At high school and college graduations, you’ll often hear speakers urging young people to follow their passion. The idea is that if you get a job you love, you’ll work harder at it, and success and prosperity will follow.
But in real life, it doesn’t always work out that way. If the job you love is in a declining field, such as journalism, you could spend years struggling just to find and keep a job. And even when you have one, you’ll find it hard to pay the bills if it doesn’t pay a living wage.
Increasingly, career experts are recommending a different approach. Instead of pursuing your passion, try to develop a passion for a job you can do well. And if you can, choose one that pays a good salary and is in a growing field. That way, instead of having to run after job opportunities, you can have employers running after you.
How to Identify the Most Lucrative Fields
The Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is a handy tool for finding the best career fields. It provides detailed information about hundreds of occupations, describing the work itself and the settings where people typically work.
More useful still, the OOH has a flexible search feature. You can sort jobs based on how fast they’re likely to grow, how much they pay, and the education and training needed to get the job.
This tool can show you the best-paying, fastest-growing careers open to you right now with your current education. It can also help you decide whether pursuing a college degree or other credentials is likely to pay off.
The best jobs of the past aren’t necessarily good for the future. For example, 50 to 75 years ago, American manufacturing was at its peak. High-paying factory jobs offered workers with limited education a ticket to the middle class. But today, those jobs are mostly gone outside a few high-tech industries.
In the 2020s, there are more career openings in fields such as health care, personal care, food service, and technology. The OOH predicts that the vast majority of these fields will grow by more than 10% between 2023 and 2033, while the economy as a whole grows by 7%.
A good job should enable you to live in reasonable comfort. Even when you’re just starting out in your new career, you should be able to pay all your bills and afford a few small luxuries while still saving for emergencies.
As you advance in your career, your income should grow as well so you can meet long-term financial goals. These could include buying a home, putting kids through college, or retiring.
So how much money is required to meet these goals? According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in the United States is $70,784.
But that’s not enough to support a family in every state. According to a Zippia analysis, a middle-class family needs only about $41,000 per year to get by in Arkansas, but it needs over $122,000 per year in Hawaii.
Still, in 45 out of 50 states, an income of $75,000 is enough to put you in the middle class. So that’s a pretty good benchmark for a middle-class salary.
Many jobs with good prospects for both growth and earnings require a college degree. Some even require further education beyond college, such as medical school. That puts many young people today in a bind.
They need a degree to get these desirable jobs. But getting one takes years of their lives and tens of thousands of dollars. It’s not always clear whether a higher-paying job can make up for starting adult life loaded down with student loan debt.
However, some jobs offer high pay without a college degree. You can get some of them with only a two-year associate’s degree. Others involve some type of nonacademic training.
Better still, many of these jobs are in fast-growing fields. That means the prospects for getting a job after completing your training can be better than they are for some college graduates.
Best Careers Fields of the Next Decade
By putting all these factors together, you can see which careers look like promising opportunities for the next 10 years or so. All the jobs on this list meet several criteria:
- Fast job growth. They’re in fields the OOH predicts will grow faster than average. It says the number of jobs should increase by at least 13% between 2021 and 2031.
- Thousands of new jobs projected. Even a fast-growing field might not offer many job openings if it was very small to start with. That’s why this list includes only careers expected to add at least 14,000 new jobs between 2021 and 2031.
- A comfortable wage. The OOH lists these jobs as having a median pay of at least $75,000. (The median is the 50% mark. Half of all workers in this field earn more than this amount and half earn less.)
Most of the careers that meet these criteria fall into three broad fields: health care, finance, and technology. These are all fast-growing sectors that tend to offer high wages.
However, within these fields, there is a wide range of positions to choose from. You can find jobs treating patients, managing people, or working with computers. Whatever your skills, there’s probably a job to fit them.
1. Software Developer
Software developers design and write the software that runs on devices like computers and phones. Some developers create applications for specific tasks. Others work on the operating systems used by devices and networks.
Software developers figure out what users need and design and test software to meet those needs. They also make upgrades to older programs and maintain and document software to make sure it keeps working correctly in the future.
- Work Environment: Software developers work for businesses that publish software or make computers and other devices. They do most of their work sitting in front of a computer. Most work in corporate offices, but some work at home. They typically work full time, and they often work in teams.
