If you have a particular interest, odds are there’s a job in America that aligns perfectly with it. Got a knack for public speaking? Become a broadcast journalist. Love spending hours on the open road? Why not drive a truck.
For this year’s Answers Issue, we compared 40 occupations ranging from firefighters to university professors to parse out which out of the group was the fastest growing, least stressful and had a decent median salary to boot. By analyzing Bureau of Labor Statistics data on the fastest growing jobs and data from CareerCast.com on work-related stress, we were able to determine which job is America’s “best.”
As it turns out, audiologists, medical professionals who treat hearing and balance problems, don’t have it so bad.
BLS projects the profession is expected to experience a 34% boost in jobs between 2012 and 2022. The median salary for audiologists is a stable $69,720. The projected growth is likely a reflection of the fact that as the nation ages — the over-65 population is expected to double by 2050 — the need for doctors who specialize in addressing that community’s ailments will only grow. And given millennials’ and youngsters’ tendency to blast music into their earbuds, which is partly to blame to the increasing levels of hearing loss among young Americans, the need for folks who can help us hear better will only grow.
This article was originally published in the July 13 issue of TIME.