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NEW YORK | Tue., Mar. 20, 2012 4:56pm EDT (Reuters) - Employers in the health care industry looking to fill open positions may do well to consider younger workers. The good pay, flexible hours and job security health sector jobs tend to provide, and that also tend to appeal to younger workers, could make for a successful employment match.

Health care is the fastest-growing sector of the U.S. economy and nearly half of what are considered the top jobs for young people are in health care, according to Forbes.com, which released a list of the nation’s top 15 jobs for young people.

With a medium annual salary of $33,470, dental assistants topped the ranking, while medical assistants, who earn about $28,860, came in No. 3, followed by physical therapist assistants who make a medium salary of nearly $50,000 and health aides who earn $20,560.

Teachers of self-enrichment courses such as pottery and art, were the only non-health job in the top five.

"Almost every one of these requires physical contact," Laurence Shatkin, the author of the book "150 Best Jobs for Your Skills," told Forbes. com. "You have to show up to do them, so you're not being shipped overseas, and they can't be done by a robot."

Shatkin studied which jobs have the highest concentration of 16 to 24 year olds, pay well and have opportunities for entry level positions. He based the ranking on annual salary and openings and projected growth. Many of the jobs do not require a college degree.

Fitness trainers and aerobics instructors, pharmacy technicians and surgical technologists were also among the top 10 jobs for young people.

The top jobs had percentage growth ranging from 17.7% for customer service representative, which came in ninth to 35.7% for dental assistants.

Because many of the jobs can be done on a part-time basis, they offer the flexibility for people to continue their education while doing them. Some of the jobs offer career prospects and advancements.

"Young people may not have figured out what their priorities are yet," Shatkin told Forbes.com. "They may use these jobs to discover what they like and where they fit in."

 (Reporting by Patricia Reaney; editing by Paul Casciato)

© 2011 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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