Special Report

The Best (and Worst) Jobs in America

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5. Data scientist
> Annual median wage: $111,267
> Projected job growth, 2014-2024: 16%
> Total employment: 26,580

As the amount of data businesses collect continues to grow, individuals capable of mining the information for insights and actionable knowledge will be in high demand. The BLS projects that the number of data scientists will increase by 16% between 2014 and 2024, more than twice the 7% projected growth rate for all U.S. occupations. Most data scientists have doctoral degrees or professional degrees and are compensated well for their expertise. The typical data scientist earns $111,267 per year, far more than the $37,040 median for all jobs.

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4. Information security analyst
> Annual median wage: $90,120
> Projected job growth, 2014-2024: 18%
> Total employment: 96,870

As individuals, businesses, and governments increasingly rely on computers and digital information storage, the risks associated with cyber attacks will continue to grow. Partially as a result, information security analysts will become increasingly important. Both highly paid and in demand, the typical information security analyst earns $90,120 a year. Employment in the field is projected to increase at a much faster than average pace of 18% over the next few years.

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3. Operations research analyst
> Annual median wage: $78,630
> Projected job growth, 2014-2024: 30%
> Total employment: 109,150

One of several jobs that require strong math skills on this list, operations research analysts use data and statistics to solve problems in a range of areas, including business, logistics, and health care. As more and more companies and government agencies explore the benefits of data analysis, employment in the field is projected to increase by 30% in the coming years, more than four times the employment growth rate across all occupations. The $78,630 median income for operations research analysts is more than double the $37,040 median income across all occupations.

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2. Medical services manager
> Annual median wage: $94,500
> Projected job growth, 2014-2024: 17%
> Total employment: 332,150

Also referred to as health care executives or health care administrators, medical services managers oversee the operations of a medical facility or specific clinical department, ensure compliance with the latest health care laws and regulations, as well as incorporate new technology. More than a third of medical services managers work in hospitals, 10% in physicians’ offices, and 10% in nursing and residential care facilities. As the aging baby boom generation continues to require increasing medical care, all health professionals will be in high demand.

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1. Statistician
> Annual median wage: $80,110
> Projected job growth, 2014-2024: 34%
> Total employment: 33,440

As the increasing digitization of commerce, social interaction, and other aspects of everyday life generates increasing amounts of data, companies will require more people capable of analyzing the large amounts of collected information. The number of statisticians in the United States is projected to grow by 34% in the decade ending in 2024, partially due to the profession’s versatile applications. Such workers will likely be needed across a variety of fields such as academia, banking, health care, marketing, government, and sports. Most statisticians have a master’s degree and a strong quantitative background — and they are well compensated. The typical statistician earns $80,110 annually, more than twice the $37,040 median for all occupations.