Careers information in the JAG
Career Corner is extracted from the Occupational Outlook Handbook
(2004-05 Edition) at www.bls.gov. The
Bureau of Labor Statistics is a division of the U.S. Department
Making informed career decisions requires reliable information
about opportunities in the future. Opportunities result from the
relationships between the population, labor force, and the demand
for goods and services.
Population ultimately limits the size of the labor force—individuals
working or looking for work—which constrains how much can
be produced. Demand for various goods and services determines employment
in the industries providing them. Occupational employment opportunities,
in turn, result from demand for skills needed within specific industries.
Opportunities for medical assistants and other health care occupations,
for example, have surged in response to rapid growth in demand
for health services.
Population trends affect employment opportunities in a number
of ways. Changes in population influence the demand for goods and
services. For example, a growing and aging population has increased
the demand for health services. Equally important, population changes
produce corresponding changes in the size and demographic composition
of the labor force.
The U.S. population is expected to increase by 24 million over
the 2002-12 period, at a slower rate of growth than during both
the 1992-2002 and 1982-92 periods. Continued growth will mean more
consumers of goods and services, spurring demand for workers in
a wide range of occupations and industries. The effects of population
growth on various occupations will differ. The differences are
partially accounted for by the age distribution of the future population.
The youth population, aged 16 to 24, will grow 7 percent over
the 2002-12 period. As the baby boomers continue to age, the group
aged 55 to 64 will increase by 43.6 percent or 11.5 million persons,
more than any other group. Those aged 35 to 44 will decrease in
size, reflecting the birth dearth following the baby boom generation.
Minorities and immigrants will constitute a larger share of the
U.S. population in 2012. The number of Hispanics is projected to
continue to grow much faster than those of all other racial and
Population is the single most important factor in determining
the size and composition of the labor force—that is, people
who are either working or looking for work. The civilian labor
force is projected to increase by 17.4 million, or 12 percent,
to 162.3 million over the 2002-12 period.
The U.S. workforce will become more diverse by 2012. White, non-Hispanic
persons will continue to make up a decreasing share of the labor
force, falling from 71.3 percent in 2002 to 65.5 percent in 2012
However, despite relatively slow growth, white, non-Hispanics will
remain the largest group in the labor force in 2012. Hispanics
are projected to account for an increasing share of the labor force
by 2012, growing from 12.4 to 14.7 percent. By 2012, Hispanics
will constitute a larger proportion of the labor force than will
blacks, whose share will grow from 11.4 percent to 12.2 percent.
Asians will continue to be the fastest growing of the four labor
The numbers of men and women in the labor force will grow, but
the number of women will grow at a faster rate than the number
of men. The male labor force is projected to grow by 10 percent
from 2002 to 2012, compared with 14.3 percent for women. As a result,
men’s share of the labor force is expected to decrease from
53.5 to 52.5 percent, while women’s share is expected to
increase from 46.5 to 47.5 percent.
The youth labor force, aged 16 to 24, is expected to slightly
decrease its share of the labor force to 15 percent by 2012. The
primary working age group, between 25 and 54 years old, is projected
to decline from 70.2 percent of the labor force in 2002 to 65.9
percent by 2012. Workers 55 and older, on the other hand, are projected
to increase from 14.3 percent to 19.1 percent of the labor force
between 2002 and 2012, due to the aging of the baby-boom generation.
Total employment is expected to increase from 144 million in
2002 to 165 million in 2012, or by 14.8 percent. The 21 million
jobs that will be added by 2012 will not be evenly distributed
across major industrial and occupational groups. Changes in consumer
demand, technology, and many other factors will contribute to the
continually changing employment structure in the U.S. economy.
The following two sections examine projected employment change
from both industrial and occupational perspectives. The industrial
profile is discussed in terms of primary wage and salary employment.
Primary employment excludes secondary jobs for those who hold multiple
jobs. The exception is employment in agriculture, which includes
self-employed and unpaid family workers in addition to wage and
The occupational profile is viewed in terms of total employment—including
primary and secondary jobs for wage and salary, self-employed,
and unpaid family workers. Of the nearly 144 million jobs in the
U.S. economy in 2002, wage and salary workers accounted for 132
million; self-employed workers accounted for 11.5 million; and
unpaid family workers accounted for about 140,000. Secondary employment
accounted for 1.7 million jobs. Self-employed workers held 9 out
of 10 secondary jobs; wage and salary workers held most of the
Service-providing industries. The
long-term shift from goods-producing to service-providing employment
is expected to continue. Service-providing industries are expected
to account for approximately 20.8 million of the 21.6 million new
wage and salary jobs generated over the 2002-12 period.
