If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.
That saying is 100% unfounded for the vast majority of workers, but you could still have one of the best jobs in the world and not realize it.
STEM and technical careers are pushed as the most rewarding, safe, and overall great jobs to have in today’s economy. But that’s not completely true. There’s still room for other skills at the top of the best jobs list.
Here are the 10 best jobs for 2018:
1) Financial managers
2) Computer and information systems managers
4) Software application developers
5) Physicians and surgeons
7) Systems software developers
8) Sales managers
9) General and operations managers
10) Chief executives
How we determined the best jobs for 2018
Using the most recent Occupational Employment Statistics data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we created an index to analyze what jobs are the best to have this year.
We focused on three variables for the study:
- Total employment
- Annual mean wage
- Average entry-level pay
For the entry-level variable, we focused on the average annual salary of the bottom 10% for each occupation. This is standard practice for research based on entry-level occupations.
We ranked 805 occupations 1 to 805 for each variable. We then took the average of the three numbers to create an index. The lower the average, the better the rank.
Below is a more detailed look at the Top 10, followed by a list of the Top 100 best jobs for 2018.
1. FINANCIAL MANAGERS
- Total employment: 569,380
- Annual mean wage: $143,530
- Entry-level pay: $66,480
Financial managers take the top spot for best jobs of 2018, offering the best balance of total employment and pay.
With an average annual salary of $143,530, the occupation is compensated well for ensuring their companies don’t go bankrupt, among other tasks.
2. COMPUTER AND INFORMATION SYSTEMS MANAGERS
- Total employment: 365,690
- Annual mean wage: $149,730
- Entry-level pay: $83,860
The first, but not the last tech job to appear on the Top 10 list – computer and information systems managers help implement computer-based initiatives in companies.
With an average entry-level salary of $83,860, recent grads can find themselves making a hefty paycheck right out of school if they’re qualified enough.
- Total employment: 628,370
- Annual mean wage: $141,890
- Entry-level pay: $57,430
Becoming a lawyer will require a few extra years for you go get your J.D., but the areas one can become established in are endless – sports law, music industry, public firm.
Lawyers continue to be one of the most popular occupations, too, with over 600,000 throughout the country.
4. SOFTWARE APPLICATION DEVELOPERS
- Total employment: 849,230
- Annual mean wage: $108,710
- Entry-level pay: $59,870
Software application developers take the idea behind an app and turn it into something tangible for the user to enjoy.
It takes a certain amount of imagination and technical aptitude to create apps, and the occupation is one of the fastest growing in the country, expected to increase by 24% in total employment by 2026.
5. PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS
- Total employment: 355,460
- Annual mean wage: $211,390
- Entry-level pay: $60,390
You could say physicians and surgeons are important – saving people’s’ lives and all of that. So it makes sense that they are some of the best-compensated jobs in the country, raking in an annual average of over $211,000.
- Total employment: 309,330
- Annual mean wage: $121,710
- Entry-level pay: $87,420
If you’ve ever stepped foot inside a CVS or Walgreens, you’ve most likely come in contact with a pharmacist.
The job also has the seventh-highest average entry-level pay of all 805 occupations analyzed.
7. SYSTEMS SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS
- Total employment: 394,590
- Annual mean wage: $111,780
- Entry-level pay: $65,670
Rounding out tech-specific jobs in the Top 10, systems software developers combine aspects of computer science, engineering, and mathematical analysis to help businesses run smoother.
With an average salary of six-figures, one can make a nice living working behind the scenes in this role.
8. SALES MANAGERS
- Total employment: 371,410
- Annual mean wage: $137,650
- Entry-level pay: $57,590
As long as businesses exist, there will always be a need for sales managers. After paying your dues in call centers or cold calling, sales managers have a rewarding career and average salary of over $137,000.
Of course, with sales comes other opportunities for commissions and bonuses, bumping up potential pay.
9. GENERAL AND OPERATIONS MANAGERS
- Total employment: 2,212,200
- Annual mean wage: $123,460
- Entry-level pay: $44,510
General and operations managers is the 10th most popular job title in the country, with over 2.2 million throughout the United States.
While each manager has different responsibilities related to his or her corporation, having an average annual wage of over $120,000 with that many jobs is something to acknowledge.
10. CHIEF EXECUTIVES
- Total employment: 210,160
- Annual mean wage: $196,050
- Entry-level pay: 68,110
Is there really anything negative about being a chief executive? Besides the stress that comes with being one of the faces of a business.
Nevertheless, a high entry-level salary and average annual salary of close to $200k doesn’t let the high stress go unrewarded.
So there you have it. The Top 10 best jobs of 2018.
The average annual salary of the Top 10 jobs is $144,390.
The average entry-level salary of the group? That’d be $65,133.
Given that 2018 college grads make an average salary of just over $50k, that’s a sizable raise from the norm.
Automation and the elimination of certain jobs seem to flood the news cycle every month or so, but if there’s anything this list proves, it’s that there’s a wide variety of jobs and industries among the Top 100.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the workforce is expected to grow by 11.5 million in the next decade. We’ll see how the job market fluctuates in the next couple of years, but until then be sure to check back for our best jobs of 2019 list!
For now, though, here are the Top 100 jobs of 2018: