What tomorrow’s jobs look like

By Elizabeth Dwoskin

PHOTOGRAPH Ye Rin Mok for Bloomberg Businessweek

TRANSLATOR

FAIZA SULTAN

Owns Translation4all, Redmond, Wash.

“This business is always growing, always in need. It’s a very competitive market, and price matters a lot.”

Translators and interpreters are the 15th-fastest-expanding job category, with projected growth of 42 percent by 2020. Since 2007, 2,589 visas have been awarded to Iraqi and Afghan translators and their families to move to the U.S.

AVERAGE SALARY

$43,300

JOB CATEGORIES PROJECTED TO GROW THE MOST BETWEEN 2010 AND 2020:

Personal care (↑ 70.5%), home health (↑ 69.4%), biomedical engineering (↑ 61.7%), brick and stone masonry (↑ 60.1%), carpentry (↑ 55.7%)

BIKE MECHANIC

JOE “TOAST” LACROIX

The Hub bike co-op, Minneapolis, Minn.

“I like mechanical things. things. Practical problem-solving appeals to me. That makes it interesting to come to work every day. I make $25,000 a year. It’s enough to live — not extravagantly.”

The 22nd-fastest-growing category. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Transportation allocated $790.8 million for bike lanes and sidewalks.

AVERAGE SALARY

$23,660

JOBS PROJECTED TO SHRINK THE MOST BETWEEN 2010 AND 2020:

Shoe machine operators (↓ 53%), Postal Service mail sorters (↓ 48.5%), Postal Service clerks (↓ 48.2%), apparel patternmakers (↓ 35.6%), postmasters (↓ 27.8%)

HOME-HEALTH AIDE

JUANA SILVIA FUENTES

Cooperative Home Care Associates, New York, N.Y.

“I like this job because I always wanted to be a nurse. I raised my children without help from my husband and didn’t have time to go to school. For my current patient, I do everything I can to help her. She has multiple sclerosis and lives alone and has no family. I clean the house. I take her to the doctor. I feed her.”

Openings in home health care, America’s second-fastest-growing field, are expected to rise 69.4 percent by 2020. The Affordable Care Act gives grants of $250,000 to schools to train more home health aides.

AVERAGE SALARY

$19,640

THE SMALLEST U.S. PROFESSIONS:

Prosthodontists (dentists who replace teeth) (560), fabric menders (760), wooden patternmakers (820), timing device assemblers (1,000), math technicians (1,060)

CARPENTER

LUIS RUIZ

Structures foreman, Skanska USA, San Diego, Calif.

“My whole career I’ve built bridges. There’s a pride in being part of building these structures that are helping my community. It’s cool to drive over these bridges that I helped be a part of.”

Carpentry is projected to be the fifth-fastest-growing job by 2020. The category shed half its jobs during the housing bust but is projected to rebound 55.7 percent by 2020.

AVERAGE SALARY

$25,760 a year

U.S. OCCUPATIONS THAT EMPLOY THE MOST PEOPLE:

Retail (4.3 million), cashiers (3.3m), office clerks (2.8m), food prep and service (2.8m), registered nurses (2.7m)

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