Education and health services. This
industry supersector is projected to grow faster, 31.8 percent,
and add more jobs than any other industry supersector. About 1
out of every 4 new jobs created in the U.S. economy will be in
either the healthcare and social assistance or private educational
Healthcare and social assistance —including
private hospitals, nursing and residential care facilities, and
individual and family services—will grow by 32.4 percent
and add 4.4 million new jobs. Employment growth will be driven
by increasing demand for healthcare and social assistance because
of an aging population and longer life expectancies. Also, as more
women enter the labor force, demand for childcare services is expected
Private educational services will
grow by 28.7 percent and add 759,000 new jobs through 2012. Rising
student enrollments at all levels of education will create demand
for educational services.
Professional and business services. This
group will grow by 30.4 percent and add nearly 5 million new jobs.
This industry supersector includes some of the fastest growing
industries in the U.S. economy.
Employment in administrative and
support and waste management and remediation services will
grow by 37 percent and add 2.8 million new jobs to the economy
by 2012. The fastest growing industry in this sector will be
employment services, which will grow by 54.3 percent and will
contribute almost two-thirds of all new jobs in administrative
and support and waste management and remediation services. Employment
services ranks among the fastest growing industries in the Nation
and is expected to be among those that provide the most new jobs.
Employment in professional, scientific,
and technical services will grow by 27.8 percent and add
1.9 million new jobs by 2012. Employment in computer systems
design and related services will grow by 54.6 percent and add
more than one-third of all new jobs in professional, scientific,
and technical services. Employment growth will be driven by the
increasing reliance of businesses on information technology and
the continuing importance of maintaining system and network security.
Management, scientific, and technical consulting services also
will grow very rapidly, by 55.4 percent, spurred by the increased
use of new technology and computer software and the growing complexity
Management of companies and enterprises will grow by 11.4 percent
and add 195,000 new jobs.
in the information supersector is expected to increase by 18.5
percent, adding 632,000 jobs by 2012. Information contains some
of the fast-growing computer-related industries such as software
publishers; Internet publishing and broadcasting; and Internet
service providers, Web search portals, and data processing services.
Employment in these industries is expected to grow by 67.9 percent,
41.1 percent, and 48.2 percent, respectively. The information supersector
also includes telecommunications, broadcasting, and newspaper,
periodical, book, and directory publishers. Increased demand for
residential and business land-line and wireless services, cable
service, high-speed Internet connections, and software will fuel
job growth among these industries.
Leisure and hospitality. Overall
employment will grow by 17.8 percent. Arts, entertainment, and
recreation will grow by 28 percent and add 497,000 new jobs by
2012. Most of these new job openings will come from the amusement,
gambling, and recreation sector. Job growth will stem from public
participation in arts, entertainment, and recreation activities—reflecting
increasing incomes, leisure time, and awareness of the health benefits
of physical fitness.
Accommodation and food services is expected to grow by 16.1 percent
and add 1.6 million new jobs through 2012. Job growth will be concentrated
in food services and drinking places, reflecting increases in population,
dual-income families, and dining sophistication.
Trade, transportation, and utilities. Overall
employment in this industry supersector will grow by 14.1 percent
between 2002 and 2012. Transportation and warehousing is expected
to increase by 914,000 jobs, or by 21.7 percent through 2012. Truck
transportation will grow by 20.5 percent, adding 275,000 new jobs,
while rail and water transportation are both projected to decline.
The warehousing and storage and the couriers and messengers industries
are projected to grow rapidly at 28.6 percent and 41.7 percent,
respectively. Demand for truck transportation and warehousing services
will expand as many manufacturers concentrate on their core competencies
and contract out their product transportation and storage functions.
Employment in retail trade is
expected to increase by 13.8 percent, from 15 million to 17.1 million.
Increases in population, personal income, and leisure time will
contribute to employment growth in this industry, as consumers
demand more goods. Wholesale trade is expected to increase by 11.3
percent, growing from 5.6 million to 6.3 million jobs.
