Looking Toward the Future

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the following for occupational growth in the United States through 2022. It is especially interesting to note that occupations requiring an apprenticeship or internship will grow faster than any other occupational field.

Occupation and Employment

Projected industry employment is distributed among occupations based on how industries are expected to use those occupations.

Of the 30 occupations projected to have the largest percentage increase between 2012 and 2022, 14 are related to healthcare, and 5 are related to construction.

The 30 occupations with the largest projected increase in employment from 2012 to 2022 will account for 7.4 million new jobs, almost half of the total projected employment growth.

Four major occupational groups are projected to grow more than 20 percent–nearly double the overall growth–from 2012 to 2022: healthcare support occupations (28.1 percent), healthcare practitioners and technical occupations including geospatial technologies (21.5 percent), construction and extraction occupations (21.4 percent), and personal care and service occupations (20.9 percent).

Education and training
In addition to projecting employment for each detailed occupation, BLS depicts the education, related work experience, and on-the-job training typically needed for occupations.

Nineteen of the 30 occupations projected to grow fastest from 2012 to 2022 typically require some form of postsecondary education for entry.

Two-thirds of the 30 occupations with the largest projected employment increase from 2012 to 2022 typically do not require postsecondary education for entry.

Occupations typically requiring postsecondary education for entry generally had higher median wages ($57,770) in 2012 and are projected to grow faster (14.0 percent) between 2012 and 2022 than occupations that typically require a high school diploma or less ($27,670 and 9.1 percent).

Occupations that do not typically require postsecondary education are projected to add 8.8 million jobs between 2012 and 2022, accounting for more than half of all new jobs. These occupations employed nearly two-thirds of workers in 2012.

Occupations that typically require an apprenticeship are projected to grow 22.2 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than any other on-the-job training assignment. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013)

Geography Job Opportunities

Urban Planner/Community Development
GIS Specialist
Transportation Management
Environmental Management
Writer / Researcher
Teaching / Faculty
Emergency Management
Foreign Service
Librarian / Information Specialist
National Park Ranger
Real Estate Appraiser / Developer


(Matt Rosenberg, Geography Expert, 2015)