6 Fast-Growing Job Sectors in Washington, DC
America's capital region is always alive with activity and interesting opportunities, especially for people with marketable qualifications. That's why career colleges and trade schools in DC focus on providing programs that align with those opportunities. After all, the District of Columbia and its surrounding metro area are growing quickly, which is generating all kinds of new possibilities. Check out these compelling facts:
- More than 238,000 people work in DC's government sector. Yet private sector employment within the District grew by 18.7 percent between 2004 and 2014 to about 524,500 professionals.*
- Over 2,260 non-profits and associations operate in DC—the highest concentration of such organizations in the nation. Collectively, they employ roughly 66,000 people.**
- Between 2010 and 2011, Washington, DC's population grew at a faster rate than any state in the country.* And in 2014, the city was home to more than 658,890 residents.**
- The greater Washington metropolitan area, which includes DC as well as a number of surrounding counties in Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, had a population of over 5.8 million people in 2012.*** As a result, you don't necessarily have to attend school within the District. Many colleges near Washington, DC allow you to reap the same benefits.
Here are six of the DC region's fastest-growing job categories:
1. Health Care and Social Assistance
As in most other areas of the country, the need for medical and health services continues to rise in Washington, DC. In fact, employment in this sector grew by 27.5 percent—to 66,800 people—from 2004 to 2014. And the projections for future job increases look even brighter. For example, check out the employment growth rate expected between 2012 and 2022 in these specific areas:*
- Home health care services—59.7 percent
- Outpatient care—45.5 percent
- Medical and diagnostic laboratories—35.7 percent
- Dental offices—28 percent
2. Computer Technology
Washington, DC is becoming recognized as one of America's best cities for technology startups thanks, in part, to many recent successes. For instance, from about 2002 to 2012, employment within the District's high-tech sector grew by 50 percent.* And additional job growth is expected. Between 2012 and 2022, employment within the category of computer systems design and related services is projected to rise by 37.6 percent, and in the category of software publishing, it's anticipated to increase by over 25 percent.*
3. Construction Trades
Quite a bit of new development is planned for the DC area in the coming years. And a lot of it is because of the push for more sustainable and energy-efficient buildings, particularly in the public sector. In fact, projections indicate that more than 169,000 green collar jobs could be created in DC from 2009 to 2018.** That will likely equate to a lot of great opportunities for tradespeople like HVAC and electrical technicians.
But the future looks just as vibrant in other construction sectors as well. For example, from 2012 to 2022, employment in residential building construction is expected to grow by nearly 48 percent. And jobs in utility system construction are projected to increase in number by 30 percent.*
4. Professional Design and Creative Arts
Washington, DC's creative sector supports over 75,000 jobs across more than 10,000 different establishments.** Those career opportunities are found in areas as diverse as design, the media arts, film, and the performing arts, among others. But DC is especially known as a place with a high density of interior and graphic designers. And their future looks good. From 2012 to 2022, job growth in the area of specialized design services is anticipated to rise by 19.6 percent.*
5. Business and Criminal Justice Administration
Given the national capital region's high concentration of both public and private organizations, it shouldn't be surprising that people with good business skills can thrive in DC. That's true whether they're employed by corporations, non-profits, or the federal or local government. In fact, from 2004 to 2014, the number of jobs in the area of professional and business services increased by nearly 13 percent. And from 2012 to 2022, employment in the business support sector is projected to rise by 18.6 percent.*
But with so much important and often high-profile business taking place, a great need also exists for people who have a criminal justice background—and not just to work for government agencies, of which there are several in DC. Rather, many private companies—as well as some public officials—find it necessary to employ or hire private investigators or security experts to help protect their interests. As a result, jobs in the category of investigation and security services are projected to increase in number by over 41 percent from 2012 to 2022.*
6. Culinary Arts
The District of Columbia is quickly becoming known for its energetic restaurant scene. Many talented chefs are being drawn to the city and adding their own takes on a wide variety of high-end cuisine. And that's led to the culinary arts accounting for about 25 percent of Washington, DC's creative economy. Of course, the region's restaurant industry is also helped greatly by the fact that DC is a major tourist destination. In 2012, the District hosted nearly 19 million visitors who, collectively, spent over $6 billion in the city.**
* The District of Columbia, website last visited on March 23, 2015.
** Washington, DC Economic Partnership, website last visited on March 23, 2015.
*** United States Census Bureau, website last visited on March 23, 2015.