Careers & Employment Trends

This online resource represents Purdue University Northwest’s continued commitment to providing concise and relevant career guidance and outcome information to students, families, members of the guidance and counseling communities, and any interested individual who wishes to explore the relationship between career opportunities and college-level academic preparation.

Assembled by the Purdue University Northwest Career Center, this site includes both Job Outlook 2026 information and a summary of career outcomes for each years graduating class from Purdue University Northwest.

PNW students are pictured and have access to diverse mentoring opportunities through the Career Center.

Career Outcomes

Each semester, the Career Center conducts a First Destination Survey with recent graduates regarding post-graduation outcomes. It provides summary data on a graduating class.

See the Outcomes

Job Outlook Projections through 2026

The information provided on this website covers occupational families based on national data and analysis provide by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Investigate Purdue University Northwest Career Clusters

OCCUPATION # CURRENTLY EMPLOYED IN FIELD AS OF 2016 JOB OUTLOOK BY 2026 (% GROWTH) JOB DESCRIPTION (INCLUDING MEDIAN PAY, AND TYPICAL ENTRY LEVEL EDUCATION)
Accountants, Auditors 1,397,700 1,538,000 (10%) Accountants and auditors prepare and examine financial records.

  • They ensure that financial records are accurate and that taxes are paid properly and on time.
  • Accountants and auditors assess financial operations and work to help ensure that organizations run efficiently.
  • Examine financial statements to ensure that they are accurate and comply with laws and regulations.
  • Compute taxes owed, prepare tax returns, and ensure that taxes are paid properly and on time.
  • Inspect account books and accounting systems for efficiency and use of accepted accounting procedures.
  • Organize and maintain financial records.
  • Assess financial operations and make best-practices recommendations to management.
  • Suggest ways to reduce costs, enhance revenues, and improve profits.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median Pay: $68,150 per year, $32.76 per hour.

Financial Managers 580,400 108,400 (19%) Financial managers are responsible for the financial health of an organization.

  • They produce financial reports, direct investment activities, and develop strategies and plans for the long-term financial goals of their organization.
  • Prepare financial statements, business activity reports, and forecasts.
  • Monitor financial details to ensure that legal requirements are met.
  • Supervise employees who do financial reporting and budgeting.
  • Review company financial reports and seek ways to reduce costs.
  • Analyze market trends to maximize profits and find expansion opportunities.
  • Help management make financial decisions.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s degree.
Median Pay: $121,750 per year, $58.54 per hour.

Manufacturing and Wholesale Sales Representatives 1,813,500 1,913,300 (6%) Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses, government agencies, and other organizations.

  • They contact customers, explain the features of the products they are selling, negotiate prices, and answer any questions that their customers may have about the products.
  • Identify prospective customers by using business directories, following leads from existing clients, and attending trade shows and conferences.
  • Contact new and existing customers to discuss their needs and explain how specific products and services can meet these needs.
  • Help customers select products to meet customers’ needs, product specifications, and regulations. Emphasize product features that will meet customers’ needs, and exhibit the capabilities and limitations of their products.
  • Answer customers’ questions about the prices, availability, and uses of the products they are selling.
  • Negotiate prices and terms of sales and service agreements. Prepare sales contracts and submit orders for processing.
  • Collaborate with colleagues to exchange information, such as information on selling strategies and marketing information.
  • Follow up with customers to make sure that they are satisfied with their purchases and to answer any questions or concerns they might have.

Entry level education: High School for nontechnical products but Bachelor’s for scientific or echnical products.
Median Pay: $60,530 per year, $29.10 per hour.

Advertising, Marketing Managers 249,600 273,200 (9%) Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers plan programs to generate interest in products or services.

  • They work with art directors, advertising sales agents, and financial staff members.
  • Work with department heads or staff to discuss topics such as budgets and contracts, marketing plans, and the selection of advertising media.
  • Plan promotional campaigns such as contests, coupons, or giveaways.
  • Plan advertising campaigns, including which media to advertise in, such as radio, television, print, online media, and billboards.
  • Negotiate advertising contracts.
  • Evaluate the look and feel of websites used in campaigns or layouts, which are sketches or plans for an advertisement.
  • Initiate market research studies and analyze their findings to understand customer and market opportunities for businesses.
  • Develop pricing strategies for products or services marketed to the target customers. Meet with clients to provide marketing or related advice.
  • Direct the hiring of advertising, promotions, and marketing staff and oversee their daily activities.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median Pay: $127,560 per year, $61.33 per hour.

Public Relations Managers 73,500 81,100 (10%) Public relations managers plan and direct the creation of material that will maintain or enhance the public image of their employer or client.

  • Fundraising managers coordinate campaigns that bring in donations for their organization.
  • Write press releases and prepare information for the media.
  • Identify main client groups and audiences and determine the best way to reach them.
  • Designate an appropriate spokesperson or information source for media inquiries.
  • Help clients communicate effectively with the public.
  • Develop their organization’s or client’s corporate image and identity. Assist and inform an organization’s executives and spokespeople.
  • Devise advertising and promotion programs. Assign, supervise, and review the activities of staff.

Entry Level Education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $107,320 per year, $51.59 per hour.

Sales Managers 385,500 413,900 (7%) Sales managers direct organizations’ sales teams.

  • They set sales goals, analyze data, and develop training programs for organizations’ sales representatives.
  • Resolve customer complaints regarding sales and service.
  • Prepare budgets and approve expenditures.
  • Monitor customer preferences to determine the focus of sales efforts.
  • Analyze sales statistics.
  • Project sales and determine the profitability of products and services.
  • Determine discount rates or special pricing plans.
  • Develop plans to acquire new customers or clients through direct sales techniques, cold calling, and business-to-business marketing visits.
  • Assign sales territories and set sales quotas.
  • Plan and coordinate training programs for sales staff.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $117,960 per year, $56.71 per hour.

HR, Training, Labor Relations Managers and Specialists 136,100 148,300 (9%) Human resources managers plan, direct, and coordinate the administrative functions of an organization.

  • They oversee the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of new staff; consult with top executives on strategic planning; and serve as a link between an organization’s management and its employees.
  • Plan and coordinate an organization’s workforce to best use employees’ talents.
  • Link an organization’s management with its employees.
  • Plan and oversee employee benefit programs.
  • Serve as a consultant with other managers advising them on human resources issues, such as equal employment opportunity and sexual harassment.
  • Coordinate and supervise the work of specialists and support staff.
  • Oversee an organization’s recruitment, interview, selection, and hiring processes.
  • Handle staffing issues, such as mediating disputes and directing disciplinary procedures.

Entry level Education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $106,910 per year, $51.40 per hour.

OCCUPATION # CURRENTLY EMPLOYED IN FIELD AS OF 2016 JOB OUTLOOK BY 2026 (% GROWTH) JOB DESCRIPTION (INCLUDING MEDIAN PAY, AND TYPICAL ENTRY LEVEL EDUCATION)
Computer Scientists 27,900 33,200 (19%) Computer and information research scientists invent and design new approaches to computing technology and find innovative uses for existing technology.

  • They study and solve complex problems in computing for business, science, medicine, and other fields.
  • Explore fundamental issues in computing and develop theories and models to address those issues.
  • Help scientists and engineers solve complex computing problems.
  • Invent new computing languages, tools, and methods to improve the way in which people work with computers.
  • Develop and improve the software systems that form the basis of the modern computing experience. Design experiments to test the operation of these software systems.
  • Analyze the results of their experiments.
  • Publish their findings in academic journals and present their findings at conferences.

Entry level education: Master’s Degree.
Median pay: $111,840 per year, $53.77 per hour.

Computer Programmers 294,900 272,300 (-8%) Computer programmers write and test code that allows computer applications and software programs to function properly.

  • They turn the program designs created by software developers and engineers into instructions that a computer can follow.
  • In addition, programmers test newly created applications and programs to ensure that they produce the expected results.
  • If they do not work correctly, computer programmers check the code for mistakes and fix them.
  • Write programs in a variety of computer languages, such as C++ and Java.
  • Update and expand existing programs.
  • Test programs for errors and fix the faulty lines of computer code.
  • Create and test code in an integrated development environment (IDE).
  • Use code libraries, which are collections of independent lines of code, to simplify the writing.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $79,840 per year, $38.39 per hour.

