Whether you’re in college, entering the job market, or considering a career change, knowing which professions’ salaries are projected to grow over the next decade can help you make an informed decision about your future. And while salary shouldn’t be the only criterion considered when selecting a career, it certainly plays a role in the determination process.  


To get a better understanding of which careers are expected to see the most earnings growth over the next ten years, we looked at the historical earnings of 16 of the most popular jobs in the U.S. to forecast what they will be making in a decade. To our surprise, some of the most prestigious careers were at the bottom of the list.  


Before we get into our findings, it’s worth mentioning that every job we looked at is expected to make more money in 2033 than it does today. However, when the projections are adjusted by an expected inflation rate of 2.13% (estimated by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland), not every job is expected to see an increase in earnings in ten years when compared to today.  


With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the jobs with the biggest increases and decreases in hourly earnings over the next decade. 


Career 2013 Hourly Earnings 2013 (adjusted) 2023 Hourly Earnings 2033 Projected Earnings 2033 (adjusted) 
Doctor $92.25  $121.03  $121.51  $150.72  $118.62  
Dentist $81.19  $106.52  $87.66  $93.95  $73.94  
Lawyer $63.46  $83.26  $76.70  $90.34  $71.70  
Artists/Writers/Performers $28.77  $37.75  $51.14  $75.14  $59.13  
Registered Nurses $33.13  $43.47  $45.49  $74.09  $58.31  
IT $41.51  $54.36  $53.96  $66.59  $52.41  
Telecoms $30.45  $39.95  $41.46  $53.97  $42.47  
Journalists/Reporters $23.26  $30.52  $37.90  $53.72  $42.27  
Teachers $35.08  $46.02  $42.88  $51.02  $40.16  
Construction $25.59  $33.57  $33.89  $48.94  $38.52  
Graphic Designers $27.70  $36.34  $37.54  $47.37  $37.28  
Electricians $25.75  $33.78  $32.33  $41.70  $32.82  
Passenger Drivers $15.59  $20.45  $20.49  $25.56  $20.12  
Janitors $12.09  $15.86  $16.83  $23.69  $18.64  
Cashiers $9.82  $12.88  $14.55  $22.78  $17.93  
Bartenders $10.46  $13.72  $16.29  $22.11  $17.40 


Occupations Projected to Earn More in 2033 


Of the 16 professions that we looked at, nine are expected to see increased hourly earnings in 2033. Out of these nine, there is a mix of jobs that do and don’t require a college degree and ones that require additional education or training. Here are some of the jobs expected to see the highest increases in earnings over the next ten years. 



Registered Nurses 


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), registered nursing is one of the fastest-growing occupational fields in the country. Moreover, the U.S. is expected to need an additional 193,100 nurses per year over the next ten years. This increasing demand contributes to a projected increase in hourly earnings of $12.82 in 2033 over today.  



Artists, Writers, and Performers 


Although careers in the arts are sometimes thought of as riskier than more traditional career paths, our research indicates that artists, writers, and performers are projected to make an adjusted $59.13 per hour in 2033, an $8 increase over what they make today. According to the BLS, an increasing public interest in live music and diversified online media opportunities will contribute to growth in the arts over the next decade.  


Wage Workers 


As states continue to increase minimum wage and organizations struggle to fill hourly-pay positions, hourly earnings for several positions are expected to increase over the next ten years. Cashiers, janitors, and bartenders are all expected to see increased hourly earnings in 2033 as compared to today. Cashiers project to see the highest increase at an additional $3.38 per hour. Janitors expect to see an additional $1.81 per hour, and bartenders project to make $1.11 more per hour in 2033.  



Trade Jobs 


Several trade jobs are also expected to see a rise in hourly earnings over the next decade. Both construction workers and electricians project to earn more in 2033, with construction seeing a $4.63 bump and electricians expecting a $0.49 hourly increase. Demand for these jobs is expected to increase as they require specialized skill sets to perform.  


