Looking for a career that will be around till your retirement - and then some? Check these five out.Unless you've got a rich uncle or plan on winning the Lottery, you need your career to last a while. Decades would be nice. And for that to happen you have to find a career that will actually be needed decades from now. But what types of careers are those?
For staying power, think careers that are ingrained in our society's infrastructure, says Deb Hornell, a business and management consultant with 25 years of experience.
"These are jobs that are needed for society to function and thrive," she says. Jobs like nurse, police officer, and even software developer make the list.
Wondering what other careers will likely be around for your lifetime, and your kids'? Keep reading to learn about five jobs that aren't going away.
Everlasting Career #1: Registered NurseProjected Job Growth 2010 to 2020: 26 percent, with 711,900 new job opportunities.*
Let's face it, we humans aren't exactly perfect. Unlike the Man of Steel, we get sick, injured, old - and that's with routine check-ups. So the occupation of registered nurse is not only a noble calling, but one that will be needed for the foreseeable future, says Hornell.
And it's not all drawing blood and patching up wounds. Nurses also consult with doctors on patient care and management, help perform diagnostic tests, educate families and patients on health, and even provide emotional support in times of need, says the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why It's Everlasting: "There will always be a need for personal care in medicine, no matter how sophisticated medicine gets," says Hornell. And nursing is a very hands-on profession, she says, one that no amount of technology will be able to replace in full.
No wonder the Department of Labor says that not only will registered nurses' job prospects be "excellent," but they are number one on the list of the Department's list of occupations with the largest numeric growth projected from 2010-2020. That's a healthy prognosis.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Nursing Program.
Education Options: The Department of Labor says there are three educational paths prospective nurses follow: a bachelor's of science in nursing (BSN), an associate's in nursing (ADN), or a diploma from an approved nursing program. They must also be licensed.
Everlasting Career #2: Police OfficerProjected Job Growth 2010 to 2020: 8 percent, with 54,600 new job opportunities.*
Unfortunately, we do not live in Shangri-La; crime happens. So until human nature changes a whole lot and we all turn into Good Samaritans, Hornell says we'll need law enforcement and police officers.
But despite what you may see on TV, police work is not all high-speed chases and shootouts. Yes, they give tickets, patrol areas, and arrest bad guys, says the U.S. Department of Labor. They also write detailed reports (the infamous paperwork TV cops always complain about), prepare cases, testify in court, and even give first aid to accident victims.
Why It's Everlasting: "Being a police officer is a very tough job, so these are people for whom it's a calling. It's part of their moral fiber, and that's good, because we will always need them," says Hornell.
She says public safety is always high on the [government's] list of priorities, so this job will never be cut out of society.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Criminal Justice Program.
Education Options: Police officers must have a high school diploma and graduate from their department's training academy, the Department of Labor says. In addition, many agencies may require some college or a college degree. The Department also says that many colleges have programs in criminal justice.
Everlasting Career #3: Elementary School TeacherProjected Job Growth 2010 to 2020: 17 percent, with 248,800 new job opportunities.*
As much as some of our dilapidated public schools might suggest it, as a society, we really don't want dumb kids. In fact, education will always be a primary - if underfunded - part of the American infrastructure, says Hornell. So we will always need teachers.
Elementary school teachers do everything from making lesson plans to preparing students for standardized tests to helping individual pupils challenge themselves to gain new skills, says the U.S. Department of Labor. There's also a bit of disciplinary action, as the Department says they enforce classroom rules to teach kids proper behavior. We all remember that.
Why It's Everlasting: "There is a correlation between success in reading in the early grade levels and high school graduation rates and college graduation rates," says Hornell. "So elementary teachers are vital to give kids a strong foundation in learning and success in the early grades. So teachers will always be needed."
And the U.S. Department of Labor says because of the significant number of older teachers reaching retirement age, between 2010 to 2020, the coming years will see new openings for the next generation of teachers.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Elementary Education Program.
Education Options: Elementary (and kindergarten) teachers must have a bachelor's degree in elementary education and be licensed if they want to teach in public schools, says the Department of Labor. Other requirements vary by state, some of which might require a bachelor's degree in the subject taught, such as math or science.
Everlasting Career #4: AccountantProjected Job Growth 2010 to 2020: 16 percent, with 190,700 new job opportunities.*
As long as there's a monetary system, there will be a need to keep track of income and expenses. And you know what they say about death and taxes. So count on accountants being around for the duration, says Hornell.
Accountants do a variety of things to help individuals and organizations, such as examine financial records, prepare taxes, and recommend cost-reducing strategies, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Why It's Everlasting: "Accountant may not be the sexiest of jobs, but it's absolutely essential to business. And my sense is that, after some of the scandals that have happened over the last 10 or 15 years, and people being attuned to our businesses being ethical, the need for ethical accounting is very important to businesses," says Hornell.
She adds that the occupation of accountant is part of an essential "economic infrastructure," and therefore will always be needed in our society.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Accounting Program.
Education Options: According to the Department of Labor, most accountant jobs require applicants to have at least a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field.
Everlasting Career #5: Software DeveloperProjected Job Growth 2010 to 2020: 30 percent, with 270,900 new job opportunities.*
When was the last time you got through an entire day without interfacing with something that used computer software? In fact, how about a single hour? The fact is, computers are now key to just about every segment of society, from the register that rang up your morning Starbuck's to the smartphone you used to Tweet how good it was.
Software developers are the creative minds behind those programs and apps, says the U.S. Department of Labor. They analyze people's needs, then design and test computer software to meet them, says the Department of Labor. I guess that means we actually needed talking phones and the ability to know what Paris Hilton was up to every four minutes.
Why It's Everlasting: "This is another infrastructure job, from the standpoint of technology. It's part of the foundation of our society and so it will always be in demand." says Hornell.
The Department says that mobile technology, the health care industry, and concerns over cyber security will all result in the need for more programs to be developed. It all spells an increasing demand for software developers.
Next step: Click to Find the Right Computer Science Program.
Education Options: The Department of Labor says that software developers usually have a bachelor's degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a related field. Mathematics is also acceptable, they say.