Land One of the Fastest Growing Jobs with a Community College Degree

Land One of the Fastest Growing Jobs with a Community College Degree
Are you looking for your career path? Consider some of the jobs boasting the fastest job growth today that only need a community college degree.

Despite laments nationwide over the sluggish economy and high unemployment rates, some fields are booming for community college graduates today. With decent starting salaries and higher-than-average growth predictions, many of these fields are the perfect professions for higher education students to focus their studies. Many of the fastest-growing jobs on the latest list can be entered with an associate degree, giving graduates the best possible value for their education dollars.

Home Health Aides

Home health aides come into homes to help those who are disabled, ill, or elderly. These professionals provide various services, from personal hygiene to light housekeeping. In some states, aides can administer medication or take vital signs. The home health aide role is imperative to those who want to be at home but cannot care for themselves ultimately. Although most visit patient homes, some work in group homes or care centers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for a home health aide was $20,560 in 2010. The job opportunities are expected to grow by 69.4 percent between 2010 and 2020, well ahead of the national average for job growth. This profession typically does not require postsecondary education, although a two-year degree at a community college may increase employment prospects.

Veterinarian Technicians

Those with a passion for four-legged patients may find their niche as veterinary technicians or technologists. These professionals work alongside veterinarians, performing diagnostic testing and assisting with the treatment of animals of all kinds. Veterinary technicians may work in private offices, clinics, or animal hospitals, often serving as the link between doctors and pet owners.

Business Insider cites statistics that show the profession of veterinary technician is predicted to grow by 52 percent between 2010 and 2020, with more than 41,000 jobs added during that time frame. The average annual salary for a veterinary technician in 2010 was nearly $30,000; an associate degree is a common requirement for professionals to get their foot in the door of this profession.

Physical Therapist Assistants

The job of a physical therapist assistant is crucial for helping patients get back on their feet after an injury or surgery. These professionals work directly with physical therapists to oversee exercises and other rehabilitative activities that help patients regain mobility and manage pain. Physical therapist assistants might work in nursing homes, hospitals, or outpatient facilities, interacting directly with patients on a daily basis.

The Huffington Post cites job growth for physical therapist assistants as between 44 and 45 percent. The publication also recommends an associate degree to prepare for this career. Physical therapist assistants had a median annual wage of $49,690 in 2010.

Occupational Therapy Assistants

Another profession that involves helping patients become independent once again is occupational therapist assistant. This healthcare professional works with patients dealing with injuries, disability, or recovery from surgery to help them regain the ability to do basic daily tasks like bathing and cooking. The work is typically done in a hospital, nursing center, or outpatient care facility, although some may travel to patients’ homes as well.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job growth in this field will increase by more than 43 percent between 2010 and 20120. The annual average income for an occupational therapist assistant in 2010 was $27,430.

Dental Hygienists

Dental hygienists are another career option that can begin with a two-year degree from the local community college. This field offers professionals the chance to interact with dental patients through education, examinations, and other preventative dental care. In some states, dental hygienists can also help dentists with surgical procedures like extractions and root canals.

Dental hygienists' job growth is expected to increase more than 37 percent between 2010 and 2020. The annual average salary for this field as of 2010 was $68,250. Most states require dental hygienists to have an associate degree and state licensure to practice in their field.

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

The job of a diagnostic medical sonographer is interesting. It involves using special equipment to diagnose illnesses and conditions. Medical sonographers may work in hospitals, outpatient facilities, or doctors’ offices. The job typically requires a two-year degree and possible certification to work in some offices.

The BLS predicts that diagnostic medical sonographer job growth will be around 44 percent through 2020. The average annual wage for this position in 2010 was $64,380.

Skin Care Specialists

As the baby boomer generation continues to look for ways to fight the effects of aging, fields like skin care are in greater demand than ever before. The role of a skin care specialist is to provide face and body treatments like Botox, skin peels, and microdermabrasion procedures. Skincare specialists may work in day spas, medical spas, or physician offices, and most begin their careers after earning an associate degree or certification in the cosmetology field.

The New York Times predicts that skin care's growth will increase by 38 percent by 2018. According to the publication, the average annual salary for a skin care specialist maybe $60,000 or more, depending on location and clientele.

Job growth is essential when choosing a career, and these fields are ahead of the pack in terms of predicted position increases. Check out your local community college to see which programs they offer from this list and start a whole new career today.

Questions? Contact us on Twitter. @communitycollegereview

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