CALIFORNIA — The COVID-19 pandemic has upended how we work, as the “Great Resignation” hits the U.S. and more workers step into remote roles. In 2022, it’s anticipated that several industries will offer some of the fastest-growing jobs and opportunities in the country.
From motion picture projectionists to wind turbine service technicians and nurse practitioners, here’s a look at the sectors with the most overall growth.
Total employment is projected to grow from 153.5 million to 165.4 million during the
2020 to 2030 decade, an increase of 11.9 million jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics economic projections report.
In the wake of the economic recession prompted by the pandemic from February to April 2020, the economy saw substantial and immediate drops in output and employment, the agency reports.
It also caused some long-term demands and structural changes in some industries. Many computer-related occupations are expected to have an elevated demand beyond the pandemic, including meeting demands for telework computing infrastructure and IT security.
Some of the fastest projected areas for growth are in the health care, health care support, construction and personal care fields. Technical roles, including solar photovoltaic installers and wind-related jobs, are expected to see a rise in jobs.
And in 2022, it is expected that some of the fastest-growing occupations will be leisure and hospitality, nursing, psychiatry, software development, IT security and teaching.
“When industries grow, the occupations employed in them usually grow as well,” according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Leisure And Hospitality
As the economy recovers in the pandemic, employment in leisure and hospitality is projected to grow the fastest among all sectors over the next decade. It is also among seven of the 20 fastest-growing industries for jobs — and one of the hardest hit in the recent recession.
This growth is indicated by a variety of factors. As restaurants, hotels, arts and entertainment, cultural and recreational establishments return with low employment following the downturn in 2020, there is a higher demand for recreational and in-person activities.
But will that be enough to bring workers back to this industry? The hiring crunch could come down to wages.
These jobs still see some of the highest staffing shortages with many workers not returning, citing low wages and poor work-life balance. Because of the high demand and increased need for workers in this sector, wages are expected to keep going up.
From September 2020 to September 2021, compensation costs for workers in the leisure and hospitality industry increased by 6.9 percent, compared with an increase of 4.1 percent for the 12 months ended September 2020.
“Personal care and service occupations and food preparation and serving related occupations are also projected for rapid employment growth, mainly due to recovery growth following low 2020 base-year employment,” the agency reports.
Not only will people dine more, they are also returning to traditional entertainment with concerts and movies. Restaurant cooks, motion picture projectionists, ushers, lobby attendants and ticket takers are also expected to be some of the increased opportunities for employment.
Registered nurses are expected to see some of the biggest rises in employment opportunities in 2022.
About half of registered nurses were employed in private general medical and surgical hospitals in 2012, according to the agency. In 2022, Employment in hospitals is expected to grow and nursing employment in the industry is anticipated to increase.
The projected employment growth rates for these hospitals and the nurses working in them from 2012 to 2022 are 15.2 percent for private general medical and surgical hospitals and 16.6 percent for registered nurses working in those hospitals.
As the need for registered nurses grows and the pandemic intensifies, growth in this industry is also fueled by anticipated retirements. A large increase in demand will come from the aging baby boomers, coupled with longer life expectancies and the continued growth of patients with chronic conditions.
More than 500,000 seasoned RNs are expected to retire by 2022 and to avoid a nursing shortage, it’s projected that 1.1 million new nurses will be needed to replace these retirees.
Expect to see an increased demand for not only nurse practitioners, but physical therapist assistants, and physician assistants. Team-based health care models are anticipated to rise amid strong demand for health care services.
In 2020, the median pay for a nurse practitioner was $111,680 per year.
Both mental and physical health will become a growing priority in 2022. Health care occupations and those associated with health care, including mental health, account for seven of the 30 fastest-growing occupations from 2020 to 2030, according to the agency.
Health care and social assistance are projected to add the most jobs of all sectors: about 3.3 million jobs from 2020 to 2023. Psychiatrists are expected to be among the highest-paid with a college degree.
In 2019, the best-paid, top 25 percent of psychiatrists made $208,000, while the lowest-paid 25 percent made $149,440, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Psychiatric care will see some of the highest, continued growth. And within the health care sector, employment in the individual and family services industry is projected to increase the fastest, at an annual growth rate of 3.3 percent.
Software Development And IT Security
Some of the fastest growth among jobs are in the computer and mathematical occupations.
More people are now working remotely. The high demand for IT security and software development is expected to rise, as the prevalence of telework from the COVID-19 pandemic launches more need for new products. Industries will continue to rely on analysis and interpretation of large datasets and other ways to communicate across teams.
Jobs expected to see the highest need are statisticians, information security analysts, and data scientists.
As technology advances, employment growth will continue in professional, business and scientific service industries. Computer systems design will also see an increase in demand to help support these industries. This area could see a 2.1 percent projected annual employment growth from 2020 to 2030, along with management, scientific and technical consulting services are expected to see a 2 percent increase in growth.
Robotics will also see a large area of growth as manufacturing and sales continue moving to automation and global competition expands.