In this series of posts, we’ll explore the best-performing jobs — coming out of the recession era — by education level.
Using Analyst, EMSI’s web-based labor market analysis tool, we’ll look at the fastest-growing, highest-paying jobs in five different categories based on the level of education or training required:
- On-the-job training (OJT) & work experience in a related field
- Associate’s degree & postsecondary vocational award (PSV)
- Bachelor’s degree & bachelor’s or higher + work experience
- Master’s degree
- Doctoral degree & first professional degree
Let’s start with some big-picture facts about the educational levels in the country, as well as a few key caveats about our data analysis. Education levels are based on the most commonly reported level for the occupation in question. For instance, registered nurses are typically associated with associate’s degrees. However, in this day and age, more than an associate’s degree is often required to work as a nurse. This just means that a lot of the people who currently work as nurses (think older workers) received an associate’s degree to get those jobs. As time passes and educational standards go up, so will the reported qualification. If you have questions about this data, please feel free to contact us.
Jobs by Ed Level 2008-2012
We filtered for jobs by education level to get a better handle on how various ed levels have performed and to get a relative sense of scale. Note: 2012 data is a projection. The following charts compare the results:
|2008||2009||2010||2011||2012||Change||% Change||2011 Median Hourly Wage||2011 Hourly Wage|
|OJT & work experience in a related occupation||95,274,317||90,123,788||89,370,871||90,428,600||91,071,686||-4,202,631||-4%||$14.60||$15.62|
|BA & BA or higher + work experience||22,375,417||21,651,129||21,579,687||21,835,311||22,133,512||-241,905||-1%||$33.50||$36.26|
|AA & postsecondary vocational award||13,166,772||12,846,076||12,884,576||13,091,314||13,331,322||164,550||1%||$21.24||$22.22|
|Doctoral & 1st Professional Degree||3,263,663||3,248,322||3,297,444||3,348,026||3,420,603||156,940||5%||$47.44||$51.45|
- OJT & work experience jobs dominate the US workforce. There are over 91 million jobs listed for 2012, making OJT the biggest employment sector with more than double the jobs as all the other ed-level jobs combined. From 2008-12, these jobs declined by 4%. OJT jobs have dropped the most since the recession, both proportionately (-4%) and by sheer numbers (-4 million).
- Occupations commonly associated with associates degrees and postsecondary vocational awards are the third largest group and represent 13.3 million jobs. These jobs grew by 1% from 2008-12.
- Occupations with bachelor’s degree represent 22 million jobs, the second largest group on our list. The occupations declined by 1% from 08-12.
- Master’s degree-related occupations are the smallest set and grew by 5%. This group represents 1.8 million jobs.
- Doctoral & first professional degrees represent 3.4 million jobs and grew by 5% from 08-12.
Click on each ed level to learn more about the top jobs by ed level.