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.
Chefs like Gordon Ramsay, Emeril Lagasse, and Jacques Pépin didn’t start out as reality-show competitors, but as cooks sweating, toiling, and chopping away in a restaurant kitchen. Even lowly kitchen assistants who don’t ascend to celebrity status can expect to reach the master-chef level if they stick with their training. The Labor Department predicts 117,800 new openings for restaurant cooks this decade.
Although the circumstances a social worker faces could be intense (issues like child abuse, drug use, homelessness, and delinquency), those working in our No. 82 profession seem pleased with their calling. Child and family social workers should see 19.7 percent employment growth up to 2020.
Today’s administrative assistants, or coordinators, are expected to offer support to all echelons of their organizations. Yes, they schedule meetings and maintain paper and electronic files, but they also conduct research and assist with managerial projects.
A company hoping to put its best foot forward would employ a smart receptionist adept at juggling both tasks and people. As the face of an organization, he or she often has an indirect impact on luring new business.
Paralegals are expected to grow at a faster clip than lawyers—something to think about if you’re interested in law but don’t wish to undergo all the schooling (and possible school loans) required to get a law degree.
Who knew that pouring cement could be such a high-stakes game? But the margin of error is less than zero for both cement masons and concrete finishers. The shade of difference between the two: Cement masons generally work with cement in its final form while concrete finishers are the ones who pour it.
Becoming a professional painter requires more than just 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. By 2020, there will be more than 72,000 new electrician positions.
The profession that brought John Madden, Phil Jackson, and Pat Riley additional fame could be your calling. But keep in mind that most sports coaches aren’t overseeing professionals, but coaching impressionable, ambitious youth. You should probably like kids as much as you like sports.
Teacher assistants provide additional guidance and instruction in the classroom, which could be good career experience for someone hoping to lead their own class one day. According to the Labor Department, this profession will grow by 15 percent this decade, in tandem with increased enrollment in public schools.
Ably working with your hands isn’t the lone trait needed to succeed as a brickmason or blockmason. While brickmasons do mostly residential work and blockmasons primarily go the commercial route, both must have a talent for following instructions carefully, as both realms feature nuanced steps. As residential real estate and office markets begin to slowly bounce back, the Labor Department projects a growth rate of a little more than 40 percent.