Only a small percentage of teens plan to go into the 25 most common jobs, with an even smaller percentage wanting to go into the jobs that are projected to grow the most in the coming year

Surveys show that teens often have lofty career goals with low potential success rates for breaking into the field.

The careers with the most workers are the least appealing to teens. Only a small percentage surveyed are interested in any of the top 25 careers.

Here are some of the most common jobs:

  • retail salespeople
  • office clerks
  • waiters and waitresses
  • accountants
  • construction workers
  • cooks
  • maintenance and repair workers
  • elementary school teachers

When it comes to their future careers, many teens are going to be in for a rude awakening, research suggests.

While they may dream of being a musician, athlete or fashion designer, research shows that eventually many give up on those aspirations and end up taking jobs that are much less glamorous.

Lack of realistic job goals for teens

The study shows that the jobs most teens want don’t fit into the current workplace reality. For example, just 1% of the teens surveyed want an office, support administrative or sales position when they start their careers, despite those jobs making up 25% of today’s workforce.

On the flip side, 20% of those surveyed want a job in the arts, design, entertainment, sports and media occupations, even though those careers represent just 2 percent of the workforce.

“Getting paid to do what you love – isn’t that everyone’s dream? Unfortunately, only 2% of jobs in the current workforce fall under this category, which means at some point, most adults have to decide to earn a living doing something more readily available and realistic.”

Doctor, nurse, dentist, pharmacist and veterinarian are other jobs many teens dream of having. The study found that 15% of teens want jobs as health care practitioners despite it only making up 6% of the total workforce.

Low interest in projected growth careers

Besides not wanting jobs that are common now, even fewer teens want jobs that will be in demand in the future. Only 3% of the teens surveyed said they wanted a career in one of the 25 jobs that are projected to grow the most over the next seven years:

Here are some of them:

  • service technicians
  • home health aides
  • nurse practitioner
  • physical therapists
  • statisticians
  • ambulance drivers
  • operations research analysts
  • personal financial advisers
  • web developers
  • forensic science technician

Tip for preparing teens for the future

Joan E. McLean, associate dean for academic advising at Ohio Wesleyan University recommends not telling teens that they should be dissuaded by their career choice. Crushing their dreams and telling them they aren’t good enough to succeed in a creative or athletic career will hurt their self-esteem. Instead, parents should advise a teen to do more research on the profession.