New and Emerging Jobs in Oregon: The Latest Trends

by Sarah Cunningham

April 19, 2023

The Oregon Employment Department’s occupational employment projections through the year 2031 include the latest trends in new and emerging jobs in Oregon. Projections provide the expected growth rate and annual openings for 684 different occupations from 2021 to 2031. Occupations generally include numerous types of jobs, from old familiar job titles, to new job titles that may not even exist yet. In many cases, new and emerging jobs are reflected within the fastest growing occupations.

This projections cycle accounts for recovery from low employment levels in 2020 due to the COVID-19 recession, which has shifted the occupational pattern some, showing more job opportunity in fields that lost a lot of jobs to the pandemic. Much of that recovery has already taken place with rapid hiring in 2021 and 2022. Many of the fastest growing occupations in these 2021 to 2031 projections are those that lost a lot of jobs in the pandemic recession in 2020. These jobs don’t fit the description of “new and emerging”; some are among the largest occupations in the state. Thus, any occupation that dropped more jobs in 2020 than the 6% average across the economy has been removed from the dataset considered here. Occupations with fewer than 500 jobs in 2021 are also excluded.

Some fast growing jobs are in health care as the sector adapts to new technology, new ways of providing health care, and an aging population. New and emerging jobs are also creating fast growth in occupations related to data analysis and high tech. These trends are consistent with expectations from prior to the pandemic. Investing in health care and STEM education and technical skills is a solid bet in today’s economy – these jobs will continue to be in demand.

The fastest growing occupations in health care are:

  • Nurse practitioners: 58% growth; 297 annual openings
  • Physical therapist assistants: 40% growth; 148 annual openings
  • Physician assistants: 36% growth; 158 annual openings
  • Medical and health services managers: 35% growth; 558 annual openings
  • Veterinarians: 28% growth; 127 annual openings
  • Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers: 28% growth; 506 annual openings
  • Health specialties teachers, postsecondary: 27% growth; 357 annual openings
  • Physical therapist aides: 27% growth; 86 average annual openings
  • Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors: 26% growth; 806 average annual job openings

Data analysis and high tech are also among the fastest growing occupations:
Statisticians: 36% growth; 78 annual openings
Data scientists and mathematical science occupations: 33% growth; 86 annual openings
Information security analysts: 33% growth; 137 annual openings
Market research analysts and marketing specialists: 26% growth; 1,145 annual openings.
Software developers and software quality assurance: 25% growth; 1,768 annual openings
Almost all of the jobs in the fast-growth health care, data science, and technology fields require at least some postsecondary training beyond high school, and many require bachelor’s and advanced degrees. But there are several occupations growing very quickly that offer opportunity for those with a high school education. During the pandemic we began to depend more on some of these jobs, and a portion of those structural changes will persist long after the pandemic. The fastest growing of these high-school trained occupations are:

  • Interpreters and translators: 31% growth; 265 annual openings
  • Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks: 31% growth; 665 annual openings
  • Camera operators, television, video, and film: 29% growth; 66 annual openings
  • Industrial machinery mechanics: 28% growth; 669 average annual openings
  • Coaches and scouts: 27% growth; 888 annual openings
  • Passenger vehicle drivers: 25% growth; 1,481

Visit the Occupation Profiles for wage information, current job openings, and training requirements for any of these fast-growing jobs, among many others. An overview of projected industry and occupation employment through 2031 is available at

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