What makes the best jobs superior to other occupations? A combination of factors.
To arrive at their annual best jobs rankings, U.S. News & World Report started by looking at the jobs with the most projected job openings between 2016 and 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They then ranked those jobs according to metrics like median salary, employment rate and stress level, among other measures.
The result: a list of jobs with high growth potential, high pay, and relatively low stress and good work-life balance.
Although the top spot went to a non-healthcare job for the first time since 2015, healthcare jobs have continued to dominate the list, accounting for 47 out of the top 100 jobs.
Healthcare jobs continue to dominate the list, accounting for 47 out of the top 100 jobs.
“Health care jobs are prominent on our list year after year and are predicted to continue growing rapidly within the job market by 2026,” said Rebecca Koenig, careers reporter at U.S. News, in a statement. “Health care goes beyond doctors and nursing professions – there is high demand for people to fill positions available in health care technology, at hospitals and elsewhere within the industry that tap into a variety of the categories we rank and that offer a low unemployment rate, a high median salary and robust job growth.”
Four out of five of the very top jobs were in a health profession:
Software developers are the brains behind your favorite computer programs and applications. They may also work on the systems that control networks. People in this profession report a high level of job satisfaction. A bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field is often required to get started in this occupation.
Median Annual Salary: $69,218
Projected Growth, 2016-26: 24 percent
High job satisfaction, high pay and the chance to make people’s smiles brighter and healthier — dentist is an ideal occupation for people who love teeth (and don’t mind going to school for a long time).
Median Annual Salary: $125,438
Projected Growth, 2016-26: 17 percent
Physician assistants typically work with doctors, freeing up physicians for more complicated cases. Depending on where they live and practice, PAs can make diagnoses and write prescriptions, as well as performing routine procedures like giving stitches.
Median Annual Salary: $90,986
Projected Growth, 2016-26: 37 percent
Nurse practitioners typically work in practice with doctors, providing patient care with a focus on the patient as a whole. In some states, NPs can work independently, without physician supervision.
Median Annual Salary: $91,495
Projected Growth, 2016-26: 31 percent
Orthodontists diagnose and correct abnormalities related to the teeth and jaw, typically with the use of braces and other dental appliances.
Median Annual Salary: $167,251
Projected Growth, 2016-26: 17 percent (for all dental specialties)
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