- Educational Requirements: Most software developers have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field. Some employers prefer applicants with a master’s degree. The job also requires strong skills and experience in computer programming. Many developers gain experience by doing an internship with a software company while in college. Throughout their careers, developers need to stay up to date with new computer languages and programming tools.
- Earnings: The OOH puts the median annual wage for software developers at $109,020.
- Job Growth: Software development is a vast field. According to the OOH, there were roughly 1.62 million software developers in the U.S. in 2021. By 2031, the OOH predicts this field will grow by 25%. That adds up to 411,400 new jobs.
Click here to search for software developer jobs.
2. Medical and Health Services Manager
Health care is a big and complicated business. Providing care to patients is only part of it. There’s also the work of scheduling appointments, collecting payments, keeping medical records, and coordinating with other care providers.
Medical and health services managers oversee all these activities. That leaves health care providers with more time for their patients.
- Work Environment: Medical and health services managers work in all kinds of health care settings where lots of patients and providers are under one roof. That includes group medical practices, hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes.
- Educational Requirements: To become a medical or health services manager, you typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in health care or a related field. You also need some experience working in health care. Many people in this field also have master’s degrees that take two or three years to complete. This includes a year of working under supervision in an actual health care setting.
- Earnings: According to the OOH, medical and health services managers earned a median income of $101,340 in 2021.
- Job Growth: There were 480,700 medical and health services managers in the U.S. in 2021. The OOH predicts this number will increase by a whopping 28%, or 136,200 jobs, by 2031.
Search for medical and health services manager jobs on ZipRecruiter.
3. Management Analyst
Management analysts, also known as management consultants, help businesses find ways to run more efficiently. They come into a company and observe its procedures, interview staff, and analyze financial data.
Analysts can then advise managers on how to reduce costs (for example, by doing the same job with fewer workers). They can also suggest ways to boost revenues (for example, by increasing the amount of a product a company can produce in a day).
- Work Environment: Management consultants often work for many different companies throughout the year. They divide their time between their own offices and their clients’ worksites. The job often involves travel and working long hours on tight deadlines.
- Educational Requirements: In general, a management analyst must have at least a bachelor’s degree. Appropriate college majors include business, social science, or engineering. Many companies prefer to hire analysts with a master’s in business administration (MBA). Companies also often look for analysts with work experience in their field. For example, tax preparation firms may prefer candidates who have previously worked as accountants.
- Earnings: The OOH puts the median annual salary for management analysts at $93,000 for 2021. However, Payscale estimates the median salary at only about $70,000.
- Job Growth: There were 950,600 management analysts in the U.S. in 2021. By 2031, the OOH says this field will grow by 11%, adding 108,400 jobs.
Click here to search for management analyst jobs.
4. Nurse Practitioner
A nurse practitioner, or NP, is a type of nurse with more training and more authority than a registered nurse (RN). Rather than just assisting doctors, NPs can perform many of a doctor’s functions themselves. According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), an NP can diagnose illnesses, prescribe drugs, and manage a patient’s care.
- Work Environment: NPs work in all types of health care settings. They can practice in clinics, hospitals, urgent care centers, nursing homes, and private practices. Some work for schools, universities, or public health departments.
- Educational Requirements: To become an NP, you must already be a licensed RN. That can mean earning either a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in nursing. Then, on top of that, you must complete a graduate program and earn your national certification.
- Earnings: The OOH says NPs earned a median income of $123,780 in 2021. NPs who worked in hospitals earned the most, while those employed by schools earned least.
- Job Growth: According to the BLS, there were 300,000 NPs in the U.S. in 2021. However, the AANP puts the figure higher than that, saying there are more than 325,000 NPs in the country. The OOH predicts that the demand for NPs and other advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) will rise by 40% between 2021 and 2031. For NPs specifically, that adds up to 118,600 new jobs.
Click here to search for nurse practitioner jobs.
5. Financial Manager
Every company, from a corner grocery store to a Fortune 500 company, has to deal with money. If the business is big enough, it may hire a financial manager to deal with that side of the business.
Financial managers keep track of an organization’s income and spending and look for ways to boost profits and reduce costs. They create financial reports, manage investments, and help direct the organization’s long-term financial goals.
- Work Environment: Financial managers can work for businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies. Typical employers include banks, insurance companies, and investment firms. They’re high-level employees who work closely with top executives and the departments that gather data. Most financial managers work full time. Some put in more than 40 hours per week.