Computer System Analysts 600,500 653,500 (9%) Computer systems analysts, sometimes called systems architects, study an organization’s current computer systems and procedures, and design solutions to help the organization operate more efficiently and effectively.

  • They bring business and information technology (IT) together by understanding the needs and limitations of both.
  • Consult with managers to determine the role of IT systems in an organization.
  • Research emerging technologies to decide if installing them can increase the organization’s efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Prepare an analysis of costs and benefits so that management can decide if IT systems and computing infrastructure upgrades are financially worthwhile.
  • Devise ways to add new functionality to existing computer systems.
  • Design and implement new systems by choosing and configuring hardware and software.
  • Oversee the installation and configuration of new systems to customize them for the organization.
  • Conduct testing to ensure that the systems work as expected.
  • Train the systems’ end users and write instruction manuals.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median Pay: $87,220 per year, $41.93 per hour.

Computer Support Specialists 835,300 922,500 (10%) Computer support specialists provide help and advice to computer users and organizations.

  • These specialists either support computer networks or they provide technical assistance directly to computer users.
  • Test and evaluate existing network systems.
  • Perform regular maintenance to ensure that networks operate correctly.
  • Troubleshoot local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and Internet systems.

Entry level education: Associate’s and Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $52,160 per year, $25.08 per hour.

Video Game Developers and Designers 73,700 81,300 (10%) Multimedia artists and animators create two- and three-dimensional models, animation, and visual effects for television, movies, video games, and other forms of media.

  • Use computer programs and illustrations to create graphics and animation.
  • Work with a team of animators and artists to create a movie, game, or visual effect.
  • Research upcoming projects to help create realistic designs or animations.
  • Develop storyboards that map out key scenes in animations.
  • Edit animations and effects on the basis of feedback from directors, other animators, game designers, or clients.
  • Meet with clients, other animators, games designers, directors, and other staff (which may include actors) to review deadlines and development time lines.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $65,300 per year, $31.40 per hour.

Web and Graphic Designers 266,300 278,800 (5%) Graphic designers create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers.

  • They develop the overall layout and production design for various applications such as advertisements, brochures, magazines, and corporate reports.
  • Meet with clients or the art director to determine the scope of a project.
  • Use digital illustration, photo editing software, and layout software to create designs.
  • Create visual elements such as logos, original images, and illustrations that help deliver a desired message.
  • Design layouts and select colors, images, and typefaces to use.
  • Present design concepts to clients or art directors.
  • Incorporate changes recommended by clients or art directors into final designs.
  • Review designs for errors before printing or publishing them.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $47,640 per year, $22.90 per hour.

OCCUPATION # CURRENTLY EMPLOYED IN FIELD AS OF 2016 JOB OUTLOOK BY 2026 (% GROWTH) JOB DESCRIPTION (INCLUDING MEDIAN PAY, AND TYPICAL ENTRY LEVEL EDUCATION)
College and University Faculty 1,314,400 1,511,900 (15%) Postsecondary teachers instruct students in a wide variety of academic and career and technical subjects beyond the high school level.

  • They may also conduct research and publish scholarly papers and books.
  • Teach courses in their subject area.
  • Work with students who are taking classes to improve their knowledge or career skills.
  • Develop an instructional plan (known as a course outline or syllabus) for the course(s) they teach and ensure that it meets college and department standards.
  • Plan lessons and assignments.
  • Work with colleagues to develop or modify the curriculum for a degree or certificate program involving a series of courses.
  • Assess students’ progress by grading assignments, papers, exams, and other work.
  • Advise students about which classes to take and how to achieve their goals.
  • Stay informed about changes and innovations in their field.

Entry level education: Doctoral Degree, Master’s Degree.
Median pay: $75,430 per year.

Kindergarten, Elementary Education 1,565,300 1,681,600 (7%) Kindergarten and elementary school teachers instruct young students in basic subjects, such as math and reading, in order to prepare them for future schooling.

  • Create lesson plans to teach students subjects, such as reading, science, social studies, and math.
  • Teach students how to study and communicate with others.
  • Observe students to evaluate their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.
  • Teach lessons they have planned to an entire class of students or to smaller groups.
  • Grade students’ assignments.
  • Communicate with parents about their child’s progress. Work with students individually to help them overcome specific learning challenges.
  • Prepare students for standardized tests required by the state.
  • Develop and enforce classroom rules to teach children proper behavior.
  • Supervise children outside of the classroom—for example, during lunchtime or recess.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $55,490 per year.

Middle & High School Teachers 1,649,000 1,773,200 (8%) Middle & High school teachers educate students, typically in sixth through 12th grade.

  • Middle school teachers help students build on the fundamentals taught in elementary school and prepare students for the more difficult curriculum they will face in high school.
  • High school teachers help prepare students for life after graduation.
  • They teach academic lessons and various skills that students will need to attend college or to enter the job market.
  • Create lesson plans to teach students a subject, such as science or history. Assess students to evaluate their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.
  • Teach lessons they have planned to an entire class or to smaller groups.
  • Grade students’ assignments and exams.
  • Communicate with parents about their child’s progress.
  • Work with students individually to help them overcome specific learning challenges.
  • Prepare students for standardized tests required by the state.
  • Develop and enforce classroom rules.
  • Supervise students outside of the classroom—for example, during lunchtime or detention.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $57,500 per year.

Librarians 138,200 150,600 (9%) Librarians help people find information and conduct research for personal and professional use.

  • Their job duties may change based on the type of library they work in, such as public, academic, and medical libraries.
  • Help library patrons conduct research and find the information they need.
  • Teach classes about information resources. Help patrons evaluate search results and reference materials.
  • Organize library materials so they are easy to find, and maintain collections.
  • Plan programs for different audiences, such as storytelling for young children. Develop and use databases of library materials.
  • Research new books and materials by reading book reviews, publishers’ announcements, and catalogs.
  • Choose new books, audio books, videos, and other materials for the library.
  • Research and buy new computers and other equipment as needed for the library.
  • Train and direct library technicians, assistants, other support staff, and volunteers. Prepare library budgets.

Entry level education: Master’s Degree.
Median pay: $57,680 per year, $27.73 per hour.

Special Education 439,300 472,600 (8%) Special education teachers work with students who have a wide range of learning, mental, emotional, and physical disabilities.

  • They adapt general education lessons and teach various subjects, such as reading, writing, and math, to students with mild and moderate disabilities.
  • They also teach basic skills, such as literacy and communication techniques, to students with severe disabilities.
  • Assess students’ skills to determine their needs.
  • Adapt general lessons to meet the needs of students.
  • Develop Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for each student.
  • Plan, organize, and assign activities that are specific to each student’s abilities.
  • Teach and mentor students as a class, in small groups, and one-on-one.
  • Implement IEPs, assess students’ performance, and track their progress.
  • Update IEPs throughout the school year to reflect students’ progress and goals.
  • Discuss students’ progress with parents, other teachers, counselors, and administrators.
  • Supervise and mentor teacher assistants who work with students with disabilities.
  • Prepare and help students transition from grade to grade and for life after graduation.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $57,910 per year.

Educational Administration 251,300 271,000 (8%) Elementary, middle, and high school principals manage all school operations, including daily school activities.

  • They coordinate curriculums, oversee teachers and other school staff, and provide a safe and productive learning environment for students.
  • Manage school activities and staff, including teachers and support personnel.
  • Establish and oversee class schedules.
  • Develop, implement, and maintain curriculum standards. Counsel and discipline students.
  • Observe teachers and evaluate their performance.
  • Meet with parents and teachers to discuss students’ progress and behavior.
  • Assess and prepare reports on test scores and other student achievement data.
  • Organize professional development programs and workshops for staff.
  • Manage the school’s budget, order school supplies, and schedule maintenance.
  • Establish and coordinate security procedures for students, staff, and visitors.

