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Fastest-growing jobs that pay over $100K

January 17, 2023
Andrey_Popov // Shutterstock

Fastest-growing jobs that pay over $100K

As the coronavirus pandemic wanes, the number of jobs in the U.S. is expected to grow 5.3% across all occupations by 2031—but jobs that pay over $100,000 a year on average are expected to grow at double that rate, according to projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In fact, 1 in 4 jobs created over the next decade is expected to be in occupations making a six-figure average. With increasing health care demands from an aging population and technological breakthroughs abounding—as well as data-savvy workers to manage all the monitoring and reporting of information—jobs in those sectors will grow.

Out of more than 100 occupations earning over $100,000 annually, Stacker ranked the top 50 fastest-growing jobs, using 2021 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections and Occupational Employment Statistics. The jobs are ranked by their 10-year projected employment change, and ties are broken by projected employment in 2031.

The jobs listed in this article include transportation workers, lawyers, and a bevy of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics-related jobs—including chemical engineers, biomedical engineers, and computer and information research scientists. Different types of physicians and tech industry workers also make several appearances.

Many of these professions necessitate postsecondary education or on-the-job training. Of course, opportunities for lower-income citizens to gain access to these jobs are a growing concern for more Americans, as well as the need to invest in STEM education in communities that don't have the same resources as more affluent communities.

Read on to find out which fast-growing jobs are of interest to you, a family member, or even a youngster you may know who's planning for the future.

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Professional working on report.
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#50. Administrative services managers

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 6.7%
--- Employment in 2021: 239,000
--- Projected employment in 2031: 255,100
- 2021 mean annual wage: $113,030

Administrative services managers review an organization's internal operations to see where there is room for efficiency. Through evaluation of scheduling, paperwork filing, and office management, employees in this role reduce waste and increase productivity. An applicant for this job would need management skills and extensive knowledge of office management software.

Inventory manager and stock assistant discuss business.
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#49. General and operations managers

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 6.7%
--- Employment in 2021: 3,118,400
--- Projected employment in 2031: 3,328,200
- 2021 mean annual wage: $115,250

These managers can work in restaurants, technical consulting services, or various other fields. General and operations managers earn the highest annual mean wage in New Jersey, although St. George, Utah, has one of the highest concentrations of such managers.

Man in suit and hard hat checks tablet in power plant.
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#48. Facilities managers

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 6.9%
--- Employment in 2021: 109,100
--- Projected employment in 2031: 116,600
- 2021 mean annual wage: $101,970

A facility manager job can offer growth for people with organizational, leadership, and team-building skills. Managers are responsible for monitoring the safety conditions of a facility, and they delegate essential tasks that keep the place running smoothly. Additionally, facilities managers execute maintenance requests and orchestrate emergency repairs.

Makeup artist prepares actress for stage.
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#47. Makeup artists, theatrical and performance

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 7.0%
--- Employment in 2021: 4,400
--- Projected employment in 2031: 4,700
- 2021 mean annual wage: $124,380

Theatrical performances require a lot of work behind the scenes, and makeup artists are a huge part of the equation. A cosmetology license and experience with stage makeup are necessary, as well as the ability to work quickly and under a deadline. Additionally, workers in this field may need to budget for supplies and create sketches for approval.

Manager gives a presentation.
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#46. Advertising and promotions managers

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 7.1%
--- Employment in 2021: 28,000
--- Projected employment in 2031: 30,000
- 2021 mean annual wage: $142,860

As Americans curtailed and then expanded their spending through the pandemic, they have reevaluated what they spend their money on and why. This has made the need for advertising and promotions managers more prevalent. Through marketing campaigns and assets like posters and billboards, advertising managers tap into trends like cause marketing to get the most out of their promotional spending.

