Find Out Exactly What You
Should Be Paid
Find Out Exactly What You
Should Be Paid

Best Jobs Methodology

Copyright PayScale, Inc. 2015

About The Data

The PayScale Best Jobs for You tool and Best Jobs lists use PayScale data collected from employees who successfully completed PayScale’s employee survey. Individual results using the Best Jobs for You tool 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).

National 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. Range in pay within a job can vary widely depending upon years of experience, scope of responsibility, number of employees, etc. For example, pay can be higher than the stated median pay if the worker has higher levels of experience and responsibility or they work at a larger company.

Years of Experience: These are the number of years the respondent has spent in the field/career. Therefore the years of experience will incorporate all applicable jobs in the field, not just the current job.
Early-Career: Workers with 0-5 years of experience.
Mid-Career: Workers with 10+ years of experience.

Median Years of Experience: The median years of experience is the national median (50th Percentile) years of experience. Half the people doing the job have more experience than the median, while half have less.

Typical Pay Type:
Salary: Over 50% of respondents within a given job are salaried workers.
Hourly: 50% or more of respondents within a given job are hourly workers.

Percent Paid Hourly: This is the percent of respondents within a given job that are paid hourly.

Median Hours Worked: This is the median number of hours worked by the respondents within a given job that are paid hourly.

Typical Degree Level: This is the most common degree level held by respondents within a given job. The required degree for entry into a job may be lower.

Degree Breakdown: This is the breakdown of respondents within a given job by degree level.

CIP Code: The Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) provides a taxonomic scheme that supports the accurate tracking and reporting of fields of study and program completions activity (http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/cipcode).

Most Common Major: This is the Detailed Major Grouping (4-Digit CIP Code) with the highest percentage of respondents across all degree levels.

% 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?"

% 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?"

% Low Job Stress: This is the percentage of respondents within a given job who answered "Relaxing," "Not Stressful" or "A Little Stressful" when asked whether their job is stressful.

% 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."

% People Management Role: This is the percentage of respondents within a given job who supervise people.

% High Job Recommendation: This is the percentage of respondents within a given job who answered "Yes, moderately" or "Yes, strongly" when asked if they would recommend their job to others.

Gender Breakdown:
% Male: The percentage of respondents within a given job who are male.
% Female: The percentage of respondents within a given job who are female.

Generational Breakdown
% Generation Y: The percentage of respondents within a given job who were born between 1982 and 2002.
% Generation X: The percentage of respondents within a given job who were born between 1965 and 1981.
% Baby Boomers: The percentage of respondents within a given job who were born between 1946 and 1964.

Most Recommended Jobs: These are jobs with the highest % of respondents who said "Yes" they would recommend their job to others.

Least Recommended Jobs: These are jobs with the lowest % of respondents who said "Yes" they would recommend their job to others.

Best Jobs For Working Parents: These are jobs with the highest combined flexibility and low stress scores that also have higher-than-typical pay.

Relative Commonness: This is the relative commonness compared to all jobs considered. For example, the relative commonness for the job “Gaming Dealer” in Nevada is 36.2, therefore, it is over 36 times as likely for a worker in Nevada to work as a “Gaming Dealer” than the average worker in the U.S.

Most Popular Jobs by State: This is the job with the highest relative commonness for the given state.

Best Jobs For Do-Gooders: These are jobs with the highest % of workers reporting high job meaning that also have higher-than-typical pay.

Best Jobs for College Students: These are jobs that do not require a bachelor’s or higher degree, typically require less than 3 years of related experience and for which workers typically work fewer than 32 hours per week.

For Introverts: These are jobs that allow workers independence in their job function and do not require a lot of direct interaction with others.

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