The 100 best jobs in America, ranked

Factors include pay, employee satisfaction, and job "meaningfulness"

Do you love your job? Several higher education positions made a recent list of best jobs in the nation.

CNNMoney and PayScale partnered to identify the "100 Best Jobs in America," ranking 2017's best employment opportunities based on a variety of carefully-analyzed factors.

Compare 2017's best jobs to 2016's

CNNMoney and PayScale started with more than 450 jobs, then narrowed down the list to those that met certain education, pay, and sector guidelines.

Researchers then ranked the list based on:

  • Growth prospects using job growth estimates for 2014-2024 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS);
  • The median pay for experienced workers using PayScale's database;
  • Job satisfaction according to a PayScale survey of 450,000 workers' quality of life; and
  • The size of each field using data from the BLS's "job family.".

They also considered a range of other factors, such as:

  • Employee satisfaction;
  • How stressful the job is;
  • How difficult the position is to get;
  • How meaningful the job is;
  • The job's overall availability;
  • Opportunity for advancement;
  • How fast the job's pay is growing;
  • How strong the job's pay is currently; and
  • If—and how often—employees are able to telecommute.

Which jobs made the list?

The top 10 jobs from the list of 100, their respective median salaries, and their estimated 10-year growth are:

  1. Software architect: $124,000; 23%;
  2. Video game designer: $79,900; 19%;
  3. Landman: $103,000; $13%;
  4. Patent agent: $126,000; 13%;
  5. Hospital administrator: $114,000; 23%;
  6. Continuous improvement manager: $96,600; 12%;
  7. Clinical nurse specialist: $89,300; 19%;
  8. Database developer: $88,200; 23%;
  9. Information assurance analyst: $96,400; 37%; and
  10. Pilates/Yoga Instructor: $62,400; 13%.

View the remaining 90 jobs here.

Where do higher ed jobs rank?

The list is heavily rooted in technology and medicine, but a number of positions commonly found on campus did make their way onto the top 100, including:

  • Database developer, No. 8;
  • User experience designer, No. 14;
  • Facilities director, No. 30;
  • Payroll director, No. 42;
  • Career services director, No. 51;
  • Alumni affairs director, No. 56;
  • Athletic director at a college/university, No. 64; and
  • Athletic coach, No. 86.

(CNNMoney [1], accessed 1/9; CNNMoney [2], accessed 1/9).    

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