Hot Jobs in 2015

Every three 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.  The latest study was published back in January 2015; analyzing the job market in 2012, and making projections through the year 2022.

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 January 30, 2015.  This study is actually 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 in order 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
Personal Care Aides 580.8
Registered Nurses 526.8
Retail Salespersons 434.7
Home Health Aides 424.2
Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food 421.9
Nursing Assistants 312.2
Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive 307.8
Customer Service Representatives 298.7
Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners 280.0
Construction Laborers 259.8

The above table tells us how many new jobs will be created from 2012 through 2022.  For example, the study is projecting 580,800 new jobs for personal care aids.  It's interesting to note three of the top four spots belong to the healthcare industry:  personal care aids, registered nurses, and home health aides.

Top Ten Jobs in Terms of Openings Created

Occupation Thousands Of Openings
Retail Salespersons 1,955.7
Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food 1,555.7
Cashiers 1,530.0
Waiters and Waitresses 1,268.3
Registered Nurses 1,052.6
Customer Service Representatives 941.6
Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand 922.5
Office Clerks, General 810.9
Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners 717.3
Personal Care Aides 666.0

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 434,700 new retail jobs. In this second table appears a projection of 1,955,700 openings created.  This means there are 1,521,000 retail salesperson jobs created due to turnover.  These openings are created because someone left their job.

Top Ten Fastest Growing Jobs

Occupation Increase over 10 Years
Industrial-Organizational Psychologists 53.4%
Personal Care Aides 48.8%
Home Health Aides 48.5%
Insulation Workers, Mechanical 46.7%
Interpreters and Translators 46.1%
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers 46%
Helpers:  Brickmasons, Blockmasons, Stonemasons, and Tile and Marble Setters 43.0%
Occupational Therapy Assistants 42.6%
Genetic Counselors 41.2%
Physical Therapist Assistants 41.0%

Another way to look at job growth is the percentage increase in the number of jobs over time.  For example, these studies are projecting 424,200 new home health aide jobs, and the above table tells us that's an increase of 48.5% from 2012 through 2022.  Once again, the top positions are dominated by workers in the healthcare industry.

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
Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers -179.9
Postal Service Mail Carriers -79.2
Data Entry Keyers -54.2
Sewing Machine Operators -41.7
Postal Service Mail Sorters, Processors, and Processing Machine Operators -38.6
Word Processors and Typists -26.2
Postal Service Clerks -21.3
Molding, Coremaking, and Casting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic -19.2
Door-To-Door Sales Workers, News and Street Vendors, and Related Workers -14.2
Computer Operators -12.7

The above list does not bode well for United States Postal System workers.  Here we see a total loss of 139,100 jobs, including postal service workers, mail sorters, processors, processing machine operators, mail carriers and postal service clerks.

Top Ten Fastest Declining Jobs

Occupation Decrease over 10 Years
Fallers (Cuts Down Trees) -43.3%
Locomotive Firers -42.0%
Shoe Machine Operators and Tenders -35.3%
Postal Service Clerks -31.8%
Log Graders and Scalers -31.6%
Postal Service Mail Sorters, Processors, and Processing Machine Operators -29.8%
Semiconductor Processors -27.1%
Textile Cutting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders -27.1%
Postal Service Mail Carriers -26.8%
Motion Picture Projectionists -26.5%

The table above tells us workers in the textile and shoe industry will also experience a steep decline in jobs.  This information is stated as a percentage of the total workforce; meaning over 35% of shoe machine operator jobs is expected to disappear over the next decade.  There are also significant decreases in textile cutting, motion picture and semiconductor workers.


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.  We're also going to see greater demand for workers in the construction trades.  These craft workers will likely be needed to rebuild America's aging infrastructure.

Email continues to take its toll on the post office, with a significant decline in a variety of positions providing postal services.  Finally, inexpensive overseas labor continues to chip away at the shoe, leather, and textile industries.

About the Author - Hot Jobs in 2015 - (Last Reviewed on March 16, 2016)