8. Medical assistants
Projected increase in 2016: 35.4 percent
Number employed in 2006: 417,000
Median pay in 2006: $26,290
Education/training: A one-year certificate or two-year associate's degree program is often required, but medical assistants also receive on-the-job training specific from their employer.
Job outlook: The medical industry is expected to expand because of technological advances and the growing elderly population. As the healthcare industry expands, more practices and clinics requiring large support staffs are opening.
• More on medical assistants
• Job openings in New England for medical assistants