What are the fastest growing occupations?

As a senior job seeker, you should have awareness of employment trends. You also need to know where the biggest areas for job growth are. And of course, there is no better source of knowledge for this than the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. So, what are the fastest growing occupations? Using the bureau’s statistics, I have compiled a top ten list based on growth between 2016 and 2026.

I have conducted additional research and included this information. it will help you determine if a field is one you would like to pursue. But, if you’re already in one of these occupations, this information can help you decide if you should stay.

Furthermore, these occupations are ranked by growth, not by the numbers of jobs available. Thus, you will see that some are rapidly growing but have a relatively small number of openings compared to others.

Also, this information is relevant to the United States. Salaries, educations levels, etc. may vary if you live outside of the US.

Solar Panels1. Solar Photovoltaic Installers

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in percentage: 104.9

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in number: 11,800

Median Annual Wage (2017): $39,490

For all you environmentally aware people, this is really good news. It shows that the age of sustainable energy is upon us. In this position you assemble, install and maintain solar panels on roof tops and other structures. Most work is outside. However, there may be situations where inside work is necessary to connect panels to the electrical grid.

Generally, you will need a high school diploma and a willingness to learn on the job. You can also take certificate programs and technical college courses.

2. Wind Turbine Service Technicianswind turbine

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in percentage: 96.3

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in number: 5,600

Median Annual Wage (2017): $53,880

Again, this is good news for fans of renewable energy. In this position you are also known as a windtech. This job requires you to install, maintain and repair wind turbines. Generally, you will work outdoors in confined spaces and often at great heights. One of the growing segments is off-shore wind turbines and there will be good job growth in this area.

Keep in mind that there are certain areas of the US where jobs will be more plentiful. As of 2014 the states of Texas, Iowa, California, Oklahoma, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Oregon, Colorado, Washington, North Dakota, and Wyoming were tops in wind power production.

You will probably need to attend a technical school for a two-year technical degree to secure this position. You may have on-the-job training as well. It’s also beneficial to have mechanical abilities.

Nurse Aide3. Home Health Aides

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in percentage: 47.3

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in number: 431,200

Median Annual Wage (2017): $23,210

In this position you are a trained and certified healthcare worker who provides assistance to patients in the home. This includes personal care such as hygiene, exercise, meal preparation, brushing teeth, giving medicine, checking vital signs and light housekeeping.

Keep in mind that this job requires both physical and emotional strength. In addition, you need to be friendly and tactful because you will likely have to deal with difficult patients. Good communication skills are a must.

You don’t need advanced formal education for this job but will need training.

A major reason this occupation is growing so rapidly is the proliferation of small businesses devoted to home health.

4. Personal Care Aidesmale nurse

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in percentage: 38.6

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in number: 777,600

Median Annual Wage (2017): $23,100

A personal care aide provides services to a person who is unable to care for themselves. These services may include activities such as cooking, dressing, bathing, restroom assistance, moving objects and simple housekeeping tasks. In this position you will care for people who are disabled, chronically ill and elderly.

You may work with just one or possibly several clients. In some cases you may actually live with the client and in others you travel between homes. Sometimes you will work in nursing homes or adult day centers.

In this position you need compassion and patience.

As a Personal Care Aide, you are often trained on the job by nurses and other aides. Some states require standardized training. You can find this through community colleges, vocational school and home healthcare agencies.

PA5. Physician Assistants

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in percentage: 37.3

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in number: 39,600

Median Annual Wage (2017): $104,860

Physician Assistants are medical care providers who are licensed to diagnose and treat illnesses. In other words, they can do just about anything a physician does.

As a PA you will have the opportunity to work in primary care or outside in medical specialties and surgery.

Physician Assistants are important in undeserved areas. Here they might be the only healthcare professional.

For this position, you must graduate from an accredited PA Program. Then you must pass the national certification exam and obtain a state license. There are also prerequisites that may include a bachelor’s degree.

The number of accredited PA Programs have increased and 90% offer a master’s degree. The rest offer bachelor or associates degrees or a certificate of completion. All these are acceptable to qualify for the certification exam, licensing and practice.

6. Nurse Practitionerssenior female doctor

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in percentage: 36.1

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in number: 56,100

Median Annual Wage (2017): $103,880

As a Nurse Practitioner you provide a full range of healthcare services. These include ordering, performing and interpreting diagnostic tests. You also treat chronic conditions, prescribe medication, manage care, counsel and provide health education. Nurse Practitioners work in hospitals, clinics, private offices, nursing homes and long-term-care facilities.

The core philosophy is individualized care that focuses on patient issues and the affect on the family. Further, Nurse Practitioners tend to concentrate on a holistic approach to healthcare.

Interestingly, there is much evidence that suggests Nurse Practitioners provide higher satisfaction to patients than doctors!

Sometimes, Nurse Practitioners may serve as a primary healthcare provider. In addition, they can also specialize in areas such as cardiology, oncology, pain management, surgery, orthopedics and others. Some may conduct research, teach and involve themselves in political lobbying.