- Educational Requirements: To become a financial manager, you typically need a four-year college degree in finance, economics, or business administration. Some employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree in one of these fields. The job also requires several years of work experience in a financial field. Examples include banking, accounting, and sales.
- Earnings: The median income for financial managers in 2021 was $131,710, according to the OOH.
- Job Growth: As of 2021, there were 730,800 financial managers in the U.S. The BLS predicts this field will grow 17% by 2031, adding 123,100 new jobs.
Click here to search for financial manager jobs.
Supply chains are the networks companies use to get the supplies they need to make a product and to get that product to buyers. Supply chains are often quite large and complex, with multiple links.
Even for a simple product, like a table, you need someone to cut the wood, someone to mill it into lumber, someone to assemble that lumber into tables, and stores to sell the tables. And you need trucks, trains, or ships to transport the materials and products each step of the way.
A problem with just one link in a supply chain can break the whole thing. For instance, cars were in short supply during the COVID-19 pandemic due to shortages of the computer chips used in their systems.
Logisticians help prevent problems like this. They organize supply chains and keep them working. A logistician manages the whole life cycle of a product, from construction to delivery.
- Work Environment: All kinds of industries use logisticians. Some work within the logistics department of a single company. Others work for firms that specialize in one type of logistics work, such as freight shipping. Most logisticians work full time during regular business hours. Their job is fast-paced and can be stressful.
- Educational Requirements: Most people in this field have a four-year college degree. However, some companies hire logisticians with only a two-year degree. Useful fields of study include business and logistics and supply chain management. In some cases, you can get this job without a degree if you have work experience in a related field. You could get this experience working as a clerk or dispatcher or serving in the military.
- Earnings: In 2021, the median pay for logisticians was $77,030 per year, according to the OOH.
- Job Growth: As of 2021, there were 195,000 Americans working in logistics. The OOH predicts the field will grow by 28% through 2031. That adds up to roughly 54,100 new jobs.
Search for logistician jobs on ZipRecruiter.
7. Physical Therapist
Physical therapists help people with injuries or illnesses that cause pain and impair movement. They use techniques like stretches or other exercises and body manipulation to help patients improve their mobility and reduce pain.
- Work Environment: Physical therapists can work in hospitals, private offices, clinics, and nursing homes. Sometimes they also work with patients in their homes.
- Educational Requirements: A physical therapist must earn a doctor of physical therapy (DPT) degree from an accredited program. These programs usually take three years to complete after college.
- Earnings: The OOH says physical therapists earned a median income of $95,620 in 2021.
- Job Growth: In 2021, there were 238,800 physical therapists in the U.S. By 2031, the OOH predicts there will be 40,400 more, an increase of 17%.
Click here to search for physical therapist jobs.
8. Information Security Analyst
Businesses hire information security analysts to protect their computer networks and systems from cybercrime. These professionals install antivirus software and other safeguards to protect sensitive information. They watch for security breaches, investigate them when they occur, and periodically test the network to look for gaps a hacker could exploit.
They also prepare recovery plans to help the company get its system working in case of an attack. That can involve removing harmful software from the computer system and restoring data from backups.
- Work Environment: Information security analysts work for companies in many fields, including computing, finance, insurance, and consulting. They typically work full time, sometimes more than 40 hours per week.
- Educational Requirements: To become an information security analyst, you typically need a four-year college degree in a computer-related field. Some companies look for applicants with an MBA in information systems, which takes two more years of study after college. Also, companies prefer analysts with experience in a related field. For instance, if they want to hire someone for database security, they look for someone who has worked as a database administrator.
- Earnings: According to the OOH, information security analysts in the U.S. earned a median salary of $102,600 in 2021.
- Job Growth: The OOH says there were 163,000 information security analysts in the U.S. in 2021, and that number is growing rapidly. By 2031, it predicts the field will add 56,500 new jobs, representing 35% overall growth.
Click here to search for information security analyst jobs.
9. Speech-Language Pathologist
Speech-language pathologists, also known as speech therapists, work with patients who have trouble speaking or swallowing. They assess these patients’ problems, diagnose their causes, and develop programs to treat them.
- Work Environment: Nearly 40% of all speech-language pathologists work in schools. Most others work in health care settings such as doctor’s offices, hospitals, and nursing homes. A few speech-language pathologists are self-employed.
- Educational Requirements: Most speech-language pathologists have at least a master’s degree in their field. Degree programs in speech-language pathology don’t usually require you to have a specific type of undergraduate degree. But they often require you to complete specific courses before signing up.