Employment in utilities is
projected to decrease by 5.7 percent through 2012. Despite increased
output, employment in electric power generation, transmission,
and distribution and natural gas distribution is expected to decline
through 2012 due to improved technology that increases worker productivity.
However, employment in water, sewage, and other systems is expected
to increase 46.4 percent by 2012. Jobs are not easily eliminated
by technological gains in this industry because water treatment
and waste disposal are very labor-intensive activities.
Financial activities. Employment
is projected to grow 12.3 percent over the 2002-12 period. Real
estate and rental and leasing is expected to grow by 18.4 percent
and add 374,000 jobs by 2012. Growth will be due, in part, to increased
demand for housing as the population grows. The fastest growing
industry in the financial activities supersector will be commercial
and industrial machinery and equipment rental and leasing, which
will grow by 39.8 percent.
Finance and insurance is
expected to increase by 590,000 jobs, or 10.2 percent, by 2012.
Employment in securities, commodity contracts, and other financial
investments and related activities is expected to grow 15.5 percent
by 2012, reflecting the increased number of baby boomers in their
peak savings years, the growth of tax-favorable retirement plans,
and the globalization of the securities markets. Employment in
credit intermediation and related services, including banks, will
grow by 10.9 percent and add about half of all new jobs within
finance and insurance. Insurance carriers and related activities
is expected to grow by 7.5 percent and add 168,000 new jobs by
2012. The number of jobs within agencies, brokerages, and other
insurance related activities is expected to grow about 14.5 percent,
as many insurance carriers downsize their sales staffs and as agents
set up their own businesses.
2002 and 2012, government employment, including that in public
education and hospitals, is expected to increase by 11.8 percent,
from 21.5 million to 24 million jobs. Growth in government employment
will be fueled by growth in State and local educational services
and the shift of responsibilities from the Federal Government to
the State and local governments. Local government educational services
is projected to increase 17.5 percent, adding over 1.3 million
jobs. State government educational services also is projected to
grow 17.5 percent, adding 388,000 jobs. Federal Government employment,
including the Postal Service, is expected to increase by less than
1 percent as the Federal Government continues to contract out many
government jobs to private companies.
Other services (except government) . Employment
will grow by 15.7 percent. More than 4 out of 10 new jobs in this
supersector will be in religious organizations, which is expected
to grow by 24.4 percent. Personal care services will be the fastest
growing industry at 27.6 percent. Also included among other services
is private household employment, which is expected to decrease
Goods-producing industries. Employment
in the goods-producing industries has been relatively stagnant
since the early 1980s. Overall, this sector is expected to grow
3.3 percent over the 2002-12 period. Although employment is expected
to increase more slowly than in the service-providing industries,
projected growth among goods-producing industries varies considerably
in construction is expected to increase by 15.1 percent, from 6.7
million to 7.7 million. Demand for new housing and an increase
in road, bridge, and tunnel construction will account for the bulk
of job growth in this supersector.
change in manufacturing will vary by individual industry, but overall
employment in this supersector will decline by 1 percent or 157,000
jobs. For example, employment in plastics and rubber products manufacturing
and machinery manufacturing is expected to grow by 138,000 and
120,000 jobs, respectively. Due to an aging population and increasing
life expectancies, pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing is
expected to grow by 23.2 percent and add 68,000 jobs through 2012.
However, productivity gains, job automation, and international
competition will adversely affect employment in many other manufacturing
industries. Employment in textile mills and apparel manufacturing
will decline by 136,000 and 245,000 jobs, respectively. Employment
in computer and electronic product manufacturing also will decline
by 189,000 jobs through 2012.
Agriculture, forestry, fishing,
and hunting. Overall employment in agriculture, forestry,
fishing, and hunting is expected to decrease by 2 percent. Employment
is expected to continue to decline due to advancements in technology.
The only industry within this supersector expected to grow is
support activities for agriculture and forestry, which includes
farm labor contractors and farm management services. This industry
is expected to grow by 18.4 percent and add 17,000 new jobs.
in mining is expected to decrease 11.8 percent, or by some 60,000
jobs, by 2012. Employment in coal mining and metal ore mining is
expected to decline by 30.2 percent and 38.8 percent, respectively.
Employment in oil and gas extraction also is projected to decline
by 27.8 percent through 2012. Employment decreases in these industries
are attributable mainly to technology gains that boost worker productivity,
growing international competition, restricted access to Federal
lands, and strict environmental regulations that require cleaning
of burning fuels.
