Trying to decide what to study in college? These top jobs of the future have the highest future job demand for 2024 and higher-than-average annual salaries. See the forecasted number of future jobs, job growth rate, median salary, and a brief description of work environments and job responsibilities relative to each best future job.
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Top 10 Best Jobs of the Future
- Registered Nurses
- General and Operations Managers
- First-Line Supervisors
- Sales Representatives
- Accounts and Auditors
- Management Analysts
- Software Developers, Applications
- Computer Systems Analysts
- Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists
1. Registered Nurses
- Employment Projection for 2024: 3,190,300
- Percent Change, 2014-24: 16.0%
- Median Annual Wage, 2016: $68,450
- Job Description: Registered nurses (RNs) offer and manage patient care, provide information on several health conditions, and give help and emotional support to patients and their families. They work in a variety of facilities including hospitals, nursing homes, and physicians’ offices. There are a variety of ways to become a nurse, including an associate degree in nursing (ASN), a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), or even a diploma from an approved nursing program. In addition to an educational degree, nurses are also required to be licensed. The job outlook for RNs is expected to increase 16 percent by 2024, which is faster than most careers.
2. General and Operations Managers
- Employment Projection for 2024: 2,275,200
- Percent Change, 2014-24: 7.1%
- Median Annual Wage, 2016: $99,310
- Job Description: General and operations managers coordinate, plan, or direct the operations of private or public sector companies. This career includes tasks such as creating policies, supervising everyday procedures, and planning the use of human resources and materials. As there are so many different types of general and operations managers, it is difficult to classify them all under one functional area of management or administration as well as provide specific educational and job outlook figures due to the varying nature of each position.
3. First-Line Supervisors
- Employment Projection for 2024: 1,587,300
- Percent Change, 2014-24: 8.3%
- Median Annual Wage, 2016: $54,340
- Job Description: First-line supervisors manage and coordinate the activities of clerical and administrative support workers. People in this career can get jobs in several industries, including physicians’ offices, general merchandise stores, local government, business support services, and many more. The job outlook for first-line supervisors is expected to increase by over 100,000 jobs by 2024.
4. Sales Representatives
- Employment Projection for 2024: 1,546,500
- Percent Change, 2014-24: 6.4%
- Median Annual Wage, 2016: $57,140
- Job Description: Sales representatives for wholesale and manufacturers that sell goods (that are not for technical or scientific products) to individuals or organizations. You will need extensive knowledge in sales to be fully successful in this career. People in this profession work for a variety of different industries, including wholesale electronic markets, machinery, grocery, professional and commercial equipment, household appliances, alcohol, paper products, hardware, plumbing, heating, lumber, water, sewage, oil and gas extraction, and many others. The job outlook for sales representatives for wholesale and manufacturing industries is expected to increase by nearly 100,000 jobs by 2024.
5. Accounts and Auditors
- Employment Projection for 2024: 1,475,100
- Percent Change, 2014-24: 10.7%
- Median Annual Wage, 2016: $68,150
- Job Description: Accountants and auditors develop and analyze financial records. They are responsible for making sure these records are accurate and that taxes are paid correctly and by their necessary deadlines. Accountants and auditors also examine the financial health of companies to help companies run effectively. Accountants and auditors can work privately, for firms, or in-house for companies, corporations, and non-profits. Overtime hours are common in this career during specific times of the year like tax season. The job outlook for accountants and auditors is expected to increase by 11 percent by 2024, which is faster than average for most careers.
6. Management Analysts
- Employment Projection for 2024: 861,400
- Percent Change, 2014-24: 13.6%
- Median Annual Wage, 2016: $81,330
- Job Description: Management analysts, also referred to as management consultants, offer methods to advance an organization’s productivity. They offer advice and services to managers to make their businesses more lucrative by cutting costs and increasing efficiencies and revenues. Those who work in this profession often have to travel constantly to meet with clients and overtime hours are common. Most people in this industry also have at least one bachelor’s degree. The job outlook for management analysts is expected to grow 14 percent by 2024, a much quicker rate than average for all careers.
7. Software Developers, Applications
- Employment Projection for 2024: 853,700
- Percent Change, 2014-24: 18.8%
- Median Annual Wage, 2016: $100,080
- Job Description: Software developers create, advance, and adjust general computer applications software or unique utility programs. They develop software solutions, analyze data, and design databases based on the needs of the organizations or clients they work for. Supervisory roles of other computer programmers is also a possibility in this profession. Industries in this field offering employment include computer systems design, software publishers, management of companies and enterprises, insurance carriers, data processing, hosting, computer manufacturing, and many others. The job outlook for this career is expected to increase by over 150,000 jobs by 2024, due to high demand.
- Employment Projection for 2024: 714,700
- Percent Change, 2014-24: 13.7%
- Median Annual Wage, 2016: $52,720
- Job Description: Electricians install, repair, and maintain communications, electrical power, and control systems in companies, factories, and homes. They work for a variety of facilities and businesses both indoor and outdoor. This career is generally full-time, with some jobs requiring overtime as well as evening and weekend work. Most electricians enter the profession by first attending a technical school. Electricians are required to be licensed in a majority of states. The job outlook is expected to grow quickly by 14 percent in 2014, faster than most other careers.
9. Computer Systems Analysts
- Employment Projection for 2024: 686,300
- Percent Change, 2014-24: 20.9%
- Median Annual Wage, 2016: $87,220
- Job Description: Computer systems analysts are in high demand due to the rapid growth of technology today. They study the current computer systems and operations of a business and design information systems solutions to help it run more effectively and effortlessly. Those interested in the profession will typically need to get at least a bachelor’s degree in a computer or information systems field or at least have enough technical and skills experience in business and technology careers. The rapid growth in cybersecurity, mobile networks, and cloud computing is creating a high demand for computer systems analysts. Because of this, the job outlook is expected to increase by 21 percent by 2024.
10. Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists
- Employment Projection for 2024: 587,800
- Percent Change, 2014-24: 18.6%
- Median Annual Wage, 2016: $62,560
- Job Description: Market research analysts and marketing specialists research the conditions of local, national, or regional areas to obtain data and project the sales of a product or service, or formulate a marketing campaign. Those interested in this career will need to get a bachelor’s degree in business, marketing, or another related field. Some jobs will require an MBA as well. Due to high demand, the job outlook for this industry is expected to increase by over 100,000 jobs by 2024.
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BLS job data was filtered based on 2014-2024 job growth rate, employment numbers, and annual salary expectation. Each of the Best Jobs for the Future has a salary of at least $52,720 (up to $100,080) and a forecasted growth rate of 6-21%.
- BLS.gov – Registered Nurses
- BLS.gov – General and Operations Managers
- BLS.gov – First-line Supervisors
- BLS.gov – Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing
- BLS.gov – Accountants and Auditors
- BLS.gov – Management Analyst
- BLS.gov – Software Developers, Applications
- BLS.gov – Electricians
- BLS.gov – Computer System Analysts
- BLS.gov – Market Research Analyst and Marketing Specialists