Top Future Jobs: Where We'll Be Working in 2018

If your kids are entering high school right now, they probably need to start thinking about what professional fields interest them. If you are anticipating a mid-life career change, you need to be thinking, too. The hard part in this exercise is picking a career path that will exist in our country eight years from now. It's a continuously moving target. But, you need to start somewhere, as an article by Sue Shellenbarger and provided by the Wall Street Journal suggests. The article points out a good place for research is provided by the U.S. Labor Department.

"The richest vein of job-growth information is the Labor Department's 10-year forecast for demand, pay and competition for more than 300 jobs in 45 categories. The department's latest biannual compilation, published last month as the Occupational Outlook Handbook, is great for sizing up the long-term outlook for most fields," says Shellenbarger.

The Jobs of the Future

Occupations with the largest percentage growth expected through 2018*:

  1. Biomedical Engineers (72%)
  2. Network Systems Analysts (53%)
  3. Home Health Aides (50%)
  4. Personal, Home-Care Aides (46%)
  5. Financial Examiners (41%)
  6. Medical Scientists (40%)
  7. Physician Assistants (39%)
  8. Skin-Care Specialists (38%)
  9. Biochemists, Biophysicists (37%)
  10. Athletic Trainers (37%)

If you like math and science, you have lots of choices in careers: biomedical engineering, physicians, architects, psychologists. There will always be attorneys, too. Green jobs will continue to be an interesting area to keep tabs on as emerging technologies -- such as fuel-cell technology, biofuels, and wind energy -- become more and more viable.

Of course, there are limits on what we know today about the future. How many technologies and occupations have evolved in the last 10 years? Much has changed in Web-based tools, nanotechnology, hybrid cars, new drugs and treatments for newer versions of diseases, and consumer products like computers, televisions, and phones.

How to keep up with the changing job market

1. Stay informed

To stay informed, you need to read about research projects and collaborative efforts to create new solutions to old problems. You can also try to network with professionals in the industry (or related industry) to learn more. The power of the Internet gives us access not only to information, but the people who are leading advancements. This is not only in science, but also government policy and funding (which can lead to new jobs/industries), communications (how will we get our news in 10 years), health care (what's next for treating our aging population?), and others. Even if you just look into the area of "technicians," you'll find that there are technicians in all kinds of everyday, critical roles.

2. Be flexible

Obviously, we would like to find careers that allow us to love what we do. But common sense dictates we'd better make sure the jobs exist, too. One idea to keep in the back of your mind is there are aspects to jobs that may INCLUDE your passion, but may not be centered around your passion. If you like giving presentations in front of large groups, you may not find many trainer jobs available, but may find other positions that report project status to large groups periodically or have training as one job responsibility. Or perhaps, you love to write. Many jobs in research require papers to be written on their subject matter being studied. There are countless examples.

3. Ask around

I find that the biggest failure in career planning is not doing enough exploration. One of the simplest ways to learn more about what people do for a living is to ASK THEM. I have discovered all kinds of jobs I never knew existed. How did I start off in engineering? My mom asked someone what he did and he said he was a ceramics engineer working on the tiles on the bottom of the space shuttle. I gravitated toward mechanical engineering; but nonetheless, a perfect stranger guided my career path.

* Source: Labor Department Occupational Outlook Handbook

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Should have voted for Hillary you morons !!!!

June 22 2010 at 7:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Apparently not.

June 09 2010 at 2:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What good does that do in'18, when jobs are needed NOW! Where is all of the "stimulus" and the jobs Obummer promised? Of course, like every other politician, he's a liar. Except for Obummer, he is so full of it, he's even a color match.

June 09 2010 at 2:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
clyde mertz

These appear to be service jobs. I'd like to see a list of the jobs of the people being serviced.

June 09 2010 at 1:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
clyde mertz

These appear to be service jobs. I'd like to see a list of the jobs of the people being serviced.

June 09 2010 at 1:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well those jobs are fine with me, it just makes more work for those people who are automobile technicians (good ones anyway). obummer has made my business much better, not because he's done ANYTHING right, but because people can no longer afford to buy a new car and have to fix their old beaters. I can't wait til 2012 so we can vote the radical islamic BUM out

June 09 2010 at 1:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

with obama at the helm until 2012, 2018 will be about when this country starts its recovery from the lacking lacky leading us to socialism. it is a good thing to know that he is (like carter) a one term loser.

June 09 2010 at 11:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to tom's comment

I doubt he'll be a one term wonder... People are just so enamored by his charm. He made his way up the Chicago and the Illinois political ladder. That right there tells you enough not to vote for him. The politicians here are probably the most corrupt in the nation & he rubbed elbows with ALL of them. Liberals tend to overlook that he made "sweet deals" with blagojevich just like the rest of our democratic politicians here in Illinois.. & his name is most definitely mentioned on those hundreds of hours of tapes that go along with Blagojevich's indictment. Such as when Blagojevich tried to sell Obama's senate seat. But that will never come to surface because Obama will pardon Blago if he is sentenced. Just you watch and see...

June 22 2010 at 7:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jun 9th 2010 @ 11:16AM
Katydid : I did attend didn't you see me hoot and hollar whent the polls came in last night? maybe the tea party isn't your style, but is sure made my day!!! you have to get a life, everyone has the "right" to what they believe

June 09 2010 at 11:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Are they kidding? By 2018, we will officially be a third world country. Jobs will be in retail and food service. There are 30 million people out of work in this country, but hey, Obama says things are getting better. Im retired military, so dont give me the crap why am I home mid day, etc.. HS Grads cant even make change, or tell you what WW@ was. Yup, we are screwed. Look to China, India, Japan, as the economic powerhouses. Thoses days for us are gone. We owe $13trillion on a $1.7 trillion GNP. If you cant grasp that, dont bother trying to learn. Just go watch American Idol, and Dance w the stars. Then go to your job at Burger King.

June 09 2010 at 11:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Tom's comment

Who are you kidding?......we already are a third world country but because we are in a constant state of denial we just do not realize it.
Also I cannot understand how the American public can be so stupid as to think that the governments plan of spending trillions of dollars on the government to make it bigger than it is will make the economy better. It is obvious that it is not working so why do we not just stop the spending?
All I can say is that we are in trouble and that we really need to consider what is best for us as a nation because it will be countries such as China who will soon be setting the rules if we are not careful and just a reminder here.....the ChiComms hate us!

June 09 2010 at 12:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What job? I retired in 2007 to make room for younger person, most jobs from our plant went to Mexico(where they can pay dirt cheap wages) now the rest of the plant will be gone in 16 mo!anyone that started in 1992or 93 will be gone!only about 600 will be offered any buy out! the rest will move to the other plant here in pa most will not be allowed to take a younger person out of that plant!(what say the union)i think the unions have lost the credabillity, what the gov should do is "tax" any big co for moving out of the area(ecpecially when they plan to pay below min wage!)

June 09 2010 at 11:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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