Expansion of service-providing
industries is expected to continue, creating demand for
many occupations. However, projected job growth varies among
major occupational groups (.
Professional and related occupations. Professional
and related occupations will grow the fastest and add more new
jobs than any other major occupational group. Over the 2002-12
period, a 23.3-percent increase in the number of professional and
related jobs is projected, a gain of 6.5 million. Professional
and related workers perform a wide variety of duties, and are employed
throughout private industry and government. About three-quarters
of the job growth will come from three groups of professional occupations—computer
and mathematical occupations, healthcare practitioners and technical
occupations, and education, training, and library occupations—which
will add 4.9 million jobs combined.
Service occupations. Service
workers perform services for the public. Employment in service
occupations is projected to increase by 5.3 million, or 20.1 percent,
the second largest numerical gain and second highest rate of growth
among the major occupational groups. Food preparation and serving
related occupations are expected to add the most jobs among the
service occupations, 1.6 million by 2012. However, healthcare support
occupations are expected to grow the fastest, 34.5 percent, adding
1.1 million new jobs.
Management, business, and financial
occupations. Workers in management, business, and financial
occupations plan and direct the activities of business, government,
and other organizations. Their employment is expected to increase
by 2.4 million, or 15.4 percent, by 2012. Among managers, the
numbers of computer and information systems managers and of preschool
and childcare center/program educational administrators will
grow the fastest, by 36.1 percent and 32 percent, respectively.
General and operations managers will add the most new jobs, 376,000,
by 2012. Farmers and ranchers are the only workers in this major
occupational group whose numbers are expected to decline, losing
238,000 jobs. Among business and financial occupations, accountants
and auditors and management analysts will add the most jobs,
381,000 combined. Management analysts also will be one of the
fastest growing occupations in this group, along with personal
financial advisors, with job increases of 30.4 percent and 34.6
Construction and extraction occupations. Construction
and extraction workers construct new residential and commercial
buildings, and also work in mines, quarries, and oil and gas fields.
Employment of these workers is expected to grow 15 percent, adding
1.1 million new jobs. Construction trades and related workers will
account for more than three-fourths of these new jobs, 857,000,
by 2012. Many extraction occupations will decline, reflecting overall
employment losses in the mining and oil and gas extraction industries.
Installation, maintenance, and
repair occupations. Workers
in installation, maintenance, and repair occupations install
new equipment and maintain and repair older equipment. These
occupations will add 776,000 jobs by 2012, growing by 13.6 percent.
Automotive service technicians and mechanics and general maintenance
and repair workers will account for more than 4 in 10 new installation,
maintenance, and repair jobs. The fastest growth rate will be
among heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics
and installers, an occupation that is expected to grow 31.8 percent
over the 2002-12 period.
Transportation and material moving
and material-moving workers transport people and materials by
land, sea, or air. The number of these workers should grow 13.1
percent, accounting for 1.3 million additional jobs by 2012.
Among transportation occupations, motor vehicle operators will
add the most jobs, 760,000. Rail transportation occupations are
the only group in which employment is projected to decline, by
5.4 percent, through 2012. Material moving occupations will grow
8.9 percent and will add 422,000 jobs.
Sales and related occupations. Sales
and related workers transfer goods and services among businesses
and consumers. Sales and related occupations are expected to add
2 million new jobs by 2012, growing by 12.9 percent. The majority
of these jobs will be among retail salespersons and cashiers, occupations
that will add more than 1 million jobs combined.
Office and administrative support
occupations. Office and administrative support workers
perform the day-to-day activities of the office, such as preparing
and filing documents, dealing with the public, and distributing
information. Employment in these occupations is expected to grow
by 6.8 percent, adding 1.6 million new jobs by 2012. Customer
service representatives will add the most new jobs, 460,000.
Desktop publishers will be among the fastest growing occupations
in this group, increasing by 29.2 percent over the decade. Office
and administrative support occupations account for 11 of the
20 occupations with the largest employment declines.
Farming, fishing, and forestry
occupations. Farming, fishing, and forestry workers cultivate
plants, breed and raise livestock, and catch animals. These occupations
will grow 3.3 percent and add 35,000 new jobs by 2012. Agricultural
workers, including farmworkers and laborers, accounted for the
overwhelming majority of new jobs in this group. The numbers
of both fishing and logging workers are expected to decline,
by 26.8 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively.
