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10 best jobs for 2014

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With one exception, the popular perception that insurance jobs are not so hot just might be true — at least if the annual job ranking of 200 professions by the 2014 Jobs Rated report is any indication. Only three insurance-related jobs appear on the list, and only one of these appears within the top 10. (Read on to discover which jobs they are.)

Every year since 1988, the Jobs Rated report has measured different careers through a variety of metrics. This year’s examination of 200 job descriptions runs the gamut, from surgeon to garbage collector, and ranks each into the four “core criteria” of environment, income, outlook and stress — the general categories inherent to every job. 

Because the top-rated job categories represent strong growth, the related industries are also growth areas for the insurance industry. 

Data used for evaluation come from the U.S. Department of Labor and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as well as from a range of other governmental agencies, trade associations and private survey firms.

Here are the top 10 best jobs:

a1. Mathematician

BLS Median Annual Salary: $101,360

Projected Job Growth by 2022: 23%

Jobs Rated Score (the lower the better): 63

If math is your thing, you can be king. The compensation is great, and the field also has a positive outlook for continued future growth.


2. University professor (tenured)

BLS Median Annual Salary: 68,970

Projected Job Growth by 2022: 19%*

Jobs Rated Score: 73

Achieving tenure in today’s academic environment may be tough, but for those who get there, it’s a good job. Many top jobs require postsecondary education, and university professors are integral in giving students the necessary foundation to succeed in other careers.

* denotes BLS figures for all postsecondary positions


3. Statistician

BLS Median Annual Salary: $75,560

Projected Job Growth by 2022: 27%

Jobs Rated Score: 96

With more big data being used in a spectrum of industries, statistical analysis is a growing field where skilled professionals are in high demand.


4. Actuary

BLS Median Annual Salary: $93,680

Projected Job Growth by 2022: 26%

Jobs Rated Score: 103

This insurance-related job made it into the Top 5! If you’ve got the chops in math and statistical analysis, opportunities abound for actuaries, who must pass a series of exams to qualify. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a very favorable hiring market for actuaries in the future, in large part because more Americans will have health insurance coverage.


5. Audiologist

BLS Median Annual Salary: $69,720

Projected Job Growth by 2022: 34%

Jobs Rated Score: 110

Audiologists help patients address hearing and balance problems, and are in high demand due to the rapidly aging population of baby boomers. And the growing availability of sophisticated hearing aid technology will also improve the employment outlook for audiologists.


6. Dental hygienist

BLS Median Annual Salary: $70,210

Projected Job Growth by 2022: 33%

Jobs Rated Score: 120

Opportunities in the field are abundant and expected to grow considerably by 2022. The most skilled in the field can command very competitive wages and a flexible work schedule.


7. Software engineer

BLS Median Annual Salary: $93,350

Projected Job Growth by 2022: 22%

Jobs Rated Score: 125

Computer technology is always changing and becoming more sophisticated. The latest wave in the field is cloud computing, and companies need software engineers able to meet this and other adaptations in the most fundamental facet of 21st century business.


8. Computer systems analyst

BLS Median Annual Salary: $79,680

Projected Job Growth by 2022: 25%

Jobs Rated Score: 126

Network administration is a critical component of business practices, and its importance will only continue to grow in the coming years as more companies and institutions move hard copy files into digital formats.


9. Occupational therapist

BLS Median Annual Salary: $75,400

Projected Job Growth by 2022: 29%

Jobs Rated Score: 129

Occupational therapists work with the injured or ill and use routine activities to speed rehabilitation. Demand for their skills is high as they focus on modifying each patient’s physical environment while training them to use equipment to increase independence. By focusing on helping patients engage in meaningful activities of daily living, they tend to cater to the aging population.


10. Speech pathologist

BLS Median Annual Salary: $69,870

Projected Job Growth by 2022: 19%

Jobs Rated Score: 138

Speech pathologists made it to the top 10 for its favorable marks across all categories. Speech pathologists can work in educational or medical settings to help patients work through communicative disorders.


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