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Jobs outlook: healthcare captures 8 of region’s top 10 fastest-growing occupations
OCALA, Fla. (Jan. 2, 2018) – Eight of the 10 fastest-growing occupations through 2025 for the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion region are in the healthcare industry.
All but one of the Top 10 requires formal postsecondary education or training, ranging from non-degree awards to master’s, doctoral or professional degrees.
According to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunities’ annual release of occupation projections, the region’s fastest-growing position is nurse practitioner, with a growth rate of 39 percent and median hourly wage of $45.16.
Adrienne Johnston, chief of DEO’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, said that “estimating employment projections over the next eight years is necessary for our state to provide the training and resources needed to ensure Florida’s workforce is prepared to fulfill our occupational demands.”
Nurse practitioners require a master’s, doctoral or professional degree along with psychiatrists, ranked seventh on the Top 10 list at 31 percent projected growth rate; marriage and family therapists, ranked eighth at 27.27 percent; and physical therapists, ranked ninth at 27.25 percent.
Fence erectors, which tied with forensic science technicians for the 10th fastest-growing occupation in the region, is the only occupation on the list that does not require a formal educational credential.
Hourly wages for the fastest-growing occupations range from $12.80 an hour for physical therapist aides – the fourth fastest-growing occupation at 34 percent – to $98.14 an hour for psychiatrists. The average median wage is $34.37 an hour.
In addition to the fastest-growing occupations, DEO’s projections included the occupations gaining the most new jobs, led by Retail salespersons, adding 788 positions region wide, followed by fast food workers (food preparation and serving) with 745 new jobs, Registered Nurses adding 557, customer service representatives with 479, and nursing assistants with 424.
Rounding out the top 10 are secretaries other than legal, medical and executive (+406); construction workers (+387); receptionists and information clerks (+353); landscaping and grounds keeping (+351); and general office clerks (+316).
Three positions do not require a credential, three require a high school diploma, three require a postsecondary non-degree award and one requires an Associate’s degree. The median hourly wages range from $9.38 an hour for fast food workers to $29.12 an hour for RNs. The average median wage is $13.66 an hour.
Rusty Skinner, CareerSource CLM’s chief executive officer, said that one takeaway from the latest projections is that for both the fastest-growing occupations and those gaining the most new jobs, compensation is commensurate with training or education.
“It’s a drum we’ve been beating for years; it’s clear you don’t need a four-year, liberal arts degree to succeed, but it’s also clear that greater career opportunity and better wages go hand-in-hand with the right kind of postsecondary training needed for the position,” he said.
Here’s how the average median wages stack up at each education level among the Top 10 fastest-growing occupations and those gaining the most new jobs:
- No formal education: $11.76 among the fastest-growing and $10.32 among the top 10 gaining the most new jobs
- High school: $14.63 and $12.78 respectively
- Postsecondary non-degree awards: $19.75 and $14.18
- Associate’s degree: $23.58 and $28.25
- Bachelor’s degree $34.16 and $28.99
- Master’s, doctoral or professional degree: $36.74 and $47.30
Skinner said that DEO’s occupation projections also help CareerSource CLM and its affiliate Talent Center at the College of Central Florida hone in on the workforce needs of in-demand industries by assisting businesses recruit and hire candidates and train and retain staff. At the same time, training assistance is available for candidates interested in targeted occupations.
“Right now, the economic drivers for our communities are healthcare, transportation and logistics, IT, manufacturing and construction,” he said. “We have myriad programs that help businesses meet their needs, including On-the-Job Training grants, paid adult internships, work experience trainee programs, and custom business training opportunities.”
The new projections were calculated using the “separation method” which differentiates between those leaving the labor force entirely and those who are permanently leaving an occupation to enter a new field.
DEO’s Johnston said that the old method of projecting openings undercounted the total jobs in an occupation because it was based exclusively on those exiting the labor force.
Johnston noted that the old method also required 10 years of data to produce estimates.
“It was indirect at best … and slow in responding to changes,” she said, adding that the new method used for the 2017-2025 outlook is regression-based and “statistically more robust because it incorporates demographic variables and other employment projections data.”
The Top 10 fastest-growing occupations overall currently employ 1,609 positions and are projected to add 1,486 job openings by 2025. However, due to the churn of the labor market and other variables captured by the new methodology, DEO projects 2,118 employed in the fastest-growing occupations in eight years. That results in a 32-percent average growth rate for the Top 10 fastest-growing occupations.
The Top 10 occupations gaining the most new jobs is projected to add more than 7,000 positions for a total of 41,346 job openings in eight years. Again, due to variables of the labor market, employment is projected at 39,144 positions by 2025, up from 34,338 (+14 percent average growth rate).
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