Production occupations. Production
workers are employed mainly in manufacturing, where they assemble
goods and operate plants. Production occupations will have the
slowest job growth among the major occupational groups, 3.2 percent,
adding 354,000 jobs by 2012. Jobs will be created for many production
occupations, including food processing workers, machinists, and
welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers. Textile, apparel, and
furnishings occupations, as well as assemblers and fabricators,
will account for much of the job losses among production occupations.
Among all occupations in the economy, computer
and healthcare occupations are expected to grow the fastest
over the projection period. In fact, healthcare occupations
make up 10 of the 20 fastest growing occupations, while computer
occupations account for 5 out of the 20 fastest growing occupations
in the economy. In addition to high growth rates, these 15 computer
and healthcare occupations combined will add more than 1.5 million
new jobs. High growth rates among computer and healthcare occupations
reflect projected rapid growth in the computer and data processing
and health services industries.
The 20 occupations listed in the chart above will account for
more than one-third of all new jobs, 8 million combined, over the
2002-12 period. The occupations with the largest numerical increases
cover a wider range of occupational categories than do those occupations
with the fastest growth rates. Health occupations will account
for some of these increases in employment, as well as occupations
in education, sales, transportation, office and administrative
support, and food service. Many of these occupations are very large,
and will create more new jobs than will those with high growth
rates. Only 2 out of the 20 fastest growing occupations—home
health aides and personal and home care aides—also are projected
to be among the 20 occupations with the largest numerical increases
Declining occupational employment stems from declining industry
employment, technological advancements, changes in business practices,
and other factors. For example, increased productivity and farm
consolidations are expected to result in a decline of 238,000 farmers
and ranchers over the 2002-12 period. The majority of the 20 occupations
with the largest numerical decreases are office and administrative
support and production occupations, which are affected by increasing
plant and factory automation and the implementation of office technology
that reduces the needs for these workers. For example, employment
of word processors and typists is expected to decline due to the
proliferation of personal computers, which allows other workers
to perform duties formerly assigned to word processors and typists.
Education is essential in getting
a high-paying job. In fact, for all but 1 of the 50 highest
paying occupations, a college degree or higher is the most significant
source of education or training. Air traffic controllers is the
only occupation of the 50 highest paying for which this is not
Among the 20 fastest growing occupations, a bachelor’s
or associate degree is the most significant source of
education or training for 10 of them—network systems and
data communications analysts; physician assistants; medical records
and health information technicians; computer software engineers,
applications; computer software engineers, systems software;
physical therapist assistants; database administrators; veterinary
technologists and technicians; dental hygienists; and computer
the most significant source of education or training for another
8 of the 20 fastest growing occupations—medical assistants,
social and human service assistants, home health aides, physical
therapist aides, hazardous materials removal workers, occupational
therapist aides, dental assistants, and personal and home care
aides. In contrast, on-the-job training is the most significant
source of education or training for 17 of the 20 occupations with
the largest numerical increases; 3 of these 20 occupations—registered
nurses, postsecondary teachers, and general and operations managers—have
an associate or higher degree as the most significant source of
education or training. On-the-job training also is the most significant
source of education or training for 19 of the 20 occupations with
the largest numerical decreases; one of these 20 occupations—travel
agents—has a postsecondary vocational award as the most significant
source of education or training.
Fastest Growing Occupations
Listed below are the fastest growing occupations
between 2002 and 2012, by level of education or training.
occupations by level of
education or training
First professional degree
- Physicians and surgeons
- Physicians and surgeons
- Postsecondary teachers
- Computer and information scientists, research
- Medical scientists, except epidemiologists
- Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists
- Biochemists and biophysicists
- Physical therapists
- Mental health and substance abuse social
- Rehabilitation counselors
- Survey researchers
- Network systems and data communications analysts
- Physician assistants
- Computer software engineers, applications
- Computer software engineers, systems software
- Database administrators
- Medical records and health information technicians
- Physical therapist assistants
- Veterinary technologists and technicians
- Dental hygienists
- Occupational therapist assistants
- Fitness trainers and aerobics instructors
- Preschool teachers, except special education
- Respiratory therapy technicians
- Emergency medical technicians and paramedics
- Security and fire alarm systems installers
experience in a related occupation
- Self-enrichment education teachers
- Emergency management specialists
- Private detectives and investigators
- First-line supervisors/managers of protective service workers,
except police, fire, and corrections
- Detectives and criminal investigators
- Heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and
- Audio and video equipment technicians
- Tile and marble setters
- Police and sheriff's patrol officers
- Medical assistants
- Social and human service assistants
- Hazardous materials removal workers
- Dental assistants
- Residential advisors
- Home health aides
- Physical therapist aides
- Occupational therapist aides
- Personal and home care aides
- Security guards
Job openings stem from both employment growth and replacement
needs.Replacement needs arise as workers leave occupations. Some
transfer to other occupations while others retire, return to school,
or quit to assume household responsibilities. Replacement needs
are projected to account for 60 percent of the approximately 56
million job openings between 2002 and 2012. Thus, even occupations
projected to experience little or no growth or to decline in employment
still may offer many job openings.