Entry level education: Master’s Degree.
Median pay: $92,510 per year.

School Counselors 291,700 324,700 (11%) School counselors help students develop the academic and social skills that lead to success in school.

  • Career counselors help people develop skills, explore a career, or choose an educational program that will lead to a career.
  • Evaluate students’ abilities and interests through aptitude assessments, interviews, and individual planning.
  • Identify issues that affect school performance, such as poor classroom attendance rates.
  • Help students understand and overcome social or behavioral problems through classroom guidance lessons and counseling.
  • Counsel individuals and small groups on the basis of student and school needs.
  • Work with students to develop skills, such as organizational and time management abilities and effective study habits.
  • Help students create a plan to achieve academic and career goals.
  • Collaborate with teachers, administrators, and parents to help students succeed.
  • Teach students and school staff about specific topics, such as bullying, drug abuse, and planning for college or careers after graduation.
  • Maintain records as required.
  • Report possible cases of neglect or abuse and refer students and parents to resources outside the school for additional support.

Entry level education: Master’s Degree.
Median pay: $54,560 per year, $26.23 per hour.

Mental Health Counselors 157,700 188,900 (20%) Mental health counselors provide treatment to individuals, families, couples, and groups. Some work with specific populations, such as the elderly, college students, or children.

  • Mental health counselors treat clients with a variety of conditions, including anxiety, depression, grief, low self-esteem, stress, and suicidal impulses.
  • They also help with mental and emotional health issues and relationship problems.
  • Evaluate clients’ mental and physical health, addiction, or problematic behavior and assess their readiness for treatment.
  • Develop, recommend, and review treatment goals and plans with clients and their families.
  • Assist clients in developing skills and behaviors necessary to recover from their addiction or modify their behavior.
  • Work with clients to identify behaviors or situations that interfere with their recovery.
  • Teach clients’ family members about addiction or behavior disorders and help them develop strategies to cope with those problems.
  • Refer clients to other resources and services, such as job placement services and support groups.
  • Conduct outreach programs to help people identify the signs of addiction and other destructive behavior, as well as steps to take to avoid such behavior.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree.
Median pay: $42,150 per year, $20.27 per hour.

OCCUPATION # CURRENTLY EMPLOYED IN FIELD AS OF 2016 JOB OUTLOOK BY 2026 (% GROWTH) JOB DESCRIPTION (INCLUDING MEDIAN PAY, AND TYPICAL ENTRY LEVEL EDUCATION)
Aerospace Engineers 69,600 73,800 (6%) Aerospace engineers design primarily aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and missiles.

  • In addition, they create and test prototypes to make sure that they function according to design.
  • Direct and coordinate the design, manufacture, and testing of aircraft and aerospace products.
  • Assess proposals for projects to determine if they are technically and financially feasible.
  • Determine if proposed projects will result in safe operations that meet the defined goals.
  • Evaluate designs to see that the products meet engineering principles, customer requirements, and environmental regulations.
  • Develop acceptance criteria for design methods, quality standards, sustainment after delivery, and completion dates.
  • Ensure that projects meet quality standards.
  • Inspect malfunctioning or damaged products to identify sources of problems and possible solutions.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $109,650 per year, $52.72 per hour.

Biomedical Engineers 21,300 22,800 (7%) Biomedical engineers combine engineering principles with medical and biological sciences to design and create equipment, devices, computer systems, and software used in healthcare.

  • Design biomedical equipment and devices, such as artificial internal organs, replacements for body parts, and machines for diagnosing medical problems.
  • Install, adjust, maintain, repair, or provide technical support for biomedical equipment.
  • Evaluate the safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of biomedical equipment.
  • Train clinicians and other personnel on the proper use of biomedical equipment.
  • Research the engineering aspects of the biological systems of humans and animals with life scientists, chemists, and medical scientists.
  • Prepare procedures, write technical reports, publish research papers, and make recommendations based on their research findings.
  • Present research findings to scientists, nonscientist executives, clinicians, hospital management, engineers, other colleagues, and the public.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $85,620 per year, $41.16 per hour.

Chemical Engineers 32,700 35,200 (8%) Chemical engineers apply the principles of chemistry, biology, physics, and math to solve problems that involve the production or use of chemicals, fuel, drugs, food, and many other products.

  • They design processes and equipment for large-scale manufacturing, plan and test production methods and byproducts treatment, and direct facility operations.
  • Conduct research to develop new and improved manufacturing processes.
  • Establish safety procedures for those working with dangerous chemicals.
  • Develop processes for separating components of liquids and gases, or for generating electrical currents, by using controlled chemical processes.
  • Design and plan the layout of equipment.
  • Conduct tests and monitor the performance of processes throughout production.
  • Troubleshoot problems with manufacturing processes.
  • Evaluate equipment and processes to ensure compliance with safety and environmental regulations.
  • Estimate production costs for management.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median Pay: $98,340 per year, $47.28 per hour.

Civil Engineers 303,500 335,700 (11%) Civil engineers conceive, design, build, supervise, operate, construct and maintain infrastructure projects and systems in the public and private sector, including roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and systems for water supply and sewage treatment.

  • Many civil engineers work in planning, design, construction, research, and education. Analyze long range plans, survey reports, maps, and other data to plan and design projects.
  • Consider construction costs, government regulations, potential environmental hazards, and other factors during the planning and risk-analysis stages of a project.
  • Compile and submit permit applications to local, state, and federal agencies, verifying that projects comply with various regulations.
  • Oversee and analyze the results of soil testing to determine the adequacy and strength of foundations.
  • Analyze the results of tests on building materials, such as concrete, wood, asphalt, or steel, for use in particular projects.
  • Prepare cost estimates for materials, equipment, or labor to determine a project’s economic feasibility.
  • Use design software to plan and design transportation systems, hydraulic systems, and structures in line with industry and government standards.
  • Perform or oversee surveying operations to establish building locations, site layouts, reference points, grades, and elevations to guide construction.
  • Manage the repair, maintenance, and replacement of public and private infrastructure.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $83,540 per year, $40.16 per hour.

Computer Engineers 73,600 77,600 (5%) Computer hardware engineers research, design, develop, and test computer systems and components such as processors, circuit boards, memory devices, networks, and routers.

  • Design new computer hardware, creating schematics of computer equipment to be built.
  • Test the computer hardware they design.
  • Analyze the test results and modify the design as needed.
  • Update existing computer equipment so that it will work with new software.
  • Oversee the manufacturing process for computer hardware.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $115,080 per year, $55.33 per hour.

Electrical Engineers 324,600 345,800 (7%) Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacturing of electrical equipment, such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems, or power generation equipment.

  • Electrical engineers also design the electrical systems of automobiles and aircraft.
  • Electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment, including broadcast and communications systems, such as portable music players and Global Positioning System (GPS) devices.
  • Many also work in areas closely related to computer hardware.
  • Design new ways to use electrical power to develop or improve products.
  • Perform detailed calculations to develop manufacturing, construction, and installation standards and specifications.
  • Direct the manufacture, installation, and testing of electrical equipment to ensure that products meet specifications and codes.
  • Investigate complaints from customers or the public, evaluate problems, and recommend solutions.
  • Work with project managers on production efforts to ensure that projects are completed satisfactorily, on time, and within budget.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $96,270 per year, $46.28 per hour.

Industrial Engineers 257,900 283,000 (10%) Industrial engineers find ways to eliminate wastefulness in production processes.

  • They devise efficient systems that integrate workers, machines, materials, information, and energy to make a product or provide a service.
  • Review production schedules, engineering specifications, process flows, and other information to understand methods that are applied and activities that take place in manufacturing and services.
  • Figure out how to manufacture parts or products, or deliver services, with maximum efficiency.
  • Develop management control systems to make financial planning and cost analysis more efficient.
  • Enact quality control procedures to resolve production problems or minimize costs.
  • Design control systems to coordinate activities and production planning in order to ensure that products meet quality standards.
  • Confer with clients about product specifications, vendors about purchases, management personnel about manufacturing capabilities, and staff about the status of projects.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $84,310 per year, $40.53 per hour.

