As the economy has us all by the ankles nowadays, we start to see and realize that there is less out there. Businesses have less employees, less money in the till, less production, less needs, and of course less growth in general. Growth of business, industry and affiliates to these companies. We’ve “thinned out” a little in the job market and depleted many industries.

It’s the same thing for college graduates. Sure, it’d be nice to be in forestry and live in the pacific northwest, or to get a degree in Art History, and paint, or jobs and careers similar to this that many young people deep down inside would like to do. I wish the job market and economy was such that we could “afford” to offer more of these types of jobs, merely because we can. PS when I say “we” I speak generally.

So, what’s the deal…

There is something interesting, though, to say about those careers that are out there. The weird, odd and goofy jobs that employees hundreds, or thousands at maximum in each area in the US. Check this interesting list out that I found on BLS.GOV.

Below is a list of the smallest jobs out there,. I love this as it contains some pretty weird jobs. Go to the Bureau of Labor Statistics website and check out the Occupational Outlook Handbook for specific definitions and pay scales, job requirements and future employees needs and trends.


Job Title                                          # of employees    Hourly wage             Annual salary

Prosthodontists                                     370                    >=$80.00*                  >=$166,400*

Radio operators                                     820                       17.85                                 37,120

Fabric menders,except garment       960                      13.69                                  28,470

Locomotive firers                                  970                     23.17                                 48,190

Mathematical technicians             1,100                    18.46                                 38,400

Geographers                                           1,120                    32.02                                 66,600

Segmental pavers                                     1,170                   13.17                                  27,400

Astronomers                                          1,280                   48.70                                 101,300

Industrial-organ. psychologists        1,460                    37.03                                77,010

Forest fire inspectors/

prevention specialists                       1,580                   15.09                                31,380

Models                                                     1,660                   13.18                                 27,410

Model makers, wood                           1,740                   15.06                                 31,320

Dredge operators                                 1,910                    16.70                                34,740

Makeup artists,

theatrical and performance             1,930                    12.63                                26,270

Patternmakers, wood                       1,930                     16.35                                34,010

This chart might look a little awkward, the way its laid out. Hopefully you can follow along. If you’d like a .pdf file, let me know and I can email it to you. But go to and check out the list as well on this site. I love this site because it gives the most accurate information. Yes it’s from 2008, and you’d think that was forever ago, but in order to have the most accurate and up to date stats for the full year. 2009 hasn’t finished tallying yet. BLS.GOV will publish that later in the year.

But for now, it gives you an indication of what exactly is out there and what to expect with regard to even the smallest jobs. But in addition to this, I did some searching and researching and found other interesting lists that I thought I’d provide you. I enjoyed looking at what is expected to grow and decline with regard to jobs. I found some information that might interest you and get you to thinking about possible career chances.

Check out some of the things I found quite intriguing from…

*The civilian labor force is projected to reach 166.9 million by 2018, an increase of 8.2 percent. The U.S. workforce is expected to become more racially diverse by 2018.

*Workers aged 16 to 24, is expected to decrease from 14.3 percent in 2008 to 12.7 percent by 2018.

*The primary working-age group, those between 25 and 54 years old, is projected to decline as well from 67.7 percent of the labor force in 2008 to 63.5 percent by 2018.

*Workers aged 55 years and older, by contrast, are anticipated to leap from 18.1 percent to 23.9 percent of the labor force during the same period

This chart below shows the fastest growing occupations that give you an idea of what is in need. Obviously as you can see, Healthcare is the fastest growing industry. But there are so many more occupations that might fit you more closely, and that are on the fastest growing list! Also, if you’ll notice, many o0f the degrees are just two-year Associate degrees.


Many students do not want to attend college more than 2 years. But capture the careers that are growing, and those that would fit your interests, skills and personality.

