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.
If you’ve watched the news this year, then you probably have a good idea how important this IT professional is to companies and the government – as analysts plan and monitor security of computer networks. You probably also aren’t surprised by how much this occupation will grow: 36.5 percent by the year 2022.
Working under the supervision of doctors, physician assistants interpret X-rays and blood tests, record patients’ progress, conduct routine exams and treat a range of ailments. When you couple growth projections for 33,300 new jobs with a razor-thin 1.2 percent unemployment rate – one of the lowest on our Best Jobs list overall – the job outlook for physician assistants is quite strong.
Not all therapy involves evaluating clients reclining on Barcaloungers. Occupational therapists, for instance, help patients with physical, mental and developmental disabilities to assimilate in society. Its one of the occupations that’s especially on the rise, with 29 percent employment growth expected between 2012 and 2022.
Market research analysts study our habits as consumers and use those observations to counsel companies on how to package, brand and sell products. The BLS predicts an impressive 31.6 percent employment increase for this occupation between 2012 and 2022.
Anyone who chooses this field has to be comfortable with blood, needles, databases, test tubes and blood vials. Top-notch people skills don’t hurt, either. The BLS forecasts growth of 27,100 new positions for this occupation between 2012 and 2022.
There’s a slightly lower education bar to enter this occupation than to become a physical therapist, but assistants do many of the same tasks, including monitoring therapeutic exercises, observing progress in a treatment plan and offering proper education for patients post treatment. Physical therapist assistants fell slightly from No. 15 to No. 17 this year, but this occupation is growing at break-neck speed: 41 percent between 2012 and 2022.
Part of the payoff to this job is looking around and seeing the fruits of your skill and labor. Civil engineers have a hand in building bridges, retrofitting buildings and damming reservoirs. By 2022, there should be 53,700 new openings for civil engineers.
This job is a perfect blend of right- and left-brain thinking: Mechanical engineers shepherd devices from the theoretical design phase to the technical production phase. The profession makes our list for its low unemployment rate of 3.1 percent and comfortable median salary of $80,580.
They’re basically animal doctors, but they’re so much more: They protect food supply by inspecting livestock, they promote public health by fighting animal-borne diseases and they help educate people on how to have a healthy relationship with animals. Given the advancements in this field, expect a 12 percent employment jump between 2012 and 2022.
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