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Best jobs and best-paying cities 2019

WASHINGTON — There are jobs, good jobs and then the best jobs. According to a new study, some of those fabled best (as well as best-paying) are in the D.C. area.

With the government shutdown making life increasingly difficult for federal workers, to the extent that many are seeking unemployment benefits, those with jobs are happy for a regular paycheck.

There’s good news for those looking for new jobs as well.

“We are nearly 10 years after the end of the Great Recession, and the job market is really doing wonders for workers,” Rebecca Koenig, careers reporter at U.S. News & World Report, told WTOP.

Wages are even starting to rise slightly, Koenig said, which is the first time in a long time economists have seen that.

Here are the Best Jobs in the District, and how much employees could make:

  • Accountant ($93,900)
  • Anthropologist ($89,760)
  • Archaeologist ($89,760)
  • Bookkeeping accounting and audit clerk ($50,000)
  • Cartographer ($88,930)
  • Choreographer ($60,640)
  • Community health worker ($63,650)
  • Database administrator ($105,070)
  • Industrial psychologist ($125,830)
  • Interpreter and translator ($71,850)
  • Mathematician ($140,720)
  • Ophthalmic medical technician ($53,890)
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgeon ($284,060)
  • Paralegal ($72,010)
  • Petroleum engineer ($161,870)
  • Political scientist ($119,280)
  • Public relations specialist ($100,120)
  • Social and community service manager ($101,590)
  • Web developer ($93,170)

Silver Spring, Maryland, also ranked highly on U.S. News’ report:

  • Cartographer ($93,430)
  • Chiropractor ($189,260)
  • Computer systems administrator ($105,500)
  • Epidemiologist/medical scientist ($113,000)
  • Executive assistant ($73,530)
  • Health educator ($101,500)
  • Interpreter and translator ($79,510)
  • Mathematician ($136,540)
  • Orthodontist ($253,540)
  • Podiatrist ($239,510)
  • Software developer ($126,260)
  • Statistician ($113,320)
  • Survey researcher ($90,950)

So what and where are the rest of the best jobs as the American workforce heads into 2019? (Before you ask, no, journalism jobs didn’t make the list.)

See the best jobs and best-paying cities below.

The top 20 cities for the best jobs are:

  • 1. San Francisco, California – 81 jobs
  • 2. San Jose, California – 55 jobs
  • 3. New York, New York – 28 jobs
  • 4. Bridgeport, Connecticut – 23 jobs
  • 5. Oakland, California – 23 jobs
  • 6. San Rafael, California – 23 jobs
  • 7. Nassau County, New York – 20 jobs
  • 8. Fairbanks, Alaska – 19 jobs
  • 9. Washington, District of Columbia – 19 jobs
  • 10. Salinas, California – 17 jobs
  • 11. Anchorage, Alaska – 14 jobs
  • 12. Newark, New Jersey – 14 jobs
  • 13. Vallejo, California – 14 jobs
  • 14. Silver Spring, Maryland – 13 jobs
  • 15. Urban Honolulu, Hawaii – 13 jobs
  • 16. Boston, Massachusetts – 11 jobs
  • 17. Seattle, Washington – 11 jobs
  • 18. Kahului, Hawaii – 10 jobs
  • 19. Oxnard, California – 10 jobs
  • 20. Sacramento, California – 10 jobs

Get the massive list of all the best-paying jobs by city. (Excel spreadsheet)

U.S. News also calculated the best-paying jobs, the best health care jobs and the best business jobs.

Best-paying jobs

  • 1. Anesthesiologist
  • 2. Surgeon
  • 3. Oral and maxillofacial surgeon
  • 4. Obstetrician and gynecologist
  • 5. Orthodontist

Best health care jobs

  • 1. Physician assistant
  • 2. Dentist
  • 3. Orthodontist
  • 4. Nurse anesthetist
  • 5. Nurse practitioner

Best business jobs

  • 1. Statistician
  • 2. Mathematician
  • 3. Accountant
  • 4. Financial manager
  • 5. Medical and health services manager


Jobs in demand

According to the report, more and more people are looking for jobs that require less school time and tuition. Trends point to them seeking out gigs as nurse practitioners, anesthesiologists and physician assistants — not doctors or surgeons.

“Health care occupations continue to dominate the U.S. News 2019 Best Jobs rankings, with demand in the field highest for workers to fill roles such as nurse practitioner, physician assistant and physical therapist,” Koenig said in the report.

“That’s good news for students and career changers, because it takes less school time and tuition money to prepare for those positions than it does to become a physician or surgeon.”

Koenig told WTOP that one of the big reasons for that, as a source told her, is because health care is “pretty recession-proof.”

“We’re always going to need people to take care of us medically,” Koenig said.

What companies want

Companies are focused more on hiring workers who they can train rather than finding the “perfect candidate,” giving more room for gig workers and freelancers.

That said, Koenig told WTOP that the Best Jobs list might inspire long-time freelancers to “go back and get a credential or to apply for a more permanent, full-time position, if that interests them instead of maintaining their freelance lifestyle.”

With an overwhelming need for labor, companies have started relaxing their standards and expediting their hiring processes, giving workers the upper hand in the job market, according to the report.

“Maybe we’re finally getting to that point where demand for labor and supply of labor have met,” said Andy Challenger, vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an executive outplacement firm. “Wages hopefully will begin to rise at a quicker pace.”

What makes jobs attractive

In order to lure and retain workers, companies are also increasing the benefits they offer, including flexible hours and remote work opportunities.

And they’re “investing in individuals’ personal and professional development,” said Kim Castro, executive editor at U.S. News & World Report.

“Perks are happening more and more,” said Dawn Fay, senior district president at Robert Half human resources consulting firm. “Many people are changing their office space to be more attractive for workers. There are gym memberships and snacks in the office.”

Keonig elaborated: “I am hearing from recruiters all over that this is really a great time for people hoping to boost their benefits, either at their current job or at a new employer because they are considering things like paying for you to go back and get a degree, boosting your vacation opportunities, chances for you to work remotely.”

When it comes to choosing the job you want, Koenig said career coaches have some advice.

“[They] recommend figuring out what kind of salary you need to live the kind of lifestyle that you want, or that your family needs to maintain, though if you really do need to make $50,000 a year, you shouldn’t be considering jobs that tend to pay much less than that,” Koenig told WTOP.

“It just won’t sustain you.”

Still, she said there are lots of factors when it comes to finding the right fit.

“Before you apply for a job, find people who work there, or used to work there, and ask for an informational interview,” Koenig said. “Ask them what they like about the culture, what they didn’t like.”

And be sure to take into account those stress levels and work-life balance.

See the full list of best jobs on U.S. News’ website.

WTOP’s Kristi King contributed to this story.

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