- If it’s excitement you want in a job, then the list of the Top 10 Best Jobs in the U.S. may not be the best place to starting looking. But if stability and consistency are what you desire, then the list should meet your job-hunting needs.
This particular list was created from various data sources by CareerCast.com, which annually releases a Jobs Report. Its formula takes into account factors such as wages, degree of difficulty, jobs available in the field, upward mobility potential, and so on.
Without further throat-clearing, here are the Top 10 Best Jobs:
Median annual salary: $101,360
Projected job growth by 2022: 23%
Careers in mathematics are diverse and rewarding. Mathematicians rank among the more well-compensated in the 2014 Jobs Rated report. The field also has a positive outlook for continued future growth.
2. Tenured university professor
Median annual salary: $68,970
Projected job growth by 2022: 19%*
Achieving tenure is a difficult milestone for those in higher education, but doing so is a rewarding goal. Many of the careers atop the 2014 Jobs Rated report 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.
Median annual salary: $75,560
Projected job growth by 2022: 27%
Statistical analysis is of growing importance to a wide spectrum of industries, thus professional statisticians are in high demand.
Median annual salary: $93,680
Projected job growth by 2022: 26%
Those skilled in mathematics and statistical analysis can find rewarding opportunities as an actuary. The career is challenging, and becoming an actuary requires passing a series of exams. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a very favorable hiring market for actuaries in the years to come, thanks in part to more Americans having healthcare coverage.
Median annual salary: $69,720
Projected job growth by 2022: 34%
An audiologist helps patients address hearing and balance problems. With an aging population, audiologists are expected to be in high demand over the coming years. The BLS also reports that as hearing aid technology improves, devices become more attractive to patients, which translates into greater opportunities for audiologists.
Photo: Dr. Stanton Jones, right, an audiologist with Saint Louis University, gives a thumbs up to 3-year-old Brooklyn Gratzer and her mother, Shelley Gratzer, as Brooklyn's cochlear implant is activated Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008, at Saint Louis University Hospital in St. Louis. Brooklyn and her father, Jared Gratzer, who were both born with profound hearing loss, had the surgically implanted devices activated together. (AP Photo/Whitney Curtis)
6. Dental hygienist
Median annual salary: $70,210
Projected job growth by 2022: 33%
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
Median annual salary: $93,350
Projected job growth by 2022: 22%
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
Median annual salary: $79,680
Projected job growth by 2022: 25%
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.
Photo: A dental hygienist stands in Charity Hospital's makeshift emergency room which is located in an abandoned department store May 15, 2006 in New Orleans, La. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
9. Occupational therapist
Median annual salary: $75,400
Projected job growth by 2022: 29%
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
Median annual salary: $69,870
Projected job growth by 2022: 19%
Speech pathologist ranks in the top 10 of the 2014 Jobs Rated report for its favorable marks across all categories. Speech pathologists can work in educational or medical settings to help patients work through communicative disorders.
While it would appear that teaching in some capacity would be the way to direct your college-bound children, CareerCast notes that the healthcare field captured three of the Top 10 Best Jobs.
“The BLS estimates the unemployment rate in healthcare was 4.1 percent at the end of 2013, 2.6 percent lower than the general workforce rate. In the coming decade, the BLS projects five million new healthcare jobs added to the economy. Dental hygienist and audiologist are two fields with particularly strong outlooks, and both rank in the Jobs Rated Top 10, as do occupational therapist and speech pathologist,” CareerCast noted.
Photo: Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital occupational therapist Tricia Watson removes camper Clarence Council's transport wheelchair from the pool as she prepares to swim with him during activities at a unique, first-of-its-kind week-long day camp called CAMP Schwab August 20, 2003 in Chicago. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)
And now, the Worst 10:
Median annual salary: $24,340
Projected job growth by 2022: 4%
Technological advancement have contributed to dwindling job opportunities in this field. Coupled with the inherent danger of working with heavy machinery in remote locations and typically low pay, lumberjack is ranked No. 200 in the 2014 Jobs Rated report.
2. Newspaper reporter
Median annual salary: $37,090
Projected job growth by 2022: -13%
A job that has lost its luster dramatically over the past five years is expected to plummet even further by 2022 as more and more print publications abandon operations.
3. Enlisted military personnel
Median annual salary: $28,840
Projected job growth by 2022: N/A
Enlisted military personnel is the most stressful job of 2014, as the men and women who volunteer in the Armed Forces are routinely placed in dangerous situations.
Photo: A lumberjack pushes a section of the trunk of a pine tree, being cut due to an infestation of the the bark beetle, away from a home in Lake Arrowhead, Calif., Tuesday, May 6, 2003. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
4. Taxi driver
Median annual salary: $22,820
Projected job growth by 2022: 16%
Stressful and sometimes dangerous working conditions, as well as low average pay, combine to place taxi driver in the bottom 10 of the 2014 Jobs Rated report.
Median annual salary: $55,380
Projected job growth by 2022: -13%
The industry faces an unfavorable long-term job outlook, resulting in fewer opportunities for aspiring broadcasters. As a result, competition is high, and so is stress.
Photo: A taxi driver pauses in his vehicle on September 4, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
6. Head cook
Median annual salary: $42,480
Projected job growth by 2022: 5%
A new addition to the Jobs Rated report in 2014, head cook appears in the bottom 10 because of its high-stress environment. Though lucrative opportunities exist, income is not always commensurate with the inherent challenges.
7. Flight attendant
Median annual salary: $37,240
Projected job growth by 2022: -7%
High stress, low pay and a shrinking job market all contribute to flight attendant’s inclusion among the worst jobs of 2014. The BLS projects virtually no change in job prospects, as airlines continue to consolidate and reduce staff.
8. Garbage collector
Median annual salary: $22,970
Projected job growth by 2022: 10%
Department of Labor statistics paint the picture of a volatile job market for garbage collectors. Unemployment fluctuated vastly between 2013 and 2014. Income levels and work environment also make for a challenging career, and one that ranks in the bottom 10 of the 2014 Jobs Rated report.
Median annual salary: $45,250
Projected job growth by 2022: 7%
Firefighters face high-stress, dangerous situations as part of their daily work days.
10. Corrections officer
Median annual salary: $38,970
Projected job growth by 2022: 5%
Few careers face danger comparable to that which corrections officers see on a routine basis. The job ranks near the bottom for work environment. Growth outlook is low, as is average salary.
So, if you happen to labor (as does this reporter) in one of the occupations from lumberjack through flight attendant, you can entertain folks briefly at your next meet-up by telling them that even garbage collectors have a better job than you do.
Photo: Flight attendants at LOT Polish Airlines and visitors inside of the aircraft during celebrating the First LOT Boening 787 Dreamliner Delivery at Chopin Airport.