Special Report

The Best Jobs in America

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15. Physicist
> Median annual wages: $118,830
> Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 14.5%
> Total employment: 16,710

Most physicists need a Ph.D. as most laboratories and research institutions expect a doctorate from their candidates. Like many careers that demand a high level of education, physicists typically make well over $100,000 per year. Because of the relatively safe and secure nature of their job, physicists also enjoy one of the best work environments of any job available.

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14. Audiologist
> Median annual wages: $75,920
> Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 20.7%
> Total employment: 12,020

Audiologists, or hearing and ear medical professionals, work one of the least stressful jobs, according to CareerCast. While it is an important field, these health care professionals are generally not involved in life or death situations like other medical workers. The number of audiologists is projected to grow at triple the pace of the average job, largely because the U.S. population will likely experience greater rates of hearing issues as baby boomers continue to age — not to mention that earphone use can damage hearing in people of all ages.

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13. Dental Hygienist
> Median annual wages: $74,070
> Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 19.7%
> Total employment: 211,600

Dental hygienist ranks as one of the best jobs in America because it pays roughly double the average job while having one of the lowest stress levels among all careers. The position typically requires an associate’s degree, as opposed to the advanced degrees required for most jobs on this list.

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12. Speech Pathologist
> Median annual wages: $76,610
> Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 17.8%
> Total employment: 142,360

Speech pathologists, sometimes called speech therapists, diagnose and treat verbal communication and swallowing issues in children and sometimes adults. Employment in this field is projected to increase at more than twice the rate of the average job by 2026. Some seniors may need help speaking after being affected by medical issues like a stroke or dementia.

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11. Software Developer
> Median annual wages: $107,600
> Projected job growth, 2016-2026: 11.1%
> Total employment: 394,590

As businesses have increasingly needed to become more internet savvy, software developers have become some of the best paid and most in-demand workers in the U.S. labor force. Like many who work in office environments, software developers have relatively low-stress jobs as they are not required to perform physical labor or dangerous tasks as part of their job.

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