- Earnings: The median pay for speech-language pathologists in 2021 was $79,060, according to the OOH.
- Job Growth: There were 159,800 speech-language pathologists in the U.S. in 2021. The OOH predicts this field will grow 21% by 2031, adding 34,000 new jobs.
Click here to search for speech language pathologist jobs.
10. Physician Assistant
The job of a physician assistant (PA) is similar to that of an NP. PAs work under a doctor’s supervision to provide care to patients.
PAs can do many of the same tasks as doctors. They can examine patients, order and interpret tests, diagnose illnesses, prescribe medicine, deliver and treatments like immunizations or setting broken bones. In some areas, especially rural ones, a PA can be a patient’s primary health care provider.
- Work Environment: PAs can work in various health care settings, including doctor’s offices, hospitals, and clinics. Most PAs work full time.
- Educational Requirements: To become a PA, you must earn a master’s degree from an accredited program. That typically takes at least two years after college. Many people become PAs after working as RNs, paramedics, or EMTs.
- Earnings: According to the OOH, PAs earned a median salary of $121,530 in 2021.
- Job Growth: The OOH says there were 139,100 PAs in the U.S. as of 2021, and this field will add 38,400 more jobs by 2031. That’s an increase of 28%, making this one of the fastest-growing occupations in the country.
Click here to search for physician assistant jobs.
11. Industrial Engineer
An engineer is anyone who designs, builds, or maintains any kind of system. An industrial engineer specifically designs, builds, and maintains the systems that industries rely on to make goods and provide services. These complex systems include workers, machines, materials, energy, and information.
An industrial engineer’s job to make all these parts work together as efficiently as possible. They can apply their skills to anything from moving heavy parts around in a factory to ensuring that workers get paid on time.
- Work Environment: Industrial engineers work in a variety of settings. They often have to travel to observe how a business works in person. For instance, they might spend one day in a factory watching workers assemble parts. The next day, they might be at a desk in an office using a computer to figure out how to improve those workers’ efficiency.
- Educational Requirements: Most industrial engineers have bachelors’ degrees in industrial engineering. Some have degrees in related fields, such as mechanical, electrical, or general engineering. Industrial engineers who do research and development or teach at colleges and universities generally need a master’s degree. Some colleges and universities offer five-year industrial engineering programs that provide both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree upon graduation.
- Earnings: According to the OOH, the median income for industrial engineers in the U.S. in 2021 was $95,3050.
- Job Growth: In 2021, there were 301,000 industrial engineers in the U.S. By 2031, the OOH predicts, there will be 30,600 more, an increase of about 10%.
Click here to search for industrial engineer jobs.
12. Producer or Director
Every time you watch a movie, a TV show, a play or even a commercial, you’re seeing the work of producers and directors. These professionals work together to create all sorts of productions for the stage and screen.
Producers and directors select scripts, hire actors, make design decisions, and run the whole process. In general, a director handles the creative side of a production and a producer handles the business side. But there’s a lot of overlap between the two.
- Work Environment: Producers and directors can work in theaters or on film sets. Theater directors may need to travel across the country with a touring production. Those in film and TV may also travel to shoot scenes on location. The work involves long and irregular hours and tight schedules.
- Educational Requirements: Most producers and directors have a bachelor’s degree in film or a related field. They also usually have experience in some other aspect of stage or screen production. For example, they might come to the job after working as actors, film and video editors, or cinematographers.
- Earnings: The median salary for producers and directors in 2021 was $79,000.
- Job Growth: According to the OOH, there were 166,200 producers and directors in the U.S. in 2021. By 2031, the field will add 12,800 jobs, an increase of 8%.
Search for producer or director jobs on ZipRecruiter.
13. Operations Research Analyst
An operations research analyst’s job is to help businesses find the best, most cost-effective solutions to complex problems. They use mathematical and analytical methods to figure out how to allocate resources, manage supply chains, develop production schedules, and set prices.
For instance, these professionals could help a supermarket manager figure out how to organize products on the shelves. Or they could help an automaker decide how many cars of each model to produce in each of its factories.
- Work Environment: Operations research analysts spend most of their time in offices. However, they sometimes travel to meet with clients or observe business processes. Nearly all operations research analysts work full time, and most work in teams.