Mechanical Engineers 288,800 314,100 (9%) Mechanical engineers research, design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices, including tools, engines, and machines.

  • Analyze problems to see how mechanical and thermal devices might help solve a particular problem.
  • Design or redesign mechanical and thermal devices or subsystems, using analysis and computer-aided design.
  • Investigate equipment failures or difficulties to diagnose faulty operation and to recommend remedies.
  • Develop and test prototypes of devices they design.
  • Analyze the test results and change the design or system as needed.
  • Oversee the manufacturing process for the device.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $84,190 per year, $40.48 per hour.

Mechatronics Engineers 288,000 314,000 (5%) Mechatronics engineering combines aspects of mechanical, electronic, and computer engineering in order to increase efficiency in the production and function of manufactured goods.

  • Accordingly, mechatronics engineers study aspects of fluid mechanics, control theory, and computer programming.
  • Mechatronics engineers create and improve automated processes.
  • For example, mechatronics engineers may review an assembly line and determine that welding processes on the assembly line are inefficient.
  • Next, engineers may use cost-analysis to highlight an estimated amount that could be gained by improving the system.
  • If superiors approve their project, mechatronics engineers may then use computer-aided design software to develop and test potential solutions, such as better machines or welding equipment.
  • Once a new system has been tested and decided upon, engineers may help implement the machinery and controls.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $83,590 per year.

Engineering Technologists/Technicians 137,000 139,800 (2%) Electrical and electronics engineering technicians help electrical and electronics engineers design and develop computers, communications equipment, medical monitoring devices, navigational equipment, and other electrical and electronic equipment.

  • They often work in product evaluation and testing, and use measuring and diagnostic devices to adjust, test, and repair equipment.
  • They are also involved in the manufacture and deployment of equipment for automation.
  • Put together electrical and electronic systems and prototypes.
  • Build, calibrate, and repair electrical instruments or testing equipment.
  • Visit construction sites to observe conditions affecting design.
  • Identify solutions to technical design problems that arise during the construction of electrical systems.
  • Inspect designs for quality control, report findings, and make recommendations.
  • Draw diagrams and write specifications to clarify design details of experimental electronics units.

Entry level education: Associate’s Degree.
Median pay: $62,190 per year, $29.90 per hour.

OCCUPATION # CURRENTLY EMPLOYED IN FIELD AS OF 2016 JOB OUTLOOK BY 2026 (% GROWTH) JOB DESCRIPTION (INCLUDING MEDIAN PAY, AND TYPICAL ENTRY LEVEL EDUCATION)
Chiropractors 47,400 52,400 (10%) Chiropractors care for patients with health problems of the neuromusculoskeletal system, which includes nerves, bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons.

  • They use spinal adjustments and manipulation, as well as other clinical interventions, to manage patients’ health concerns, such as back and neck pain.
  • Assess a patient’s medical condition by reviewing the patient’s medical history and concerns, and by performing a physical examination.
  • Analyze the patient’s posture, spine, and reflexes.
  • Conduct tests, including evaluating a patient’s posture and taking x rays.
  • Provide neuromusculoskeletal therapy, which often involves adjusting a patient’s spinal column and other joints.
  • Give additional treatments, such as applying heat or cold to a patient’s injured areas.
  • Advise patients on health and lifestyle issues, such as exercise, nutrition, and sleep habits.
  • Refer patients to other healthcare professionals if needed.

Entry level education: Doctoral or professional degree.
Median pay: $67,520 per year, $32.46 per hour.

Dentists 153,500 179,900 (17%) Dentists diagnose and treat problems with patients’ teeth, gums, and related parts of the mouth.

  • They provide advice and instruction on taking care of the teeth and gums and on diet choices that affect oral health.
  • Remove decay from teeth and fill cavities.
  • Repair cracked or fractured teeth and remove teeth.
  • Place sealants or whitening agents on teeth.
  • Administer anesthetics to keep patients from feeling pain during procedures.
  • Prescribe antibiotics or other medications.
  • Examine x rays of teeth, gums, the jaw, and nearby areas in order to diagnose problems.
  • Make models and measurements for dental appliances, such as dentures, to fit patients.
  • Teach patients about diets, flossing, the use of fluoride, and other aspects of dental care.

Entry level education: Doctoral or professional degree.
Median pay: $159,770 per year, $76.81 per hour.

Dieticians & Nutritionists 68,000 77,600 (14%) Dietitians and nutritionists are experts in the use of food and nutrition to promote health and manage disease.

  • They advise people on what to eat in order to lead a healthy lifestyle or achieve a specific health-related goal.
  • Assess patients’ and clients’ nutritional and health needs.
  • Counsel patients on nutrition issues and healthy eating habits.
  • Develop meal and nutrition plans, taking both clients’ preferences and budgets into account.
  • Evaluate the effects of meal plans and change the plans as needed.
  • Promote better health by speaking to groups about diet, nutrition, and the relationship between good eating habits and preventing or managing specific diseases.
  • Create educational materials about healthy food choices.
  • Keep up with or contribute to the latest food and nutritional science research.
  • Document patients’ progress.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $58,920 per year, $28.33 per hour.

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers 67,300 82,900 (23%) Diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including vascular technologists, also called diagnostic imaging workers, operate special imaging equipment to create images or conduct tests. The images and test results help physicians assess and diagnose medical conditions.

  • Sonographers and technologists may work closely with physicians and surgeons before, during, and after procedures.
  • Prepare patients for procedures by taking their medical history and answering any questions about the procedure.
  • Prepare and maintain diagnostic imaging equipment.
  • Operate equipment to obtain diagnostic images or to conduct tests.
  • Review images or test results to check for quality and adequate coverage of the areas needed for diagnoses.
  • Recognize the difference between normal and abnormal images, and identify other diagnostic information.
  • Analyze diagnostic information to provide a summary of findings for physicians.
  • Record findings and keep track of patients’ records.

Entry level education: Associate’s Degree.
Median pay: $64,280 per year, $30.90 per hour.

Medical & Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians 335,700 378,300 (13%) Medical laboratory technologists (commonly known as medical laboratory scientists) and medical laboratory technicians collect samples and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances.

  • Analyze body fluids, such as blood, urine, and tissue samples, and record normal or abnormal findings.
  • Study blood samples for use in transfusions by identifying the number of cells, the cell morphology or the blood group, blood type, and compatibility with other blood types.
  • Operate sophisticated laboratory equipment, such as microscopes and cell counters.
  • Use automated equipment and computerized instruments capable of performing a number of tests at the same time.
  • Log data from medical tests and enter results into a patient’s medical record.
  • Discuss results and findings of laboratory tests and procedures with physicians.
  • Supervise or train medical laboratory technicians.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $50,930 per year, $24.48 per hour.

Medical and Health Service Managers 352,200 422,000 (20%) Medical and health services managers, also called healthcare executives or healthcare administrators, plan, direct, and coordinate medical and health services.

  • They may manage an entire facility, a specific clinical area or department, or a medical practice for a group of physicians.
  • Medical and health services managers must adapt to changes in healthcare laws, regulations, and technology.
  • Improve efficiency and quality in delivering healthcare services.
  • Develop departmental goals and objectives.
  • Ensure that the facility in which they work is up to date on and compliant with laws and regulations.
  • Recruit, train, and supervise staff members.
  • Manage the finances of the facility, such as patient fees and billing.
  • Create work schedules.
  • Prepare and monitor budgets and spending to ensure departments operate within funding limits.
  • Represent the facility at investor meetings or on governing boards.
  • Keep and organize records of the facility’s services, such as the number of inpatient beds used.
  • Communicate with members of the medical staff and department heads.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $96,540 per year, $46.41 per hour.

Occupational Therapists 130,400 158,000 (21%) Occupational therapists treat injured, ill, or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities.

