3. Home health aides
Projected increase in 2018: 50.0 percent
Number employed in 2008: 922,000
Median pay in 2008: $21,440
Education/training: Home health aides are not required to have a high school diploma; they receive most of their training on the job from experienced aides or nurses. Classroom training, lectures, and workshops may be required depending on employer.
Job outlook: While personal and home care aides provide mostly housekeeping and routine services, home health aides provide more extensive health care than family and friends can manage. A growing demand for home services among the elderly and the pressure to contain costs by moving patients home sooner will make home health aides one of the fastest growing aide professions. A possible downside, however, is that most employers only hire on-call hourly workers and do not offer benefits.