Special Report

Best Jobs in America

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

15. Radiation therapist
> Median annual salary: $82,330
> Projected employment growth, 2018-2028: 8.5%
> Total employment: 18,260

Radiation therapists — one of several health care professions to rank on this list — use radiation to treat diseases such as cancer. They typically work in hospitals or outpatient treatment centers. Highly compensated, the median annual income for radiation therapists is $82,330. While most jobs that are similarly high paying require at least a bachelor’s degree, most radiation therapists have an associate’s degree, and typically must pass a certification exam to practice.

Demand for radiation therapists is projected to increase at a faster than average pace in the coming years, and according to CareerCast, the job is relatively low stress.

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14. Audiologist
> Median annual salary: $75,920
> Projected employment growth, 2018-2028: 16.3%
> Total employment: 13,300

Audiologists diagnose and treat hearing problems in their patients. While most people in the profession work in places like hospitals or clinics, some also work in schools and personal care stores. Like many health care jobs, audiologists are projected to be in increasingly high demand as the population ages and larger shares of the population become more susceptible to hearing loss.

The median salary for audiologists is nearly double the median across all occupations, and according to CareerCast, the job is not particularly stressful.

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13. Dental hygienist
> Median annual salary: $74,820
> Projected employment growth, 2018-2028: 10.8%
> Total employment: 215,150

Dental hygienists work in dentists’ offices cleaning patients teeth and examining them for signs of oral diseases. The typical dental hygienist earns nearly $75,000 a year, well above the median salary across all occupations of $38,640. While most high-paying jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree, most dental hygienists do not have more than an associate’s degree.

Dental hygiene is becoming increasingly linked to overall health, and partially as a result, demand for dental hygienists is projected to increase by nearly 11% in the coming years.

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12. Speech pathologist
> Median annual salary: $77,510
> Projected employment growth, 2018-2028: 27.3%
> Total employment: 146,900

Speech pathologists work to diagnose, treat, and correct speech and swallowing disorders in both children and adults in a range of environments, including schools, hospitals, and other health care facilities. Employment in the field is projected to grow by a staggering 27.3% between 2018 and 2028 as baby boomers age and become at greater risk for conditions like stroke and dementia that can lead to speech impediments.

In addition to high pay — the typical speech pathologist earns over $77,000 a year — the job gets high marks for being very low stress.

Source: RossHelen / Getty Images

11. Software developer
> Median annual salary: $99,920
> Projected employment growth, 2018-2028: 16.2%
> Total employment: 1.7 million

While similar to application software developers — who create computer applications for consumers, such as games or word processors — software developers create the operating systems that keep computers functioning properly. Highly paid, most developers earn nearly six figures or more annually. There is relatively little stress associated with the job, according to CareerCast, and demand for software developers is projected to remain strong for the foreseeable future.

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