  • They help these patients develop, recover, improve, as well as maintain the skills needed for daily living and working.
  • Review patients’ medical history, ask the patients questions, and observe them doing tasks.
  • Evaluate a patient’s condition and needs.
  • Develop a treatment plan for patients, identifying specific goals and the types of activities that will be used to help the patient work toward those goals.
  • Help people with various disabilities perform different tasks, such as teaching a stroke victim how to get dressed.
  • Demonstrate exercises—for example, stretching the joints for arthritis relief—that can help relieve pain in people with chronic conditions.
  • Evaluate a patient’s home or workplace and, on the basis of the patient’s health needs, identify potential improvements, such as labeling kitchen cabinets for an older person with poor memory.
  • Educate a patient’s family and employer about how to accommodate and care for the patient.
  • Recommend special equipment, such as wheelchairs and eating aids, and instruct patients on how to use that equipment.
  • Assess and record patients’ activities and progress for patient evaluations, for billing, and for reporting to physicians and other healthcare providers.

Entry level education: Master’s Degree.
Median pay: $81,910 per year, $39.38 per hour.

Optometrists 40,200 47,100 (17%) Optometrists examine the eyes and other parts of the visual system.

  • They also diagnose and treat visual problems and manage diseases, injuries, and other disorders of the eyes.
  • They prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses as needed.
  • Perform vision tests and analyze results.
  • Diagnose sight problems, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness, and eye diseases, such as glaucoma.
  • Prescribe eyeglasses, contact lenses, and other visual aids, and if state law permits, medications.
  • Perform minor surgical procedures to correct or treat visual or eye health issues.
  • Provide treatments such as vision therapy or low-vision rehabilitation.
  • Provide pre- and postoperative care to patients undergoing eye surgery—for example, examining a patient’s eyes the day after surgery.
  • Evaluate patients for the presence of other diseases and conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension, and refer patients to other healthcare providers as needed.
  • Promote eye and general health by counseling patients.

Entry level education: Doctoral or professional degree.
Median pay: $106,140 per year, $51.03 per hour.

Physician Assistants 106,200 145,900 (37%) Physician assistants, also known as PAs, practice medicine on teams with physicians, surgeons, and other healthcare workers.

  • They examine, diagnose, and treat patients.
  • Take or review patients’ medical histories.
  • Examine patients. Order and interpret diagnostic tests, such as x rays or blood tests.
  • Diagnose a patient’s injury or illness. Give treatment, such as setting broken bones and immunizing patients.
  • Educate and counsel patients and their families—for example, answering questions about how to care for a child with asthma.
  • Prescribe medicine.
  • Assess and record a patient’s progress.
  • Research the latest treatments to ensure the quality of patient care.
  • Conduct or participate in outreach programs, talking to groups about managing diseases and promoting wellness.

Entry level education: Master’s Degree.
Median pay: $101,480 per year, $48.79 per hour.

Physicians and Surgeons 713,800 820,300 (15%) Physicians and surgeons diagnose and treat injuries or illnesses. Physicians examine patients; take medical histories; prescribe medications; and order, perform, and interpret diagnostic tests. They often counsel patients on diet, hygiene, and preventive healthcare. Surgeons operate on patients to treat injuries, such as broken bones; diseases, such as cancerous tumors; and deformities, such as cleft palates. There are two types of physicians, with similar degrees: M.D. (Medical Doctor) and D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine). Both use the same methods of treatment, including drugs and surgery, but D.O.s place additional emphasis on the body’s musculoskeletal system, preventive medicine, and holistic (whole-person) patient care. D.O.s are most likely to be primary care physicians, although they can be found in all specialties.

  • Take a patient’s medical history.
  • Update charts and patient information to show current findings and treatments.
  • Order tests for nurses or other healthcare staff to perform.
  • Review test results to identify any abnormal findings.
  • Recommend and design a plan of treatment.
  • Address concerns or answer questions that patients have about their health and well-being.
  • Help patients take care of their health by discussing topics such as proper nutrition and hygiene.

Entry level education: Doctoral or professional degree.
Median pay: Equal to or greater than $208,000 per year or $100.00 per hour.

Physical Therapists 239,800 299,800 (25%) Physical therapists, sometimes called PTs, help injured or ill people improve their movement and manage their pain. These therapists are often an important part of rehabilitation, treatment, and prevention of patients with chronic conditions, illnesses, or injuries.

  • Review patients’ medical history and any referrals or notes from doctors, surgeons, or other healthcare workers. Diagnose patients’ functions and movements by observing them stand or walk and by listening to their concerns, among other methods. Develop individualized plans of care for patients, outlining the patients’ goals and the expected outcomes of the plans.
  • Use exercises, stretching maneuvers, hands-on therapy, and equipment to ease patients’ pain, help them increase their mobility, prevent further pain or injury, and facilitate health and wellness. Evaluate and record a patient’s progress, modifying a plan of care and trying new treatments as needed.
  • Educate patients and their families about what to expect from the recovery process and how best to cope with challenges throughout the process.

Entry level Education: Doctoral or professional degree.
Median pay: $85,400 per year, $41.06 per hour.

Pharmacists 312,500 330,100 (6%) Pharmacists dispense prescription medications to patients and offer expertise in the safe use of prescriptions. They also may conduct health and wellness screenings, provide immunizations, oversee the medications given to patients, and provide advice on healthy lifestyles.

  • Fill prescriptions, verifying instructions from physicians on the proper amounts of medication to give to patients.
  • Check whether prescriptions will interact negatively with other drugs that a patient is taking or any medical conditions the patient has.
  • Instruct patients on how and when to take a prescribed medicine and inform them about potential side effects from taking the medicine.
  • Give flu shots and, in most states, other vaccinations.
  • Advise patients about general health topics, such as diet, exercise, and managing stress, and on other issues, such as what equipment or supplies would be best to treat a health problem.
  • Complete insurance forms and work with insurance companies to ensure that patients get the medicines they need.
  • Oversee the work of pharmacy technicians and pharmacists in training (interns).
  • Keep records and do other administrative tasks.
  • Teach other healthcare practitioners about proper medication therapies for patients.

Entry level education: Doctoral or professional degree.
Median pay: $122,230 per year, $58.77 per hour.

Registered Nurses 2,955,200 3,392,200 (15%) Registered nurses (RNs) provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their family members.

  • Assess patients’ conditions.
  • Record patients’ medical histories and symptoms.
  • Observe patients and record the observations.
  • Administer patients’ medicines and treatments.
  • Set up plans for patients’ care or contribute information to existing plans.
  • Consult and collaborate with doctors and other healthcare professionals.
  • Operate and monitor medical equipment.
  • Help perform diagnostic tests and analyze the results.
  • Teach patients and their families how to manage illnesses or injuries.
  • Explain what to do at home after treatment.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $68,450 per year, $32.91 per hour.

Radiologic Technologists 241,700 271,900 (12%) Radiologic technologists, also known as radiographers, perform diagnostic imaging examinations, such as x rays, on patients. MRI technologists operate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners to create diagnostic images.

  • Adjust and maintain imaging equipment.
  • Precisely follow orders from physicians on what areas of the body to image.
  • Prepare patients for procedures, including taking a medical history and answering questions about the procedure.
  • Protect the patient by shielding exposed areas that do not need to be imaged.
  • Position the patient and the equipment in order to get the correct image.
  • Operate the computerized equipment to take the images.
  • Work with physicians to evaluate the images and to determine whether additional images need to be taken.
  • Keep detailed patient records.

Entry level education: Associate’s Degree.
Median pay: $58,960 per year, $28.35 per hour.

Speech language Pathologists 145,100 170,500 (18%) Speech-language pathologists (sometimes called speech therapists) assess, diagnose, treat, and help to prevent communication and swallowing disorders in children and adults. Speech, language, and swallowing disorders result from a variety of causes, such as a stroke, brain injury, hearing loss, developmental delay, Parkinson’s disease, a cleft palate, or autism.

  • Evaluate levels of speech, language, or swallowing difficulty.
  • Identify treatment options.
  • Create and carry out an individualized treatment plan that addresses specific functional needs.
  • Teach children and adults how to make sounds and improve their voices and maintain fluency.
  • Help individuals improve vocabulary and sentence structure used in oral and written language.
  • Work with children and adults to develop and strengthen the muscles used to swallow.
  • Counsel individuals and families on how to cope with communication and swallowing disorders.