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Marine biology professor discusses field findings with students.
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#45. Atmospheric, earth, marine, and space sciences teachers, postsecondary

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 7.2%
--- Employment in 2021: 12,700
--- Projected employment in 2031: 13,700
- 2021 mean annual wage: $102,840

Educators who thrive in a position combining research and exploratory lessons do well as atmospheric, earth, marine, and space science teachers. Aside from giving lectures, these teachers evaluate assignments and design a curriculum. A doctoral degree is necessary to teach this topic in a four-year college or university, but a master's degree is usually enough for a community college.

Human resource manager welcomes new member to office team.
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#44. Human resources managers

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 7.3%
--- Employment in 2021: 174,200
--- Projected employment in 2031: 186,900
- 2021 mean annual wage: $136,590

A human resources manager normally has a bachelor's degree, though many have an MBA. The pandemic has forced HR managers to reassess not only hiring practices but also what offices and workplaces will look like in the future.

Professional giving presentation to coworkers.
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#43. Education administrators, postsecondary

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 7.4%
--- Employment in 2021: 210,100
--- Projected employment in 2031: 225,600
- 2021 mean annual wage: $111,260

Postsecondary administrators usually hold a master's degree, with undergraduate study in social work, marketing, accounting, or education. The coronavirus pandemic has forced these administrators to scramble to find solutions for in-person and online learning, as well as maintain the health of students and staff.

Midwife nurse talking to pregnant patient.
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#42. Nurse midwives

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 7.5%
--- Employment in 2021: 8,100
--- Projected employment in 2031: 8,700
- 2021 mean annual wage: $114,210

Nurse midwives' credentials include a master's degree and a license for registered nurses in their states, an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) license for their state, and a passing grade on a national certification exam. Many nurse midwives have been helping on the front lines in response to the pandemic. A California law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in September 2020 seeks to enhance the roles of nurse midwives.

Training manager stands at whiteboard in group session.
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#41. Training and development managers

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 7.5%
--- Employment in 2021: 38,100
--- Projected employment in 2031: 40,900
- 2021 mean annual wage: $128,800

You can find a training and development manager in almost every industry. Managers oversee daily activities, conduct training that matches business goals, and work with managers in other departments. Many of these managers hold a bachelor's degree.

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Public relations manager speaks to media.
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#40. Public relations managers

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 7.6%
--- Employment in 2021: 66,700
--- Projected employment in 2031: 71,700
- 2021 mean annual wage: $138,000

Every company worries about its image and public reputation. Becoming a public relations manager doesn't require an advanced degree, but it calls for someone with solid communication and media skills.

Manager watches construction workers pouring concrete.
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#39. Construction managers

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 7.6%
--- Employment in 2021: 478,500
--- Projected employment in 2031: 514,900
- 2021 mean annual wage: $108,210

Construction managers receive a lot of on-the-job training before ascending to their posts. Many managers had to stop projects when work was put on hold during the pandemic. Managers also have had to take into consideration CDC guidelines for their workers, many of whom work in confined spaces.

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#38. Producers and directors

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 7.7%
--- Employment in 2021: 166,200
--- Projected employment in 2031: 178,900
- 2021 mean annual wage: $101,950

While many jobs became remote since the pandemic, directing or producing often needs to be done in person. But the location also matters in this role, which is most prevalent in New York and California. Over 90% of producers and directors make over $200,000 annually.

Woman reviewing financial charts and graphs on monitor.
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#37. Financial risk specialists

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 8.1%
--- Employment in 2021: 56,500
--- Projected employment in 2031: 61,100
- 2021 mean annual wage: $110,610

Companies with a large amount of capital to invest utilize the services of a financial risk specialist. They research economic and political trends and prevent investment risks. A bachelor's degree is necessary for this detail-oriented job.

Scientist inserts hand laser deposition chamber.
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#36. Physicists

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 8.2%
--- Employment in 2021: 23,000
--- Projected employment in 2031: 24,800
- 2021 mean annual wage: $151,580

Most physicists study for a doctoral degree, although if they work in the federal government, a Ph.D. is not always necessary. In the last few years, notable physicists have completed breakthrough gravity research and built miniature magnetic field detectors.

