitals or occupational therapy offices. The other half work in nursing homes, schools, and patients’ homes. People in this field spend a lot of time on their feet assisting patients.
  • Educational Requirements: Most people with this job have a master’s degree in occupational therapy. This program typically takes two or three years to complete after graduating from college. Some schools have special programs that enable students to earn both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in occupational therapy over five years.
  • Earnings: The OOH says the median salary for occupational therapists is $84,950 per year. However, Payscale puts it quite a bit lower, at $64,400.
  • Job Growth: As of 2019, there were 143,000 occupational therapists in the U.S., according to the OOH. This number should rise 16% by 2029, an increase of 22,700 jobs.

Click here to search for occupational therapist jobs.

16. Statistician

Statistics is a branch of mathematics that centers on analyzing numerical data. Statisticians work in all kinds of fields, including economics, business, biology, medicine, agriculture, government, and education. For instance, a statistician can help a company analyze its sales data to determine who is buying which of its products and where it has the best chance of boosting sales.

  • Work Environment: Many statisticians and other mathematicians work for the government or private research companies. They often work in teams with other professionals, such as scientists and engineers.
  • Educational Requirements: According to the OOH, jobs in this field typically require at least a master’s degree in mathematics or statistics. However, there are some jobs you can get with only a bachelor’s degree.
  • Earnings: The OOH lumps statisticians and other mathematicians, saying people in this field earn a median salary of $92,030 per year. However, other figures from the BLS, which focus on statisticians more specifically, show that these professionals earn an average of $95,680 per year. Payscale’s numbers, by contrast, show that the median salary for statisticians is only $71,100.
  • Job Growth: According to the OOH, there were 45,700 mathematicians and statisticians in the U.S. in 2019. The other BLS figures indicate that this field included 39,090 statisticians in May 2019. The OOH predicts that this field as a whole will grow by 33%, adding 14,900 new jobs by 2029.

Click here to search for statistician jobs.

17. Veterinarian

If you’ve ever owned a dog or other pet, you’ve certainly dealt with veterinarians. These professionals provide medical care for animals of all kinds, including pets, livestock, and zoo animals. Aside from treating individual animals, they play a role in public health by developing and enforcing standards for living conditions for livestock. That helps prevent disease outbreaks and protects the safety of the food supply.

  • Work Environment: Most vets work in private clinics or animal hospitals. However, some travel to farms to treat livestock or work in zoos, classrooms, and laboratories.
  • Educational Requirements: To become a vet, you must earn a doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM or VMD) degree from an accredited veterinary college. DVM programs usually involve three years of classroom and lab work on subjects such as animal anatomy, physiology, and diseases followed by one year of hands-on clinical work at a veterinary hospital or medical center.
  • Earnings: The OOH lists the median pay for veterinarians in 2019 as $95,460 per year. However, vets surveyed by Payscale report a lower median income of $70,600.
  • Job Growth: The OOH reports that there were 89,200 veterinarians in the U.S. in 2019. By 2029, there should be 14,200 more jobs for vets available, representing a growth rate of 16%.

Click here to search for veterinarian jobs.

18. Web Developer

Every time you visit a business’s or other organization’s website, you’re seeing a Web developer’s work. These professionals are responsible for how a website looks and how well it works — for instance, how fast it loads and how much traffic it can handle. They create code for the site, add elements such as graphics and audio, test the site, and monitor its traffic.

There are several kinds of Web developers. Front-end developers are responsible for the appearance of the site (although they may work with a separate Web designer) and how users interact with it. Back-end developers are responsible for the site’s framework, which makes it run smoothly and allows for changes when necessary. Webmasters are in charge of maintaining websites, keeping them up to date and dealing with users’ problems.

  • Work Environment: Naturally, this job mainly involves working in front of a computer. However, Web developers must also spend some time in team meetings discussing what content the client wants on a site and how it should look. About 10% of all Web developers are self-employed. The rest work in industries such as computer systems design, publishing, management consulting, and advertising.
  • Educational Requirements: The education required for a job in Web development varies. Most Web developers have an associate’s degree in Web design or a related field. However, some employers hire Web developers with only a high school diploma, while others require a bachelor’s degree in a field like computer science, particularly for back-end development. All Web developers, regardless of education, need skills in programming and graphic design. There are several online boot camps for aspiring web developers including one from Codecademy.
  • Earnings: According to the OOH, the median salary for Web developers in 2019 was $73,760. Payscale does not list earnings for this field.
  • Job Growth: The OOH says there were 174,300 Web developers in the U.S. in 2019. Over the next decade, the field should grow at a healthy rate of 8%, adding 14,000 new jobs.

Click here to search for web developer jobs.

Final Word

All these careers offer good wages and good prospects for growth. However, that doesn’t mean they’re the only reasonable careers to pursue — especially if all of them sound boring to you. While following your passion may not be the smartest career move, it makes even less sense to spend two or more years training for a job that holds no interest for you just so you can spend the next 40 years being bored at work.

The right job for you has to do more than pay the bills. It should also be a job you find satisfying and worthwhile. You can find your ideal career by thinking about your interests and skills and identifying fields that fit well with them. Then use tools like the OOH and Payscale to learn which jobs in that field offer the most opportunities and the best pay.

Which of the careers on this list would you be most likely to pursue? Are there any other promising fields you think the list leaves out?


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Amy Livingston is a freelance writer who can actually answer yes to the question, "And from that you make a living?" She has written about personal finance and shopping strategies for a variety of publications, including,, and the Dollar Stretcher newsletter. She also maintains a personal blog, Ecofrugal Living, on ways to save money and live green at the same time.