25 Top American Jobs Are in Two Growing Areas
Life + Money

25 Top American Jobs Are in Two Growing Areas

Your child finally gets accepted to the college of her choice and she says she want to major in philosophy. You smile, sort of, but all you really want to do is hide under the covers for the next four years while your bank account is being drained.

You’re in this funk because you just finished reading U.S. News and World Report’s latest compilation of the best 100 jobs for 2015 and learned that the top 25 fall into either a science or math-based discipline.

Science - especially jobs in the health care industry - very nearly dominates the top 10 jobs, taking seven of those spots. Dentist, nurse practitioner, physician, dental hygienist, physical therapist, registered nurse, and physician assistant are all among the top-ranked jobs based on demand, median salary, employment prospects, rate of employment, stress level and work-life balance - the criteria used by U.S. News to produce its ranking. 

Related: Jobs 2014: The Year of Exceeding (Low) Expectations

Dentist was the number-one job overall this year (it was #3 in 2014 but was previously ranked #1). “A comfortable median salary of $146,340 and good work-life balance have helped this intrinsic health care job secure the top spot on our best jobs list once again,” said the U.S. News report, “and the BLS [Bureau of Labor Statistics] expects 23,300 new dentist jobs through the year 2022.” 

Dentists are in big demand not just because they identify and treat teeth, gum and mouth issues, with some choosing to specialize in addressing oral problems and diseases – but because more Americans are seeking cosmetic treatments, which range from teeth whitening to porcelain veneers. The best metro areas for dentists in terms of salary opportunities include Rochester, New Hampshire; Nashua, New Hampshire; and Valdosta, Georgia, says U.S. News, with the best paid earning more than $188,000 a year (the lowest paid in 2013 earned roughly $72,000).   

The report comes as the U.S. capped its best hiring year in 15 years, with healthy gains in December and unemployment hitting a six-year low.

Related: Slideshow: 10 Best Cities for Job Seekers

The other top jobs in the top 10 list are software developer (ranked #3), computer systems analyst (#7), and information security analyst (#8).

“The best jobs pay well,” said U.S. News. “They challenge you without stressing you out too much. There’s room to grow and advance. Maybe most importantly, the best jobs are the ones that are hiring.”

By the way, take a guess which job is ranked #100 on this list?

That would be receptionist – often a stepping-stone job into the workplace for those just starting out and requiring just a high school diploma or equivalent.   

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