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.
Occupational therapy assistants work alongside occupational therapists, assessing patients’ abilities and devising a plan of action to improve their quality of life. Demand is particularly high in this occupation as baby boomers age. Expect 42.6 employment growth and 12,900 new job openings between 2012 and 2022.
In many ways, clinical lab techs are the glue that holds our hospitals together. They conduct many of the tests physicians use to diagnose patients and form a treatment plan. The BLS projects this field will balloon 29.7 percent by 2022.
Similar to a market research analyst, the No. 23 is an advisory position – one that involves helping businesses and organizations operate more efficiently. The BLS projects employment growth of nearly 27 percent for operations research analysts by the year 2022.
IT managers are the go-to personnel when your email won’t send or your word processor won’t open. As the head of the IT department, they triage the operations of an organization’s technical network, and they’re a growing profession. Expect 50,900 new positions by the year 2022.
Dietitians and nutritionists advise clients on food and nutrition, develop meal plans and track progress to live a healthier lifestyle or reach a nutritional goal. According to the BLS, this job should grow by more than 21 percent by 2022.
This job has both social and technical elements. The technical: You have to master using the medical equipment and make sure the patient is properly placed to get a just-right image. And the social: You’re interacting with nervous patients awaiting information on a medical condition. Sonographers made a median salary of $65,860 in 2012, and there will be 27,000 openings for the next decade.
There’s an art to alleviating pain and stress using touch, and there’s a need for more trained professionals with the ability to do just that. The BLS predicts that our No. 27 job, massage therapist, will grow 22.6 percent between 2012 and 2022.
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. Sounds like the field for you? Consider this: Vet techs and technologists also have excellent job prospects and a low unemployment rate. The BLS predicts there will be 25,000 new job openings in this field between 2012 and 2022.
If you become a skin care specialist, you’ll work closely with clients to evaluate their skin condition, discuss treatments and improve their appearance. Sound interesting? Then you’ll be pleased to know this field is booming, with 39.8 percent expected job growth between 2012 and 2022.
Patience and a generous understanding of how computers function will benefit those interested in computer programming. These IT specialists rewrite, debug, maintain and test the software and programs essential to key computer functions. The BLS predicts employment growth for programmers of 8.3 percent between 2012 and 2022.
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