Nurse practitioner tops list of next decade’s fastest growing jobs

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has released a report that reveals the 20 jobs with the highest projected percentage change in employment between 2021 and 2031. The list of fastest growing occupations for the next decade is topped by one of the health care industry’s most crucial positions — nurse practitioner.

With a median pay of $120,680 in 2021, the bureau reported that the typical entry-level education for nurse practitioners is a master’s degree. With 300,000 nursing practitioner jobs accounted for in 2021, the bureau predicts that the occupation will grow by 118,600 positions over the next decade. That’s a 46% growth rate — the highest rate in the nation.

“Overall employment of nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners is projected to grow 40 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations,” the bureau reported. “About 30,200 openings for nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.”

As of May 2021, nonmetropolitan areas in Middle Georgia earned a spot on the list of top paying areas for nurse practitioners. The annual mean wage in that part of the Peach State is $129,210, a total $62.12 per hour.

The highest paying state, however, is California. Nurse practitioners take home a mean wage of $151,830, or $72.99 per hour.

Just behind nurse practitioners, wind turbine service technicians are expected to see a 44% growth rate.

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