Maybe you just started college or you are considering a career change. In either case, what has hopefully crossed your mind (you practical thinkers!) is “where are the jobs going to be in a few years.” Believe it or not, you have a friend in the government—the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS has been doing “big data” before the term became a moneymaker for East and West Coast kids trying to fund a startup.

Analyzing BLS data, we have compiled a list describing 10 of the top 20 high-growth occupations representing a range of occupational choices.

You pay taxes (we hope), so you may as well reap the benefits from those well-paid government data wonks working to make sense of this economy.

Here it goes… 10 high-growth occupations:

1) Home Health Aidehome health aid

Projected # of jobs to be added 20120-2020: 706,300 jobs (69.4% growth)

Average salary: $23,000

Description: Aides provide routine, personal healthcare, such as bathing, dressing, or grooming, to elderly, convalescent, or disabled persons in their home or in a residential care facility. Most jobs are in nursing and residential care facilities, hospitals, and home health care services. photo credit: GCC Workforce & Community Education via photopin cc

2) Bio-Medical Engineer

Projected # of jobs to be added 20120-2020: 9,700 (61.7% growth)

Average salary: $75,000

Description: Bio-medical engineers apply their knowledge of engineering, biology, and biomechanical principles to the design, development, and evaluation of biological and health systems and products, such as artificial organs, prostheses, instrumentation, medical information systems, and health management and care delivery systems. photo credit: kaibara87 via photopincc

3) Vet Technician/Technologist

Vet tech

Projected # of jobs to be added 20120-2020: 41,700 (52% growth)

Average salary: $38,000

Description: Vet technicians are responsible for feeding, watering, and examining pets and other non-farm animals for signs of illness, disease, or injury. They also clean and disinfect cages and work areas, and sterilize laboratory and surgical equipment. Techs may provide routine post-operative care, administer medication orally or topically, or prepare samples for laboratory examination under the supervision of veterinary or laboratory animal technologists or technicians, veterinarians, or scientists. photo credit: Dirigentens via photopin cc

4) Reinforcing Iron & Rebar Worker

Projected # of jobs to be added 20120-2020: 9,300 (48.6% growth)

Average salary: $49,000

Description: Reinforcing workers position and secure steel bars or mesh in concrete forms in order to reinforce concrete. They use a variety of fasteners, rod-bending machines, blowtorches, and hand tools. photo credit: WSDOT via photopin cc

5) Event Planner

Event planning

Projected # of jobs to be added 20120-2020: 31,300 (43.7% growth)

Average salary: $41,000

Description: Event planners are responsible for all aspects of planning a meeting or special event for an organization or individual, including amenities and accommodations at the event, as well as any associated contract negotiations. photo credit: bittermelon via photopin cc

6) Glaziers


Projected # of jobs to be added 20120-2020: 17,700 (42.4% growth)

Average salary: $34,000

Description: Glaziers install glass in windows, skylights, store fronts, and display cases, or on surfaces such as building fronts, interior walls, ceilings, and tabletops. This occupation may require a high school diploma or its equivalent and may require an apprenticeship and/or formal training in area of specialty. photo credit: bsimpsonuk via photopin cc

7) Interpreter/TranslatorTranslator

Projected # of jobs to be added 20120-2020: 24,600 (42.4% growth)

Average salary: $42,000

Description: Interpreters translate written documents and spoken words from one language to another. They must be well versed in vocabulary dealing with their specialty and may be required to hold a bachelor’s degree in their area of specialty. photo credit: mmmavocado via photopin cc

8) Medical Secretary

Medical secretary

Projected # of jobs to be added 20120-2020: 210,200 (41.3% growth)

Average salary: $25,000

Description: Medical secretaries provide support to clinical staff, obtaining pre-certifications as required by health care insurers or managed care providers. They are responsible for informing patients about the cost of care and guiding them to appropriate resources for further information. Medical secretaries are also responsible for routine correspondence and reports, answering telephones, screening callers, relaying messages, and greeting visitors. photo credit: Brandy Shaul via photopin cc

9) Marketing Research Analyst/Marketing Specialist

Marketing analyst

Projected # of jobs to be added 20120-2020: 116,600 (41.2% growth)

Average salary: $27-62,000

Description: Market research analysts collect and analyze data to evaluate existing and potential product/service markets. These analysts identify and monitor competitors and research market conditions or changes in the industry that may affect sales. photo credit: Intersection Consulting via photopin cc

10) Physical TherapistPhysical therapist

Projected # of jobs to be added 20120-2020: 77,400 (39% growth)

Average salary: $85,000

Description: Physical therapists are responsible for evaluating and assessing the needs of referred patients and formulating treatment plans, and providing therapy services. Working cooperatively with physicians, case managers, and adjustors, they may supervise physical therapy assistants, aides, and athletic trainers. photo credit: easystand via photopin cc