From teeth to feet, the hottest careers in the United States involve higher education — lots of it — and specialization to make the kind of dollars many consider important to balance work/life. If it’s a six-figure salary you think you need to make your life better, consider the fast-growing medical field.
According to the 25 hottest jobs as defined by U.S. News & World Report, six figure salaries dominate in the health field. As the youngest Boomers and the first of the Gen X generation reach their mid-fifties in 2018, healthcare continues to be of major importance. None of us think we will ever get old, but the reality is that we do. Even the Millennials will — just ask the Boomers who once declared anyone over 30 to be so very old.
Let’s start with the teeth. The number one job with the most openings is that of a dentist. With an average salary of almost $153,000, the demand for dentists is growing, showing a need of over 23,000 new dentists. Americans are obsessed with having good teeth and will pay for cosmetic procedures to keep their teeth pearly white and in excellent condition. Orthodontists (No. 5) can earn even more at just over $187,000.
The No. 2 job is that of nurse practitioner with an average salary of over $98,000. This job requires specialized credentials in addition to a nursing degree. With the predicted shortage of doctors, this field is expected to grow by 35 percent by 2024 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics — five times the national average for all occupations. Or, become a physician assistant at about the same salary range.
One of the few non-medical jobs is that of statistician, so if you have a knack for numbers, this might be the job for you. Median salary is a bit over $80,000. While a bachelor’s degree is nice, the jobs that rack up the salary number are those with a master’s or beyond degrees that are expensive to earn.
Dentist — $152,700
Nurse practitioner — $98,190
Physician assistant — $98,180
Statistician — $80,110
Orthodontist — $187,199
Nurse anesthetist — $157,140
Pediatrician — $170,300
Computer systems analyst — $85,800
Oral & maxillofacial surgeon — $187,199
Obstetrician and gynecologist — $187,199
Oral and maxillofacial surgeon — $187,199
Optometrist — $103,900
Occupational therapy assistant — $57,870
Software developer — $98,260
Surgeon — $187,199
Nurse midwife — $92,510
Physical therapist — $84,020
Anesthesiologist — $187,199
Physician — $187,199
Psychiatrist — $187,199
Mathematician — $111,110
Prosthodontist — $119,740
Registered nurse — $67,490
Occupational therapist — $80,150
Diagnostic medical sonographer — $68,970
Podiatrist — $119,340
Source: U.S. News & World Report – the 25 Best Jobs of 2017
The above are positions offering a combination of low unemployment, generous wages, robust growth, and solid work-life balance.