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Professor gives lecture to students.
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#35. Anthropology and archaeology teachers, postsecondary

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 8.3%
--- Employment in 2021: 6,400
--- Projected employment in 2031: 6,900
- 2021 mean annual wage: $102,110

People are always curious about the past, and how people lived centuries or even millennia ago. Anthropology and archaeology postsecondary teachers meet this need, both exploring and sharing what remains of the past. While some community colleges will accept a master's degree, universities may require a postdoctoral degree for a teaching position in this field.

Engineer working with laptop at oil pump.
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#34. Petroleum engineers

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 8.3%
--- Employment in 2021: 22,800
--- Projected employment in 2031: 24,600
- 2021 mean annual wage: $145,720

Petroleum engineers are in one of the highest-paying fields for undergraduates to study. Colleges in Texas and the West have some of the most recognized programs for studying petroleum engineering. Workers usually spend time in offices, as well as on oil-drilling and well sites.

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#33. Economics teachers, postsecondary

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 8.4%
--- Employment in 2021: 15,300
--- Projected employment in 2031: 16,600
- 2021 mean annual wage: $124,090

Economics professors have been closely watching events unfold since the pandemic began, as social, health, and employment issues have merged to create an unsteady national climate. The father of Vice President Kamala Harris is an economics professor emeritus at Stanford, while her mother holds a degree in home science.

Transportation manager on tarmac checks tablet.
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#32. Transportation, storage, and distribution managers

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 8.4%
--- Employment in 2021: 150,700
--- Projected employment in 2031: 163,400
- 2021 mean annual wage: $105,580

Common fields related to these jobs include truck transportation and warehousing and storage. California and Texas are the two states with the highest employment levels for these managers, where the mean hourly wage exceeds $50.

Cropped view of professionals reviewing paperwork with calculator.
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#31. Financial and investment analysts

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 8.6%
--- Employment in 2021: 317,300
--- Projected employment in 2031: 344,600
- 2021 mean annual wage: $103,020

To fully understand a corporation's financial status, an analyst will examine the historical actions of the company. Once an analyst understands the economic behavior of a company, they will compare it to competitors and advise the best investment strategies. Put simply, an analyst ensures that all facts are in place before an investment is made.

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Psychiatrist and patient in a session.
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#30. Psychiatrists

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 8.7%
--- Employment in 2021: 27,900
--- Projected employment in 2031: 30,300
- 2021 mean annual wage: $249,760

Psychiatrists must obtain the same credentials as other physicians, as well as certification from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. During quarantine orders, many psychiatrists moved to virtual sessions with patients. Mental health issues have become more prevalent due to the pandemic and economic uncertainty, making the work of psychiatrists even more important.

Professor and student reviewing material in library.
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#29. Law teachers, postsecondary

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 8.9%
--- Employment in 2021: 19,100
--- Projected employment in 2031: 20,800
- 2021 mean annual wage: $130,820

Law professors are often called upon to explain political or policy decisions made by Congress or the president. In addition to completing law school, law professors usually have extensive experience running a practice.

Two coworkers discuss computer systems.
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#28. Computer systems analysts

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 9.4%
--- Employment in 2021: 538,800
--- Projected employment in 2031: 589,700
- 2021 mean annual wage: $102,210

As technology progresses, businesses need to keep up. Computer systems analysts examine what companies have in place, what the marketplace and the company's products and services require, and determine how to provide the appropriate technological support. They have a strong information-technology background and an advanced degree in computer sciences.

Optometrist adjusts optical equipment.
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#27. Optometrists

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 9.6%
--- Employment in 2021: 41,400
--- Projected employment in 2031: 45,400
- 2021 mean annual wage: $125,440

With so much screen time, it's not a surprise lots of people are getting their eyes checked. Optometrists earn a doctoral degree in optometry, which normally takes four years to complete, and must obtain a license to practice in their state. During the pandemic, some optometrists suggested new technology to make patient visits more sanitary.

