The government surveyed hundreds of job categories for their outlook over the next decade.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook arrived this morning. Naturally, my first move was a selfless, serving-the-public-trust one: Looking up what the future held for journalists.
Under the category “reporters, correspondents and broadcast news analysts,” the report predicted a 9 percent decline between 2016 and 2026. The only consolation is the median annual pay: $38,870 (so much for the “media elite”).
On the other hand “public relations specialist” positions are predicted to grow 9 percent, at the average, and pull down a median $58,020. All to send the surviving journalists story pitches they lack the resources to cover — even if they were worth covering.
Seriously, though, while the forecast has had its misses over the years, it offers a useful guide for parents looking to steer their children’s career choices or for people looking to make a change. The site is interactive, so you can browse by median pay, entry-level education, on-the-job training, jobs projected and growth rate.
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For example, 104 occupations are expected to grow much faster than average. These range from anesthesiologists and bicycle repairers to registered nurses and wind-turbine repair specialists. A total of 133 are seen paying a median $75,000 or more a year.
It gets interesting when you use multiple pull-down filters. For example, a high-school degree will get you none of the highest-paying jobs. It could land you 40 positions (out of more than 800 tracked) in the second-highest tier, $55,000 to $74,999. But here things get dicey. One is locomotive engineer — a job some railroad executives are eager to eliminate so they can run trains by automation. We’ll always need police officers, but in the real world departments have their pick from those with college degrees.
So, how about bachelor’s degree, better-than-average pay and faster-than-average growth? Only 20.
Overall, the fastest-growing occupation was solar photovoltaic technician — so much for coal, but will that continue with the anti-renewable posture of the Trump administration? The highest-paying occupations were anesthesiologists, surgeons and orthodontists. The most new jobs in raw numbers are home health aides ($21,920 median pay in 2016).
No surprise for Seattle, software developer positions are seen growing much faster than normal — adding more than 302,000 jobs over the next decade. Median pay is $102,280. Until artificial intelligence relegates you mammals to the outlook for journalists, party on.
Today’s Econ Haiku:
At the CDC
The boss bought tobacco stocks
Should have bought oil shares