And the Best Job in America Right Now Is…

Patrice Tosi
M. Spencer Green / AP Image: Job Fair

It pays to have an advanced degree

If you spend your days creating high-tech applications or networks, congratulations: You have the best job in the country, according to a new ranking from U.S. News & World Report. Software developer jumped up six places from last year’s list to land the top spot on the magazine’s Best Jobs of 2014.

It’s the first time a tech job has held the top spot, which is usually dominated by healthcare positions. U.S. News says software developer rose to the top due to a combination of “a perfect storm of excellent job prospects, faster than average job growth, a good salary and a low unemployment rate.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average software developer earns a little over than $93,000—at just under 45 bucks an hour, they make almost double the annual income of the average American worker.

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Another tech job, computer systems analyst, was number two on the list, highlighting both the growing demand for and importance of tech skills in today’s labor market. Rounding out the top five were a trio of health-related jobs: dentist, nurse practitioner—a new entrant to the list—and pharmacist, respectively.

Thanks to fast growth, high demand and (generally) good pay, the healthcare industry comprises nearly 40% of the 100 jobs on the list, and makes up seven of the top 10 jobs, including registered nurse and dental hygienist.

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U.S. News’ top business job is market research analyst, its top social services job is school psychologist and its top creative job is public relations specialist — findings identical to last year’s. The publication conducted its ranking by looking at a whole host of factors, including hiring demand, job and growth prospects, salary, employment rate, stress level and the ability to achieve a work-life balance.

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