Special Report

13 Professions With the Highest Job Security

Source: Thinkstock

9. Veterinarians
> Unemployment rate: 0.4%
> Average annual wage: $99,000
> Total employment: 101,000

Occupations that require many years of formal education or specialized training often have the highest level of job security. Veterinarians must have a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, which typically takes four years to complete and is offered at some 30 accredited college programs nationwide. The average veterinary program accepts fewer than 50% of all applicants and often requires prospective students to have taken a number of animal science courses or to have accrued other related experience. Based on job stability and average wages, the investment is relatively safe. Just 0.4% of veterinarians are unemployed, tied with dentists and medical scientists as the seventh lowest unemployment rate for any single occupation. The average veterinarian earns $99,000 a year, more than twice the average salary across all occupations nationwide.

Source: Thinkstock

8. Dentists
> Unemployment rate: 0.4%
> Average annual wage: $177,130
> Total employment: 163,000

High-skilled jobs that are also in high demand are more likely to offer long-term stability. Dentists are indeed in high demand. The BLS estimates the number of employed dentists to grow by 17.6% between 2014 and 2024, compared to the nationwide job growth rate of 6.5%. Dentists must undergo years of training and testing to be licensed, and specialists undergo an additional two to four years of residency. There are about 163,000 dentists currently practicing in the United States, and only a few hundred are unemployed.

Medical scientists
Source: Thinkstock

7. Medical scientists
> Unemployment rate: 0.4%
> Average annual wage: $92,900
> Total employment: 154,000

Jobs with high education requirements often have fewer prospective employees. This frequently contributes to higher job security for individuals already in those roles. Medical scientists conduct research to improve human health, and they typically have a Ph.D. They are also some of the least likely workers in the country to find themselves out of a job. Less than half a percent of the 155,000 U.S. medical scientists are looking for work, a smaller unemployment rate than that of all but half a dozen other occupations.

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