Percent change      Number of new jobs              Wages        Education/training category

Biomedical engineers                 72                              11.6                                 $ 77,400         Bachelor’s degree

Network systems

& data comm. analysts              53                               155.8                               71,100         Bachelor’s degree

Home health aides                       50                              460.9                               20,460         Short-term on-the-job training

Personal and home

care aides                                        46                               375.8                               19,180          Short-term on-the-job training

Financial examiners                  41                                11.1                                   70,930          Bachelor’s degree

Medical scientists,

except epidemiologists             40                               44.2                                  72,590         Doctoral degree

Physician assistants                  39                               29.2                                   81,230         Master’s degree

Skin care specialists                  38                               14.7                                   28,730         Postsecondary vocational award


and biophysicists                        37                               8.7                                    82,840         Doctoral degree

Athletic trainers                        37                               6.0                                    39,640         Bachelor’s degree

Physical therapist aides         36                               16.7                                  23,760         Short-term on-the-job training

Dental hygienists                      36                                62.9                                  66,570         Associate degree

Veterinary technologists

and technicians                         36                               28.5                                  28,900         Associate degree

Dental assistants                      36                                105.6                                32,380         Moderate-term on-the-job training

Computer software

engineers, applications         34                               175.1                                 85,430         Bachelor’s degree

Medical assistants                    34                                163.9                                 28,300         Moderate-term on-the-job training

Physical therapist

assistants                                     33                                21.2                                   46,140         Associate degree

Veterinarians                            33                                19.7                                   79,050         First professional degree


education teachers                  32                                81.3                                   35,720         Work experience in a related occupation

SOURCE: BLS Occupational Employment Statistics and Division of Occupational Outlook

I like this list because it contains a lot of careers that are of interest to many people. And many of them are two-year degrees!


Now, the list below is a list of occupations you might want to stay away from. These are careers and jobs that are just not growing. I also noticed these jobs do not require an actual degree, but mid-range or high-range training and certification. Keep an eye out for these types of jobs as they are less predictable.

1 Textile bleaching and dyeing machine operators and tenders

2 Textile winding, twisting, and drawing out machine setters, operators, and tenders

3 Shoe machine operators and tenders

4 Extruding and forming machine setters, operators, and tenders, synthetic and glass fibers

5 Sewing machine operators

6 Semiconductor processors

7 Textile cutting machine setters, operators, and tenders

8 Postal Service mail sorters, processors, and processing machine operators

9 Fabric menders, except garment

10 Wellhead pumpers

11 Fabric and apparel patternmakers

12 Drilling and boring machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

13 Lathe and turning machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

14 Order clerks

15 Coil winders, tapers, and finishers

16 Photographic processing machine operators

17 File clerks

18 Derrick operators, oil and gas

19 Desktop publishers

Just a quick review of some jobs out there to watch for…or to watch out for. Many of you looking for a job, keep plugging away. The more you apply, the better your chances. Go everywhere and apply for anything. Something will come up.

If you’re starting college soon and trying to figure out your career options and what degree you’re going to get, be sure to follow for this kind of specific information about any of these jobs.  There are thousands more of options out there, but this is a nice start!

Here is a list of the programs, degrees, source of educational training necessary for particular occupations and careers. Don’t know what types of jobs you would get with an associate’s compared to a bachelor’s? Well, here it is. This list is from as well and gives you a great summarized definition of each type of degree/award.


First professional degree- Completion of the degree usually requires at least 3 years of full-time academic study beyond a bachelor’s degree. Examples are lawyers; and physicians and surgeons.

Doctoral degree- Completion of a Ph.D. or other doctoral degree usually requires at least 3 years of full-time academic study beyond a bachelor’s degree. Examples are postsecondary teachers; and medical scientists, except epidemiologists.

Master’s degree– Completion of the degree usually requires 1 or 2 years of full-time academic study beyond a bachelor’s degree. Examples are educational, vocational, and school counselors; and clergy.

Bachelor’s or higher degree, plus work experience- Most occupations in this category are management occupations. All require experience in a related non-management position for which a bachelor’s or higher degree is usually required. Examples are general and operations managers; and judges, magistrate judges, and magistrates.

Bachelor’s degree- Completion of the degree generally requires at least 4 years, but not more than 5 years, of full-time academic study. Examples are accountants and auditors; and elementary school teachers, except special education.

Associate degree- Completion of the degree usually requires at least 2 years of full-time academic study. Examples are paralegals and legal assistants; and medical records and health information technicians.

Postsecondary vocational award- Some programs last only a few weeks, others more than a year. Programs lead to a certificate or other award, but not a degree. Examples are nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants; and hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists.

Please comment to this post, or contact me in any way for more information you might be looking for.

My Success is Your Success,

Keith Lipke

Keith Lipke is a careers and college recruiter, coach, mentor and blogger at The Hope Chest. His passion is to educate, inspire, and give hope to young people along their journey who need it upon their search for the right career.