Professional and related occupations are
projected to grow faster and add more jobs than any other major
occupational group, with 6.5 million new jobs by 2012. Three-fourths
of the job growth in professional and related occupations is expected
among computer and mathematical occupations; healthcare practitioners
and technical occupations; and education, training, and library
occupations. With 5.3 million job openings due to replacement needs,
professional and related occupations are the only major group projected
to generate more openings from job growth than from replacement
Service occupations are
projected to have the largest number of total job openings, 13
million, reflecting high replacement needs. A large number of replacements
will be necessary as young workers leave food preparation and service
occupations. Replacement needs generally are greatest in the largest
occupations and in those with relatively low pay or limited training
Office automation will significantly affect
many individual office
and administrative support occupations. Overall, these
occupations are projected to grow more slowly than average,
while some are projected to decline. Office and administrative
support occupations are projected to create 7.5 million job
openings over the 2002-12 period, ranking third behind service
and professional and related occupations.
and forestry occupations are projected to have the fewest
job openings, approximately 335,000. Because job growth is expected
to be slow, and levels of retirement and job turnover high, more
than 85 percent of these projected job openings are due to replacement
In this section, JAG will feature
Career Clusters which offer employment and advancement opportunities
for JAG graduates.
- While corporate downsizing, computerization, and changes in
business practices will limit job growth in this large industry,
numerous job openings are expected, enabling new workers to replace
those who leave or retire.
- Growing areas of the insurance industry are medical services
and health insurance and the industry’s expansion into
the broader financial services field.
- Office and administrative occupations usually require a high
school diploma, whereas employers prefer college graduates for
sales, managerial, and professional jobs.
Wage and salary employment in the insurance industry is projected
to increase 8 percent between 2002 and 2012, more slowly than the
16 percent average for all industries combined. While demand for
insurance is expected to rise, downsizing, productivity increases
due to new technology, and a trend toward direct mail, telephone,
and Internet sales will limit job growth. However, some job growth
will result from the industry’s expansion into the broader
financial services field, and employment in the medical service
and health insurance areas is anticipated to grow. Also, thousands
of openings are expected to arise in this large industry to replace
workers who leave the industry, retire, or stop working for other
Medical service and health insurance is the fastest-growing sector
of the insurance industry. In recent years, increasing health insurance
premiums and relatively high unemployment have left some unable
to afford health insurance, but over the long term, significant
growth is expected. As the share of the elderly population rises,
more people are expected to buy health insurance and long-term-care
insurance, as well as annuities and other types of pension products
sold by insurance sales agents. If legislation is passed to make
health insurance affordable to more people, demand should increase
further for this type of insurance. Population growth will stimulate
demand for auto insurance and homeowners insurance. Population
growth also will create demand for businesses to service the needs
of more people, and these businesses will need insurance as well.
Moreover, large liability awards are motivating growing numbers
of individuals and businesses to purchase liability policies to
protect against lawsuits brought by people claiming injury or damage
from a product.
Many successful insurance companies will recognize the Internet’s
potential as a powerful marketing tool. Not only might this reduce
costs for insurance companies, but it also could enable many clients
to turn to the Internet first to get information on their policies,
obtain quotes, or submit claims. As insurance companies begin to
offer more information and services on the Internet, some occupations,
such as insurance sales agent, could experience slower employment
Sales agents working in the property and casualty market, particularly
in auto insurance, will be most affected by increasing reliance
on the Internet. Auto policies are relatively straightforward and
can be issued more easily without the involvement of a live agent.
