By Alida Moore, PayScale.com
As long as you’re going to work, you might as well seek a high-paying job. But can you be sure your most lucrative job option will still be around to pay you that big salary five or 10 years from now? It’s more likely to be if job opportunities in your field are expected to grow significantly in the future, thus offering you a measure of job security.
“Some fields are becoming obsolete while others are going to see rapid growth in the next 10 years,” says Katie Bardaro, lead analyst at online salary database PayScale.com. “Finance, software development and engineering are just a few of the fields with higher levels of job security, as jobs in these fields are projected to grow much faster than the typical career.”
So which jobs are more likely to have high levels of job security? PayScale compiled this list of eight high-paying jobs with staying power. Each requires no more than a bachelor’s degree and pays $55,000 a year or more. Even better, each job is projected to grow by 29 percent or more between 2010 and 2020, much faster than the average occupation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Projected Growth: 62 Percent
Typical Median Annual Pay: $72,900
This field applies the principles of engineering to biology and medicine with the goal of developing solutions to improve diagnosis and patient care. Biomedical engineers can be involved in such innovations as creating medical devices, developing new drug therapies and designing software to run medical equipment.
Find biomedical engineering jobs.
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
Projected Growth: 44 Percent
Typical Median Annual Pay: $58,700
A diagnostic medical sonographer uses medical-imaging equipment to capture images of our bodies’ organs, joints and other internal workings. As Baby Boomers age, sonographers will be busier than ever helping doctors care for them.
Find medical sonographer jobs.
Projected Growth: 41 Percent
Typical Median Annual Salary: $56,800
Marketing analysts pore over the data from a marketing campaign to identify how well consumers respond to everything from slogans to commercials. And because companies want to spend their marketing dollars wisely, marketing analysts should have steady job prospects for a long time.
Find marketing analyst jobs.
Projected Growth: 38 Percent
Typical Median Annual Pay: $66,100
Teeth, and jobs that involve caring for them, are here to stay. This career in preventive oral care stands to grow 38 percent through 2020. Snap on your rubber gloves, grab your fluoride tray and get to work. In most places, an associate’s degree and state license can get you started.
Find dental hygienist jobs.
Projected Growth: 36 Percent
Typical Median Annual Salary: $55,900
Cost estimators analyze the different facets of a project and predict how much each stage will cost. They help companies win bids and stay in business. Because cost estimators can help keep a business in the black, their skills should remain in demand well into the future.
Find cost estimator jobs.
Projected Growth: 32 Percent
Typical Median Annual Pay: $58,800
With retirement in sight for many Baby Boomers, financial planners are busy balancing their Boomer clients’ investment returns and risks. Even younger generations, shaken by the economic downturn, may want a professional’s help in planning their own retirement. If you have a knack for understanding stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other financial products and strategies, you could enjoy working for a large firm or hanging out your own shingle.
Find financial adviser jobs.
Projected Growth: 31 Percent
Typical Median Annual Pay: $61,100
In our Web-rich, tech-driven business world, a company’s success depends in part upon its database, which holds customer information, company financial information and more. If it crashes, productivity skids to a stop. An administrator who can install, maintain and monitor an organization’s database is worth his weight in gold -- and that gold may come in the form of job security.
Find database administrator jobs.
Projected Growth: 30 Percent
Typical Median Annual Pay: $68,700
With a job in this demanding field, you could find yourself at the helm of a variety of projects, researching, designing, testing and adapting software applications for years to come.
Find software developer jobs.
Source: All salary data provided by online salary database PayScale.com. Salaries listed are median, annual salaries for full-time workers with five to eight years of experience and include all bonuses, commissions or profit sharing. Job-growth data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.