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5 fast-growing jobs you’ve probably never heard of

It could literally pay to find out more about these promising careers.

5 fast-growing jobs you’ve probably never heard of

If you skim a list of the hottest jobs for the year ahead, you’ll likely see a roll call of the usual suspects like software developer and nurse practitioner. But what if you’re looking for a job that’s a bit off the beaten path—something that will make people lean in and say, “Wait, you do what?”

Using the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupation Finder, Monster tracked down five rising, not-so-familiar jobs with salaries that will pique your interest. All of these jobs are expected to grow faster than the BLS’ overall projection of a 6.5% increase for U.S. jobs between 2014 and 2024. Get ahead of the curve while you can.

Wind turbine technician

Projected 2014–2024 growth: 108%
Projected new jobs between 2014 and 2024: 1,000 to 4,999
Education/training: Some college expected, but a bachelor’s degree isn’t required. Long-term on-the-job training applies.
2015 median pay: $51,050 per year

With a projected growth of a whopping 108%, wind turbine technicians (also known as windtechs) are on the forefront of the jobs future. Wind power is a fast-growing alternative-energy option, and that means there will be a huge demand for people who maintain and repair the turbines that serve as those towers of power.

Find wind turbine technician jobs on Monster.

Operations research analyst

Projected 2014–2024 growth: 30%
Projected new jobs between 2014 and 2024: 10,000 to 49,999
Education/training: Bachelor’s degree is a minimum, typically in a technical field such as engineering or mathematics; an advanced degree may be expected.
2015 median pay: $78,630 per year

Numbers geeks, your time is now. Operations research analysts are dedicated problem solvers that use advanced math and analytical methods to come up with practical solutions to complex problems in businesses ranging from health care to sales and everything in between.

Find operations research analyst jobs on Monster.

Photogrammetrist

Projected 2014–2024 growth: 29%
Projected new jobs between 2014 and 2024: 1,000 to 4,999
Education/training: Bachelor’s degree in a field such as geomatics, cartography or geography is required.
2015 median pay: $61,880 per year

Photogrammetrists take the details of photographs—usually from satellites or airplanes—and use them to make specialized maps. The job requires an eye for details and deep tech skills, as almost all maps are now electronic and optimized for mobile. (And you’ll probably need to practice saying “photogrammetrist.”)

Find photogrammetrist jobs on Monster.

Millwright

Projected 2014–2024 growth: 16%
Projected new jobs between 2014 and 2024: 5,000 to 9,999
Education/training: High-school degree is minimum, followed by a four-year apprenticeship.
2015 median pay: $48,410 per year

Millwrights are one of the prime movers—literally—of the manufacturing sector, because they install, dismantle, repair, reassemble and relocate machinery in factories and other industrial settings. The role was common when manufacturing was king, and as the industry makes a comeback with increasingly technical machinery, these jobs are keeping pace. 

Find millwright jobs on Monster.

Technical writers

Projected 2014–2024 growth: 10%
Projected new jobs between 2014 and 2024: 5,000 to 9,999
Education/training: A bachelor’s degree is typically expected, along with expertise on the subject area that’s being explained.
2015 median pay: $70,240 per year

Think of all the cool, new tech gizmos that are released to the public every year. Now think of how users learn how to operate those gizmos. Technical writers translate complicated subjects for more general audiences, and it’s a job that’s been heating up for some time. A day on the job might include writing instruction manuals for software products or drafting journal articles to explain scientific research.

Find technical writer jobs on Monster.