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Top 10 Best Careers

Mathematician
Ranking 1

Median Salary $101,360 (Do Not Chase the Dollar - Chase Your Passion)
Educational Requirements Bachelors
Exploring the Dream Mathematicians use advanced mathematics to develop and understand mathematical principles, analyze data, and solve real-world problems.
Living the Dream Mathematicians work in the federal government and in private science and engineering research companies. They may work on teams with engineers, scientists, and other professionals.
Reaching the Dream Mathematicians typically need a masterís degree in mathematics. However, there are some positions available for those with a bachelor's degree.

Software Developer
Ranking 1

Median Salary $93,350 (Do Not Chase the Dollar - Chase Your Passion)
Educational Requirements Bachelors
Exploring the Dream Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or other device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or control networks.
Living the Dream Many software developers work for computer systems design and related services firms or software publishers.
Reaching the Dream Software developers usually have a bachelorís degree in computer science and strong computer programming skills.

Computer Analyst
Ranking 2

Median Salary $80,000 (Do Not Chase the Dollar - Chase Your Passion)
Educational Requirements Bachelors
Exploring the Dream Computer systems analysts study an organizationís current computer systems and procedures and design information systems 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.
Living the Dream Most systems analysts work full time.
Reaching the Dream A bachelorís degree in a computer or information science field is common, although not always a requirement. Some firms hire analysts with business or liberal arts degrees who have skills in information technology or computer programming.

Dentist
Ranking 2

Median Salary $163,240 (Do Not Chase the Dollar - Chase Your Passion)
Educational Requirements Doctorate
Exploring the Dream Dentists diagnose and treat problems with a patientís teeth, gums, and related parts of the mouth. They provide advice and instruction on taking care of teeth and gums and on diet choices that affect oral health.
Living the Dream Some dentists own their own businesses and work alone or with a small staff.
Reaching the Dream Dentists must be licensed in all states; requirements vary by state. To qualify for a license in most states, applicants must graduate from an accredited dental school and pass written and practical exams.

Statistician
Ranking 3

Median Salary $75,560 (Do Not Chase the Dollar - Chase Your Passion)
Educational Requirements Bachelors
Exploring the Dream Statisticians use statistical methods to collect and analyze data and help solve real-world problems in business, engineering, the sciences, or other fields.
Living the Dream Although statisticians work mostly in offices, they may travel to oversee a surveyís design or implementation or to collect data. About a quarter of statisticians work for government; many others work for private businesses.
Reaching the Dream Statisticians typically need a graduate degree in statistics or mathematics. However, there are an increasing number of positions available for those with only a bachelorís degree.

Dentist
Ranking 3

Median Salary $163,240 (Do Not Chase the Dollar - Chase Your Passion)
Educational Requirements Doctorate
Exploring the Dream Dentists diagnose and treat problems with a patientís teeth, gums, and related parts of the mouth. They provide advice and instruction on taking care of teeth and gums and on diet choices that affect oral health.
Living the Dream Some dentists own their own businesses and work alone or with a small staff.
Reaching the Dream Dentists must be licensed in all states; requirements vary by state. To qualify for a license in most states, applicants must graduate from an accredited dental school and pass written and practical exams.

Nurse Practitioner
Ranking 4

Median Salary $92,000 (Do Not Chase the Dollar - Chase Your Passion)
Educational Requirements Masters
Exploring the Dream practice medicine on a team under the supervision of physicians and surgeons. They are formally educated to examine patients, diagnose injuries and illnesses, and provide treatment.
Living the Dream work in physiciansí offices, hospitals, and other healthcare settings. Most work full time.
Reaching the Dream These programs usually lead to a masterís degree. All states require physician assistants to be licensed.

Actuary
Ranking 4

Median Salary $93,680 (Do Not Chase the Dollar - Chase Your Passion)
Educational Requirements Bachelors
Exploring the Dream Actuaries analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty. They use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to assess the risk that an event will occur and they help businesses and clients develop policies that minimize the cost of that risk. Actuariesí work is essential to the insurance industry.
Living the Dream Most actuaries work full time in an office setting. Actuaries who work as consultants may frequently travel to meet with clients.
Reaching the Dream Actuaries need a bachelorís degree and must pass a series of exams to become certified professionals. They must have a strong background in mathematics, statistics, and business.

Audiologist
Ranking 5

Median Salary $69,720 (Do Not Chase the Dollar - Chase Your Passion)
Educational Requirements Doctorate
Exploring the Dream Audiologists diagnose and treat a patientís hearing and balance problems using advanced technology and procedures.
Living the Dream Most audiologists work in healthcare facilities, such as hospitals, physicians' offices, and audiology clinics. Some work in schools or for school districts and travel between facilities.
Reaching the Dream Audiologists need a doctoral degree and must be licensed in all states; requirements vary by state.

Pharmacist
Ranking 5

Median Salary $115,000 (Do Not Chase the Dollar - Chase Your Passion)
Educational Requirements Doctorate
Exploring the Dream Pharmacists dispense prescription medications to patients and offer expertise in the safe use of prescriptions. They also may provide advice on how to lead a healthy lifestyle, conduct health and wellness screenings, provide immunizations, and oversee the medications given to patients.
Living the Dream Pharmacists work in pharmacies, including those in grocery and drug stores. They also work in hospitals and clinics.
Reaching the Dream Pharmacists must have a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.), a 4-year professional degree. They also must be licensed, which requires passing two exams.

