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Fastest Growing Careers That Require a Graduate Degree

High Growth Master's and Doctoral Level Jobs

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The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that these 10 careers, all of which require a graduate degree, will grow faster than others that have similar educational requirements. If you choose any of these careers, plan to be in school for a minimum of six years, but for as many as eight years, after graduation from high school. Generally, you will have to earn a bachelor's degree at a four year college before going on to graduate school.

Never choose an occupation just because it appears on this or any other best careers list. You will not be successful in a career, even one with the most promising future, if it is not suitable for you. While you definitely want to look at labor market information to find out whether an occupation has a strong future, you must also make sure that it is a good match for you. Learn everything you can about any career you are considering by exploring it thoroughly. Read a job description first and then conduct informational interviews with people who work in that field. Make sure an occupation matches well with your interests, personality type, aptitude and values.

Sources:
CareerOneStop, Fastest-Growing Occupations
Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013
O*NET OnLine

1. Marriage and Family Therapists

Marriage and family therapists work with clients who have psychiatric disorders including anxiety, low self-esteem, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression and substance abuse. They work with families, couples and individuals, taking into consideration the effect of relationships on these disorders and vice versa. One needs a master's degree in marriage and family therapy in order to practice this profession. Employment in this field is expected to grow by 41% through 2020. The median annual salary was $46,240 in 2011.

2. Physical Therapists

Physical therapists (PTs) work with people who have disabling conditions or who have been in accidents. They provide treatment that restores their patients' functions, improves their mobility, relieves pain, and prevents or limits permanent physical disabilities. Their training includes earning a master's or doctoral degree. Employment in this field is expected grow by 39% through 2020. Median annual earnings were $78,270 in 2011.

3. Audiologists

Audiologists diagnose hearing problems and balance disorders. They then treat these issues after determining their causes and their impact on the patients. To work as an audiologist, one must earn a Doctor of Audiology degree (AuD). We can expect to see a 37% growth in employment through 2020. Audiologists earned a median annual salary of $68,390 in 2011.

4. Medical Scientists (except epidemiologists)

Medical scientists study diseases and other conditions that affect human beings' health in order to find ways to prevent or treat them. To enter this field one can either earn a PhD in genetics, pathology or bioinformatics or a joint MD-PhD. The former takes about six years to complete while the latter takes seven to eight years. Employment of medical scientists is expected to grow by 36% through 2020. Medical scientists earned a median annual salary of $76,130 in 2011.

5. Mental Health Counselors

Mental health counselors help their clients overcome or manage psychiatric disorders. They work with individuals, couples, families and groups. One needs a master's degree in mental health counseling to practice this profession. A 36% increase in employment is predicted through 2020. Median earnings were $38,150 in 2011.

6. Veterinarians

Veterinarians diagnose animals' illnesses and perform medical procedures. They provide health care services to pets, livestock, and zoo, sporting and laboratory animals. To work as a veterinarian one must earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from a college of veterinary medicine. Employment in this field is expected to grow by 36% through 2020. In 2011, the median annual salary for this job was $82,900.

7. Industrial-Organizational Psychologists

Industrial-organizational (I-O) psychologists solve workplace problems by applying psychological principles to them. One must earn a master's degree from a program that specializes in this field of study in order to work as an I-O psychologist. Employment is expected to grow by 35% through 2020. Median annual earnings of industrial-organizational psychologists were $94,720 in 2011.

8. Healthcare Social Worker

Healthcare social workers treat clients who have been diagnosed with medical conditions. They help them understand their illnesses and make the necessary lifestyle, housing and healthcare adjustments. To do this job, one needs a master's degree in clinical social work. Employment of healthcare social workers is expected to grow by 34% through 2020. They earned a median annual salary of $48,620 in 2011.

9. Occupational Therapists

Occupational therapists (OTs) help clients regain their abilities to perform work and daily living activities. They are expected to experience a 34% rise in employment through 2020. One needs a master's degree in occupational therapy to work in this field. OTs earned a median annual salary of $73,820 in 2011.

10. Optometrist

Optometrists diagnose eye diseases and disorders and treat them. They prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses to correct vision. They cannot do surgery. To become an optometrist one must earn a Doctor of Optometry degree by completing a four year program at an optometry school. There is expected to be a 33% growth in employment through 2020. The median annual salary was approximately $94,690 in 2008.

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