Special Report

Jobs With the Best (and Worst) Job Security

10. Statisticians
> Unemployment rate:
0.8%
> Labor force: 87,000
> Industry: Computers and mathematics
> Median annual wage: $79,990

Statisticians collect and analyze data. They work for any organization that can benefit from this analysis, including businesses in the fields of education, marketing, psychology, sports, medicine, government, and entertainment among others. The widespread and increasing adoption of smartphone and Internet technologies generates larger amounts of valuable data, which businesses can capitalize on through analysis. Employment of statisticians is expected to grow by 34% over the next decade, faster than other mathematical science occupations and much faster than the 7% growth rate across all occupations. Today, statisticians are most highly concentrated in Washington D.C., Maryland, and Massachusetts.

9. Nurse practitioners
> Unemployment rate:
0.7%
> Labor force: 150,000
> Industry: Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations
> Median annual wage: $95,350

Just 0.7% of the nurse practitioner workforce is unemployed, the ninth lowest unemployment rate of any profession in the country. Nurse practitioners perform a range of medical duties such as medical tests and patient diagnosis. Most nurses work in the offices of physicians and hospitals. The U.S. population is older than it has ever been, and as the share of elderly Americans continues to grow, so does job security within the medical professions. Overall, health care practitioners are tied with legal practitioners for the lowest unemployment rate of any industry. Jobs with higher education requirements tend to also be more secure. All nurse practitioner positions require a specialized master’s degree.

8. Physicians and surgeons
> Unemployment rate:
0.6%
> Labor force: 1,013,000
> Industry: Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations
> Median annual wage: N/A

Many occupations with the lowest unemployment rates are in the health care industry. Only about 1.7% of all industry workers are out of a job. Unemployment is even lower in some positions that require highly skilled workers. Only 0.6% of physicians and surgeons are unemployed, one of the lowest employment rates in the country. With more and more Americans gaining coverage under the Affordable Care Act, medical doctors are in high demand. The number of jobs in the field is projected to grow 14% through 2024, much faster than the average growth for all occupations.

7. Directors of religious activities and education
> Unemployment rate:
0.6%
> Labor force: 78,000
> Industry: Community and social services
> Median annual wage: $38,480

Directors of religious activities and education are responsible for running programs associated with a particular denominational group. Despite the director title, these positions are not particularly lucrative, with a median annual wage of $38,480. Still, the position appears to have high job security, as just 0.6% of the 78,000 religious activity directors are unemployed.

6. Computer network architects
> Unemployment rate:
0.6%
> Labor force: 115,000
> Industry: Computers and mathematics
> Median annual wage: $98,430

Computer network architects design and build communication systems such as local area networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WANs) for organizations and businesses. While no formal certification is required, network architects typically have about five to 10 years of experience working with information technology systems, and usually have at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field before securing the position. While the occupation’s 0.6% unemployment rate is one of the lowest of any job in the country, this job security may not last. As businesses continue to adopt cloud computing technology, many organizations will no longer need to design their own in-house network. As a result, the demand for such network designers may decline.