Salary Range: $48,920-$102,520
The term "occupational therapist" is purposely vague, because the purview for which these highly trained professionals could provide therapy is exhaustive. Patients with mental, physical, developmental, and emotional disabilities might see an occupational therapist to learn to function independently. There is no "typical" day, and therapists' specific—yet varied—skills will particularly be in demand as a large chunk of our population ages. This is one of fastest growing occupations this decade, but to land one of the 36,400 positions available before 2020, you'll have needed a headstart. Certified therapists must earn at least a master's degree from an accredited university.
Salary Range: $40,820-$114,180
Unlike some of the others on the list, computer programmers might be able to enter the field with a two-year degree instead of a four-year bachelor's. But if you're going to advance, it's best to think of yourself as a perpetual student who's always staying just ahead of the latest programming language, says 30-year industry veteran Barry Warsaw. Computer programmers eeked out a spot on our top 10 thanks to strong job satisfaction numbers, competitive salaries, and excellent job prospects.
[See our list of the Best Technology Jobs.]
Salary Range: $53,620-$107,920
This is another healthcare job that requires a minimum of a master's degree to begin practicing. And with good reason, since physical therapists often see patients overcoming adversity: Injured athletes, amputees, and stroke victims might all find themselves working with these professionals to rebuild their range of motion, coordination, and muscle strength. This profession graces our top 10 not only because of its comfortable salary and good job prospects, but because it's also one of the faster-growing occupations of the next decade. There should be a nearly 40-percent increase in available positions by 2020.
Salary Range: $48,360-$119,070
Think of this occupation as a very technically oriented project manager. Computer systems analysts determine the technological needs of their clients and then help configure a system to fulfill those needs. They often serve as a liaison between the client and another occupation on our top 10, software developers, when compiling a rundown of necessary hardware specifications. Similar to other information technology professions, computer systems analysts should have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field. David P. Bieg, chief operating officer for the International Institute for Business Analysis, also recommends that analysts-to-be spend time learning business systems analysis.
Salary Range: $43,190-$119,940
Web developers use their knowledge of applications and HTML code and couple that with an understanding of Web users' preferred browsing experience to create visually appealing, intuitive, and organized Web content. A bachelor's degree in a computer-related concentration is usually the first requirement to land one of the 65,700 expected jobs in this profession, but you could also study to receive certifications that designate your level of expertise. And there are a few other good qualities Web developers should have that can't be learned: patience, imagination, and versatility.