Special Report

Jobs With the Best (and Worst) Job Security

5. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers
> Unemployment rate:
0.4%
> Labor force: 141,000
> Industry: Transportation and material moving
> Median annual wage: $103,390

Government jobs tend to weather economic fluctuations better than private sector jobs. Since a number of aircraft pilots and flight engineers are employed in government jobs, this could partially explain the stable employment conditions for this occupation. Many pilots do not need a formal education beyond a high school diploma, although prospective employees need to complete several certifications and licensures, including the pilot’s license from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Airline Transport Pilot certificate. The typical annual pay for the position is $103,390.

4. Diagnostic technologists and technicians
> Unemployment rate:
0.4%
> Labor force: 323,000
> Industry: Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations
> Median annual wage: $59,560

Diagnostic technologists and technicians are employed primarily in the medical field. The position requires highly specialized knowledge of medical diagnostic equipment. Technologists and technicians work in one of five major areas: cardiovascular, sonography, nuclear medicine, radiology, and MRI scanning. As is the case with much of the medical profession, these are highly stable positions, and just 0.4% of workers are unemployed.

3. Veterinarians
> Unemployment rate:
0.4%
> Labor force: 90,000
> Industry: Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations
> Median annual wage: $87,590

The veterinary profession is projected to grow by 9% through 2024, faster than most occupations. Still, according to the BLS, prospective animal doctors should still expect fierce competition for veterinarian positions. According to the nonprofit research group American Pet Products Association, Americans spent $15.7 billion on vet care in 2015, up considerably from the expenditure of $8 billion in 2000.

2. First-line supervisors of police and detectives
> Unemployment rate:
0.3%
> Labor force: 110,000
> Industry: Protective services
> Median annual wage: $80,930

Supervisors of police officers and detectives oversee regular police work and ensure legal compliance, both in police field work and in documentation and record keeping. Professional police supervisors are unlikely to find themselves out of work for long, if at all, as it is one of only five jobs in the country where unemployment is below 0.5%. Police supervisor jobs tend to be concentrated in major metropolitan areas as roughly two-thirds of workers in New York work in the New York metro area, and roughly 70% of police supervisors in Illinois work in the Chicago metropolitan area.

1. Dentists
> Unemployment rate:
0.1%
> Labor force: 196,000
> Industry: Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations
> Median annual wage: $154,640

Many health professions have some of the lowest unemployment rates of all occupations. Within the medical occupations, none has greater job security — or a higher median wage — than dentists. Only 0.1% of the occupation’s labor force is unemployed, and the typical dentist practicing in the U.S. earns $154,640. The demand for dental care will likely only increase as the population continues to age and access to health insurance continues to rise.