The No. 1 job in America pays over $108,000 a year

The No. 1 job in America pays over $108,000 a year

As companies try to keep their employees happy in a robust job market, these skills are in high demand in 2019

As unemployment falls to a 49-year low in April, there’s probably never been a better time since the Great Recession to brush up on your skills — and look for another job.

Data scientists are in high demand. Boasting a median base salary of $108,000, they were ranked No. 1 on Glassdoor’s “Best Jobs in America” list in 2019 — and also for the previous three years. The list is based on the number of job openings, salary and overall job satisfaction. It was followed by nursing managers at No. 2 ($83,000 a year) and marketing managers at No. 3 ($82,000 a year), occupational therapists at No. 4 ($74,000 a year) and product managers at No. 5 ($115,000 a year).

The “Glassdoor Job Score” is determined by weighing three factors equally: Earning potential (median annual base salary), overall job satisfaction rating and number of job openings. For a job title to be considered, it must receive at least 100 salary reports and at least 100 job satisfaction ratings shared by U.S.-based employees in one year. Results represent job titles that rate highly among all of those three categories. C-suite and intern level jobs were excluded from this report.

There were other six-figure jobs among Glassdoor’s top 20 list with relatively high number of job openings, including devops engineers at No. 6 ($106,000 a year) who work with developers and the IT staff to oversee code releases, data engineers at No. 8 ($100,000 a year), software engineers at No. 10 ($104,000 a year), physician assistant at No. 12 ($105,000 a year), strategy manager at No. 16 ($140,000 a year) and security engineers at No. 17 ($102,000 a year).

But data scientists have competition. A separate report by the U.S. News & World Report lists software developers as No. 1. The job offers flexible hours and remote work opportunities, while investing in individuals’ personal and professional development. Like data scientists, software developers have a median annual salary of over $100,000. They’re employed in computer systems design, manufacturing and finance. Physician assistants were No. 2, followed by dentists at No. 3.

Data scientists and software developers use programming language such as Python, followed by R, SQL, Hadoop and the more well-known Java, according to careers site Glassdoor. A mid-level data scientist is likely to be proficient in Python, R and SQL and makes close to $130,000 a year. Google GOOG, +1.96% Aetna US:AET and Microsoft MSFT, +2.13% typically hire people for these roles. Java, Python, JavaScript and C++ are among the top programming languages.

The jobs environment is getting rosier, at least judging by the latest jobs figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday. Unemployment fell to 3.6% in April from 3.8% in March. The 263,000 new jobs in April was mainly driven by white-collar businesses, construction and health care. Economists polled by MarketWatch expected the U.S. to add 213,000 jobs in April. One word of caution, however: Nearly a half-million workers also dropped out of the labor force last month.

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