Registered Nurse
Ranking 6

Median Salary $70,210 (Do Not Chase the Dollar - Chase Your Passion)
Educational Requirements Associates
Exploring the Dream Registered nurses (RNs) provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their family members.
Living the Dream Registered nurses work in hospitals, physicians' offices, home healthcare services, and nursing care facilities. Others work in correctional facilities, schools, or serve in the military.
Reaching the Dream Registered nurses usually take one of three education paths: a bachelor's degree in nursing, an associateís degree in nursing, or a diploma from an approved nursing program. Registered nurses must also be licensed.

Dental Hygienist
Ranking 6

Median Salary $70,210 (Do Not Chase the Dollar - Chase Your Passion)
Educational Requirements Associates
Exploring the Dream Dental hygienists clean teeth, examine patients for signs of oral diseases such as gingivitis, and provide other preventative dental care. They also educate patients on ways to improve and maintain good oral health.
Living the Dream Almost all dental hygienists work in dentistsí offices, which are clean and well lit. More than half of dental hygienists work part time.
Reaching the Dream Dental hygienists typically need an associateís degree in dental hygiene. All states require dental hygienists to be licensed; requirements vary by state.

Software Engineer
Ranking 7

Median Salary $93,350 (Do Not Chase the Dollar - Chase Your Passion)
Educational Requirements Bachelors
Exploring the Dream Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or other device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or control networks.
Living the Dream Many software developers work for computer systems design and related services firms or software publishers.
Reaching the Dream Software developers usually have a bachelorís degree in computer science and strong computer programming skills.

Physical Therapist
Ranking 7

Median Salary $81,000 (Do Not Chase the Dollar - Chase Your Passion)
Educational Requirements Doctorate
Exploring the Dream Physical therapists, sometimes called PTs, help injured or ill people improve their movement and manage their pain. These therapists are often an important part of rehabilitation and treatment of patients with chronic conditions or injuries.
Living the Dream Physical therapists typically work in private offices and clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes. They spend much of their time on their feet, actively working with patients.
Reaching the Dream Physical therapists entering the profession need a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. All states require physical therapists to be licensed.

Physician
Ranking 8

Median Salary $190,000 (Do Not Chase the Dollar - Chase Your Passion)
Educational Requirements Doctorate
Exploring the Dream Physicians and surgeons diagnose and treat injuries or illnesses. Physicians examine patients; take medical histories; prescribe medications; and order, perform, and interpret diagnostic tests. They counsel patients on diet, hygiene, and preventive healthcare. Surgeons operate on patients to treat injuries, such as broken bones; diseases, such as cancerous tumors; and deformities, such as cleft palates.
Living the Dream Many physicians work in private offices or clinics, often with administrative and healthcare personnel.
Reaching the Dream Physicians and surgeons have demanding education and training requirements. Almost all physicians complete at least 4 years of undergraduate school, 4 years of medical school, and, depending on their specialty, 3 to 8 years in internship and residency pro

Computer Analyst
Ranking 8

Median Salary $79,680 (Do Not Chase the Dollar - Chase Your Passion)
Educational Requirements Bachelors
Exploring the Dream Computer systems analysts study an organizationís current computer systems and procedures and design information systems 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.
Living the Dream Most systems analysts work full time.
Reaching the Dream A bachelorís degree in a computer or information science field is common, although not always a requirement. Some firms hire analysts with business or liberal arts degrees who have skills in information technology or computer programming.

Occupational Therapist
Ranking 9

Median Salary $75,400 (Do Not Chase the Dollar - Chase Your Passion)
Educational Requirements Masters
Exploring the Dream Occupational therapists treat injured, ill, or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They help these patients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working.
Living the Dream About half of occupational therapists work in offices of occupational therapy or in hospitals. Others work in schools, nursing homes, physiciansí offices, and home health services. Therapists spend a lot of time on their feet while working with patients.
Reaching the Dream Occupational therapists typically have a masterís degree in occupational therapy. All states require occupational therapists to be licensed or registered.

Web Developer
Ranking 9

Median Salary $62,000 (Do Not Chase the Dollar - Chase Your Passion)
Educational Requirements Associates
Exploring the Dream Web developers design and create websites. They are responsible for the look of the site. They are also responsible for the siteís technical aspects, such as performance and capacity, which are measures of a websiteís speed and how much traffic the site can handle. They also may create content for the site.
Living the Dream About a quarter of web developers were self-employed in 2012. Non-self-employed developers work primarily in the computer systems design and related services industry.
Reaching the Dream The typical education needed to become a web developer is an associateís degree in web design or related field. Web developers need knowledge of both programming and graphic design.

Dental Hygienist
Ranking 10

Median Salary $70,210 (Do Not Chase the Dollar - Chase Your Passion)
Educational Requirements Associates
Exploring the Dream Dental hygienists clean teeth, examine patients for signs of oral diseases such as gingivitis, and provide other preventative dental care. They also educate patients on ways to improve and maintain good oral health.
Living the Dream Almost all dental hygienists work in dentistsí offices, which are clean and well lit. More than half of dental hygienists work part time.
Reaching the Dream Dental hygienists typically need an associateís degree in dental hygiene. All states require dental hygienists to be licensed; requirements vary by state.

Speech Pathologist
Ranking 10

Median Salary $69,870 (Do Not Chase the Dollar - Chase Your Passion)
Educational Requirements Masters
Exploring the Dream Speech-language pathologists (sometimes called speech therapists) assess, diagnose, treat, and help to prevent communication and swallowing disorders in patients. Speech, language, and swallowing disorders result from a variety of causes, such as a stroke, brain injury, hearing loss, developmental delay, a cleft palate, cerebral palsy, or emotional problems.
Living the Dream Most speech-language pathologists work full time and almost half work in schools.
Reaching the Dream Speech-language pathologists typically need at least a masterís degree. They must be licensed in most states; requirements vary by state.

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