21. Occupational therapist aides
Projected increase in 2018: 30.7 percent
Number employed in 2008: 8,000
Median pay in 2008:$28,890
Education/training: Occupational therapist aides usually receive most of their training on the job. Qualified applicants must have a high school diploma, strong interpersonal skills, and a desire to help people in need.
Job outlook:The growing elderly population is particularly vulnerable to chronic and debilitating conditions that require therapeutic services. These patients often need additional assistance in their treatment, making the roles of assistants and aides vital.