Millennials are growing out of being the butt of avocado toast jokes — some have found economic success, founding their own businesses or pulling a high salary. But others are still seeking to get a firm financial footing and may be trying to decide what is the best job for a millennial like themselves.
If you’re looking to start a career, picking a high-growth field can make a big difference in allowing you to find work easily and earn a solid income. So while each person might define their “best job” differently, we put together a list of some of the fastest-growing job fields according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for your consideration.
Best jobs for millennials (ordered by growth rate)
Have a look to see if any of these fastest-growing jobs seem interesting:
1. Wind turbine service technicians
2. Nurse practitioners
3. Solar photovoltaic installers
4. Restaurant cooks
5. Exercise trainers and group fitness instructors
6. Athletes and sports competitors
7. Occupational therapy assistants
9. Physical therapist assistants
10. Animal caretakers
11. Information security analysts
12. Film and video editors
Plus: Prepare for the future of work
Note: “Salary” represents the median salary for that field in 2020, while “growth rate” is the projected increase in jobs between 2020 and 2030. According to BLS, the median wage across all employment fields was $41,950 in May 2020, and the 2020-30 growth rate for total employment is projected at nearly 8%.
- Growth rate: 68%
- Salary: $56,230
As the renewable energy industry grows, so do the job opportunities. Wind turbine service technicians are responsible for installing and maintaining the machines that make wind energy. Wind turbine service technicians do not need to attend college in order to qualify for a job, but they may need to go to a trade school and receive on-the-job training. According to BLS, wind turbine service technician positions are among the fastest-growing jobs in the U.S., as former workers that have moved on to other industries or retired need to be replaced.
- Growth rate: 52%
- Salary: $111,680
A career as a nurse anesthetist, midwife or nurse practitioner can offer a comfortable living wage and the opportunity to help others, making it one of the best jobs for millennials. In order to work in one of these positions, you may need to earn a master’s degree in one of the advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) roles. However, because these jobs tend to be high-paying, the return on investment for getting this extra degree may be quicker than for a bachelor’s degree. According to BLS, nearly 30,000 APRN jobs are projected to open each year.
- Growth rate: 52%
- Salary: $46,470
You won’t generally need a college degree to become a solar photovoltaic installer — in addition to finishing high school (or the equivalent), you can either receive on-the-job training or attend a trade school. As a solar installer, you’ll be responsible for setting up solar panels at homes or businesses. Like with wind energy, the solar industry is growing, employing more and more people.
- Growth rate: 49%
- Salary: $28,800
If you have a passion for cooking, we have good news: According to BLS, cooking positions are among the fastest-growing jobs in the U.S. About 432,000 cooking positions are projected to open up every year. While some cooks attend culinary school, you are not required to do so and don’t need to earn a degree for this job. Many restaurants will offer on-site training in order for you to learn recipes and techniques. And although this occupation has one of the lowest median salaries on our list, the pay varies widely — for example, chefs at hotels tend to make the most, with income well above the median level.
- Growth rate: 39%
- Salary: $40,510
With nearly 70,000 exercise and fitness jobs projected to be needed each year, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding work in this field. Trainers and fitness instructors are typically employed at recreational facilities, such as gyms. While you don’t need to attend college for this type of job, many employers seek certified personal trainers or other certified fitness professionals.
- Growth rate: 38%
- Salary: $50,850
If you’re a gifted athlete, you may be able to find work in professional sports — believe it or not, it’s one of the fastest-growing fields in the U.S., with about 3,400 positions projected to open up each year. As a professional athlete, you may be expected to work odd hours and even overtime if your sport is in season. You’ll likely need to remain in peak physical condition, and any injury you suffer while competing could affect your career.
- Growth rate: 36%
- Salary: $62,940
Occupational therapy assistants help people who have been injured, have disabilities or suffered a debilitating illness recover and learn (or relearn) how to do everyday activities like walking. If you want to work as an occupational therapy assistant, you’ll typically need to receive an associate’s degree from an occupational therapy program. According to BLS, about 8,800 job openings are expected for occupational therapy assistants and aides each year.
- Growth rate: 35%
- Salary: $92,270
A large salary and a fast growth rate make statistician one of the best jobs for millennials. Statisticians use data and specialized software in order to solve problems, analyze trends or identify issues. If you want to go into this field, you’ll typically need to get a master’s degree — but because it’s a high-paying field, you may be able to recoup your college costs more quickly.
- Growth rate: 35%
- Salary: $59,770
If you’ve ever needed assistance managing pain or regaining your ability to perform certain physical tasks, you may have worked with a physical therapist assistant. In order to become a physical therapist assistant, you usually need an associate’s degree from a physical therapy program and will need to obtain a license in order to practice. There are an estimated 23,800 physical therapist assistant and aide jobs expected to open up each year over the next decade, according to BLS.
- Growth rate: 34%
- Salary: $26,080
Animal caretakers are responsible for training and caring for animals. Animal caretakers can be employed at zoos, veterinarian offices or animal shelters. To become an animal caretaker, you typically just need a high school diploma and usually some experience with animals. About 66,200 jobs are expected to open up each year for animal care and service workers. Note that this is the job with the lowest median salary on this list, although if you work as an animal trainer, the average pay improves to $31,520.
- Growth rate: 33%
- Salary: $103,590
Not only does working in the tech industry often offer high salaries, but jobs are relatively abundant, making technology one of the best industries for millennials. As an information security analyst, you’ll be responsible for safeguarding an organization’s computer system against cyberattacks. To qualify, you’ll typically need to earn a bachelor’s degree in a related field. An estimated 16,300 jobs per year are projected to be available for this profession.
- Growth rate: 33%
- Salary: $67,250
Creative fields tend to be competitive, but there look to be lots of open jobs for film or video editors, according to BLS. Practitioners of this occupation edit video footage using specialized software and may even have to learn photography. To find work, you’ll most likely need to get a bachelor’s degree or at least have a solid command of the relevant software. BLS projects that about 8,600 jobs for film and video editors and camera operators will be open each year.
Now is the time to prepare for the future of work. In some cases, you might need an advanced degree, while in others, you’ll want to attend a trade school or get an associate’s degree from a community college.
The best jobs for millennials could well be those most in-demand in the future. This is because high demand for workers often means a field is lucrative, with positions that a robot can’t easily do. Of course, you could just look at salary alone, or try to find work that matches your personality, but keeping an eye on future demand could help give you job security later on down the road.
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