New and Emerging Occupations

By Pikulinski, Jerome | Monthly Labor Review, December 2004 | Go to article overview
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New and Emerging Occupations


Pikulinski, Jerome, Monthly Labor Review


According to the OES survey, in 2001, most new and emerging (N&E) occupations were in firms with fewer than 100 employees. No single industry dominated in the creation and growth of these occupations. (See chart 1.) More than one-half of these were distributed among human services, transportation, communications, business and personal services, and a wide variety of wholesale and retail trade activities. Slightly more than half of all N&E occupations were paid in a range of $8.50 to $17. (See chart 2.) No single State or single occupational classification dominated in the creation of N&E occupations; however, healthcare, management, and production occupations were the three most frequent occupation classifications observed. (See chart 3.) Information on specific occupations that are new or emerging is presented below. (1)

Construction field

* Metal stud framer

* Epoxy floor installers

New building systems, particularly in commercial construction, and increased use of new materials explain the appearance of new occupations in the traditional construction industry.

Educational services

* School diagnosticians

* Adaptive physical education specialist

* Distance learning coordinators

* Poison information specialist

* Poison information technician

* Home-school liaison

* Technology infusion specialist

* Director of technology

* Technology coordinator

* Athletic compliance coordinator

Education continues to create N&E occupations. Some of these arise in connection with the objective of tailoring educational services to students' special needs. Others deal with the use of improved telecommunications applications to deliver education. Technology and its general uses in education explain the creation of other specialist occupations. Governmental regulations governing athletic and other physical education programs have contributed to other occupations in special education and the administration of athletic programs.

Health services

* Monitor technicians

* Medical specimen couriers

* Patient-care technicians

* Urine sample collectors

* Polysomnographic technicians

* Tissue process technicians

* CRN anesthesiologist

* Tissue & eye bank technicians

* Spiritual care giver

* Tissue service coordinator

* Genetic counselor

* Sanitization technician

* Medical certification clerk

* Plasma processor

* Schedulers for surgical cases

* Night monitors

In the health field, N&E occupations have addressed specialized patient care, continuing responses to advancing medical technologies, improved scheduling of surgical procedures, and alternative medical service delivery approaches. Increased attention has been directed toward management and care of tissue banks. In light of recent genome developments, genetic counselors are appearing upon the medical scene.

Social service

* Bill review nurse

* Adult protective services

* Energy auditor

* HazMat drivers

* Weatherization director

* Director information management

* Cheer workers

* Disaster preparedness staff

There are several groups of occupations in social services--nurses and information management workers employed in new fields; workers helping seniors and others in their homes; and disaster preparedness staff. Nurses continue to be employed in areas other than those directly related to providing clinical care services, primarily in the control of medical costs. In addition, a new occupation for nurses was found in the legal field where they are employed as legal nurse staff specialists. Information management, like nursing, is not a new field, but one that continues to appear in a number of new industry settings.

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