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The 36 best jobs in America

A job is always good, but a good job is the best.



A job is always good, but a good job is the best. Some careers are looking up -- many of these jobs have promising growth over the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Job and recruiting site Glassdoor ranked these jobs by an overall job score, which combines the number of job openings, earning potential (median annual base salary), and overall job satisfaction rating. Glassdoor only ranked job titles with at least 100 salary reports and at least 100 job satisfaction ratings shared by U.S.-based employees over the past year (2017) on the site. The results represent job titles that rate highly among all three categories. Based on those rankings, click through to see the 36 of the best jobs in America.


1. Data Scientist


Data Scientist Median base salary: $110,000

There are over 4,500 job openings on Glassdoor in this category. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies these workers as statisticians, computer programmers or other occupations, depending on their tasks. Whatever their title, these workers study big data using both conventional and newly developed statistical methods. Data scientists can work in a variety of fields including business, e-commerce, finance, healthcare, science and government. 


2. DevOps Engineer


DevOps Engineer Median base salary: $105,000

Development operations is kind of a culture or philosophy that aims at unifying software development and software operation. These engineers are often developers who get interested in deployment and network operations, or system administrators who have a passion for scripting and coding, and move into the development side, according to puppet.com, where you can read all about DevOps.


3. Marketing Manager


Marketing Manager Median base salary: $85,000

Marketing managers plan programs to generate interest in products or services, according to the BLS. The BLS lists median pay significantly higher than Glassdoor, at $127,560 in 2016. 


4. Occupational Therapist


Occupational Therapist Median base salary: $74,000

Occupational therapists treat injured, ill, or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities, according to the BLS. They help these patients develop, recover, improve, as well as maintain the skills needed for daily living and working. The job outlook through 2026 is 21%, much faster than average. 


5. HR Manager


HR Manager Median base salary: $85,000

Human resources managers plan, direct, and coordinate the administrative functions of an organization. They oversee the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of new staff; consult with top executives on strategic planning; and serve as a link between an organization's management and its employees, according to the BLS, which lists salary at $106,910 a year. 


6. Electrical Engineer


Electrical Engineer Median base salary: $76,000

These engineers work in industries including research and development, engineering services, manufacturing, telecommunications, and government. The BLS also lists a higher salary than Glassdoor: $96,270 a year. 


7. Strategy Manager


Strategy Manager Median base salary: $135,000

According to Salary.com, strategy managers plan and direct an organization's strategic and long-range goals, looking for strengths and weaknesses and evaluating operational effectiveness. 


8. Mobile Developer


Mobile Developer Median base salary: $90,000

Mobile developers are software developers that design and create apps for mobile technology. 


9. Product Manager


Product Manager Median base salary: $113,000

Product managers drive the development of a company's products, strategizing, planning, and defining the product line. 


10. Manufacturing Engineer


Manufacturing Engineer Median base salary: $72,000

Manufacturing engineers focus on the design and operation of integrated systems for the production of high-quality, economically competitive products. These systems may include computer networks, robots, machine tools, and materials-handling equipment, according to Oregon State University. A manufacturing engineer might be hired to automate a chemical manufacturing facility through computer integrated technology, or design circuit board manufacturing processes to reduce costs and improve product quality, for example. 


11. Compliance Manager


Compliance Manager Median base salary: $96,000

These managers make sure an organization conforms with laws and regulations that govern contract compliance of licenses and permits. They also ensure company policy is being followed.


12. Finance Manager


Finance Manager Median base salary: $116,000

Finance managers are responsible for the financial health of an organization. They produce financial reports, direct investment activities, and develop strategies and plans for the long-term financial goals of their organization. 


13. Risk Manager


Risk Manager Median base salary: $97,000

Risk managers work to avoid or minimize the impact of unfortunate events, whether financial, legal or otherwise, such as natural disasters.


14. Business Development Manager


Business Development Manager Median base salary: $75,000

Job site Monster.com says a business development manager builds market position by locating, developing, defining, negotiating, and closing business relationships. 


15. Front-end Engineer


Front-end Engineer Median base salary: $100,000

Front-end engineering design refers to the engineering and design work completed as part of pre-project planning, done before a more detailed design, for the purpose of discovering what resources will be needed. 


16. Site Reliability Engineer


Site Reliability Engineer Median base salary: $120,000

What is site reliability engineering? Google's V.P. of Engineering, Ben Treynor, says "It's what happens when you ask a software engineer to design an operations function." Learn more in this discussion of SRE. 