- Educational Requirements: Most entry-level jobs in this field require a bachelor’s degree. Common college majors for these professionals include business, operations research, mathematics, engineering, and computer science. Some employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree in one of these fields.
- Earnings: According to the OOH, operations research analysts’ median income was $82,360 in 2021.
- Job Growth: As of 2021, there were 104,200 operations research analysts in the U.S. The OOH expects that number to increase by 23%, or 24,200 jobs, by 2031.
Click here to search for operations research analyst jobs.
14. Web Developer
Every time you visit a business’s or other organization’s website, you’re seeing a Web developer’s work. These professionals are responsible for how a website looks and how well it works.
For instance, their work determines how fast a site loads and how much traffic it can handle. They create code for the site, add elements such as graphics and audio, test the site, and monitor its traffic.
There are several kinds of Web developers. Front-end developers are responsible for the appearance of the site and how users interact with it. They may work with a separate Web designer on this task.
Back-end developers are responsible for the site’s framework. This is the part that makes it run smoothly and allows for changes when necessary. Webmasters are in charge of maintaining websites, keeping them up to date and dealing with users’ problems.
- Work Environment: Naturally, this job mainly involves working in front of a computer. However, Web developers must also spend some time in team meetings discussing what content the client wants on a site and how it should look. About 18% of all Web developers are self-employed. The rest work for companies in fields like computer systems design, publishing, consulting, and advertising.
- Educational Requirements: The education required for a job in Web development varies. Some employers hire Web developers with only a high school diploma. Others require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a field like computer science. A degree is especially useful for back-end development. All Web developers, regardless of education, need skills in HTML programming and publishing tools such as Flash. There are several online boot camps for aspiring web developers, including one from Codecademy.
- Earnings: According to the OOH, the median salary for Web developers in 2021 was $78,300.
- Job Growth: The OOH says there were 179,100 Web developers in the U.S. in 2021. Over the next decade, the field should grow by 23%, adding 45,400 new jobs.
Click here to search for web developer jobs.
15. Occupational Therapist
An occupational therapist assists patients with injuries, illnesses, or disabilities that make it hard for them to perform everyday tasks. They help patients develop or improve the skills they need for daily living and find workarounds to make tasks easier.
- Work Environment: According to the OOH, over half of all occupational therapists work in hospitals or occupational therapy offices. The rest work in nursing homes, schools, and patients’ homes. People in this field spend a lot of time on their feet assisting patients.
- Educational Requirements: Most people with this job have a master’s degree in occupational therapy. This program typically takes two or three years to complete after college. Some schools have special programs that enable students to earn both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in occupational therapy over five years.
- Earnings: The OOH says the median salary for occupational therapists in 2021 was $85,570 per year.
- Job Growth: As of 2021, there were 133,900 occupational therapists in the U.S., according to the OOH. This number should rise 14% by 2031, an increase of 18,600 jobs.
Click here to search for occupational therapist jobs.
16. Medical Scientist
Every time you receive medical care, it’s not just your doctor who’s helping you. You’re also benefiting from the work of medical scientists. They do the basic research to figure out how to prevent and treat diseases.
Medical scientists explore the causes of disease through lab work and field studies. They help develop and test drugs and medical devices. And they’re involved in creating and running programs to improve public health.
- Work Environment: Medical scientists work for the research departments of hospitals, universities, drug companies, and other scientific organizations. They can work in either offices or laboratories. Most of them work full time.
- Educational Requirements: This isn’t a job you can get fresh out of college. Most medical scientists have a Ph.D. in biology or another life science. Some hold M.D. degrees instead.
- Earnings: The median income for medical scientists in 2021 was $95,310.
- Job Growth: In 2021, there were 119,200 medical scientists in the United States. By 2031, this number will rise by 17%, according to the OOH. That means 20,800 new jobs in the field.
Search for medical scientist jobs on ZipRecruiter.
17. Data Scientist
Data science is a broad field. It involves collecting raw data and then turning it into useful information that others can view and understand. Data scientists work with all kinds of information, from sales figures to political polls to what people watch on Netflix.
To collect and process data, they use a variety of mathematical and computer-based tools. They work with mathematical models, algorithms, programming languages, visualization software, statistical software, and machine learning.
- Work Environment: Data scientists work with all sorts of companies. Nearly any large company needs to gather and process information to help it make decisions. Data scientists do most of their work on a computer and must have strong math and computing skills.
