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HCA Holdings Inc (HCA), Community Health Systems (CYH), Tenet Healthcare Corp (THC): The Fastest-Growing Jobs of the Next Decade

Are you a student on your way to campus, unsure of what to choose as a major? Are you looking for a better job? Well, you’re hardly alone. With over 7% of the American workforce unemployed, you’re bound to have competition wherever you look — but with the right planning, you might be able to hitch your wagon to one of America’s hottest jobs. Let’s take a look at where the jobs will be by 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ employment projections:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

It’s a rather uneven batch of opportunities — several of these fields are rather low-paying, but then you’ve got health care and education, which can offer excellent job security if you find the right opportunity. Let’s drill down a little bit to see what the salary ranges look like for these fields:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

For comparison purposes, the poverty level for a family of four in the United States is $23,550 — $11,490 if you’re working for yourself. If you want to get ahead in life, the fastest-growing foodservice jobs are probably not good ideas, and neither are many of the lowest-paying jobs on the list. Let’s run through all the higher-paying jobs, from $30,000 per year on up, and break down just how many new jobs each particular profession is expected to gain in the next seven years or so:

Profession 2010 Employment Projected New Jobs (2020) Growth Rate Median Salary (2010)
Physicians / Surgeons 691,000 168,300 24.4% $111,570
Registered Nurses 2,737,400 711,900 26% $64,690
Accountants / Auditors 1,216,900 190,700 15.7% $61,690
Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representatives 1,430,000 223,400 15.6% $52,440
Elementary School Teachers (not Special Education) 1,476,500 248,800 16.8% $51,660
Office Supervisors 1,424,400 203,400 14.3% $47,460
Postsecondary Teachers 1,756,000 305,700 17.4% $45,690
Licensed Practical and Vocational Nurses 752,300 168,500 22.4% $40,380
Carpenters 1,001,700 196,000 19.6% $39,530
Heavy Truck Drivers 1,604,800 330,100 20.6% $37,770
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks 1,898,300 259,000 13.6% $34,030
Medical Secretaries 508,700 210,200 41.3% $30,530
Customer Service Representatives 2,187,300 338,400 15.5% $30,460

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Interested in keeping others healthy? You’ve got nearly 1.3 million potential high-paying jobs to compete for by 2020, most of which are in the nursing field. If you like crunching numbers, you’ll have over 400,000 new opportunities to earn a living doing that by 2020. There’ll be over half a million new teaching jobs, too, if these projections are accurate.

If you’re looking to invest in the growth of health care employment, here are several of the largest publicly traded hospital companies, including revenues, profit margins, and P/E ratios. All are sure to hire briskly to keep up with the aging population of America, and that means more income — at least in theory, anyway.

Company Trailing-12-Month Revenue Profit Margin P/E
HCA Holdings Inc (NYSE:HCA) $33.4 billion 4.3% 12.3
LifePoint Hospitals, Inc. (NASDAQ:LPNT) $3.5 billion 3.3% 19.3
Health Management Associates Inc (NYSE:HMA) $5.9 billion 2.1% 28.0
Community Health Systems (NYSE:CYH) $13.0 billion 1.7% 17.7
Tenet Healthcare Corp (NYSE:THC) $9.4 billion (0.5%) N/A

Source: Yahoo! Finance. N/A = not applicable because of negative earnings.

However, before you jump right into these hot career paths (or investments), consider this for a moment:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Even the best-laid plans and projections can go astray. In the case of these projections from roughly a decade ago, such plans can go astray in the direction of several million fewer employees. Will health care and education be the next big mistakes on the BLS’ ledger? We’ll have to find out in a few years.

The article The Fastest-Growing Jobs of the Next Decade originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Alex Planes.

Fool contributor Alex Planes holds no financial position in any company mentioned here. Add him on Google+ or follow him on Twitter @TMFBiggles for more insight into markets, history, and technology.The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 

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