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 2013 are the occupations that 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, our top tier is filled with tech and healthcare jobs—but the list also includes strong showings from occupations in the social services and business sectors. Even construction jobs enter the fray this year. Read more on how we rank the best jobs, and check out our full list.
An occupational therapist's skills range from building ramps for those with physical impairments to formulating rehabilitation regimens for amputees. In the immediate future, the most opportunities in our No. 11 profession will be for those working with the elderly.
Yes, you must love dogs. But vets don't just see domesticated pets—they’re also trained to treat animals from the blue whale to the bluebird. Doctors of veterinary medicine also protect food supply by inspecting livestock, promote public health by fighting animal-borne diseases, and help educate us two-legged animals on proper pet care.
C++, Python, and other computer languages should be second-nature for an ambitious computer programmer. Some of the most proficient could earn up to $114,000 a year.
School psychologists wear plenty of hats, including counselor, administrator, disciplinarian, and researcher. Occasionally, they even dabble in social outreach. The Labor Department projects a nearly 22 percent uptick in this occupation by 2020.
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.
Whether it's sign language, spoken language, or written language, interpreters and translators are utilizing an invaluable skill. If you are fluent in a second language, you could find yourself working in a lucrative, secure, and growing position. The Labor Department predicts more than 42 percent employment growth in this profession over the coming decade.
A creative mind and math smarts make for a solid foundation when entering this profession. But couple those attributes with real-world know-how, and you could end up working on projects as diverse as skyscrapers in China or oil platforms in the Gulf coast.
Behind any qualified veterinarian is his or her support team: the technologists and techs who handle lab work, assist in surgery, administer anesthesia, and collect patient histories. Sound good? Keep in mind that vet techs and technologists also have excellent job prospects and a low unemployment rate.
Epidemiologists study hard to prevent the next bubonic plague, SARS outbreak, and swine flu scare. The Labor Department anticipates growth for this field, as well as other medical scientists, of 35.8 percent up to 2020.
Having a hard time distinguishing between the tech jobs on this list? This tech wizard is the go-to person when your email won't send or your Internet crashes. As the head of the IT department, this professional ensures the company's network is operating smoothly and that dangerous threats like hackers and malware are kept at bay.