To qualify for this position you must have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or other undergraduate degree. Furthermore, it requires a Registered Nurse license as well as experience in this role. Then, you must graduate from an accredited MSN or Doctoral Program. After completing the required education, you must then pass a certifying program with a specific healthcare focus.

There is now a movement to require a Doctoral degree for entry into this profession.

Statistician7. Statisticians

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in percentage: 33.8

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in number: 12,600

Median Annual Wage (2017): $84,060

As a Statistician you collect, research, analyze, interpret and present quantitative data. You design and manage experiments and surveys and deal with data gathering. You then report findings and advise strategies based on the data.

Statisticians are able to take advantage of a very wide range of industries.  Thus, they can work in almost any field of science, technology and business. In fact, variety is what many statisticians report as being the best part of their job.

To enter this field you need a Masters or Ph.D in Statistics. It’s also possible to find positions with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics or computer science.

8. Physical Therapist AssistantsPhysical Therapist

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in percentage: 31.0

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in number: 27,500

Median Annual Wage (2017): $57,430

In this position you work under the direction of the physical therapist. You help patients who are recovering from injuries and illness regain movement and manage pain. Physical therapy can be used instead of surgery to treat a patient

Physical Therapist Assistants (PTAs) provide a variety of techniques. This can include therapeutic exercise, functional training, deep tissue massage, electrotherapy, ultrasound and recommending assistive devices such as wheelchairs and crutches. Subsequently, a PTA may help the client create a wellness- oriented program going forward.

Additionally, you will provide important information for the physical therapist about a client’s response to treatment. You may also have responsibility for billing and other administrative tasks.

The vast majority of PTAs work in hospitals or privately owned practices. Alternatively, others work in home health, schools and rehab units.

To qualify, you must graduate from an accredited physical therapy education program. This typically is a two-year associate degree. Then you must pass a state-administered exam to obtain your license (it varies from state to state).

Program on screen9. Software Developers, Applications

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in percentage: 30.7

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in number: 255,400

Median Annual Wage (2017): $101,790

As a software developer you have a key role in designing, installing, testing and maintaining software systems. You may also be responsible for writing and coding or providing an entirely new software resource. Further tasks might include presenting ideas for system improvements, system review, writing codes, product testing and manual preparation.

Software developers find employment in just about every industry.

The skills that employers look for are expertise in current computer hardware and software. You must also have the ability to use one or more development languages. Additionally, strong communication skills, the ability to work as a team and analytical skills are necessary.

Most jobs require a bachelor’s degree in computer science or software engineering. You don’t need special licensing but may need certification. One option for certification is the Computer Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

10. MathematiciansMathmetician

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in percentage: 29.7

Expected employment increase 2016 – 2026 in number: 900

Median Annual Wage (2017): $103,010

Mathematicians use mathematical theory, computational techniques, algorithms and computer technology to solve economic, scientific, engineering and business problems.

Theoretical mathematicians advance knowledge by developing new principles and recognizing mathematical relationships. You also test old theories and discover new truths about numbers and the way they relate to each other.

If you are an applied mathematician you apply this knowledge practically to different fields such as science and engineering. Thus, you have knowledge of mathematics and of the field in which you work.

The industries that employ the most mathematicians are the federal government, scientific research and development services, education, management and manufacturing.

You typically need a master’s degree in mathematics although some positions are available for those with a bachelor’s degree.

If you have a doctoral degree, there is a likelihood you will work as a professor in higher education.

The skills that are used in the field of mathematics are creativity, researching, investigating, analyzing, imagination, communicating and problem solving


I believe you are never too old to learn a new skill or completely change careers. Why not? As they say, it’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks! So, don’t let your age hold you back from pursuing your dream job!

If you don’t fit into any of the fastest growing occupations, there are many others. But, let’s say you don’t want to work for anyone. Maybe you want to be your own boss. Click here for another opportunity.


Work from home internet scams

Who are the scammers?Snake Oil

These are people with no heart or soul. Their only motive is profit. In my opinion, they are likely sociopaths. That is, they are unable to feel the pain of another person and thus focus only on what they can materially obtain. These are the people who bring you work from home internet scams.

Scammers were around long before the days of the internet. I’m sure you’ve heard the term “Snake Oil Salesman.” The Chinese used snake oil in traditional  medicine for centuries to relieve minor physical pain. They made the oil from the fat of the Chinese Water Snake. This oil contains 20% eicosapentaenoic acid and has strong anti-inflammatory properties.

As it made its way into western culture, it became associated with deceptive marketing (read here about Clark Stanley). 

18th Century European and 19th century American entrepreneurs advertised and sold mineral oil mixed with herbs as snake oil liniment. They claimed it was a panacea; i.e., a solution or remedy for all variety of afflictions. This was particular among sellers who masked addictive drugs such as cocaine and opium based concoctions.

Thus, the term is full of negative connotations. Current online scams are products of the modern “Snake Oil Salesmen.”

You might be horrified to know that there were no federal regulations for the safety and effectiveness of drugs in the United States until the 1906 Food and Drugs Act.

psychologyPsychology of the scam

If you’re reading this, you’re likely an older person like a boomer or senior. And, you’ve probably encountered any number of scams. But, because of your experience, you’ve become wise and perhaps can spot a scammer a mile away! However, not everyone can.