Also, auto premiums tend to cost more per year than do other types
of policies, so people are more likely to shop around for the best
price. The Internet makes it easier to compare rates among companies.
Insurance companies will continue to face increased competition
from banks and securities firms entering the insurance markets.
As more of these firms begin to sell insurance policies, increasing
numbers of insurance sales agents will be employed in them, rather
than in insurance companies. In order to stay competitive, insurance
companies have begun to expand their financial service offerings
or to establish partnerships with banks or brokerage firms.
Productivity gains caused by the greater use of computer software
will continue to limit the growth of certain jobs within the insurance
industry. For example, the use of underwriting software that automatically
analyzes and rates insurance applications will limit the employment
growth of underwriters. Also, computers linked directly to the
databases of insurance carriers and other organizations have made
communications easier among sales agents, adjusters, and insurance
carriers, so that all have become much more productive. Furthermore,
efforts to contain costs have led to an increasing reliance on
customer service representatives to deal with the day-to-day processing
of policies and claims. In addition, the Internet has made insurance
investigators more productive by drastically reducing the amount
of time it takes to perform background checks, allowing investigators
to handle an increasing number of cases, but limiting their employment
Sales agents and adjusters still are needed to meet face-to-face
with clients, many of whom prefer to talk directly with an agent,
especially regarding complicated policies. Opportunities will be
best for sales agents who sell more than one type of insurance
or financial service. Adjusters will still be needed to inspect
damage and interview witnesses, and although the number of available
jobs for actuaries will be limited due to the small size of the
occupation, employment opportunities should be good as stringent
qualifying requirements resulting from the examination system limit
the number of new entrants.
Sources of Additional Information
General information on employment opportunities in the insurance
industry may be obtained from the human resources departments of
major insurance companies or from insurance agencies in local communities.
Information about licensing requirements for insurance sales agents
and claim adjusters may be obtained from the department of insurance
in each State.
For information on the property and casualty insurance industry,
- Insurance Information Institute, 110 William St. , New York
, NY 10038 . Internet: http://www.iii.org
For information about careers in the life insurance industry,
- LIMRA International, P.O. Box 203 , Hartford , CT 16141-0208
For information about the health insurance industry, contact:
- National Association of Health Underwriters, 2000 North 14th
St., Suite 450 , Arlington , VA 22201 . Internet: http://www.nahu.org
For information about insurance sales careers and training, contact
any of the following organizations:
- The American Institute for CPCU/Insurance Institute of America,
720 South Providence Rd., Malvern, PA 19355. Internet: http://www.aicpcu.org
- Independent Insurance Agents of America , 127 South Peyton
St. , Alexandria , VA 22314 . Internet: http://www.iiaa.org
- Insurance Vocational Education Student Training (InVEST),
127 South Peyton St. , Alexandria , VA 22314. Internet: http://www.investprogram.org
- National Association of Professional Insurance Agents, 400
North Washington St. , Alexandria , VA 22314 .
For information on insurance education and training, contact
either of these organizations:
- The American College , 270 Bryn Mawr Ave. , Bryn Mawr , PA
19010 . Internet: http://www.theamericancollege.edu
- The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research,
P.O. Box 27027 , Austin , TX 78755 .
Information on the following insurance occupations may be found
in the 2004-05 Occupational Outlook Handbook:
Allstate Insurance Company has been a JAG
National Partner for the past five years. Information about
career opportunities with Allstate may be found at www.allstatecareers.com.
- As the largest industry in 2002, health services provided
12.9 million jobs— 12.5 million jobs for wage and salary
workers and about 382,000 jobs for the self-employed.
- Ten out of 20 occupations projected to grow the fastest are
concentrated in health services.
- About 16 percent of all new wage and salary jobs created between
2002 and 2012 will be in health services— 3.5 million jobs,
which is more than in any other industry.
- The majority of jobs require less than 4 years of college
education, but health diagnosing and treating practitioners are
among the most educated workers.
