Healthcare Again Tops the 100 Best Jobs List

The annual 100 Best Jobs list is out from U.S. News and to no one’s surprise healthcare dominates the best of the Best list.

Six of the top 10 – 7 if you include veterinarian – are healthcare jobs. Data scientist and software developer are also in the top 10, ranking 8 and 2 respectively. Completing the top of the list at 6th is statistician.

The U.S. News best jobs list has been an annual feature for years. The magazine collects those jobs with the largest number and percentage of openings over 10 years as determined by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Then it factors in salary, the unemployment rate for people in those jobs, stress level, job growth rate and other data to narrow the list to the top 100.

From year-to-year the specific roles shift around, though not by much. One striking difference from previous years is the absence of registered nurse from the top 10 and top adjacent. Though the position has periodically been edged out of the top 10 by the growing number of openings for physician assistants (#3 in 2020) and nurse practitioners (#5 in 2020), this year RNs ranked 37th. Last year they were 13.

Why the dramatic drop isn’t explained by the magazine. However, one reason might be the “above average” stress rating of the profession. “Nursing can be a physically, emotionally and mentally demanding job,” says U.S.News, and that’s especially so since the start of the COVID pandemic.

Overall, healthcare jobs not only dominate the top of the list but are the most heavily represented among all 100 jobs. This year, as was true last year, medical jobs of all types account for four of every 10 positions on the list.

U.S. News breaks the healthcare sector into two groups:

  1. Healthcare: These 25 are the hands-on, patient-facing positions that in most cases require both an advanced degree and a license to practice. The category includes surgeons, dentists and nurses.
  2. Healthcare support: In this category are such jobs as dental hygienist, phlebotomist, massage therapist and home health aide. Several of the 17 positions here require extensive training though not necessarily in a degree granting program.

Technology is represented on the 100 list with 9 jobs, the most after healthcare. Besides software developer and data scientist, the other tech jobs are: IT Manager (#12), Information Security Analyst (#15), Computer Systems Analyst (#47), Network Architect (#51), Database Administrator (#55), Web Developer (#59) and Systems Administrator (#86).

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

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