The 10 Best Jobs
#1 Registered Nurse
Nearly 712,000 nurse positions will need to be filled by the year 2020, but this always-large field is a competitive one. To distinguish yourself from other nurses seeking employment, veer away from hospital care and look to rehabilitation centers, community clinics, and schools.
Pharmacy students must undergo extensive training before entering the profession. But its No. 3 placement proves that the hard work is worth it to most: This profession has excellent job prospects and one of the highest median salaries of The Best Jobs of 2012.
#4 Medical Assistant
Our No. 4 pick, medical assistant, requires very little formal training and has one of the lower average salaries on our list. But it’s also one of the fastest growing, and you could use the skills you learn in the field to advance in the profession.
#5 Database Administrator
Prospective DBAs should earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science or management information systems, followed by a master’s in business administration. The Labor Department projects 30.6 percent employment growth in the position from 2010 to 2020.
#6 Web Developer
A Web developer will need at least a bachelor’s degree to land a job. These professionals use their knowledge of applications and HTML code to create visually appealing, intuitive, and organized Web content.
#7 Computer Systems Analyst
Like a technically oriented project manager, computer systems analysts often serve as a liaison between the needs of the client and the financial and technological capabilities of a company.
#8 Physical Therapist
This profession’s comfortable salary and good job prospects help earn it a spot on our list. But it also ranks well thanks to a nearly 40-percent increase in therapist positions projected by the year 2020.
#9 Computer Programmer
A newly minted computer programmer might just have an associate’s degree and not a bachelor’s degree, which is the minimum requirement for other technology careers on our list. The job ranks among our top 10 for its strong job satisfaction numbers, competitive average salary, and excellent job prospects.
#10 Occupational Therapist
These highly trained professionals treat patients with mental, physical, developmental, and emotional disabilities to help them learn to function independently. The Labor Department predicts this profession will grow by 33.5 percent between 2010 and 2020.