Closeup hand writing in notebook.
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#26. Lawyers

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 9.6%
--- Employment in 2021: 833,100
--- Projected employment in 2031: 913,300
- 2021 mean annual wage: $148,030

Lawyers usually complete four years of college education, followed by three years of law school. Many lawyers have found remote work has reshaped their practices away from offices and toward virtual services, including court proceedings.

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Businesswoman standing at podium with laptop giving a speech.
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#25. Fundraising managers

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 9.7%
--- Employment in 2021: 31,400
--- Projected employment in 2031: 34,500
- 2021 mean annual wage: $119,400

Cause marketing, when corporations align with a charity or social cause, is more popular than ever. Enter the fundraising manager, who keeps track of volunteer and paid workers during a fundraising event. They also train and manage the people responsible for raising money.

Hand holds test tube with bioengineered rice.
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#24. Bioengineers and biomedical engineers

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 9.8%
--- Employment in 2021: 17,900
--- Projected employment in 2031: 19,700
- 2021 mean annual wage: $101,020

The pandemic made the need for medical innovation more vital than ever before, so biomedical engineers have seen an increase in job growth. They create devices and software which treat medical conditions, which will be needed as more viruses emerge. A bachelor's degree is necessary for this job, and an early focus on chemistry and other sciences also helps.

Coworkers discuss ideas on whiteboard.
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#23. Marketing managers

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 9.9%
--- Employment in 2021: 319,000
--- Projected employment in 2031: 350,700
- 2021 mean annual wage: $153,440

A bachelor's degree with a concentration in sales, consumer behavior, and market research is the standard for most marketing managers. Like public relations managers, these workers help present their company's face to the public, a key part of encouraging people to become (and remain) customers. Some companies have been criticized for their approaches in trying to be on brand with social movements.

Computer programmer working at desk.
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#22. Database architects

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 10.3%
--- Employment in 2021: 52,700
--- Projected employment in 2031: 58,100
- 2021 mean annual wage: $121,840

Database architects work closely with software designers and design analysts to create databases for hundreds or thousands of people. They study the needs and infrastructure of a company, interview employees about areas of improvement, and map out how an electronic database will work. As more corporate functions move into the digital and online worlds, the need for complex databases increases.

Speaker makes presentation in conference room.
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#21. Management analysts

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 11.4%
--- Employment in 2021: 950,600
--- Projected employment in 2031: 1,059,000
- 2021 mean annual wage: $100,530

Management analysts have a job that changes often, as every project is different. The pandemic emphasized inefficiencies in business processes, which is why there is a lot of job growth for analysts. They find operational weaknesses and ways to improve business performance. To excel as an analyst, an applicant needs strong communication skills and a deep understanding of operations.

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Anesthetist holding oxygen mask above patient.
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#20. Nurse anesthetists

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 11.8%
--- Employment in 2021: 45,200
--- Projected employment in 2031: 50,500
- 2021 mean annual wage: $202,470

Nurse anesthetists must receive the same certifications as nurse midwives, but focus on providing anesthesia to patients undergoing surgical procedures. As the nation's population ages, more people will need more health care, including surgeries.

Engineering professor works with students on robot arm.
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#19. Engineering teachers, postsecondary

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 13.3%
--- Employment in 2021: 45,800
--- Projected employment in 2031: 51,800
- 2021 mean annual wage: $115,590

Engineering professors received more attention during the pandemic, as they experimented with new nasal sprays and tests about which type of mask best prevented the spreading of germs. But they also develop techniques and technologies for space exploration, construction, and computer technology. After earning postgraduate degrees, engineering professors compete for millions in grants and awards each year.