Entry level education: Master’s Degree.
Median pay: $74,680 per year, $35.90 per hour.

Veterinarians 79,600 94,000 (18%) Veterinarians care for the health of animals and work to improve public health.

  • They diagnose, treat, and research medical conditions and diseases of pets, livestock, and other animals.
  • Examine animals to diagnose their health problems.
  • Treat and dress wounds.
  • Perform surgery on animals.
  • Test for and vaccinate against diseases.
  • Operate medical equipment, such as x-ray machines.
  • Advise animal owners about general care, medical conditions, and treatments.
  • Prescribe medication.
  • Euthanize animals.

Entry level education: Doctoral or professional degree.
Median pay: $88,770 per year, $42.68 per hour.

Veterinarian Assistants 83,800 100,000 (19%) Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers care for animals by performing routine tasks under the supervision of scientists, veterinarians, and veterinary technologists and technicians.

  • Feed, bathe, and exercise animals.
  • Clean and disinfect cages, kennels, and examination and operating rooms.
  • Restrain animals during examination and laboratory procedures.
  • Maintain and sterilize surgical instruments and equipment.
  • Monitor and care for animals after surgery.
  • Help provide emergency first aid to sick and injured animals.
  • Give medication or immunizations that veterinarians prescribe.
  • Assist in the collection of blood, urine, and tissue samples.

Entry level education: High school diploma.
Median pay: $25,250 per year, $12.14 per hour.

Nurse Practitioners 155,500 211,500 (36%) Nurse practitioners (NPs) serve as primary and specialty care providers, delivering advanced nursing services to patients and their families. They assess patients, determine the best way to improve or manage a patient’s health, and discuss ways to integrate health promotion strategies into a patient’s life. Nurse practitioners typically care for a certain population of people. For instance, NPs may work in adult and geriatric health, pediatric health, or psychiatric and mental health.

  • Take and record patients’ medical histories and symptoms.
  • Perform physical exams and observe patients.
  • Create patient care plans or contribute to existing plans.
  • Perform and order diagnostic tests.
  • Operate and monitor medical equipment.
  • Diagnose various health problems.
  • Analyze test results or changes in a patient’s condition, and alter treatment plans, as needed.
  • Give patients medicines and treatments.
  • Evaluate a patient’s response to medicines and treatments.
  • Consult with doctors and other healthcare professionals, as needed.
  • Counsel and teach patients and their families how to stay healthy or manage their illnesses or injuries.
  • Conduct research.

Entry level education: Master’s Degree.
Median pay: $107,460 per year, $51.67 per hour.

OCCUPATION # CURRENTLY EMPLOYED IN FIELD AS OF 2016 JOB OUTLOOK BY 2026 (% GROWTH) JOB DESCRIPTION (INCLUDING MEDIAN PAY, AND TYPICAL ENTRY LEVEL EDUCATION)
Restaurant and Food Service Managers 308,700 336,000 (9%) Food service managers are responsible for the daily operation of restaurants or other establishments that prepare and serve food and beverages.

  • They direct staff to ensure that customers are satisfied with their dining experience, and they manage the business to ensure that it is profitable.
  • Hire, train, oversee, and sometimes fire employees.
  • Order food and beverages, equipment, and supplies.
  • Oversee food preparation, portion sizes, and the overall presentation of food. Inspect supplies, equipment, and work areas. Ensure that employees comply with health and food safety standards. Address complaints regarding food quality or service. Schedule staff hours and assign duties. Manage budgets and payroll records. Establish standards for personnel performance and customer service.

Entry level education: High school diploma.
Median pay: $50,820 per year, $24.43 per hour.

Hotel (Lodging Managers) 47,800 50,600 (6%) Lodging managers ensure that guests on vacation or business travel have a pleasant experience at a hotel, motel, or other types of establishments with accommodations. Lodging managers also ensure that the establishment is run efficiently and profitably.

  • Inspect guest rooms, public areas, and grounds for cleanliness and appearance.
  • Ensure that company standards for guest services, décor, and housekeeping are met.
  • Answer questions from guests about hotel policies and services.
  • Keep track of how much money the hotel or lodging facility is making. Interview, hire, train, and sometimes fire staff members.
  • Monitor staff performance to ensure that guests are happy and that the hotel is well run.
  • Coordinate front-office activities of hotels or motels and resolve problems.
  • Set room rates and budgets, approve expenditures, and allocate funds to various departments.

Entry level education: High school diploma.
Median pay: $51,840 per year, $24.93 per hour.

Travel Agents 81,700 74,300 (-9%) Travel agents sell transportation, lodging, and admission to entertainment activities to individuals and groups planning trips.

  • They offer advice on destinations, plan trip itineraries, and make travel arrangements for clients.
  • Arrange travel for business and vacation customers.
  • Determine customers’ needs and preferences, such as schedules and costs.
  • Plan and arrange tour packages, excursions, and day trips.
  • Find fare and schedule information.
  • Calculate total travel costs.
  • Book reservations for travel, hotels, rental cars, and special events, such as tours and excursions.
  • Describe trips to clients and give details on required documents, such as passports and visas.
  • Give advice about local weather conditions, customs, and attractions.
  • Make alternative booking arrangements if changes arise before or during the trip.

Entry level education: High school diploma.
Median pay: $36,460 per year, $17.53 per hour.

Meeting, Convention and Event Planners 116,700 128,500 (10%) Meeting, convention, and event planners coordinate all aspects of events and professional meetings.

  • They arrange meeting locations, transportation, and other details.
  • Meet with clients to understand the purpose of the meeting or event.
  • Plan the scope of the event, including its time, location, and cost.
  • Solicit bids from venues and service providers.
  • Inspect venues to ensure that they meet the client’s requirements.
  • Coordinate event services such as rooms, transportation, and food service.
  • Monitor event activities to ensure that the client and the attendees are satisfied.
  • Review event bills and approve payments.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $47,350 per year, $22.76 per hour.

Recreation Workers 390,000 423,300 (9%) Recreation workers design and lead activities to help people stay active, improve fitness, and have fun.

  • They work with groups in summer camps, fitness and recreational sports centers, nursing care facilities, nature parks, and other settings.
  • They may lead such activities as arts and crafts, sports, music, dramatics, or games.
  • Plan, organize, and lead activities for groups or recreation centers.
  • Explain the rules of activities and instruct participants at a variety of skill levels.
  • Enforce safety rules to prevent injury.
  • Modify activities to suit the needs of specific groups, such as seniors.
  • Administer basic first aid if needed.
  • Organize and set up the equipment that is used in recreational activities.

Entry level education: High school diploma.
Median pay: $23,870 per year, $11.48 per hour.

Fitness Trainers and Instructors 299,200 328,400 (10%) Fitness trainers and instructors lead, instruct, and motivate individuals or groups in exercise activities, including cardiovascular exercises (exercises for the heart and blood circulation), strength training, and stretching.

  • They work with people of all ages and skill levels.
  • Demonstrate or explain how to perform various exercises and routines to minimize injuries and improve fitness.
  • Watch clients do exercises to ensure that they are using the correct techniques.
  • Provide alternative exercises during workouts or classes for different levels of fitness and skill.
  • Monitor clients’ progress and adapt programs as needed.
  • Explain and enforce safety rules and regulations on sports, recreational activities, and the use of exercise equipment.
  • Give clients information or resources about nutrition, weight control, and lifestyle issues.
  • Give emergency first aid if needed.

Entry level education: High school diploma.
Median pay: $38,160 per year, $18.34 per hour.

OCCUPATION # CURRENTLY EMPLOYED IN FIELD AS OF 2016 JOB OUTLOOK BY 2026 (% GROWTH) JOB DESCRIPTION (INCLUDING MEDIAN PAY, AND TYPICAL ENTRY LEVEL EDUCATION)
Biological Scientists 31,500 35,000 (11%) Biochemists and biophysicists study the chemical and physical principles of living things and of biological processes, such as cell development, growth, heredity, and disease.

