The U.S. economy is chugging along just fine — the unemployment rate remained steady at 3.9 percent in August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and there are actually more job openings than available workers. However, Americans should always be prepared for the next downturn. No job is 100 percent recession-proof, but there are certain industries that will provide better job security than others.
If you’re looking for financial security down the line, it might be wise to insulate your career from economic slumps by choosing to work in these expanding industries.
Click through to see the fastest-growing occupations that might help shield you from the next recession.
10. Management, Scientific and Technical Consulting Services
- 2016-2026 Job Growth: 23.2 percent
- Jobs in Industry: Includes management analysts, engineers, software developers and programmers
This industry is expected to add 319,000 jobs by 2026, which comes as no surprise due to the ever-evolving technology sector. Software developers and programmers alone earn an annual mean salary of $97,300 or $46.78 per hour on average. With those wages, management, scientific and technical consulting services might offer more jobs where you’re least likely to live paycheck to paycheck.
9. Other Personal Services
- 2016-2026 Job Growth: 25.4 percent
- Jobs in Industry: Includes animal care and service workers, parking lot attendants and retail sales workers
Although many of the workers in this industry don’t earn hefty paychecks — for example, retail sales workers, parking lot attendants and animal care and service workers all take home under $26,000 a year, on average — job growth is healthy, which could mean greater stability in the workplace. If you’re seeking job opportunities apart from other personal services, consider these high-paying jobs that only require an associate degree.
8. Support Activities for Mining
- 2016-2026 Job Growth: 26.2 percent
- Jobs in Industry: Includes service unit operators for oil, gas and mining; first-line supervisors/managers of construction trades and extraction workers; and rotary drill operators for oil and gas
Support activities for mining is the only goods-producing industry on this list; the remainder is service-providing industries, which could help narrow your job search if you’re unemployed. Employees belonging to this industry earned an average of $29.99 per hour in July, but they also worked longer hours compared to the typical 40-hour workweek.
7. Other Ambulatory Healthcare Services
- 2016-2026 Job Growth: 26.5 percent
- Jobs in Industry: Includes medical assistants, medical secretaries and licensed practical/vocational nurses
The majority of positions in this industry can be found in private establishments, so don’t look to the government to find a job. Salaries for medical assistants and medical secretaries hover around $33,000 to $36,000 a year, on average. But if you’re a medical and health services manager — another occupation under the umbrella of other ambulatory healthcare services — you can earn six figures annually.
6. Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories
- 2016-2026 Job Growth: 27.4 percent
- Jobs in Industry: Includes clinical laboratory technologists and technicians, phlebotomists, and information and record clerks
With the number of Americans ages 65 and older expected to reach approximately 100 million by 2060, the aging population in the U.S. might require more robust healthcare — including laboratory tests. Phlebotomists, the medical specialists who draw blood for tests or donation, can earn $17.22 per hour, on average. Luckily, you don’t need a four-year degree to score a high-paying job in the medical field.
5. Offices of Other Health Practitioners
- 2016-2026 Job Growth: 30.8 percent
- Jobs in Industry: Includes physical therapists, secretaries, administrative assistants, physical therapist assistants and aides
Projected to add 264,000 healthcare jobs by 2026, this industry sits among the top 20 in job gains. Physical therapists take home an annual mean salary of $85,930, whereas their assistants and aides earn roughly half of that — $43,550 a year, on average. These licensed medical professionals actively work with patients and help rehabilitate people with injuries, illnesses or chronic conditions.
More on Jobs: 20 Highest-Paying Healthcare Jobs
4. Outpatient Care Centers
- 2016-2026 Job Growth: 37.7 percent
- Jobs in Industry: Includes registered nurses; substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counselors; and health technologists and technicians
Outpatient care centers is one of the industries expected to grow the most — by 322,600 jobs by 2026, to be exact. Registered nurses receive a yearly salary of $75,680, on average. Substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counselors can expect to see $45,450 annually. If you’re interested in working with outpatient care centers, learn tips to change your career and land your dream job.
3. Individual and Family Services
- 2016-2026 Job Growth: 39.1 percent
- Jobs in Industry: Includes personal care aides; social and human service assistants; and child, family and school social workers
Individual and family services is another industry featuring jobs with growing demand — it’s projected to add a staggering 871,400 jobs by 2026. Child, family and school social workers typically earn $20.34 per hour, or $42,300 annually. To break into a new industry, learn several ways to improve your chances of getting a job.
2. Other Information Services
- 2016-2026 Job Growth: 48.4 percent
- Jobs in Industry: Includes editors, librarians and library technicians
For wordsmiths and bookworms, working as an editor can prove to be quite lucrative — the annual mean salary is $73,550, or $35.36 per hour. On the other hand, librarians tend to earn wages of $26.69 per hour, or $55,510 a year. Other information services is also a very safe industry — there were no work-related fatalities reported in 2012 or 2014.
More on Jobs: These Are the Best and Worst Dangerous Jobs in America
1. Home Healthcare Services
- 2016-2026 Job Growth: 54.2 percent
- Jobs in Industry: Includes home health aides, personal care aides and nursing assistants
Thanks to the rapidly aging population in the U.S., home healthcare services is the fastest-growing industry in America and projected to add 738,200 jobs by 2026. Home health aides and personal care aides earn comparable annual salaries at $23,830 and $21,640, respectively.
Click through to find out if your career is at risk and see a list of jobs that might be facing extinction soon.
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Data and information are sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics unless otherwise noted.