- Educational Requirements: You typically need a bachelor’s degree to get started in data science. Typical majors include math, statistics, computer science, or engineering. The majority of data scientists have additional schooling beyond college. According to KDnuggets, 88% of them have at least a master’s degree and 46% have doctorates.
- Earnings: As of 2021, the median annual wage for data scientists in the U.S. was $100,910.
- Job Growth: There were about 113,300 data scientists in the U.S. in 2021. The OOH predicts that number will grow by 40,500, or 36%, by 2031.
Search for data scientist jobs on ZipRecruiter.
Statistics is a branch of mathematics that centers on analyzing numerical data. The work is similar to data science, but it focuses more on math and less on computers and machine learning.
Statisticians work in all kinds of fields, including economics, business, biology, medicine, agriculture, government, and education. For instance, a statistician can help a company analyze its sales data to learn who buys its products and where it has the best chance to boost sales.
- Work Environment: Many statisticians and other mathematicians work for the government or private research companies. They often work in teams with other professionals, such as scientists and engineers.
- Educational Requirements: According to the OOH, jobs in this field typically require at least a master’s degree in mathematics or statistics. However, there are some jobs you can get with only a bachelor’s degree.
- Earnings: The median annual wage for statisticians in 2021 was $96,280.
- Job Growth: According to the OOH, there were 36,100 statisticians in the U.S. in 2021. It predicts that this field will grow by 31%, adding 11,200 new jobs by 2031.
Click here to search for statistician jobs.
19. Airline Pilot
Airline pilots fly planes, helicopters, and all sorts of commercial aircraft. However, their job isn’t just what they do while a plane is in the air. They must also check it before each flight to make sure it has enough fuel, is in working order, is under its weight limit, and is well balanced.
They keep track of the weather to make sure it’s safe to fly. They prepare and submit flight plans to air traffic control. And once they get in the cockpit, they must monitor all the plane’s systems, communicate with air traffic control, and deal with any emergencies that come up.
- Work Environment: Most pilots work for commercial airlines. However, they also do a variety of other jobs, such as helicopter ambulance services, crop dusting, and training other pilots. Their hours can be irregular, often involving layovers (staying a night in a city) between flights. Hazards include jet lag, noise, weather hazards, and mental stress.
- Educational Requirements: To become a commercial airline pilot, you must complete flight training and get a commercial pilot’s license from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Many airlines prefer to hire pilots with a bachelor’s degree.
- Earnings: This job comes with a high income to compensate for all the work and stress it involves. The median pay for airline pilots in 2021 was $134,600 per year.
- Job Growth: In 2021, there were 135,300 airline pilots in the U.S. The OOH predicts this field will grow 6% by 2031, adding 7,700 new jobs.
Search for airline pilot jobs on ZipRecruiter.
If you’ve ever owned a dog or other pet, you’ve certainly dealt with veterinarians. These professionals provide medical care for animals of all kinds, including pets, livestock, and zoo animals.
Aside from treating individual animals, they play a role in public health by developing and enforcing standards for living conditions for livestock. That helps prevent disease outbreaks and protects the safety of the food supply.
- Work Environment: Most vets work in private clinics or animal hospitals. However, some travel to farms to treat livestock. Others work in zoos, classrooms, and laboratories.
- Educational Requirements: To become a vet, you must earn a doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM or VMD) degree from an accredited veterinary college. DVM programs usually take four years. There’s three years of classroom and lab work on subjects such as animal anatomy, physiology, and diseases. The final year involves hands-on clinical work at a veterinary hospital or medical center.
- Earnings: The OOH lists the median pay for veterinarians in 2021 as $100,370 per year.
- Job Growth: The OOH reports that there were 86,300 veterinarians in the U.S. in 2021. By 2031, there should be 16,800 more jobs for vets available, representing a growth rate of 19%.
Click here to search for veterinarian jobs.
All these careers offer good wages and good prospects for growth. But that doesn’t make them the only jobs worth pursuing. The right job for you has to do more than pay the bills. It should also be a job you find satisfying and worthwhile.
So if all these jobs look boring to you, keep looking. It’s true that following your passion may not be the smartest career move. But it makes even less sense to spend two or more years training for a job that will bore you for the next 40 years.
To find your ideal career, start by thinking about your interests and skills. Next, identify fields that fit well with them. And finally, use tools like the OOH to learn which jobs in that field offer the most opportunities and the best pay.
By doing this, you can find a career you love that also pays your bills — the best of all possible outcomes