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5 hot jobs cover social media, health care, IT

Posted: 06/09/2011

(Elements Therapeutic Massage was featured in this article by Dave Carpenter with the Associated Press, this article has been truncated due to length, read the entire article here.)

By DAVE CARPENTER

CHICAGO (AP) - If you've been fantasizing about becoming a farmer or rancher, time to pick another daydream. No other occupation category had a bigger decline, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Twitter strategist or massage therapist? Now you're talking.

The acceleration of the digital revolution, changes in consumer habits and an aging population are continuing to reshape the job market, employment projections by the BLS and other experts suggest.

A million new jobs are forecast to be created by 2018 — good news for fresh-out-of-college grads as well as older adults looking for new lines of work. But with the occupational outlook ever-changing, they'd be well-advised to choose "hot" jobs in this high-unemployment market.

Health care, financial services, information technology and science occupations are expected to see some of the greatest demand.

And the fastest growth will be in areas that require years of specialized training or higher education. Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce calls that the shift to a college economy.

But you don't need a Ph.D. to get a job in social media or as a caregiver, among other hot areas. Jobs should be plentiful even in some areas that require just a few months of training, notes Michael Wolf, an economist with the BLS.

Here are five fast-growing jobs that may be of interest to a mixture of new grads and second-career seekers:

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MASSAGE THERAPIST

Massage is a young industry that's growing by leaps and bounds as more people learn about the benefits of massage therapy. It's used to treat ailments, reduce stress, rehabilitate sports injuries and promote general health.

Therapists typically work 25 to 30 hours a week and average $37,000 to $45,000 a year working in a chiropractor's office, a spa or a freestanding therapy business. It's physically and mentally demanding work, says Michele Merhib, founder of Elements Therapeutic Massage, a franchise business with 80 studios nationwide.

But job prospects are bright, the occupation lends itself to part-time and self-employed work, and training is relatively affordable. It typically costs $7,000 to $12,000 to get the 500 hours of education and training required by most states for licensing as a certified massage therapist, according to Merhib.

The number of massage therapists is projected to grow from 122,400 in 2008 to 145,600 in 2018 — up 19 percent with more than 23,000 new jobs.

Michele Merhib, Elements Therapeutic Massage

This Thursday, June 2, 2011 photo shows Michele Merhib as she works on a client at Elements Therapeutic Massage in Denver. Massage is a young industry that's growing by leaps and bounds as more people learn about the benefits of massage therapy. It's used to treat ailments, reduce stress, rehabilitate sports injuries and promote general health. (Jack Dempsey / AP)

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