Thursday, June 24, 2004

A few hot jobs

The Mississippi Employment Security Commission (MESC) recently updated its list of the top 20 fastest-growing jobs projected from 2000 to 2010. Construction laborer employment is expected to grow 26 percent, from 6,320 to 8,000. The average wage is around $20,000 per year. Electricians earn more, an average of $34,810, and the jobs growth for electricians is expected to increase 28 percent from 5,910 to 7,540.

Two other construction-related jobs on the list of top fastest growing professions include welders, with employment expected to increase from 7,580 to 9,640, an increase of 27 percent. Welders earn an average of $30,000 per year. Sheet metal workers earn about $26,710 per year, and are expected to see jobs increase from 2,280 to 2,950 by 2010.

The highest demand for new jobs is expected to be registered nurses with employment from 2000 of 23,150 expected to grow 31 percent to 30,430 by 2010. RNs currently earn an average of $44,000 per year. Licensed practical nurses, who earn an average of $25,280 per year, are expected to grow from 8,900 to 11,420, an increase of 27 percent.

Demand for physicians and surgeons is expected to grow by nearly a third, from 3,390 today to 4,320 in 2010. No average wage was available from MESC because this category represents multiple occupations. Other health-related professions expected to grow include dental assistants, expected to increase 47 percent from 2,130 to 3,130 and medical records and health information technicians, which are expected to see growth of fifty percent from 1,750 to 2,620.

Medical assistants, with an average wage of about $20,000, are expected to see a 62 percent growth in demand, from 1,950 to 3,160. Pharmacists are expected to increase from 2,090 to 2,680, an increase of 28 percent for the profession that has an annual average wage of $66,000.

The state will also need more secondary school teachers by the end of the decade, with employment expected to increase 26 percent from 10,300 to 12,990. The average wage for secondary teachers is $33,150. Preschool teachers, with an average wage of $19,740, are expected to increase by 22 percent.

The number of gaming dealers, who earn approximately $15,530 per year, is projected to go up from 6,780 to 8,880, an increase of 29 percent.

Growth in law enforcement is also expected with correctional officers and jailers (average salary $22,470) expected to increase 34 percent from 5,710 to 7,680, and police and sheriff's patrol officer (average salary $26,480) expected to go from 6,170 to 7,640, an increase of 24 percent.

The state is also expected to employ more lawyers, who earn an average of $73,310 per year. The number of attorneys in the state is expected to increase 23 percent from 5,180 to 6,380.

The person with the biggest percentage expected growth rate is computer support technicians. That category is expected to increase from 1,840 to 3,450, an increase of 87 percent. The average wage is $29,380.

The occupational projections are compiled from an annual survey of about 4,000 employers in the state. National and state industry trends were used to come up with the salary estimates.

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