The best career to have this year is nurse practitioner, according to U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of top jobs. The media company credited an increase in demand for health care roles for pushing nurse practitioners into the top spot for 2024.
Last year, the top job was a software developer, but health care jobs have consistently dominated the list.
"Health care workers are critical to our overall well-being," said Erika Giovanetti, money expert at U.S. News & World Report. "The 10-year outlook for the occupation is strong with one in three of the top 100 jobs being in health care — an increase from one in four in the 2023 rankings."
On average, a nurse practitioner makes an annual salary of $121,610. The role involves a lot of the same tasks as a physician but only requires a master’s degree instead of a doctor of medicine degree. These health care professionals take patient histories, perform physical exams, order labs, analyze lab results, prescribe medicines, authorize treatment plans and educate patients and their families on continued care.
Also known as advanced practice registered nurses, nurse practitioners specialize in treating specific patient populations, training to work in areas like women's health or pediatrics, U.S. News & World Report said.
Rounding the top five jobs for 2024 are financial manager, software developer, IT manager and physician assistant in the fifth spot.
In sixth place is medical and health services manager, followed by information security analyst, data scientist, actuary and speech-language pathologist to complete the top 10 careers, based on U.S News & World Reports rankings.
The rankings look at the best jobs across 17 categories and calculate based on growth potential, work-life balance, job safety, employment rate and salary, the media company said. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is used to identify jobs with the greatest hiring demand.
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