With student loan debt on the uptick and a wariness about an economy that seems to be shifting towards a freelance and contract-based system rather than a committed career as a staffer, the latest generation to hit the workforce has a lot of motivation to make the big bucks as soon as possible, experts say.
Here are some of the findings from the list:
Millennials say that cash is king
U.S. News asked more than 1,000 people aged 20-34 to rank nine job factors as being the most significant to them (9) to least significant (1). The factors included salary, work-life balance, level of stress, upward mobility, potential for growth and others.
The overwhelming factor that was most important to millennials was salary — at 6.47 — followed closely by work-life balance at 6.3, the researchers found.
Stress level followed at 5.88, then upward mobility at 5.42, then future job prospects at 5.14, among others.
The motivation may be self-preservation.
The report points out that a whopping 68% of college seniors who graduated in 2015 reported having an average of $30,100 in student loan debt, according to the Project on Student Debt at The Institute for College Access & Success. Average student debt at graduation in 2016 ranged from $20,000 in Utah to $36,350 in New Hampshire, according to the same organization.
“Overall what we’re seeing is young people are trying to work for more stable companies and industries,” Dan Schawbel, research director at executive development firm Future Workplace, told U.S. News & World Report.
US News and World Reports researchers used 2015 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics against their own rankings for 2017’s best jobs. The Best Paying Jobs for Millennials all have average salaries of more than $75,000 and take into account work-life balance.
Here are the top-ranked jobs for millennials:
1) Financial Advisor
With a comfortable average salary of $118,050, but an “above average” stress level rating and packed schedules, some responsibilities of this position include giving clients financial advice and giving presentations on available financial services, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Those who take the role commonly come from “backgrounds in business, economics or psychology and should be good listeners who can explain complex systems clearly,” according to the ranking.
The average salary is $110,560, and the stress level is described as “average.”
Actuaries are responsible for identifying potential pitfalls and coming up with rules to help companies manage risk, among other duties.
Interested in becoming one? U.S. News reports that actuaries typically need extensive training in computer science, math and databases.
3) Software Developer
This position has an average salary of $102,160, and involves an “average” amount of stress.
Software developers work on the latest technology, and the job demands the ability to be creative, a prolific knowledge of computer coding, and perseverance, according to U.S. News.
4) Computer Systems Analyst
Those with this position can expect to earn an average salary of $90,180 and have an “average” amount of stress on the job.
Computer systems analysts “study an organization’s current computer systems and procedures, and design solutions to help the organization operate more efficiently and effectively. They bring business and information technology (IT) together by understanding the needs and limitations of both,” according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
5) Mechanical Engineer
The average salary is $88,190 and this job is “average” in terms of stress.
Mechanical engineers “design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices, including tools, engines, and machines,” according to the BLS.
6) Environmental Engineer
People in this position can expect to earn an average salary of $88,040 and have “average” stress, US News reports.
They use chemistry, engineering and biology to create improved recycling, pollution control and water use methods, and should be trained in science and communication.
7) Radiation Therapist
Radiation therapists reportedly rake in an average salary of $84,460 and have a “below average” amount of stress.
They work with doctors and nurses, and treat patients for cancer.
8) Operations Research Analyst
With an average salary of $84, 180, operations research analysts reportedly experience an “above average” amount of stress at work.
“Operations research analysts use advanced mathematical and analytical methods to help organizations investigate complex issues, identify and solve problems, and make better decisions,” BLS explains.
Accountants have an average salary of $75,280 and an “average” stress level.
They prepare and evaluate financial documents like tax forms and maximizing retirement and investment income and are sought after during tax season but work throughout the year for businesses and organizations.
To do the job well, accountants much have “organization” skills “and timeliness,” according to US News.
10) Loan Officer
The average salary for this job is reportedly $75,170, and the stress level is “average.”
Loan officers are employed by mortgage companies, banks and others, and they decide if people and businesses should get loans. They should be good at assisting customers and sales.
“Most loan officers are employed by commercial banks, credit unions, mortgage companies, and related financial institutions. Most loan officers work full time, and many work extensive hours. Except for consumer loan officers, traveling to visit clients is common,” BLS writes.