Businesspeople speaking in virtual meeting.
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#18. Agents and business managers of artists, performers, and athletes

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 13.8%
--- Employment in 2021: 22,600
--- Projected employment in 2031: 25,700
- 2021 mean annual wage: $116,410

Performers and athletes didn't get the opportunity to thrive professionally in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, and many relied on their business managers for creative solutions. One of those innovative solutions was moving clients to more affordable locations. As arenas and venues have become available to the public again, business managers continue to negotiate contracts and partnerships for their clients.

Lab professional working on experiment.
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#17. Chemical engineers

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 13.9%
--- Employment in 2021: 26,900
--- Projected employment in 2031: 30,700
- 2021 mean annual wage: $121,840

Chemical engineers turn raw materials into everyday products like toothpaste, plastics, and other materials and substances. Most chemical engineers have a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering. They often work in offices, labs, and refineries.

Lab professional looking through microscope.
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#16. Biochemists and biophysicists

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 15.3%
--- Employment in 2021: 37,500
--- Projected employment in 2031: 43,200
- 2021 mean annual wage: $113,460

Biochemists and biophysicists around the country were called upon to use their knowledge to help fight COVID-19, and even now are learning more about the virus that causes it, and other viruses, to prepare for future outbreaks. To become one of these important scientific researchers, you need a doctoral degree.

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Financial advisor meets with clients to discuss reports.
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#15. Personal financial advisors

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 15.4%
--- Employment in 2021: 330,300
--- Projected employment in 2031: 381,200
- 2021 mean annual wage: $119,960

With an uncertain economy—high interest rates, a volatile stock market, and questions about recession—people are trying to make sure they have enough money to live the lives they want. Personal financial advisors help people understand what their financial picture is, and how to achieve their goals.

Tech manager discusses systems with coworker.
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#14. Computer and information systems managers

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 16.2%
--- Employment in 2021: 509,100
--- Projected employment in 2031: 591,500
- 2021 mean annual wage: $162,930

Many computer and information systems managers complete coursework in mathematics, computer programming, and software development. They often start working in information technology and eventually earn a manager position, which can be followed by a job as a chief information officer or IT security manager.

Financial managers discuss report.
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#13. Financial managers

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 16.8%
--- Employment in 2021: 730,800
--- Projected employment in 2031: 854,000
- 2021 mean annual wage: $153,460

Financial managers usually have five years of experience in accounting, as a financial analyst, or as a securities sales agent. Financial managers had to reassess their views on financial risk during the pandemic, and then adapt as inflation soared and then slowed in the face of rising interest rates.

Lab professional looking through microscope.
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Canva

#12. Medical scientists, except epidemiologists

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 17.4%
--- Employment in 2021: 119,200
--- Projected employment in 2031: 140,000
- 2021 mean annual wage: $104,050

Although they don't work directly with patients, medical scientists are at the highest level of health care. To improve health care, they conduct research and clinical trials, and must also write grant proposals to acquire funding. A medical degree or Ph.D. in biological science is necessary for medical scientists. Epidemiologists are a type of medical scientist not included in this category by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Veterinarian holding stethoscope on cat.
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Canva

#11. Veterinarians

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 19.4%
--- Employment in 2021: 86,300
--- Projected employment in 2031: 103,100
- 2021 mean annual wage: $109,920

Veterinarians, who need a state license and a doctor of veterinary medicine degree from an accredited school, are in high demand, from people who got pets during the pandemic and from agricultural producers, who need to ensure their animals are healthy. Many began experimenting with telemedicine during the pandemic, and are considering continuing those approaches as well as more standard in-person care.

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Analyst reviews spreadsheet and financial data.
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#10. Actuaries

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 20.8%
--- Employment in 2021: 28,300
--- Projected employment in 2031: 34,200
- 2021 mean annual wage: $125,300

Actuaries, who pass a series of exams to become certified professionals, "analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty," according to the BLS. In 2020, Elon Musk put out a call for "revolutionary actuaries" for a Tesla insurance company. But they're usually much more reserved and behind the scenes. Actuaries in the insurance industry usually focus on one specific field.

