Understand how we got here — and how to move forward.


May 3, 2017

'Best jobs of 2017': Here's where health care ranked

Daily Briefing

    CareerCast last week published its 29th annual Jobs Rated report, and health care earned a slew of top spots in the rankings.

    How CareerCast made the list

    Using data primarily from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, CareerCast selected ranked 200 jobs across a range of sectors based on work environment, income, projected growth, and stress level. For example, physical therapist ranked No. 22 on the list, scoring second for projected growth but receiving only a "fair" (112 out of 199) ranking for work environment.

    Previous CareerCast rankings

    Health care comes out on top

    Nine health care-specific jobs ranked in the top 20—and no health care-specific job was among the bottom 20. Overall, according to the rankings, statistician earned the No. 1 spot.

    The health care positions that ranked in the top 20 were:

    • Medical services manager, No. 2;
    • Occupational therapist, No. 9;
    • Speech pathologist, No. 10;
    • Biomedical engineer, No. 12;
    • Dental hygienist, No. 14;
    • Diagnostic medical sonographer, No. 15;
    • Audiologist, No. 17;
    • Dietician, No. 18; and
    • Optometrist, No. 20.


    • Physical therapist ranked 22th, down slightly from 19th last year;
    • Chiropractor ranked 28th, down slightly from 22nd last year;
    • Psychiatrist ranked 56th, down from 51st last year;
    • Physiologist ranked 57th, up from 64th last year;
    • Nurse practitioner ranked 62nd, unlisted last year;
    • Pharmacist and psychologist tied at 64th, with the former down from 29th last year and the latter down from 55th last year;
    • General practice physician ranked 78th, up slightly from 77th last year;
    • Respiratory therapist ranked 79th; unchanged from last year;
    • Physician assistants ranked 85th, down slightly from 84th last year;
    • Surgeons ranked 92nd—tying with archeologists and electricians—down from 90th last year;
    • RNs ranked 102nd, unchanged from last year;
    • Home health aide ranked 111th, down slightly from 108th last year; and
    • Nurse's aide ranked 126th, down from 119th last year (CareerCast, "Best Jobs of 2017," accessed 4/27; CareerCast, "Worst Jobs of 2017," accessed 4/27; CareerCast, "2017 Jobs Rated Methodology," accessed, 4/27; CareerCast, "Jobs Rated Report 2017: Ranking 200 Jobs," accessed 4/27).

    Why you're in danger of building the wrong workforce

    To succeed in the future, health care organizations will need to provide care in the lowest-cost, most appropriate setting—and to accomplish this, they’ll need a different complement of staff than in the past.

    But if today's leaders don't revise their workforce planning strategy, they're in danger of building the wrong workforce, a mistake that will be costly in the long run and could take 10 to 12 years to correct.

    Find out what you need to do to revise your approach—starting from the "outside-in."


    Have a Question?


    Ask our experts a question on any topic in health care by visiting our member portal, AskAdvisory.