  • Plan and conduct complex projects in basic and applied research.
  • Manage laboratory teams and monitor the quality of their work.
  • Isolate, analyze, and synthesize proteins, fats, DNA, and other molecules.
  • Research the effects of substances such as drugs, hormones, and nutrients on tissues and biological processes.
  • Review literature and the findings of other researchers and attend conferences.
  • Prepare technical reports, research papers, and recommendations based on their research findings.
  • Present research findings to scientists, engineers, and other colleagues.
  • Secure funding and write grant applications.

Entry level education: Doctoral or professional degree.
Median pay: $82,180 per year, $39.51 per hour.

Biotechnologists 82,100 90,400 (10%) Biological technicians help biological and medical scientists conduct laboratory tests and experiments.

  • Set up, maintain, and clean laboratory instruments and equipment, such as microscopes, scales, pipets, and test tubes.
  • Gather and prepare biological samples, such as blood, food, and bacteria cultures, for laboratory analysis.
  • Conduct biological tests and experiments.
  • Document their work, including procedures, observations, and results.
  • Analyze experimental data and interpret results.
  • Write reports that summarize their findings.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $42,520 per year
$20.44 per hour.

Chemists 88,300 94,000 (6%) Chemists and materials scientists study substances at the atomic and molecular levels and analyze the ways in which the substances interact with one another.

  • They use their knowledge to develop new and improved products and to test the quality of manufactured goods.
  • Plan and carry out complex research projects, such as the development of new products and testing methods.
  • Instruct scientists and technicians on proper chemical processing and testing procedures, including ingredients, mixing times, and operating temperatures.
  • Prepare solutions, compounds, and reagents used in laboratory procedures.
  • Analyze substances to determine their composition and concentration of elements.
  • Conduct tests on materials and other substances to ensure that safety and quality standards are met.
  • Write technical reports that detail methods and findings.
  • Present research findings to scientists, engineers, and other colleagues.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $75,420 per year, $36.26 per hour.

Environmental Engineers 53,800 58,300 (8%) Environmental engineers use the principles of engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry to develop solutions to environmental problems.

  • They work to improve recycling, waste disposal, public health, and water and air pollution control.
  • They also address global issues, such as unsafe drinking water, climate change, and environmental sustainability.
  • Prepare, review, and update environmental investigation reports.
  • Design projects that lead to environmental protection, such as water reclamation facilities or air pollution control systems.
  • Obtain, update, and maintain plans, permits, and standard operating procedures.
  • Provide technical support for environmental remediation projects and for legal actions.
  • Analyze scientific data and do quality-control checks.
  • Monitor the progress of environmental improvement programs.
  • Inspect industrial and municipal facilities and programs in order to ensure compliance with environmental regulations.
  • Advise corporations and government agencies about procedures for cleaning up contaminated sites.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $84,890 per year, $40.81 per hour.

Foresters and Conservation Scientists 34,600 36,600 (6%) Conservation scientists and foresters manage the overall land quality of forests, parks, rangelands, and other natural resources.

  • Oversee forestry and conservation activities to ensure compliance with government regulations and habitat protection.
  • Negotiate terms and conditions for forest harvesting and for land-use contracts.
  • Establish plans for managing forest lands and resources.
  • Monitor forest-cleared lands to ensure that they are suitable for future use.
  • Work with private landowners, governments, farmers, and others to improve land for forestry purposes, while at the same time protecting the environment.
  • Supervise activities of forest and conservation workers and technicians.
  • Choose and prepare sites for new trees, using controlled burning, bulldozers, or herbicides to clear land.
  • Monitor the regeneration of forests.
  • Direct and participate in forest fire suppression.
  • Determine ways to remove timber with minimum environmental damage.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $60,610 per year, $29.14 per hour.

Geoscientists 32,000 36,500 (14%) Geoscientists study the physical aspects of the Earth, such as its composition, structure, and processes, to learn about its past, present, and future.

  • Plan and carry out field studies, in which they visit locations to collect samples and conduct surveys.
  • Analyze aerial photographs, well logs (detailed records of geologic formations found during drilling), rock samples, and other data sources to locate deposits of natural resources and estimate their size.
  • Conduct laboratory tests on samples collected in the field.
  • Make geologic maps and charts.
  • Prepare written scientific reports.
  • Present their findings to clients, colleagues, and other interested parties.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $89,780 per year, $43.16 per hour.

Mathematicians & Statisticians 40,300 53,600 (33%) Mathematicians and statisticians analyze data and apply mathematical and statistical techniques to help solve real-world problems in business, engineering, healthcare, or other fields.

  • Develop new mathematical rules, theories, and concepts in areas such as algebra and geometry.
  • Decide what data are needed to answer specific questions or problems.
  • Apply mathematical theories and techniques to solve practical problems in business, engineering, the sciences, and other fields.
  • Design surveys, experiments, or opinion polls to collect data.
  • Develop mathematical or statistical models to analyze data.
  • Interpret data and report conclusions drawn from their analyses.
  • Use data analysis to support and improve business decisions.

Entry level education: Master’s Degree.
Median pay: $81,950 per year, $39.40 per hour.

Physicists & Astronomers 19,900 22,700 (14%) Physicists and astronomers study the ways in which various forms of matter and energy interact. Theoretical physicists and astronomers may study the nature of time or the origin of the universe. Some physicists design and perform experiments with sophisticated equipment such as particle accelerators, electron microscopes, and lasers.

  • Develop scientific theories and models that attempt to explain the properties of the natural world, such as the force of gravity or the formation of sub-atomic particles.
  • Plan and conduct scientific experiments and studies to test theories and discover properties of matter and energy.
  • Write proposals and apply for funding to conduct research.
  • Do complex mathematical calculations to analyze physical and astronomical data, such as data that may indicate the existence of planets in distant solar systems or new properties of materials.
  • Design new scientific equipment, such as telescopes and lasers.
  • Develop computer software to analyze and model data.
  • Write scientific papers that may be published in scholarly journals.
  • Present research findings at scientific conferences and lectures.

Entry level education: Doctoral or professional degree.
Median pay: $114,870 per year, $55.23 per hour.

Actuaries 23,600 28,900 (22%) Actuaries analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty. They use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to assess the risk of potential events, and they help businesses and clients develop policies that minimize the cost of that risk. Actuaries’ work is essential to the insurance industry.

  • Compile statistical data and other information for further analysis.
  • Estimate the probability and likely economic cost of an event such as death, sickness, an accident, or a natural disaster.
  • Design, test, and administer insurance policies, investments, pension plans, and other business strategies to minimize risk and maximize profitability.
  • Produce charts, tables, and reports that explain calculations and proposals.
  • Explain their findings and proposals to company executives, government officials, shareholders, and clients.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $100,610 per year, $48.37 per hour.

OCCUPATION # CURRENTLY EMPLOYED IN FIELD AS OF 2016 JOB OUTLOOK BY 2026 (% GROWTH) JOB DESCRIPTION (INCLUDING MEDIAN PAY, AND TYPICAL ENTRY LEVEL EDUCATION)
Correctional Officers 468,600 433,700 (-7%) Correctional officers are responsible for overseeing individuals who have been arrested and are awaiting trial or who have been sentenced to serve time in jail or prison. Bailiffs, also known as marshals or court officers, are law enforcement officers who maintain safety and order in courtrooms.

  • Their duties, which vary by court, include enforcing courtroom rules, assisting judges, guarding juries, delivering court documents, and providing general security for courthouses.
  • Enforce rules and keep order within jails or prisons.
  • Supervise activities of inmates.
  • Inspect facilities to ensure that they meet security and safety standards.
  • Search inmates for contraband items.
  • Report on inmate conduct.
  • Escort and transport inmates.

Entry level education: High school diploma.
Median pay: $42,820 per year, $20.59 per hour.

Economists 21,300 22,500 (6%) Economists study the production and distribution of resources, goods, and services by collecting and analyzing data, researching trends, and evaluating economic issues.

