America's Most Promising Jobs

Systems engineer rated best job, based on pay, growth, quality of life
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2009 5:49 AM CDT
A system engineer checks screens showing a gas pipeline system.   (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)
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(Newser) – Jobs like beer taster and video game tester are nowhere to be seen on CNNMoney's list of the 50 best jobs in America, ranked by pay, job growth, and quality of life. Systems engineer was rated the best overall job, while anesthesiologist—with a median pay of $292,000—topped the high pay list. Telecommunications network engineers can expect the greatest job growth over the next decade, while education/training consultants were judged to have the best quality of life.

Also in the top 5:

  • Physician assistant—These "MD lites" get the job satisfaction that comes with treating patients, minus the paperwork hassles
  • College professor—The starting pay is pretty low, but the freedom is almost unrivaled and there are usually positions available, even during recessions.
  • Nurse practitioner—The growth in clinics and a shortage of doctors means many opportunities for nurse practitioners, who can diagnose and treat many ailments as well as performing nursing tasks.
  • IT project manager—"Just about all companies need tech-savvy people who are great managers," says one Houston recruiter, and the best often become chief technology officers, where salaries can hit  $300,000.
Click the link below for the full list.