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January 14, 2021

The 10 best jobs in health care in 2021, according to US News

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    U.S. News & World Report on Tuesday released its annual list of the "Best Health Care Jobs" in 2021, with dentists topping the list.

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    For the list, U.S. News not only provides an overall ranking of 100 jobs, but also a list of the 25 best-paying jobs and 12 industry-specific lists, including health care, among others. Each job's overall score is based on seven component metrics. For each metric, jobs are awarded a score from 0 to 10. The metrics include:

    • Future job prospects;
    • Median salary;
    • Stress level;
    • 10-year growth percentage;
    • 10-year growth volume;
    • Unemployment rate; and
    • Work-life balance.

    The best jobs in health care

    According to U.S. News, the 10 best jobs in health care in 2021 are:

    1. Physician assistant;
    2. Nurse practitioner;
    3. Physician;
    4. Speech-language pathologist;
    5. Dentist;
    6. Veterinarian;
    7. Orthodontist;
    8. Anesthesiologist;
    9. Oral and maxillofacial surgeon; and
    10. Occupational therapist.

    Health care jobs also accounted for seven of the top 10 jobs included on U.S. News' list of the "100 Best Jobs in America" in 2021, which covers jobs in all sectors. The health care jobs that made the top 10 of the broader list include:

    • Physician assistant, at No. 1;
    • Nurse practitioner, at No. 3;
    • Medical and health services manager, at No. 4;
    • Physician, at No. 5;
    • Speech-language pathologist, at No. 7;
    • Dentist, at No. 9; and
    • Veterinarian, at No. 10.

    In addition, health care jobs represent a majority of entries on U.S. News' 25 Best-Paying Jobs list, with 14 spots—and health care jobs accounted for all of the list's top 11 entries. The 14 health care jobs included on the list are:

    • Anesthesiologist, at No. 1;
    • Surgeon, at No. 2;
    • Oral and maxillofacial surgeon, at No. 3;
    • Obstetrician and gynecologist, at No. 4;
    • Orthodontist, at No. 5;
    • Prosthodontist, at No. 6;
    • Psychiatrist, at No. 7;
    • Physician, at No. 8;
    • Pediatrician, at No. 9;
    • Nurse anesthetist, at No. 10;
    • Dentist, at No. 11;
    • Podiatrist, at No. 18;
    • Pharmacist, at No. 20; and
    • Optometrist, at No. 22. 
    Antonio Barbera, consumer advice editor at U.S. News, said of the rankings, "One thing the global pandemic has reinforced is the need and value of health care professionals." He continued, "This year's rankings affirm that it is a good career sector for many, with typically high median salaries and low unemployment rates" (U.S. News & World Report Best Health Care Jobs list, accessed 1/12; U.S. News & World Report 100 Best Jobs list, accessed 1/12; U.S. News  & World Report, Best-Paying Jobs list, accessed 1/12; U.S. News & World Report Best Jobs methodology, 1/12; U.S. News & World Report release, 1/12). 

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