22. Dental assistants
Projected increase in 2016: 29.2 percent
Number employed in 2006: 280,000
Median pay in 2006: $30,850
Education/training: In the past, a high school diploma and on-the-job training were all that was required, but many dental assistants are now completing one- or two-year certificate or diploma programs.
Job outlook: As dental health among older generations improves, routine preventative care is needed more than ever before. Also, younger dentists entering the field are more likely to work with assistants.
• More info on dental assistants
• Job openings in New England for dental assistants
(Globe Staff Photo/Pat Greenhouse)