  • Research economic issues.
  • Conduct surveys and collect data.
  • Analyze data using mathematical models, statistical techniques, and software.
  • Present research results in reports, tables, and charts. Interpret and forecast market trends.
  • Advise businesses, governments, and individuals on economic topics.
  • Recommend solutions to economic problems.
  • Write articles for academic journals and other media.

Entry level education: Master’s Degree.
Median pay: $101,050 per year, $48.58 per hour.

Lawyers 792,500 867,400 (9%) Lawyers advise and represent individuals, businesses, and government agencies on legal issues and disputes.

  • Advise and represent clients in courts, before government agencies, and in private legal matters.
  • Communicate with their clients, colleagues, judges, and others involved in the case.
  • Conduct research and analysis of legal problems.
  • Interpret laws, rulings, and regulations for individuals and businesses.
  • Present facts in writing and verbally to their clients or others, and argue on behalf of their clients.
  • Prepare and file legal documents, such as lawsuits, appeals, wills, contracts, and deeds.

Entry level education: Doctoral or professional degree.
Median pay: $118,160 per year, $56.81 per hour.

Police and Detectives 807,000 860,300 (7%) Police officers protect lives and property. Detectives and criminal investigators, who are sometimes called agents or special agents, gather facts and collect evidence of possible crimes.

  • Respond to emergency and non emergency calls.
  • Patrol assigned areas.
  • Conduct traffic stops and issue citations.
  • Search for vehicle records and warrants using computers in the field.
  • Obtain warrants and arrest suspects.
  • Collect and secure evidence from crime scenes.
  • Observe the activities of suspects.
  • Write detailed reports and fill out forms.
  • Prepare cases and testify in court.

Entry level education: High school diploma.
Median pay: $61,600 per year, $29.62 per hour.

Industrial or Organiational Psychologists, Clinical Psychologists, School Psychologists 166,600 189,200 (14%) Psychologists study cognitive, emotional, and social processes and behavior by observing, interpreting, and recording how people relate to one another and to their environments.

  • They use their findings to help improve processes and behaviors.
  • Conduct scientific studies of behavior and brain function.
  • Observe, interview, and survey individuals.
  • Identify psychological, emotional, behavioral, or organizational issues and diagnose disorders.
  • Research and identify behavioral or emotional patterns.
  • Test for patterns that will help them better understand and predict behavior.
  • Discuss the treatment of problems with clients.
  • Write articles, research papers, and reports to share findings and educate others.
  • Supervise interns, clinicians, and counseling professionals.

Entry level education: Master’s or Doctoral degree.
Median pay: $75,230 per year, $36.17 per hour.

Social Workers 682,100 784,200 (15%) Social workers help people solve and cope with problems in their everyday lives. Clinical social workers also diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional issues.

  • Identify people and communities in need of help.
  • Assess clients’ needs, situations, strengths, and support networks to determine their goals.
  • Help clients adjust to changes and challenges in their lives, such as illness, divorce, or unemployment.
  • Research, refer, and advocate for community resources, such as food stamps, childcare, and healthcare to assist and improve a client’s well-being.
  • Respond to crisis situations such as child abuse and mental health emergencies.
  • Follow up with clients to ensure that their situations have improved.
  • Maintain case files and records.
  • Develop and evaluate programs and services to ensure that basic client needs are met.
  • Provide psychotherapy services.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $46,890 per year, $22.54 per hour.

Interpreters and Translators 68,200 79,600 (17%) Interpreters and translators convert information from one language into another language. Interpreters work in spoken or sign language; translators work in written language.

  • Convert concepts in the source language to equivalent concepts in the target language.
  • Compile information and technical terms into glossaries and terminology databases to be used in their oral renditions and translations.
  • Speak, read, and write fluently in at least two languages, one of which is usually English.
  • Relay the style and tone of the original language.
  • Render spoken messages accurately, quickly, and clearly.
  • Apply their cultural knowledge to render an accurate and meaningful interpretation or translation of the original message.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $46,120 per year, $22.17 per hour.

OCCUPATION # CURRENTLY EMPLOYED IN FIELD AS OF 2016 JOB OUTLOOK BY 2026 (% GROWTH) JOB DESCRIPTION (INCLUDING MEDIAN PAY, AND TYPICAL ENTRY LEVEL EDUCATION)
Producers and Directors 134,700 150,800 (12%) Producers and directors create motion pictures, television shows, live theater, commercials, and other performing arts productions.

  • They interpret a writer’s script to entertain or inform an audience.
  • Select scripts or topics for a film, show, commercial, or play.
  • Audition and select cast members and the film or stage crew.
  • Approve the design and financial aspects of a production.
  • Oversee the production process, including performances, lighting, and choreography.
  • Oversee the post production process, including editing, special effects, music selection, and a performance’s overall tone.
  • Ensure that a project stays on schedule and within budget.
  • Promote finished works or productions through interviews, advertisements, and film festivals.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $70,950 per year, $34.11 per hour.

Photographers 147,300 134,900 (-8%) Photographers use their technical expertise, creativity, and composition skills to produce and preserve images that tell a story or record an event.

  • Market and advertise services to attract clients.
  • Analyze and plan the composition of photographs.
  • Use various photographic techniques and lighting equipment.
  • Capture subjects in commercial-quality photographs.
  • Enhance the subject’s appearance with natural or artificial light.
  • Use photo-enhancing software.
  • Maintain a digital portfolio to demonstrate their work.
  • Archive and manage imagery.

Entry level education: High school diploma.
Median pay: $34,070 per year, $16.38 per hour.

Public Relations Specialists 259,600 283,000 (9%) Public relations specialists create and maintain a favorable public image for the organization they represent.

  • They craft media releases and develop social media programs to shape public perception of their organization and increase awareness of its work and goals.
  • Write press releases and prepare information for the media.
  • Respond to information requests from the media.
  • Help clients communicate effectively with the public.
  • Help maintain their organization’s corporate image and identity.
  • Draft speeches and arrange interviews for an organization’s top executives.
  • Evaluate advertising and promotion programs to determine whether they are compatible with their organization’s public relations efforts.
  • Evaluate public opinion of clients through social media.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $58,020 per year, $27.89 per hour.

Writers and Authors 131,200 142,200 (8%) Writers and authors develop written content for various types of media, including advertisements; books; magazines; movie, play, and television scripts; and blogs.

  • Choose subject matter that interests readers.
  • Write fiction or nonfiction through scripts, novels, biographies, and more.
  • Conduct research to obtain factual information and authentic detail.
  • Write advertising copy for newspapers, magazines, broadcasts, and the Internet.
  • Present drafts to editors and clients for feedback.
  • Work with editors and clients to shape the material so it can be published.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $61,240 per year, $29.44 per hour.

Reporters, Broadcasting, News Analysts 50,400 45,600 (-10%) Reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts inform the public about news and events happening internationally, nationally, and locally.

  • They report the news for newspapers, magazines, web sites, television, and radio.
  • Research topics and stories that an editor or news director has assigned to them.
  • Investigate new story ideas and pitch ideas to editors.
  • Interview people who have information, analysis, or opinions about a story or article.
  • Write articles for newspapers, blogs, or magazines and write scripts to be read on television or radio.
  • Review articles for accuracy and proper style and grammar.
  • Develop relationships with experts and contacts who provide tips and leads on stories.
  • Analyze and interpret information to increase their audiences’ understanding of the news.
  • Update stories as new information becomes available.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $38,870 per year, $18.69 per hour.

Film and Video Editors 59,300 66,500 (12%) Film and video editors and camera operators manipulate images that entertain or inform an audience. Camera operators capture a wide range of material for TV shows, motion pictures, music videos, documentaries, or news and sporting events. Editors take footage shot by camera operators and organize it into a final product.

  • They collaborate with producers and directors to create the final production.
  • Shoot and record television programs, motion pictures, music videos, documentaries, or news and sporting events.
  • Organize digital footage with video-editing software.
  • Collaborate with a director to determine the overall vision of the production.
  • Discuss filming and editing techniques with a director to improve a scene.
  • Select the appropriate equipment, such as the type of lens or lighting.
  • Shoot or edit a scene based on the director’s vision.

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree.
Median pay: $59,040 per year, $28.39 per hour.