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The 20 Best Jobs Of The Future

Software Engineer Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Want a job that pays well and will have plenty of openings in the next decade? Consider one of these occupations.

Business Insider compiled a ranking of the best jobs of the future based on how well they pay and how much they are projected to grow in the coming years.

We took the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics’ projections for the number of new jobs created between 2012 and 2022 and the actual 2012 median annual wage for each occupation and ranked them based on a combination (the geometric mean) of the two figures.

Since we are looking for the best jobs of the next decade — those that will have plenty of openings and provide a good wage — we ranked only those occupations with median wages higher than the 2012 median wage for all workers, which is $US34,750. We used the total number of new jobs projected by 2022 rather than the per cent rate of growth for the occupations, since some specialised occupations are expected to see steep growth but will provide a relatively tiny amount of job openings.

We also provide short descriptions of each of the occupations based on their entries in the O*NET database, and some ideas on why these jobs are poised to do so well based on the BLS’s Monthly Labour Review article on its latest projections.

20. Construction Managers

78,200 predicted job openings by 2022

$82,790 median annual wage in 2012

Job description: Organise, plan, and supervise construction projects.

Typical Educational Requirements: Bachelor's degree

Why they're thriving: Managers of all kinds tend to have higher wages than those they supervise, and the BLS notes that managers make the highest median salary of any of the large occupational groups it studies. The construction sector was hit especially hard in the Great Recession. However, the BLS projects that over the next decade, construction employment will finally begin to return to pre-recession levels, allowing for impressive growth in the coming years.

18. Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing

132,000 predicted job openings by 2022

$54,230 median annual wage in 2012

What They Do: Sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses or groups of individuals.

Typical Educational Requirements: Bachelor's degree

Why They're Thriving: Salespeople are needed in almost every industry. Any company that makes or sells something will need sales representatives, meaning this already large occupation will continue to grow.

17. Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks

204,600 predicted job openings by 2022

$35,170 median annual wage in 2012

What They Do: Obtain and use numerical data to complete financial records and maintain accounting records.

Typical Educational Requirements: High school diploma or equivalent

Why They're Thriving: As with sales representatives, most organisations need people keeping track of the money coming in and going out, resulting in a steady demand for good bookkeepers.

16. Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers

192,600 predicted job openings by 2022

$38,200 median annual wage in 2012

What They Do: Drive the vehicles that carry pretty much everything we consume.

Typical Educational Requirements: Post-secondary non-degree

Why They're Thriving: As the economy continues to recover from the recession, there will simply be a lot more stuff to move around. That means there will also be an increased need for people to move that stuff.

14. First-line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers

128,300 predicted job openings by 2022

$59,700 median annual wage in 2012

What They Do: Directly supervise and coordinate activities of construction or extraction workers.

Typical Educational Requirements: High school diploma or equivalent

Why They're Thriving: As the construction sector begins to fully recover from the recession, job openings in these occupations are expected to increase.

11. First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers

171,500 predicted job openings by 2022

$49,330 median annual wage in 2012

What They Do: Directly supervise and coordinate the activities of clerical and administrative support workers.

Typical Educational Requirements: High school diploma or equivalent

Why They're Thriving: As companies launch and grow, they will need clerical workers, as well as supervisors that manage them.

10. Lawyers

Attorneys Richard Strafer, left, and Howard Srebnick

74,800 predicted job openings by 2022

$113,500 median annual wage in 2012

What They Do: Represent clients in various types of legal proceedings and write legal documents.

Typical Educational Requirements: Professional degree

Why They're Thriving: There has been a shift in the legal field to using more paralegals and legal assistants to do basic work. Despite this, as the economy continues to improve and overall business picks up, there will also be increasing demand for highly paid, credentialed lawyers.

9. Carpenters

218,200 predicted job openings by 2022

$39,940 median annual wage in 2012

What They Do: Construct houses, other structures, and various frames and fixtures out of wood.

Typical Educational Requirements: High school diploma or equivalent

Why They're Thriving: This is another entry on the list that is heavily tied to the construction industry, which is projected to expand rapidly over the next few years as it climbs out of the depths of the recession.

5. Accountants and Auditors

166,700 predicted job openings by 2022

$63,550 median annual wage in 2012

What They Do: Analyse financial records and ensure compliance with financial requirements and standards.

Typical Educational Requirements: Bachelor's degree

Why They're Thriving: In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the government responded with new financial regulations. An army of accountants will be needed to meet the new standards.

3. Software Applications Developers

139,900 predicted job openings by 2022

$90,060 median annual wage in 2012

What They Do: Design and develop software for clients and users.

Typical Educational Requirements: Bachelor's degree

Why They're Thriving: Application developers are similar to software systems developers, but they are more focused on the needs of users rather than on the back-end parts of computer systems. As with other computer-centered occupations, applications developers will benefit from the ongoing tech boom.

Now, check out people's opinions of some of these jobs:

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