Picking the right career field can keep you from experiencing disappointment when job hunting. There is so much competition for jobs right now and little job growth in many industries. That is why it is important to find a career track that is growing and not contracting.
So, what are the best jobs in America? That question can be difficult to answer. You need to consider the best potential for job growth, pay, stress level, job satisfaction, and other factors. I thought it would be most helpful to look at these jobs by their broader career fields.
1. Medical Field
The medical field is ripe with growth potential. As everyone probably knows, nurses are in high demand. The average nurse practitioner makes $85,200 per year, and the demand is expected to increase 23%. Nurse practitioners can perform many of the same functions as doctors such as prescribing medicine and treating illnesses.
Becoming a nurse practitioner requires a master’s degree in nursing and certification. With an aging population, the demand for healthcare is expected to double over the next decade. Physician assistants have climbed up to number 2 in the best jobs in America. They conduct physical exams, prescribe medicine, and treat illnesses. What does a physician assistant make? A physician assistant averages $92,000 per year and job growth is expected to rise a remarkable 39%.
One career that you may not have heard about is a nurse anesthetist. Certified nurse anesthetists (CRNA) are in demand and make more money than many family physicians. According to CNN Money, the average base salary of a CRNA is $189,000, whereas the average salary for a primary care physician is $173,000. So what does it take to become a nursing anesthetist? A CRNA must be a registered nurse and have at least one year of full-time nursing experience. Most CRNA’s obtain a master’s degree in anesthesia and pass a national certification exam.
2. Technology Sector
How would you like to work in the fast-growing tech sector? Information technology is the #1 field in terms of expected job growth over the next decade, which makes systems engineers among the most highly sought after professionals today. The average salary for a systems engineer is $87,100, and the career field is expected to grow 45% over the next 10 years. To become a systems engineer, you need a bachelor’s degree in engineering.
Software architects have taken the title as the best job in the country with job growth of 34% and an average annual salary of $119,000 per year. These innovative engineering professionals are responsible for helping to analyze and store data.
The engineering field is not the only IT field experiencing growth. Entry-level information technology analysts make $60,000 and above. Experienced IT analysts make over $82,600 per field, and job growth for the next decade is expected to be about 30%.
3. Financial Services
Are you good with numbers? You could find a rewarding career in the financial services industry. Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) make an average of $74,200 and 10-year job growth is expected to be 18%. As more companies are doing away with pension plans, employees will need help with retirement planning. Job growth for financial advisors is expected to be 41% over the next decade. The average financial advisor makes $101,000 per year.
Actuaries measure the statistical probability of certain events occurring. The actuarial field has a projected growth rate of 24% and an average salary of $129,000. Actuaries can make as much as $300,000 per year. All of these finance-related fields typically require an undergraduate business degree.
4. Education Arena
A bad economy means increased enrollment in colleges and universities. As students return to school, there is an increased need for college professors. The average salary for a college professor is $70,400 and the 10-year growth rate is projected at 23%. College professors enjoy great flexibility in their work schedules, freeing them to do a variety of other tasks.
Do you love working with kids? You could become a school teacher. Elementary, middle, and high school teachers make an average of $50,200 annually and future job growth is 18%. Teaching at the collegiate level normally requires a graduate degree in a related field.
5. Technical Jobs
Many technical jobs require certifications but do not require that applicants obtain a college degree. Physical therapist assistants earn approximately $42,000 and the physical therapy field is booming. The 10-year growth rate is 42%. Physical therapist assistants are responsible for developing treatment plans, documenting treatments, and modifying specific treatments to the needs of the patient.
Dental hygienists clean teeth, take X-rays, and perform routine oral procedures. Hygienists make $68,152, and the field is growing at a rate of 43%. Veterinary techs perform medical tests, prepare vaccines and tissue samples, and take blood samples. The average salary is $30,000, and the 10-year growth rate is 35%.