Picking the right career field can keep you from experiencing disappointment when job hunting. There is so much competition for jobs right now and little job growth in many industries. That is why it is important to find a career track that is growing and not contracting.
So, what are the best jobs in America? That question can be difficult to answer. You need to consider the best potential for job growth, pay, stress level, job satisfaction, and other factors. I thought it would be most helpful to look at these jobs by their broader career fields.
Let’s take a look at ten of the best career fields to work in over the next 10 years based on all of these factors.
10 Best Career Fields in Demand
1. Medical Field
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA), Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants
The medical field is ripe with growth potential. As everyone probably knows, nurses are in high demand. The average nurse practitioner makes $85,200 per year, and the demand is expected to increase 23%. Nurse practitioners can perform many of the same functions as doctors such as prescribing medicine and treating illnesses.
Becoming a nurse practitioner requires a master’s degree in nursing and certification. With an aging population, the demand for healthcare is expected to double over the next decade. Physician assistants have climbed up to number 2 in the best jobs in America. They conduct physical exams, prescribe medicine, and treat illnesses. What does a physician assistant make? A physician assistant averages $92,000 per year and job growth is expected to rise a remarkable 39%.
One career that you may not have heard about is a nurse anesthetist. Certified nurse anesthetists (CRNA) are in demand and make more money than many family physicians. According to CNN Money, the average base salary of a CRNA is $189,000, whereas the average salary for a primary care physician is $173,000. So what does it take to become a nursing anesthetist? A CRNA must be a registered nurse and have at least one year of full-time nursing experience. Most CRNA’s obtain a master’s degree in anesthesia and pass a national certification exam.
2. Technology Sector
Software Architects, Systems Engineers, Software Engineers, IT Analysts
How would you like to work in the fast-growing tech sector? Information technology is the #1 field in terms of expected job growth over the next decade, which makes systems engineers among the most highly sought after professionals today. The average salary for a systems engineer is $87,100, and the career field is expected to grow 45% over the next 10 years. To become a systems engineer, you need a bachelor’s degree in engineering.
Software architects have taken the title as the best job in the country with job growth of 34% and an average annual salary of $119,000 per year. These innovative engineering professionals are responsible for helping to analyze and store data.
The engineering field is not the only IT field experiencing growth. Entry-level information technology analysts make $60,000 and above. Experienced IT analysts make over $82,600 per field, and job growth for the next decade is expected to be about 30%.
3. Financial Services
Accountants, Actuaries, Financial Advisers
Are you good with numbers? You could find a rewarding career in the financial services industry. Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) make an average of $74,200 and 10-year job growth is expected to be 18%. As more companies are doing away with pension plans, employees will need help with retirement planning. Job growth for financial advisers is expected to be 41% over the next decade. The average financial adviser makes $101,000 per year.
Actuaries measure the statistical probability of certain events occurring. The actuarial field has a projected growth rate of 24% and an average salary of $129,000. Actuaries can make as much as $300,000 per year. All of these finance-related fields typically require an undergraduate business degree.
4. Education Arena
College Professors, Elementary School Teachers, High School Teachers
A bad economy means increased enrollment in colleges and universities. As students return to school, there is an increased need for college professors. The average salary for a college professor is $70,400 and the 10-year growth rate is projected at 23%. College professors enjoy great flexibility in their work schedules, freeing them to do a variety of other tasks.
Do you love working with kids? You could become a school teacher. Elementary, middle, and high school teachers make an average of $50,200 annually and future job growth is 18%. Teaching at the collegiate level normally requires a graduate degree in a related field.
5. Technical Jobs
Physical Therapist Assistants, Dental Hygienists, Veterinary Technicians
Many technical jobs require certifications but do not require that applicants obtain a college degree. Physical therapist assistants earn approximately $42,000 and the physical therapy field is booming. The 10-year growth rate is 42%. Physical therapist assistants are responsible for developing treatment plans, documenting treatments, and modifying specific treatments to the needs of the patient.
Dental hygienists clean teeth, take X-rays, and perform routine oral procedures. Hygienists make $68,152, and the field is growing at a rate of 43%. Veterinary techs perform medical tests, prepare vaccines and tissue samples, and take blood samples. The average salary is $30,000, and the 10-year growth rate is 35%.
6. Business Services Jobs
Environment Health Specialist, Construction Estimator
Service jobs are still the lifeblood of the United States economy, accounting for more than 70% of all jobs. Environmental health and safety specialists are expected to be big beneficiaries of this trend with 10-year job growth expected at 28%. Median pay is expected to be a healthy $71,000 per year.
Estimators are important to customers because they help to determine whether a project will make money for a firm or become a money loser. A construction estimator position requires lots of experience and accuracy. The average pay is solid at $68,000 per year and job growth is expected at 25% over the next ten years.
7. Sales Jobs
Sales Director, Sales Executive, Senior Sales Professional
Sales are incredibly important to any company from software companies to financial service firms. Sales executives are needed to motivate staff and help companies reach their revenue goals. They have to be outstanding at customer relations and place employees in the best position to close deals.
Sales may be a high stress, high pressure occupation but it pays very well. Sales directors earn an average annual salary of $142,000, and senior sales executives are not far behind with an average salary of $127,000 per year.
8. Consulting Jobs
Management Consultants, Healthcare Consultants
Companies are looking for ways to save money on employee costs and one of the best ways to do this is by outsourcing projects. This is why consultants are expected to be in incredibly high demand. Companies do not have to provide benefits or pay healthcare costs for consultants.
The consulting industry is expected to see double digit growth over the next decade. Management and healthcare consultants will see job growth of 24%, making this one of the most lucrative industries for job seekers to get into.
9. Engineering Jobs
Project Engineer, Civil Engineer, Structural Engineer, Environmental Engineer, Biomedical Engineer
There is a dearth of math and science majors in universities and the engineering industry is reflecting that. Companies are having an increasingly difficult time finding quality engineers.
Structural, civil, project, and environmental engineers will see job growth ranging from 24% to 31% over the next decade. Biomedical engineers will see job growth at a whopping 72%. The minimum salary is expected to be $76,000 with some engineers easily making more than six figures a year. The work is low stress and the job satisfaction is incredibly high.
10. Middle Management Jobs
Research and Development Manager, Product Manager, Risk Management Manager
Mid-level management is just as important to a firm as top-level management. They are responsible for supervising many of the day-to-day functions and maintaining smooth interactions with management and staff.
Risk management managers help to mitigate risks and keep firms from potential risks that can cripple them. Job growth for this field is expected at 24% with an average salary of $107,000. R&D managers make sure that new projects and products are developed, tested, and properly brought to market. Product managers oversee the launch and implementation of new products and processes. These are all important job functions in which most current employees see continued job growth in their professions.
Technology and business evolve quickly, and new careers come and go just as fast. Because of this, it’s important to choose a career field that will be in high demand for the foreseeable future and sharpen your skills over time.
What do you think are the best jobs to have over the next 10 years? Are you pursuing or currently working in any of these career fields?