So, what’s the psychology of the scam? In my opinion a combination of desperation, ambition and hope are the main ingredients.

For example, if you’ve been laid off your job and money is tight, you may be looking for a quick way out of your dilemma. You’re desperate and willing to try anything.

Or, let’s say you’re a young person full of ambition and drive and you’ve heard about people getting rich quick through internet marketing. You might be setting some unrealistic goals for yourself and the idea of being rich by age 21 is intriguing.

Furthermore, we all hope for a better life, don’t we? And there’s no doubt that having plenty of money allows us to live that life.

Who are the people most likely to be affected by online scams:

  • Sick, disabled or elderly people. Since it’s hard for them to land a traditional job, they are primary targets for scammers.
  • Stay at home mothers. Since there isn’t a double income in the family, working from home to make extra income can be attractive.
  • Low income or no income. Obviously, desperation is the key factor here.
  • Lack of education. Again, it may be hard to find a high paying job so working from home seems attractive.

Let’s get a little deeper into the psychologyDigging

Here is some information that explores the psychology of the scam a little deeper. It is from the Department of Psychology at the University of Exeter in the UK. Here are some of the main points from their report.

  • Scammers use appeals of trust and authority. People tend to trust authorities and fall victim to those who appear legitimate and reputable.
  • They exploit the human desires of greed, fear, avoidance of physical pain and the desire to be liked. This reduces the possibility that people will analyze the message. Then they will act without thinking.
  • Scammers often personalize their offer to make it seem like it is unique for that particular person.
  • They ask victims to take small steps of compliance to draw them in and make them feel committed.
  • Scammers present a disproportionate relation between the size of the reward and the cost of obtaining it.  In other words, you get a big prize for a small amount of money.
  • If a person has a lack of emotional control and is open to persuasion, they will be more apt to fall victim to a scam.
  • Interestingly enough, people who tend to analyze the scam are victims more than a person who immediately dismisses it without thought.

Work from home Internet scams to avoid

Here’s a partial list:

A company contacts you that you didn’t contact first for a work from home position. They contact you through a social platform like LinkedIn. They can easily fool you with this one since LinkedIn is a legitimate way to get job leads.

They ask you to give your personal banking information in order to start a work from home job. In 2012 the Federal Trade Commission helped refund $2.3 million to victims who were scammed by a fake company that used famous trade names. The company promised the victims they could earn $100,000 in 6 months when they ordered a work-from-home kit for a $4 shipping fee. The fake company didn’t tell them that they would also charge an extra $72 per month.

Craft Assembly: I bet you’ve seen this one. These scammers promise to pay you for assembling toys, dolls and other crafts at home. You just pay up-front for the starter kit which includes instructions and parts. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? However, once you finish the job and send it back they tell you  the work doesn’t meet their specifications and you’re out the money you have already sent. So, in this case, the scammer makes their money from selling the starter kits and not from the assembled products.

  • Medical Billing: Here’s another I bet you’ve seen many times. With this scam you pay $300 – $900 up-front to start your own medical billing company. How exciting! They promise you state-of-the-art medical billing software and a list of potential clients. What they conveniently forget to tell you is that most medical clinics do their own billing or outsource to third-party firms that specialize in this. Try to get a refund from these guys? Good luck!
  • At Home Typing: Again, you send a fee to the scam artist and you receive a disk and printed information. Then, they tell you to place home typist ads and sell copies of the disk. Thus, they rip you off and turn you into a scammer too!
  • Letter from Nigeria: This is my all-time favorite and I used to be contacted by this scheme quite frequently (It’s been a while though and oh, how I miss them! LOL).

scam2Anyway, this one contacts you by email and has many variations. For example, you receive a message from a man claiming to be a Nigerian Civil Servant (it could be another African country but Nigeria, being the largest in population, seems to show up frequently). He tells you that he is looking for a reputable foreigner with whom he can deposit up to $60 million while he deals with political situations in his country.

In return, he promises you 30% of the money once “documentations are concluded.” He will ask you for a deposit to include in his “business venture.” He will likely contact you again after “things don’t go according to plan” for additional funds. Needless to say, you might as well light a match to a wad of $100 bills.

  • Mystery Shopper: They send you a hefty check and ask you to deposit it in your bank account. Then you withdrawal it to check out the quality of services at local merchants. Problem is, the check they sent was phony.

These are just a few of the most famous internet scams to avoid. Of course there are thousands of others.

What to do when you encounter a scam

  • Contact the Better Business Bureau.
  • Never send money up-front.
  • Don’t give personal information.
  • Do your research using the Work-at-Home Sourcebook and other resources available at your library.
  • Ask lots of questions. If it is a legitimate company, they will have lots of answers.

In Conclusion

Work from home internet scams will be here as long as we have hopes and desires for more money. But as they say, “If you think it’s too good to be true then you are probably right.”

Still, not all offers are scams. Read here for an offer that’s legitimate.

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