Occupations Projected to Earn Less in 2033 


Not every profession is expected to make more in ten years than they do today. Despite seeing an overall increase in earnings, these jobs project to make less per hour than they currently make when adjusted for the expected inflation rate.  



Doctors, Dentists, and Lawyers 


Surprisingly, these three professions, known for their extensive education requirements and high salaries, are expected to make less per hour in 2033 than they make today. It’s worth noting that the three occupations are projected to have the three highest salaries of all the occupations we researched, with doctors expected to have the highest mean hourly income of $118.62 (adjusted for inflation). Despite the large hourly incomes, doctors project to make $2.89 less per hour in ten years, while lawyers can expect to make $5.00 less and dentists a whopping $13.72 less per hour.  





The salaries of teachers versus the hours they put in has been a hot topic of debate for the last several years. Our research has found that not only do teachers make less today than they did ten years ago, but they also project to make less in 2033. When adjusted for inflation, teachers make $3.14 less per hour than they did in 2013. Furthermore, they project to make $2.72 less per hour in another ten years.  


Graphic Designers 


While artists as a whole can expect to see an increase in hourly pay, graphic designers are projected to earn slightly less per hour in ten years. They can expect to make an adjusted $0.26 less per hour in 2033. BLS explains that the reduction in print media could have a bearing on future job opportunities, although this should be offset by digital media.  


Contributing Factors 


While there is no single factor that determines whether a salary will increase or decrease, the primary driver is the demand for the job and the number of qualified workers available to fill openings.  


One factor that can affect the future salaries of jobs is the number of college-educated candidates in the job market. Overall, college enrollment is declining, with the U.S. seeing roughly a 10% decrease over the last decade. As such, there are fewer college-educated candidates to fill vacant jobs in industries that require a degree.  


Comparatively, trade school enrollment is up year on year across a number of programs, including mechanic and repair (up 11.5%) and construction (19.3%). 


Enrollment in medical school is up 17.8% in the last decade, although there were 11.6 fewer applicants in 2022-2023 than the previous year. Nearly 29,000 students graduated from med school in 2022, but the BLS predicts they only expect 24,000 openings for physicians and surgeons each year until 2032. With the supply outpacing the demand, salaries can be expected to become stagnant.  


Similarly, there were nearly 7,000 dental school graduates last year, an increase from the previous year. However, BLS projects there to be roughly 5,100 new openings for dentists each year for the next decade.  


2022 saw a decline in nursing school programs for the first time in 20 years, which could drive nurses’ salaries higher as more positions open with less qualified candidates to fill them.  


Another large contributing factor to jobs includes advancing technology, which enables workers to connect with new businesses and clients all over the world. Being able to remain connected with global connections is important, and we offer virtual numbers that allow you to easily connect with your clients or customer base, no matter where you are located. Explore our virtual numbers page to learn more about the benefits they can offer your business.  




Earning Forecasting 


We gathered the annual mean hourly earnings for each job from 2013 to 2022 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Using this historical data, we forecasted what each job would make every year from 2023 until 2033 using the Excel function FORECAST.ETS(target_date, values, timeline). 


Adjusting for Inflation 


Historical earnings were then adjusted for inflation in 2023 using the U.S. inflation calculator. Future projections were also adjusted for an estimated ten-year inflation rate of 2.13% (21.3% cumulative) based on projections by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Future earnings adjusted for projected inflation were calculated using the formula (X – (X*0.213)) and checked against the future inflation calculator. 


Earnings Differences (Actual Values) 


The actual difference in earnings from 2013 to 2023 and 2023 to 2033 were calculated using the unadjusted historical and projected earnings for each job.  


Earnings Differences (Adjusted Values) 


The adjusted difference in earnings from 2013 to 2023 and 2023 to 2033 were calculated using the adjusted-for-inflation historical and projected earnings for each job.