Oregon’s Fastest Changing Jobs Between 2014 and 2024

Oregon’s Fastest Changing Jobs Between 2014 and 2024

by Kim Thompson

August 10, 2016

Oregon's most recent 10-year employment projections, which cover the time period from 2014 to 2024, show growth in nearly every industry in Oregon. Health care is predicted to change at one of the fastest rates. Within health care, one area stands out with the greatest rate of change; occupational and physical therapy assistants and physical therapy aides. In fact, these jobs are predicted to grow two to three times faster than they will need to replace job leavers, which is not the trend in the overall economy.

Within the top 10 fastest changing jobs, half are related to health care. Physical therapist aides and assistants are both in the top five at 54 and 44 percent change in employment in the next 10 years, respectively. Physical therapist assistants delegate work to therapist aides and typically have an associate's degree. Physical therapist assistants, in accordance with state laws, assist in the development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, document the progress of treatment, and modify specific treatments in accordance with patient status and within the scope of treatment plans established by a physical therapist. Therapist aides typically start their career with a high school diploma and would assist therapist assistants. Physical therapy is a profession with flexibility and many part-time employees exist, making an average wage difficult to set. Employer surveys put a full-time average wage for physical therapist assistants at $55,000 a year and physical therapist aides at $29,000 annually.

Two information technology professions made the top 10 fastest changing jobs as well. Web developers and computer and information research scientists. Computer research scientists develop solutions to problems in the field of computer hardware and software. Companies in Oregon that employ information research scientists include Intel, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and Oracle. Jobs in this field require a professional or doctoral degree and typically pay $145,000 a year. In this largely digital world, it is no surprise that information technology jobs are found in all industries in Oregon.

Health care and information technology jobs are seen on the fastest growing lists consistently as the projections are updated every two years. Reasons for growth in health care jobs include a large, aging baby boomer population with complex medical needs and increased access to health care. Web developers and computer research scientists are needed for the complex functions of businesses in the modern world. Also, companies like Intel and Oracle tend to have more positions to fill. Even health care needs can be handled online, with doctors communicating primarily by email and web portals. Although health care and information technology jobs are frequently seen as the fastest growing industries, the specific jobs on the list can change, giving us insight into emerging trends.