17. Mechanical Engineer


Mechanical Engineer Median base salary: $75,000

Mechanical engineers design, develop, build and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices, including tools, engines, and machines, according to the BLS. 


18. Analytics Manager


Analytics Manager Median base salary: $115,000

Analytics managers coordinate analytics tasks for their organization, including creating effective strategies to collect data, analyze information, conduct research, and implement analytics solutions for their products or services, according to Payscale. 


19. Tax Manager


Tax Manager Median base salary: $110,000

Tax managers oversee tax reporting, planning and research, and ensure compliance with local, state and federal tax laws. 


20. Creative Manager


Creative Manager Median base salary: $110,000

According to the BLS, creative services managers are in charge of managing creative output — from concept to production — for their company. 


21. Software Engineer


Software Engineer Median base salary: $102,000

Software engineering is similar to software development. Software engineering means applying engineering principles to software creation. According to Software Engineer Insider, software engineers sometimes produce packaged software, but they more frequently create customized systems for individual clients.


22. Hardware Engineer


Hardware Engineer Median base salary: $115,000

Computer hardware engineers research, design, develop, and test computer systems and components such as processors, circuit boards, memory devices, networks, and routers.


23. Corporate Recruiter


Corporate Recruiter Median base salary: $65,000

Unlike headhunters, who work on a contract basis, corporate recruiters or HR recruiters usually work for one company, according to recruiter.com. 


24. QA Manager


Quality-assurance Manager Median base salary: $92,000

Quality control inspectors examine products and materials for defects or deviations from specifications, the BLS says. Monster says a QA manager assures consistent quality of production by developing and enforcing good automated manufacturing practice systems, and validating processes. 


25. Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Median base salary: $104,000

Physician assistants, also known as PAs, practice medicine on teams with physicians, surgeons, and other healthcare workers, according to the BLS. They examine, diagnose, and treat patients. Physician assistants typically need a master's degree, and must be licensed. 


26. Database Administrator


Database Administrator Median base salary: $94,000

Database administrators use specialized software to store and organize data, such as financial information and customer shipping records. They make sure that data are available to users and secure from unauthorized access. 


27. UX Designer


UX Designer Median base salary: $90,000

Adobe Systems explains: This type of design is less about the look of a digital product and all about the user experience (UX) — that is, the feel of it. A UX designer focuses on the experience that a user has while interacting with a product.


28. Nursing Manager


Nursing Manager Median base salary: $84,660

Nurse managers help patients by managing the nurses who care for them, says DiscoverNursing.com. While these nurses are mainly responsible for recruitment, retention and overseeing nursing staff, they also may collaborate with doctors on patient care, and help assist patients and their families when needed. 


29. Engagement Manager


Engagement Manager Median base salary: $115,000

An engagement manager may assist clients with using the organization's services throughout projects, help solve client problems and oversee contracts with clients, according to one job description. 


30. Solutions Architect


Solutions Architect Median base salary: $125,000

A solutions architect handles suites of large applications or software at a business to make sure they are working together properly, says Monster.com. This person comes up with the overall vision an application or software title will fulfill, and then work with other information technology team members to execute a plan that turns that idea into a reality. 


31. Process Engineer


Process Engineer Median base salary: $78,000

These folks design and improve industrial processes in order to maintain efficiency, reduce cost, improve sustainability and maximize profitability. 


32. Reliability Engineer


Reliability Engineer Median base salary: $92,000

Life Cycle Engineering explains this job as someone who identifies and manages asset reliability risks that could adversely affect plant or business operations. 


33. Data Engineer


Data Engineer Median base salary: $100,000

Data engineers enable data-driven decision making by collecting, transforming, and visualizing data, according to Google, which offers a certification. 


34. Operations Manager


Operations Manager Median base salary: $65,000

The operations manager is responsible for planning, directing, or coordinating the operations of public or private sector organizations, according to the BLS. 


35. Speech Language Pathologist


Speech Language Pathologist Median base salary: $72,000

Speech-language pathologists work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. 


36. Communications Manager


Communications Manager Median base salary: $80,000

These managers are responsible for conveying an organization's internal and external messages. They draft written materials, prepare presentations and communicate with employees. See the full list of the jobs ranked by Glassdoor.

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Career Magazine: The 36 best jobs in America
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