The 100 Best Jobs
All jobs aren’t created equal. In fact, some are simply better than the rest. U.S. News 100 Best Jobs of 2014 offer a mosaic of employment opportunity, good salary, manageable work-life balance and job security. Some careers offer just the right mix of these components – for instance, nearly 40 percent of our picks are health care jobs – but the list also includes strong showings from occupations in the social services and business sectors. And for the first time, our No. 1 pick is a technology job. Read more on how we rank the best jobs, and check out our complete list.
Art directors oversee the visual representations of a product or entity, whether it’s an advertisement campaign, magazine, television program, film, corporate website and much more. And it’s one of the more lucrative creative occupations we rank; the BLS reports a pay range of $43,870 to $162,800 for art directors in 2012.
An artist’s work is usually displayed in a gallery. A writer’s words are typically confined to the pages of magazines and books. But an architect’s oeuvre – office buildings, libraries, restaurants, city parks and more – can be seen practically everywhere. The BLS predicts there will be 18,600 brand new openings for this job by 2022.
Working in customer service isn’t just about fielding complaints, it’s also about problem-solving and people-pleasing. The best-paid reps work in the pipeline transportation of natural gas, aerospace products and railroad manufacturing industries, and their profession is expected to grow 12.6 percent by 2022.
You could work as a clerk in a doctor’s office, a politician’s office or a principal’s office, but many of the required job skills are the same: excellent communication skills, a knack for organization and planning, plus plenty of patience and tact. The BLS predicts employment growth of 6.2 percent for this job between 2012 and 2022.
Gearheads, rejoice: Tinkering with cars is a respectable and profitable profession. The BLS predicts 8.6 percent employment growth and 60,400 new jobs for auto mechanics from now to 2022, and that includes entry-level positions.
Not only is the patient list broad, but so is the scope of work for a mental health counselor. Duties range from diagnosing disorders to coordinating care with other health professionals. The BLS expects this position to grow by 28.5 percent between 2012 and 2022.
Having a hard time telling the difference between a landscaper and a groundskeeper? Landscapers plant trees, shrubs and flowers, fertilize plants and construct outdoor walkways, patios and fences to surround their handiwork. Groundskeepers might also garden and plant, paint fences, clean swimming pools, shovel snow and handle refuse removal. Employment in this field could spike by 12.4 percent between 2012 and 2022.
This isn’t an occupation for those afraid of heights. Structural iron and steel workers erect steel beams, girders and columns at towering heights and in nearly every type of weather. The BLS predicts there will be nearly 13,000 new openings created for this construction job by 2022.
There’s more to being a professional painter than having an eye for color. Those in the trade have undergone a three- or four-year apprenticeship that includes about 2,000 hours of on-the-job training to learn about paint, stain and coatings and how they interact with various surfaces. By 2022, there will be more than 62,000 new painter positions.
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