Looking for a job that offers serious salary or room for growth? SmartAsset recently put together a list of careers that have the best pay and growth opportunities. The list looks at job growth rate, salary growth rate and average salary, and combines them to rank the positions. Here's what they came up with.
1. Family and general practitioners
These doctors have an average annual salary of $176,530 and a one-year job growth rate of 9.8 percent. Their one-year salary growth rates was 2.6 percent. Family and GPs serve as all-purpose doctors who take care of families and refer them to specialists if necessary.
The study found that psychiatrists have an average salary of $178,950, a one-year job growth rate of 3.4 percent, and a one-year salary growth rate of 3.2 percent. Psychiatrists specialize in the diagnosis of mental disorders.
Dentists help patients with their oral health, diagnose diseases of the mouth and may make referrals to orthodontists or oral surgeons. The study found that dentists make an average annual salary of $163,450, have a one-year job growth rate of 1.0 percent, and one-year salary growth of 5.5 percent.
4. Reinforcing iron and rebar workers
To become a union ironworker, there's a paid apprenticeship program, says Darrell Godbout, business agent for Ironworkers Local 512. Apprentices are taught how to lay rebar out and tie it together. He says people who can do this kind of work may find jobs locally or travel nationally or internationally building buildings and bridges.
The study found that the average salary is $51,010, with a one-year job growth rate of 12.7 percent and one-year salary growth rate of 11.1 percent.
5. Personal financial advisers
Personal financial advisors help their clients manage money, make recommendations on investments depending on clients' needs and retirement plans, and help clients find ways to save for things that are important to them, such as education costs for their children. The study found the annual salary for personal financial advisors is $75,320, the one-year job growth rate is 4.6 percent and salary growth rate is 11.6 percent.
Doctors who specialize in treating children have an average annual salary of $157,610. The study found that the position had a one-year job growth rate of 1.1 percent and an annual salary growth rate of 1.9 percent.
7. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers
Being able to understand and apply complex technical skills in high-pressure situations is a key part of being a pilot, says Dennis Tajer, spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association. He has been a commercial passenger pilot for 22 years, and before that was in the Air Force for six years.
Absorbing information rapidly and making quick decisions that sometimes have irreversible consequences are important skills for pilots, he says. "You have to be very disciplined and have a high regard for procedures — that's the foundation for successful outcomes," he says. "And in that process, you have to be able to adapt to a variety of changes in the workspace, sometimes just below the speed of sound."
Flight engineers serve as air mechanics on some cargo flights, but mostly outside of the United States. The study found that the average annual salary is $101,350 with a one-year job growth rate of 9.0 percent and salary growth rate of 3.0 percent.
8. Genetic counselors
People in this position have an average annual salary of $63,590 and while the one-year job growth rate is -1.0 percent, the salary growth rate is 12 percent, the study found.
"Most genetic counselors work in clinical settings, says Jennifer Hoskovec, president of the National Society of Genetic Counselors. They help patients and clients understand and adapt to the medical, psychological and familial implications of their genetics. "It involves translating medical information regarding the genetics of disorders into clinically useful information for a family," she says.
Genetic counselors may also work in labs or for insurance companies, Hoskovec says. Genetic counselors must get a master's degree through an accredited program and then sit a board exam.
9. Law professors
Law professors have an average annual salary of $105,080, a one-year job growth rate of 2.2 percent and salary growth rate of 5.1 percent. They teach law at secondary and post-secondary institutions.
Astronomers study different aspects of space, such as certain planets, interstellar physics, the chemical makeup of stars, or any of a wide variety of scientific exploration. "The good thing about astronomy is that the students are probably into physics, and so if jobs aren't available in the astronomy world, there are certainly places to go that need physicists or chemists," says Kathie Coil, public affairs senior program coordinator at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory. "It's a very competitive genre."
The average salary for astronomers is $110,450. The one-year job growth rate is at -18 percent, but the salary growth rate is 14.5 percent.
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