We found this in Forbes, via CareerCast.com — the most underrated jobs in America based on pay, employment outlook, work environment, stress, and physical demands. This is a somewhat subjective list (aren’t all top jobs lists?), but take a look and see if you can notice a trend with the top 10.
- Paralegals and legal assistants
- Loan officers
- Market research analysts
- Software engineers
- Computer systems analysts
- Insurance agents
- Dental hygienists
- Civil engineers
What jumps out to us — other than many of these don’t seem all that underrated — is the level of education needed for each of these jobs. Most require, on average, a bachelor’s degree and the other three — paralegals, computer systems analysts (we used computer support specialists), and dental hygienists — require at least an associate’s degree. So promising, relatively stress-free jobs (even though that’s up for interpretation too) come at a cost. Nothing new there.
But this is also worth noting: Half of these jobs have declined in employment since the start of the recession, led by loan officers (-6%). Dental hygienists have seen the most growth (7%), and computer software engineers, systems software have the highest median earnings ($42.45) of the group.
|SOC Code||Description||2007-11 Job Change||% Change||2011 Median Hourly Wage||Education Level|
|13-2011||Accountants and auditors||10,440||1%||$24.42||Bachelor's degree|
|13-2072||Loan officers||-24,398||-6%||$25.03||Bachelor's degree|
|15-1031||Computer software engineers, applications||21,793||4%||$39.92||Bachelor's degree|
|15-1032||Computer software engineers, systems software||11,884||3%||$42.45||Bachelor's degree|
|15-1041||Computer support specialists||-16,178||-3%||$20.98||Associate's degree|
|17-2051||Civil engineers||-12,229||-4%||$34.97||Bachelor's degree|
|19-3021||Market research analysts||8,076||3%||$26.79||Bachelor's degree|
|23-2011||Paralegals and legal assistants||-2,618||-1%||$22.79||Associate's degree|
|29-1031||Dietitians and nutritionists||2,829||4%||$23.43||Bachelor's degree|
|29-2021||Dental hygienists||11,212||7%||$32.37||Associate's degree|
|41-3021||Insurance sales agents||-12,405||-2%||$16.52||Bachelor's degree|
|Source: EMSI Complete Employment - 2011.3|