Dental assistant number one job for young people

March 21, 2012
Issue 3

Dental assistant tops the list as the best job for people under 25 years old. Entailing the preparation of dental patients and dental equipment and keeping track of inventory and medical records, the position is expected to grow 35.7% and has 16,100 openings each year.

Dental assistant tops the list as the best job for people under 25 years old. Entailing the preparation of dental patients and dental equipment and keeping track of inventory and medical records, the position is expected to grow 35.7% and has 16,100 openings each year.

It’s hard out there for a young person today. For the last few years, youth in the U.S. have been barraged with bad news: An unemployment rate that reached 18.1% for the 16-to-24 set in 2011, rising education costs, shifting market demands and declining middle-class jobs.

Providing a light in the fog, jobs expert Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., author of just-released 150 Best Jobs for Your Skills, crunched the data to uncover the 15 best jobs for young people in America today. He first examined jobs with a large concentration of workers ages 16 to 24 (at least 15%), which represent more opportunities for initial entry and upward mobility, and ranked them by a combination of median annual earnings, the job’s projected growth and the annual number of openings, as tracked by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The list is dominated by good-paying health-care jobs with flexible hours, and many require less than a bachelor’s degree.

Topping the list at No. 1, dental assistant came out as the best job for young people in the current market. The position requires only moderate-term on-the-job training and entails preparing patients and dental equipment and keeping track of inventory and medical records. Earning $33,470 annually, 17.6% of these workers are younger than 25, and the function is increasingly in demand. The job is expected to grow 35.7% and boasts 16,100 openings each year.

Almost half of the jobs on the list are in health care, the fastest-growing sector in the economy. Medical assistants (No. 3) earn $28,860 and have 21,780 openings each year; physical therapist assistants (No. 4) earn $49,690 and are expected to grow by 33.3%; home health aides (No. 5) earn $20,560 and feature 55,270 annual openings; pharmacy technicians (No. 7) earn $28,400 and have 18,200 openings; and surgical technologists (No. 8) earn $39,920 and are growing by 25.3%.

Source: Forbes