The fastest-growing occupation in the US over the next 10 years will be nurse practitioner, the US Bureau of Labor Statics announced. The data came in a new report on labor growth projections from 2021 through 2031. The BLS also reported IT and other areas are expected to have strong growth.

Nurse practitioner jobs are projected to increase by 45.7% between 2021 and 2031 — representing the addition of 112,700 nurse practitioner jobs.

Growth in nurse practitioner jobs comes as healthcare facilities increasingly use team-based healthcare models, according to the BLS. These models use nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other healthcare practitioners to provide care that would otherwise be provided by a doctor.

10 fastest-growing occupations, projected 2021-2031


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While nurse practitioner is the fastest growing, the occupation expected to add the most jobs overall is “home health and personal care aides.” It’s estimated to grow by 924,000 jobs between 2021 and 2031, reaching a level of 4.6 million jobs. The BLS reported demand for caregiving is expected to rise in tandem with the growing elderly population, which typically needs more healthcare than younger groups.

Overall, healthcare support occupations are projected to grow the fastest of all occupational groups. The number of jobs in this group is expected to grow 17.8% from 2021 to 2031. In addition to home health and personal care aides, this includes physical therapist assistants and occupational therapy assistants.

Also, the “computer and mathematical occupational group” is expected to experience much faster than average employment growth of 15.4% through 2031.

“Expected strong demand for IT services, including cybersecurity services and cloud computing, will fuel demand for computer occupations,” according to the BLS. “For mathematical occupations, expected robust growth in data — in part related to the Internet of Things and the connectivity of consumer products and industrial machinery — and demand for data to be collected and analyzed are main factors behind strong projected employment growth.”

In total, the US economy is projected to add 8.3 million jobs by 2031, the BLS reported.

Total employment is projected to increase to 166.5 million from 158.1 million, growing 0.5% annually — which is slower than the 1.0% annual growth recorded over the 2011-2021 decade.

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