Photograph by Ye Rin Mok for Bloomberg Businessweek

What Tomorrow's Jobs Look Like

  1. Projected Growth by 2020
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    Projected Growth by 2020

    According to Bloomberg calculations of Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the following jobs are among the fastest-growing in the U.S.

    Translator

    Translators and interpreters are the 15th-fastest-expanding job category, with projected growth of 42 percent by 2020. Since 2007, 2,589 visas have been awarded to Iraqi and Afghan translators and their families to move to the U.S.
    Average salary: $43,300

    Faiza Sultan
    Owns Translation4all, Redmond, Wash.

    “This business is always growing, always in need. It’s a very competitive market, and price matters a lot.”

    Photograph by Ye Rin Mok for Bloomberg Businessweek
  2. Bike Mechanic
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    Bike Mechanic

    The 22nd-fastest-growing category. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Transportation allocated $790.8 million for bike lanes and sidewalks.
    Average salary: $23,660

    Joe “Toast” LaCroix
    The Hub bike co-op, Minneapolis

    “I like mechanical things. Practical problem-solving appeals to me. That makes it interesting to come to work every day. I make $25,000 a year. It’s enough to live—not extravagantly.”

    Photograph by Pao Houa Her for Bloomberg Businessweek
  3. Veterinary Technician
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    Veterinary Technician

    Veterinary techs are the sixth-fastest-growing job.
    Average salary: $29,710

    Kelly Cuttitta
    Veterinary technician supervisor, Wheatridge Animal Hospital, Wheatridge, Colo.

    “The profession is branching into lots of specialties and subspecialties: oncology, ophthalmology, neurology, pet dermatology.”

    Photograph by Christopher Wurzbach for Bloomberg Businessweek
  4. Carpenter
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    Carpenter

    Carpentry is projected to be the fifth-fastest-growing job by 2020. The category shed half its jobs during the housing bust but is projected to rebound 55.7 percent by 2020.
    Average salary: $25,760 a year

    Luis Ruiz
    Structures foreman, Skanska USA, San Diego

    “My whole career I’ve built bridges. There’s a pride in being part of building these structures that are helping my community. It’s cool to drive over these bridges that I helped be a part of.”

    Photograph by Daniel Seung Lee for Bloomberg Businessweek
  5. Event Planner
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    Event Planner

    Event planner is the 10th-fastest-growing job, projected to grow by 43.7 percent by 2020.
    Average salary: $45,260.

    Krista Minitelli
    Principal, Hudson Event Group, New York

    “When the economy was hurting, a lot of people thought webinars and technologies could take the place of meetings, conferences, or events. But people are realizing that it doesn’t.”

    Photograph by Jody Rogac for Bloomberg Businessweek
  6. Cost Estimator
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    Cost Estimator

    Cost estimator is the 26th-fastest-growing job category.
    Average salary: $57,760

    Paul Marston
    Vice president for C4I programs, MCR, Bedford, Mass.

    “It’s a bit of an obscure profession. Defense contacts have grown largely because of a new law passed by Congress that required independent cost estimates for defense projects. That’s really led to an explosion of growth in our business.”

    Photograph by Caroll Taveras for Bloomberg Businessweek
  7. Hygienist
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    Hygienist

    The 21st-fastest-growing job, projected to grow 37.7 percent.
    Average salary: $68,250

    Cristina Bordabeheres
    Registered dental hygienist, Elmwood Park, Ill.

    “This is one of the highest-paid two-year degrees. There’s all this research coming out about how the mouth affects your overall health, and how keeping your mouth healthy can keep your body healthy and help diagnose other conditions like oral cancer and diabetes.”

    Photograph by Daniel Shea for Bloomberg Businessweek
  8. Home-Health Aide
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    Home-Health Aide

    Openings in home health care, America’s second-fastest-growing field, are expected to rise 69.4 percent by 2020. The Affordable Care Act gives grants of $250,000 to schools to train more home-health aides.
    Average salary: $19,640

    Juana Silvia Fuentes
    Cooperative Home Care Associates, New York

    “I like this job because I always wanted to be a nurse. I raised my children without help from my husband and didn’t have time to go to school. For my current patient, I do everything I can to help her. She has multiple sclerosis and lives alone and has no family. I clean the house. I take her to the doctor. I feed her.”

    Photograph by Ryan Plfuger for Bloomberg Businessweek