2012′s Best Jobs for Master’s Degree Grads

This is the fourth post in a series about the best jobs by ed level for 2012. See the original post here. As you look at this data, please note that the preliminary 2012 data is still a projection.

In this post we explore 2012′s best-performing jobs based on growth and income at the master degree level. Our analysis is based on labor market data from EMSI’s 2012.1 Covered Employment release, which is drawn from over 80 state and federal data sources. We use Analyst, EMSI’s web-based labor market analysis tool, to assemble and filter this data. The tool contains detailed information on over 1,100 industries and 800 occupations.

The Greatest Number of New Jobs

Our first table shows the occupations related to master’s level education that have gained the greatest number of new jobs since 20008. Here are the biggest winners:

  • Physical therapists added 19,300 new jobs
  • Physician assistants added 11,000 new jobs
  • Mental health & substance abuse social workers added 10,400 new jobs

Notice that nearly all the occupations here are linked with either healthcare (SOC code 29) or community & social services (SOC  21).

SOC Code Description 2008 Jobs 2012 Jobs Change % Change 2011 Median Hourly Wage Education Level
Source: EMSI Covered Employment – 2012.1
19-3094 Political Scientists 3,969 4,339 370 9% $48.01 Master’s degree
19-3032 Industrial-Organizational Psychologists 1,756 1,678 (78) (4%) $44.68 Master’s degree
19-3011 Economists 12,832 16,079 3,247 25% $43.87 Master’s degree
19-2042 Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and Geographers 32,035 33,313 1,278 4% $42.39 Master’s degree
19-3039 Psychologists, All Other 9,868 10,589 721 7% $41.19 Master’s degree
29-1071 Physician Assistants 73,124 84,013 10,889 15% $40.47 Master’s degree
29-1123 Physical Therapists 165,255 184,559 19,304 12% $35.85 Master’s degree
19-2043 Hydrologists 7,366 7,513 147 2% $35.82 Master’s degree
19-3092 Geographers 1,097 1,445 348 32% $35.22 Master’s degree
15-2041 Statisticians 21,529 21,914 385 2% $35.03 Master’s degree

Best % Growth

  • Geographers grew by 32%
  • Economists grew by 25%
  • Physician assistants grew by 15%
  • Physical therapists grew by 12%

It’s always interesting to notice which jobs have grown by both numbers and percent (such as physician assistants) as opposed to those that have impressive proportionate growth while adding paltry few new jobs (geographers).

SOC Code Description 2008 Jobs 2012 Jobs Change % Change 2011 Median Hourly Wage Education Level
Source: EMSI Covered Employment – 2012.1
19-3092 Geographers 1,097 1,445 348 32% $35.22 Master’s degree
19-3011 Economists 12,832 16,079 3,247 25% $43.87 Master’s degree
29-1071 Physician Assistants 73,124 84,013 10,889 15% $40.47 Master’s degree
29-1123 Physical Therapists 165,255 184,559 19,304 12% $35.85 Master’s degree
19-3099 Social Scientists and Related Workers, All Other 28,265 31,499 3,234 11% $33.93 Master’s degree
19-3094 Political Scientists 3,969 4,339 370 9% $48.01 Master’s degree
21-1023 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers 122,037 132,428 10,391 9% $18.68 Master’s degree
21-1014 Mental Health Counselors 102,865 111,500 8,635 8% $18.44 Master’s degree
19-1041 Epidemiologists 4,271 4,600 329 8% $29.36 Master’s degree
29-1122 Occupational Therapists 93,465 100,507 7,042 8% $33.61 Master’s degree

Highest Pay

Our final table shows the master’s-level jobs that pay above $35.00 an hour (2011 median hourly wage). The highest paying jobs on the list are:

  • Political scientists ($48.01)
  • Industrial-organizational psychologists ($44.68)
  • Economists ($43.87)

And be sure to look at how many occupations are related to life, physical, and social science (SOC 19): seven out of 10 jobs.

SOC Code Description 2008 Jobs 2012 Jobs Change % Change 2011 Median Hourly Wage Education Level
Source: EMSI Covered Employment – 2012.1
19-3094 Political Scientists 3,969 4,339 370 9% $48.01 Master’s degree
19-3032 Industrial-Organizational Psychologists 1,756 1,678 (78) (4%) $44.68 Master’s degree
19-3011 Economists 12,832 16,079 3,247 25% $43.87 Master’s degree
19-2042 Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and Geographers 32,035 33,313 1,278 4% $42.39 Master’s degree
19-3039 Psychologists, All Other 9,868 10,589 721 7% $41.19 Master’s degree
29-1071 Physician Assistants 73,124 84,013 10,889 15% $40.47 Master’s degree
29-1123 Physical Therapists 165,255 184,559 19,304 12% $35.85 Master’s degree
19-2043 Hydrologists 7,366 7,513 147 2% $35.82 Master’s degree
19-3092 Geographers 1,097 1,445 348 32% $35.22 Master’s degree
15-2041 Statisticians 21,529 21,914 385 2% $35.03 Master’s degree

The Jobs that Grow as Well as Pay

If we were to look at growth and wages together physical therapists, physician assistants, and economists are definitely some of the best to consider. Also, occupations in the life sciences arena seem to be doing well.

Return to the original post here. Learn about the best doctoral degrees here.

Find out more about EMSI and our data here. You can reach us via Twitter @DesktopEcon or by emailing Rob Sentz (rob@economicmodeling.com).

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