Coworkers developing computer program.
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#9. Computer and information research scientists

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 21.3%
--- Employment in 2021: 33,500
--- Projected employment in 2031: 40,600
- 2021 mean annual wage: $142,650

Although a master's degree is recommended for most computer and information research scientists, federal jobs may only require a bachelor's degree. These scientists regularly work in teams with engineers and have a strong base of multidisciplinary skills.

Dentist discussing patient with assistant.
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#8. Health specialties teachers, postsecondary

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 24.1%
--- Employment in 2021: 246,700
--- Projected employment in 2031: 306,100
- 2021 mean annual wage: $133,310

States like Texas, New York, and Pennsylvania employ the most postsecondary health specialty teachers. These educators focus on courses dealing with specialties like dentistry, pharmacy, public health, therapy, and veterinary medicine. Health specialties professors generally do not teach nursing or medical science.

Information technology programmer working on desktop computer in control room.
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#7. Software developers

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 26.0%
--- Employment in 2021: 1,425,900
--- Projected employment in 2031: 1,796,500
- 2021 mean annual wage: $120,990

Software developers use programming languages to design, build, and maintain software systems for both customers and company employees. They often lead teams that merge marketing, sales, finances, and customer service experts to build integrated packages to meet multiple needs.

Nurse checking oximeter on senior patient.
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#6. Physician assistants

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 27.6%
--- Employment in 2021: 139,100
--- Projected employment in 2031: 177,500
- 2021 mean annual wage: $119,460

Many physician assistants earn a master's degree. Although many physician assistants jumped onto the front lines early in the pandemic, thousands were eventually furloughed. In rural and underserved communities, physician assistants often fill in as primary care physicians.

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#5. Medical and health services managers

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 28.3%
--- Employment in 2021: 480,700
--- Projected employment in 2031: 616,900
- 2021 mean annual wage: $119,840

Also known as health care administrators or health care executives, these managers coordinate entire medical facilities, clinics, or groups of physicians. A master's degree is common for a medical and health services manager.

Data specialist working on laptop in tech center.
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#4. Information security analysts

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 34.7%
--- Employment in 2021: 163,000
--- Projected employment in 2031: 219,500
- 2021 mean annual wage: $113,270

Most employers expect that information security analysts have a bachelor's degree in computer science. The work of information security analysts has become increasingly important as companies and civilians worry about the power of cyberattacks and how information on systems is being shared unknowingly.

Male athlete running on track.
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Canva

#3. Athletes and sports competitors

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 35.7%
--- Employment in 2021: 15,800
--- Projected employment in 2031: 21,500
- 2021 mean annual wage: $116,930

Sports is a massively popular form of entertainment, with long-standing classics like football, car racing, and baseball attracting big audiences. But as women's professional sports opportunities approach equity with men's and additional sports develop professional presences in the U.S.—like cricket, lacrosse, and rugby—more people will be working as athletes in future years than they are today.

Data scientist programming code.
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#2. Data scientists

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 35.8%
--- Employment in 2021: 113,300
--- Projected employment in 2031: 153,900
- 2021 mean annual wage: $108,660

Data scientists take in and make sense of massive amounts of data generated by technological systems, health care equipment, or any number of other sources. They look for patterns and new ways to collect information. An advanced degree in programming or engineering is necessary for this intricate job.

Nurse reviewing patient information on tablet.
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#1. Nurse practitioners

- Projected employment change 2021-2031: 45.7%
--- Employment in 2021: 246,700
--- Projected employment in 2031: 359,400
- 2021 mean annual wage: $118,040

Nurse practitioners, who complete the same programs as nurse anesthetists and nurse midwives but focus on primary care, were vital in keeping COVID-19 infections at bay. They remain central to ensuring Americans can see a medical professional to keep on top of their health issues.

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