Special Report

Best Jobs in America

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5. Genetic counselor
> Median annual salary: $80,370
> Projected employment growth, 2018-2028: 27.0%
> Total employment: 2,640

Genetic counseling — which is typically assessment of risk for certain inheritable disorders and conditions — is one of several health care professions to rank among the best jobs in the United States. Like other jobs in the sector, genetic counselors are expected to be in increasingly high demand in the coming years, with overall employment projected to climb 27.0% from 2018 to 2028. Meanwhile, overall employment across all occupations is projected to grow by just 5.2% over the same period.

While they are not doctors, genetic counselors are still typically required to have a master’s degree as well as board certification.

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4. Occupational therapist
> Median annual salary: $84,270
> Projected employment growth, 2018-2028: 17.9%
> Total employment: 126,900

Occupational therapists work with disabled individuals as well as those with certain debilitating illnesses and injuries, providing treatment through assistance in day to day activities. They work in a range of environments, including hospitals, nursing homes, and schools. As the baby boomers continue to age, a larger share of the population would depend on occupational therapists, and overall employment in the field is projected to climb by 17.9%, more than three times faster than employment growth across all fields.

Like most jobs on this list, occupational therapy is generally a low-stress, high-paying job. The median income of occupational therapists is over $84,000 a year.

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3. University professor
> Median annual salary: $69,530
> Projected employment growth, 2018-2028: 9.0%
> Total employment: 1.5 million

University professors have one of the best jobs in the United States, according to CareerCast. Their work environment — which includes public and private colleges and universities — ranks better than any other, and the job itself is relatively low stress. Aside from classes, professors’ schedules are relatively flexible. Compensation is also relatively high, with most professors earning more than $69,000 annually.

Many of the best jobs are not easy to get, and this occupation is no exception. Professors typically have a doctorate degree in their field, and many have to work as a teaching assistant to gain the experience the school requires.

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2. Statistician
> Median annual salary: $87,780
> Projected employment growth, 2018-2028: 30.7%
> Total employment: 39,920

Statisticians review data and apply statistical analysis to real world problems in a range of fields, including health care, government, academia, and research and development. Most statisticians have a master’s degree — and as is typically the case in occupations with high educational requirements, salaries are generally higher for statisticians. Most statisticians in the United States earn over $87,000 a year, well above the median salary across all occupations of $38,640.

Statisticians have one of the most secure jobs in the U.S. Over the decade between 2018 and 2028, employment among statisticians is projected to grow by over 30% — nearly six times the projected employment growth overall.

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1. Data scientist
> Median annual salary: $118,370
> Projected employment growth, 2018-2028: 16.5%
> Total employment: 30,070

The occupation of data scientist ranks as the best job in the United States. According to CareerCast, the job comes with relatively little stress, and data scientists generally benefit from a good work environment. The job is also relatively secure. As businesses collect an increasing amount of data, data scientists — who can mine and organize that data — are projected to be in high demand, with overall employment in the field growing by 16.5% between 2018 and 2028, triple employment growth across all occupations.

Data scientists are also well-paid. The majority of Americans working in data science earn over $118,000 a year.

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