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Hot Jobs 2020

Every two years, the Census Bureau, along with the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, refreshes a study that forecasts job trends over the next ten years. he latest study was published back in September 2020; analyzing the job market in 2019 and making projections through the year 2029.

In this article, we’re going to start with a brief explanation of the study’s’ origin. Then we’ll quickly slice and dice the data, identifying the hot job trends over the next decade. This summary data will not only include those sectors of the job market that are growing, but those jobs that are on the decline too.

Job Opportunities Study

The latest version of the Occupational Outlook Handbook was released on September 2020. This study is a composite of information gathered from three sources:

  • Current Employment Statistics (CES): a study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that surveys roughly 140,000 businesses to gain insights into employment, hours of work, and earnings.
  • Occupational Employment Statistics (OES): a second study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics used to produce employment and wage data for over 800 job types.
  • Current Population Survey (CPS): this last study is conducted by the Census Bureau, and collects data on employment, earnings, as well as demographics.

We’re going to split the results of these studies into two parts. In this article, we’re going to run through what might be called “hot jobs.” That will include fast growing jobs, calculated as both new jobs created as well as openings. In part two, we’ll dive a bit deeper into requirements in terms of both work experience and education.

Jobs in High Demand

The discussion of this job growth data is going to be further divided into two categories. In this first category, we’ll start by talking about those professions expected to grow rapidly over the next ten years. Then we’ll talk about those jobs that are expected to decline, or contract, over time.

Top Ten Jobs in Terms of Growth

Occupation Thousands Of Jobs
Home health and personal care aides 1,159.5
Cooks, restaurant 327.3
Software developers and software quality assurance analysts and testers 316.0
Medical and health services managers 133.2
Nurse practitioners 110.7
Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors 79.0
Animal caretakers 68.8
Health specialties teachers, postsecondary 52.1
Information security analysts 40.9
Speech-language pathologists 40.5

The above table tells us how many new jobs will be created from 2019 through 2029. For example, the study is projecting 1,159,500 new jobs for home health and personal care aides.

Top Ten Jobs in Terms of Annual Openings Created

Occupation Thousands of Openings
Fast food and counter workers 826.6
Home health and personal care aides 568.8
Retail salespersons 568.1
Cashiers 558.6
Waiters and waitresses 475.7
Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand 380.6
Customer service representatives 350.2
Office clerks, general 317.5
Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners 305.6
Stockers and order fillers 254.9

Openings created are different than growth in jobs. Openings created also include information on turnover. For example, we know from the first table of data these studies are forecasting 826,600 new fast food and counter worker jobs. In this second table appears a projection of that includes turnover. For example, each year 568,800 home health and personal care aide jobs are created because someone left their job.

Top Ten Fastest Growing Jobs

Occupation Increase over 10 Years
Wind turbine service technicians 60.7%
Nurse practitioners 52.4%
Solar photovoltaic installers 50.5%
Statisticians 34.6%
Occupational therapy assistants 34.6%
Home health and personal care aides 33.7%
Physical therapist assistants 32.6%
Medical and health services managers 31.5%
Physician assistants 31.3%
Information security analysts 31.2%

Another way to look at job growth is the percentage increase in the number of jobs over time. For example, these studies are projecting an increase of 60.7% from 2019 through 2029 in jobs for wind turbine and service technicians.

Jobs to Avoid

While it’s certainly interesting to know the jobs that will be in high demand over the next decade, it’s equally important to understand which jobs are contracting.

Top Ten Jobs in Decline

Occupation Thousands Of Jobs
Cashiers -265.3
Secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive -227.5
Miscellaneous assemblers and fabricators -177.6
Office clerks, general -155.9
Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants -121.1
Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers -100.4
Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks -95.4
First-line supervisors of retail sales workers -81.2
Cooks, fast food -71.6
Tellers -68.6

The above list does not bode well for administrative assistants. Here we see a total loss of 227,500 jobs, in addition to job losses for legal secretaries, and executive secretaries.

Top Ten Fastest Declining Jobs

Occupation Decrease over 10 Years
Word processors and typists -36.4%
Parking enforcement workers -36.2%
Nuclear power reactor operators -35.7%
Watch and clock repairers -32.3%
Cutters and trimmers, hand -29.9%
Telephone operators -27.9%
Travel agents -25.9%
Data entry keyers -24.6%
Electronic equipment installers and repairers, motor vehicles -23.2%
Switchboard operators, including answering service -22.5%

The table above tells us workers in parking enforcement and word procession positions will experience a steep decline in jobs. This information is stated as a percentage of the total workforce; meaning over 35.7% of nuclear power reactor operators are expected to disappear over the next decade.


The patterns in the above tables of information are clear. Over the next ten years, more healthcare practitioners will be needed to help an aging population in the United States. The patterns in the above tables of information are clear. Over the next ten years, more healthcare practitioners will be needed to help an aging population in the United States.

Email and other competitive services continue to take its toll on the post office, with a significant decline in a variety of positions providing postal services over the last several reports. Finally, administrative positions are projected to be in sharp decline over the next ten years as office workers continue to be more self-sufficient and automation replaces this once valuable skillset.

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