Top 5 Fastest Growing Jobs that Require a Postsecondary Education


Getting a postsecondary education is no doubt one of the best investments anyone can get because it opens up more opportunities, greater financial rewards, a healthier lifestyle, and more job security. However, there are a lot of students who are quite confused which career path to take since there are many options available.

A report from the National Bureau of Statistics shows that 11 out of the 15 fast-growing occupations require a postsecondary education. These occupations have seen so much growth since 2014 and are projected to grow even more until 2024. Here are the top five based on its usefulness, employment rate, and possible growth. These jobs do not really require a four-year degree.

One occupation that has seen the fastest and biggest growth is the wind turbine service technician with a growth rate of 108 percent and median annual income of $48,800. This growth will still continue until 2024 so those who pursue this won't have any problem finding a job in this area.

Although this requires substantial training, it does not necessarily mean that you need to have a four-year or master's degree but an associate degree in applied science will give you an opportunity to work in this field. Companies are also willing to offer extra trainings to those qualified candidates.

Occupational therapy assistants are the second fastest growing jobs in the list with 42.7 percent growth rate and an annual median income of $56,950. An occupational therapy assistant requires an associate degree from a program accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association. Occupational therapy assistants are different than OT aides since they directly help the OT practitioner in giving the therapeutic treatments and exercises the patient needs for recovery and rehabilitation.

The third fastest job is occupied by physical therapy assistants. Although they look similar than OTAs, their job responsibilities are very different. Whereas an occupational therapy assistant uses the patient's daily activities as part of the treatment, the physical therapy assistant focuses on using exercises, such as lifting weights and stretching to treat a patient.

If someone wants to become a physical therapy assistant, they need to have a CAPTE-accredited two-year associate degree program and pass a licensure or certification exam. The growth rate in this field is 40.6 percent with an annual median wage of $54,410.

Commercial divers take the fourth slot of the fastest growing jobs with a 36.9 percent growth rate and an annual median income of $45,890. Although the basic requirements are a high school diploma or equivalency and good physical condition, those who want to pursue this field should also have a strong mechanical inclination since most of the work revolving around this are technical in nature. There are also schools that offer an accredited two-year college degree for those who want to become commercial divers. Since commercial diving requires extreme physical activities, there is an age requirement between 18 and 35 years old.

The fifth fastest growing occupation in the list is the nurse practitioner. With a growth rate of 35.2 percent, nurse practitioners also have the second highest median income after physician assistants. Their annual median income is at $95,350 while physician assistants are at $95,820. Those who want to become nurse practitioners must have a master's degree as well as a license.

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