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Best Jobs for You Methodology

About This Tool:

The PayScale Best Jobs for You tool uses PayScale data collected from employees who successfully completed PayScale’s employee survey in combination with publicly available data (sources cited below). Results are calculated by a proprietary formula based on preferences entered by the user.

Definitions:

Total Cash Compensation (TCC): TCC combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable. For example, when overtime is typical for a given job, TCC also includes overtime pay. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or value of other non-cash benefits (e.g., healthcare).

Median Pay: The median pay is the national median (50th Percentile) annual total cash compensation. Half the people doing the job earn more than the median, while half earn less.

Median Pay Score: This is the ratio of the median pay for a given job to the average median pay for all the top jobs ($59,300) weighted by the importance level specified by the user. The higher the median pay is relative to the average median pay, the higher the score. Likewise, the higher the importance level specified by the user, the higher the score.

% High Job Satisfaction: This is the percentage of respondents within a given job who answered "Extremely satisfied" or "Fairly satisfied" to the question, "How satisfied are you in your job?"

Job Satisfaction Score: This is the ratio of the % High Job Satisfaction for a given job to the average % High Job Satisfaction for all the top jobs (72%) weighted by the importance level specified by the user. The higher the % High Job Satisfaction is relative to the average % High Job Satisfaction, the higher the score. Likewise, the higher the importance level specified by the user, the higher the score.

% High Job Meaning: This is the percentage of respondents within a given job who answered "Very much so" or "Yes" to the question, "Does your work make the world a better place?"

Job Meaning Score: This is the ratio of the % High Job Meaning for a given job to the average % High Job Meaning for all the top jobs (58%) weighted by the importance level specified by the user. The higher the % High Job Meaning is relative to the average % High Job Meaning, the higher the score. Likewise, the higher the importance level specified by the user, the higher the score.

% Low Job Stress: This is the percentage of respondents within a given job who answered "A little stressful" or "Not stressful" or "My job is relaxing" when asked whether their job is stressful.

Job Stress Score: This is the ratio of the % Low Job Stress for a given job to the average % Low Job Stress for all the top jobs (35%) weighted by the importance level specified by the user. The higher the % Low Job Stress is relative to the average % Low Job Stress, the higher the score. Likewise, the higher the importance level specified by the user, the higher the score.

% High Job Flexibility: This is the percentage of respondents within a given job who answered "With advanced notice, I can set my schedule and time-off" or "On any day, I can change my schedule and time-off."

Job Flexibility Score: This is the ratio of the % High Job Flexibility for a given job to the average % High Job Flexibility for all the top jobs (66%) weighted by the importance level specified by the user. The higher the % High Job Flexibility is relative to the average % High Job Flexibility, the higher the score. Likewise, the higher the importance level specified by the user, the higher the score.

% in Management Roles: This is the percentage of respondents within a given job who claim to have a management role.

Management Score: This is a score based on the % in Management Roles weighted by the importance level specified by the user. If the job has over 40% in Management Roles, the score is higher. The higher the importance level specified by the user, the higher the score. If “No Preference” is specified by user, the Management Score does not affect the overall score.

Education Level: This is the most typical degree level for a given job. The required degree for entry into a job may be lower.

Median Years of Experience: This is the national median (50th Percentile) number of years spent in the field/career. The years of experience will incorporate all applicable jobs in the field, not just the current job. Half the people doing the job will have more years of experience than the median, while half will have less.

  • Entry Level: These are the jobs in which the median years of experience is between 0 and 5.
  • Mid-Career: These are the jobs in which the median years of experience is between 5 and 15.
  • Experienced: These are the jobs in which the median years of experience is greater than 15.

Generational Breakdown:

  • Generation Y: People who were born between 1982 and 2002.
  • Generation X: People who were born between 1965 and 1981.
  • Baby Boomers: People who were born between 1946 and 1964.

Employment Projections: The projected percentage growth for a given job from 2012 to 2022 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecopro.toc.htm).

Employment Projection Score: This is a score based on the percentage range in which the Employment Projection falls weighted by the importance level specified by the user. The higher the percentage range in which the Employment Projection falls, the higher the score. Likewise, the higher the importance level specified by the user, the higher the score.

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