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11 Best Vocational Careers for the Future

A college degree isn’t always necessary to get a career that will have longevity, as evidenced by the 11 best vocational careers for the future.

College isn’t for everyone. Plenty of people find it to be annoying and a continuation of the education system they hated their entire lives. However, some type of degree or certification is often necessary for a long-lasting and pleasant career. To be fair, a lot of careers can be done with just a little bit of practical training. College is simply a formality and an extra accomplishment. I’m a writer, and in theory just practicing writing should have been enough. To be marketable to employers, however, college degrees just look nice. That being said, vocational training is just as weighty to any employer. They’re necessary for a lot of jobs.

 11 Best Vocational Careers for the Future

Vocational training is not academic, rather it’s career-oriented and practical. Anyone can get a certificate, as they don’t require much in terms of prerequisites to be enrolled in an institution. The best part about them is all the work you do is work you’ll do in the field. You don’t have to take some lame, irrelevant class just for course credits. You take the courses that make sense because you’ll have to utilize all the information you learn. It’s perfect for people who find academia to be tedious, long, and overpriced.

In order to choose the best vocational careers for the future, the sole criterion was the growth rate within each career. If a career has a high growth rate, it’s a good career to invest in for the future because the market is continuing to grow and shift. We consulted the Bureau of Labor Statistics for this information. For reference, the average growth rate for jobs in all fields is 7 percent. We included the salary ranges here, but for a list of these careers ranked by salary check out our list of the 8 Highest-Paying Vocational Careers.

If you want to invest in your future, keep on reading:


11. Paralegals and Legal Assistants

Growth rate: 8%

Average salary: $48,810

Paralegals are basically a lawyer’s assistant. They support lawyers in any capacity and there is a decent growing need for them.

 11 Best Vocational Careers for the Future

Sergiu Ungureanu/


10. Radiologic and MRI Technologists

Growth rate: 9%

Average salary: $58,120

Radiologic and MRI techs are tasked with performing diagnostic imaging exams, like X-rays.


9. Respiratory Therapists

Growth rate: 12%

Average salary: $57,790

These therapists care for patients who have a condition that inhibits breathing and are very important for a lot of people.


8. Computer Support Specialists

Growth rate: 12%

Average salary: $51,470

People in this career offer advice to others using computer software or equipment. They’re your usually tech support/Apple Care go-to’s.

 11 Best Vocational Careers for the Future

Production Perig/


7. Radiation Therapist

Growth rate: 14%

Average salary: $80,220

Radiation therapists assist cancer patients in defeating the disease. They operate the machinery that provides radiation treatments.

 11 Best Vocational Careers for the Future

science photo/


6. Dental Assistants

Growth Rate: 18%

Average salary: $35,980

Halfway through our list of best vocational careers for the future we have Dental assistants that are the dental support staff. They perform a lot of the basic, preliminary duties like taking x-rays and scheduling appointments.

 11 Best Vocational Careers for the Future



5. Dental Hygienists

Growth rate: 19%

Average salary: $72,330

The hygienists also perform basic duties like cleaning teeth, examining for signs of oral disease, and offering advice on oral hygiene.

 11 Best Vocational Careers for the Future



4. Massage Therapists

Growth rate: 22%

Average salary: $38,040

Massage therapists are for those well-needed spa days and there’s a growing need for them with all the stress people endure, which puts them towards the top of our list of the 11 best vocational careers for the future.


3. Medical Assistant

Growth rate: 23%

Average salary: $30,590

While they don’t make much, medical assistants work in doctor’s offices to perform administrative and clerical tasks. There’s a growing need for them, though, so it’s truly an investment in a future career.


2. Web Developers

Growth rate: 27%

Average salary: $64,970

It’s no surprise that there’s a growing need for web developers. Online appearances are everything, and these are the people who design and spice up a web page.


1. Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides

Growth rate: 40%

Average salary: $54,520

Occupational therapy assistants and aides work for the main therapist. They provide direct support to clients to help them recover. They have the highest growth rate for vocational careers.

 11 Best Vocational Careers for the Future

Mila Supinskaya/

If you’re looking for a career change but you’re not interested in a traditional college degree, try out one of these 11 best vocational careers for the future.