HANCEVILLE, Ala. — Based on an article published by The Wall Street Journal, Wallace State Community College can be the starting point for people seeking to take advantage of opportunities in what are expected to be the fastest-growing occupations in the nation and the occupations expected to have the most new jobs over the next several years. The publication recently listed the top five fastest-growing occupations in the nation and the top five occupations with the most new jobs. Among the occupations mentioned in both lists, Wallace State Community College offers certificates, degrees and non-credit certification options for almost all of them
Using information provided by the Dale Carnegie Training Global Leadership Study and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Wall Street Journal compiled lists that include the projected growth of employment from 2014 through 2024 and the median annual wage for each occupation in 2015.
Its list of Fastest-Growing Occupations included:
- Wind turbine service technicians; 108 percent growth; $51,050 median annual salary
- Occupational Therapy Assistants; 43 percent growth; $57,870 median annual salary
- Physical Therapist Assistants; 41 percent growth; $55,120 median annual salary
- Physical Therapist Aides, 39 percent growth; $25,120 median annual salary
- Home Health Aides, 38 percent growth; $21,920 median annual salary.
While Wallace State does not have a course dedicated to wind turbine service technicians, its Electronics Technology program can provide the knowledge and skills used in the occupation. “The skills overlap,” said Electronics Technology instructor Michael Johnson. Due to the nature of the business, the states with the highest number of employment include California, Texas and Minnesota, followed by North Dakota, Wyoming and Iowa.
The next four on the list are all taught ta Wallace State either through its Health Science programs or the Continuing Education department.
Wallace State’s Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) and Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) programs both have high marks in successful completion for its graduates, with both boasting 100 percent pass rates on their licensure exams.
The OTA and PTA programs are five-semester programs, with each offering an Associate in Applied Science degree. The first two semesters are pre-requisite courses that can be taken before applying to the program. The final three semesters consist of the professional components of the program. A new cohort starts each fall for both programs, with applications accepted April 1 through June 1 for entry into the program.
Wallace State’s Continuing Education department offers non-credit courses for both physical therapist aides and home healthcare aides. The Physical Therapy Aide course is a 50-hour course; it does not include national or state certification. The Home Healthcare Aide course is an 80-hour course and prepares students to sit for the National Association for Home Care & Hospice Home Care Aide Certification examination.
The list for Occupations with the Most New Jobs included:
- Personal Care Aides; 26 percent growth; $20,980 median annual salary
- Registered Nurses; 16 percent growth; $67,490 median annual salary
- Home Health Aides; 38 percent growth; $21,920 median annual salary
- Food preparation and serving workers; 11 percent growth; $18,910 median annual salary
- Retail salesperson; 6.8 percent growth; $21,780 median annual salary
Personal Care Aides fall in the same realm as Home Health Aides, therefore the Home Healthcare Aide course through Continuing Education could be a source for training.
Wallace State’s nursing program is one of the best in the nation. The WSCC Department of Nursing Education earned the distinction of being named a Center of Excellence by the National League for Nursing through 2020, and graduating classes consistently achieve high pass rates – well above the national average – on their licensure exams.
Wallace State offers a five-semester associate degree program for registered nursing, with an option of sitting for the practical nursing license exam at the completion of the third semester. Applications for Fall 2017 admission will be taken from March 15 through May 15.
Wallace State’s Culinary Arts program offers a five-semester associate degree program, as well as an advanced certificate (4 semesters) and a short certificate (2 semesters) for those looking to become cooks, chefs and food preparation workers.
Registration for Spring 2017 is currently under way. Classes begin Jan. 4, with registration continuing through Jan. 10. Go to www.wallacestate.edu/register-now to register for classes. For more information about Wallace State, visit www.wallacestate.edu or call 256.352.8000.