Virginia Careers: Top Growing Career Opportunities in Virginia (VA)

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Virginia is expected to have an influx of opportunities in the medical and health care fields during the 2012-2022 decade. The top three fastest-growing occupations are non-EMT ambulance drivers, interpreters and translators, and physical therapist aides. Read on to learn more about these career fields.

Ambulance Driver and Attendant (not including EMTs)

CareerOneStop (www.careerinfonet.org) notes that ambulance driver and attendant positions in Virginia are projected to have a 73% growth rate between 2012 and 2022. Professionals in this field drive or assist drivers in the transport of patients who are injured, sick or convalescing to treatment centers. They may also be called upon to lift patients.


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in May 2014 that ambulance drivers and attendants in the U.S. made an annual mean salary of $25,490. In Virginia, the average was lower, at $21,610. Industries that paid ambulance drivers and attendants the most, nationwide, as of the May 2014 report included specialty hospitals (not including psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals) and offices of physicians

Interpreters and Translators

Interpreters and translators looking for work in Virginia will see a 66% projected job growth rate from 2012 through 2022, according to CareerOneStop. Specific duties vary by job but may involve accurately converting concepts and information from one language to another. Interpreters deal with sign language and/or spoken language, while translators deal with the written word.

According to the BLS, industries with the highest level of employment for translators and interpreters included professional, scientific and technical services, as well as elementary and secondary schools. General medical and surgical hospitals ranked third.


The BLS states that interpreters and translators in Virginia made an annual mean income of $71,170 as of May 2014, which was the highest average salary for this job in the nation. Virginia ranked fifth in the nation in employment of translators and interpreters, behind California, Texas, New York and Florida.

Physical Therapist Aides

Virginians looking to work as physical therapist aides can expect to see job growth of 64% within the Commonwealth from 2012-2022. According to the BLS, individuals wishing to become a physical therapist aide usually hold a high school diploma and receive on-the-job training. In order to qualify as a physical therapist assistant, you must hold an associate's degree and be certified or licensed.


According to May 2014 BLS data, the mean annual salary for physical therapist aides in Virginia was $24,300, compared to an average of $26,660 nationwide. Across the U.S., most of these individuals were employed by other health practitioners, general medical and surgical hospitals and offices of physicians.

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