Top 10 Most Secure Jobs in 2011

1. Nurse

Nursing is a field that runs perpetually lean anyway; but as health care demands expand in every direction, opportunities for both LPNs and RNs will continue to expand along with it. With job growth predictions hovering in the 21 percent-22 percent range by 2018 the already very large industry is expected to see more new jobs over the next several years than any other occupation.

2. Physical therapist

Driven primarily by aging baby boomers and technology advances that improve survival rates for trauma victims and children with birth defects, the demand for physical therapy is on the rise and is expected to continue growing by as much as 30p ercent by 2018. The greatest needs are in departments where geriatric patients frequent (acute hospital, skilled nursing, and orthopedic) as well as in rural and low-income areas.

3. Pharmacist

Employers have already been reporting difficulty finding and keeping enough pharmacists and as the population ages demand will only continue to increase. The Department of Labor predicts job growth for pharmacists will rise a total of 17 percent by 2018, which when added on top of the current shortage, makes for a very favorable job market in the field.

4. Physician and Surgeon

Tighter health care budgets and cost-cutting measures may keep the demand for doctors and surgeons at a more modest growth rate compared to other health care jobs (22 percent by 2018), but the fact remains that the expanding health care industry will keep the jobs coming. The job forecast is positive for all physicians and surgeons -- but especially those willing to work in rural and low-income areas.

5. Computer systems analyst and Administrator

Technology is at the center of both business and pleasure these days, so it's no wonder technology analysts and administrators are in high demand. All areas of the field are growing, but the most expansion (53 percent growth by 2018) is in network systems and data communications (network architects and engineers, Web administrators and developers) as more companies upgrade technology and as the Internet and wireless systems gain traction in the business world.

6. Computer Software Engineer

Our increasing dependence on technology is spurring demand for not only those who can analyze and repair high tech systems but also those who can make the most of them by creating new and improved software applications. Software engineers with expertise in mobile and wireless technology, networking, and the internet are in especially high demand and overall the field is expected to boom by 32 percent by 2018.

7. Biomedical and Environmental engineer

As a whole the engineering field is expected to grow at an average pace; but those specializing in biomedical and environmental engineering can expect to see significant increases (31-72 percent) in the demand for their skill set as an aging population and growing health care industry call for improved medical devices and an ever-increasing environmental awareness spurs companies to seek help meeting new regulations and heading off environmental problems before they arise.

8. Accountant, Auditor, and Financial advisor

Due to ever-changing financial laws, business growth, and an aging population nearing retirement, job prospects for financial experts are estimated to grow by 22-30 percent by 2018. Also helping to boost job security in the financial field: the increasing push toward transparency and accountability when it comes to high-stakes money matters and business management.

9. Veterinarian

Not only are more people making animals a part of their family (cats especially) but they're placing a higher value on their pets and are willing to pursue and pay more for advanced and intensive veterinary services. Due to the rise in demand and the limited number of accredited veterinary schools (there are only 28 in the United States) veterinarians are predicted to have 33 percent more job opportunities by 2018.

10. Lawyer, Paralegal, and Legal assistant

The law is only getting more complex and jobs for attorneys, paralegals, and legal assistants aren't going anywhere. Projected to grow by 13-21 percent over the next decade as other industries boom and require additional legal services, the legal field will produce the majority of new jobs in health care, intellectual property, bankruptcy, corporate and security litigation, antitrust law, and environmental law.

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