Wage and salary employment in the health services industry is
projected to increase 28 percent through 2012, compared with 16
percent for all industries combined (table 5). Employment growth
is expected to account for about 3.5 million new wage and salary
jobs—16 percent of all wage and salary jobs added to the
economy over the 2002-12 period. Projected rates of employment
growth for the various segments of the industry range from 12.8
percent in hospitals, the largest and slowest-growing industry
segment, to 55.8 percent in the much smaller home healthcare services.
of wage and salary workers in health services by industry
segment, 2002 and projected change 2002-12 (Employment
Hospitals, public and
Nursing and residential
Offices of physicians
Offices of dentists
Home healthcare services
Offices of other health
Other ambulatory healthcare
Medical and diagnostic
Many of the occupations projected to grow the fastest in the
economy are concentrated in the health services industry. For example,
over the 2002-12 period, total employment of medical assistants—including
the self-employed—is projected to increase by 59 percent,
physician assistants by 49 percent, home health aides by 48 percent,
and medical records and health information technicians by 47 percent.
Employment in health services will continue to grow for several
reasons. The number of people in older age groups, with much greater
than average healthcare needs, will grow faster than the total
population between 2002 and 2012, increasing the demand for health
services, especially home healthcare and nursing and residential
care. Advances in medical technology will continue to improve the
survival rate of severely ill and injured patients, who will then
need extensive therapy and care. New technologies will enable conditions
not previously treatable to be identified and treated. Medical
group practices and integrated health systems will become larger
and more complex, increasing the need for office and administrative
support workers. Also contributing to industry growth will be the
shift from inpatient to less expensive outpatient care, made possible
by technological improvements and consumers’ increasing awareness
of, and emphasis on, all aspects of health. All these factors will
ensure robust growth in this massive, diverse industry.
Employment growth in the hospital segment will be the slowest
within the health services industry, a result of efforts to control
hospital costs and of the increasing utilization of outpatient
clinics and other alternative care sites. Hospitals will streamline
health services delivery operations, provide more outpatient care,
and rely less on inpatient care. Job opportunities, however, will
remain plentiful because hospitals employ a large number of people.
Besides job openings due to employment growth, additional openings
will arise as workers leave the labor force or transfer to other
occupations. Occupations with the most replacement openings are
usually large, with high turnover stemming from low pay and status,
poor benefits, low training requirements, and a high proportion
of young and part-time workers, such as nursing, psychiatric, and
home health aides. By contrast, occupations with relatively few
replacement openings (such as physicians and surgeons) are characterized
by high pay and status, lengthy training requirements, and a high
proportion of full-time workers.
Fast growth is expected for workers in occupations concentrated
outside the inpatient hospital sector, such as medical assistants
and home health aides. Because of cost pressures, many health services
facilities will adjust their staffing patterns to reduce labor
costs. Where patient care demands and regulations allow, health
services facilities will substitute lower paid providers and will
cross-train their workforces. Many facilities have cut the number
of middle managers, while simultaneously creating new managerial
positions as they diversify. Because traditional inpatient hospital
positions are no longer the only option for many future health
services workers, persons seeking a career in the field must be
willing to work in various employment settings.
Demand for dental care will rise due to population growth, greater
retention of natural teeth by middle-aged and older persons, greater
awareness of the importance of dental care, and an increased ability
to pay for services. dentists will use support personnel such as
dental hygienists and assistants to help meet their increased workloads.
In some management, business, and financial operations occupations,
rapid growth will be tempered by restructuring to reduce administrative
costs and streamline operations. The effects of office automation
and other technological changes will slow employment growth in
office and administrative support occupations, but because the
employment base is large, replacement needs will continue to create
substantial numbers of job openings. Slower growing service occupations
also will provide job openings due to replacement needs.
Technological changes, such as increased laboratory automation,
will negatively affect the demand for other occupations as well.
For example, the use of robotics in blood analysis may limit job
growth for medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians,
although the hands-on nature of health services precludes significant
productivity gains in many instances.
Health services workers at all levels of education and training
will continue to be in demand. In many cases, it may be easier
for jobseekers with health-specific training to obtain jobs and
advance in their careers. Specialized clinical training is a requirement
for many jobs in health services and is an asset even for many
administrative jobs that do not specifically require it.
For referrals to hospital human resource departments about local
opportunities in health services, contact:
- American Hospital Association/American Society for Healthcare
Human Resources Administration, One North Franklin , Chicago
, IL 60606 .
For additional information on specific health-related occupations,
A wealth of information on health careers and job opportunities
also is available through the Internet, schools, libraries, associations,
Information on the following occupations may be found in the
2004-05 Occupational Outlook Handbook:
JAG National Partnership
HCA has been a JAG National
Partner for the past five years. Info rmation about career
opportunities with HCA may be found at www.hca.com.