The Best Jobs in the United States: 2018

Think of your ideal job: What makes it the “best”? Responses will vary from person to person, but factors such as work environment, job security and satisfaction, culture, career potential and salary matter to us all.

Nowadays, there’s more data than ever on what makes a job good, great or the best. And in our hyperconnected world employees have instant access to online tools that empower them to share exactly what it is that they like or don’t like in a job or company. These raves (and, at times, rants) help others identify what their best job could be, and where they might find it.

To identify the best jobs in America in 2018 we here at Indeed focused on two factors: salary (jobs with a baseline salary of at least $75,000) and abundance of opportunity (jobs which have seen the most growth on Indeed since 2014).

Some of these jobs require many years of education; others don’t even require a college degree. However, they all require skill, commitment and excellent results. Want to know more? Read on!

Here are the best jobs of 2018

Last year tech roles dominated the best jobs results, but the 2018 rankings contain a wider variety of industries, with a particularly strong showing for construction and healthcare-related roles.

Overall, 16 jobs appeared in the results that we didn’t see last year. And as for which job came first—commercial project manager leapt from # 19 in 2017 to the number one spot this year—propelled by an average base salary of $81,023 and an impressive 277% growth in job postings between 2014 and 2017.

Construction time again

Not only are construction jobs booming, but many of them are making their debut on our best jobs list.

Preconstruction manager (#5), construction estimator (#12), and construction manager (#19) are newcomers. Meanwhile, construction superintendent moved from # 24 on last year’s list to 6th place in 2018, with an overall 122% growth in postings since 2014.

Why so many construction jobs? In a recent post, Indeed Chief Economist Jed Kolko noted that this is part of a wider trend: the construction sector, along with mining, has seen the fastest job growth year over year as of this past December. Construction spending is soaring and three-quarters of employers in the sector reported plans to add staff in 2018. Office construction in particular—largely moribund since the recession—is experiencing a revival.

Who can do these jobs? Managerial level construction jobs vary when it comes to education requirements. Many companies preferring at minimum a bachelor’s degree in a construction-related field or equivalent experience working in construction. However, some jobs require only a high school diploma plus experience.  One concern for the construction industry? Indeed research shows that construction searches are actually trending downward—so employers will need to be proactive when it comes to sourcing the talent they need.

Tech jobs still going strong

Although the world of tech may not be quite as dominant on the best jobs front as it was last year, it is still going strong—with full stack developer (last year’s number one), computer vision engineer, and machine learning engineer holding the second, third and fourth spots respectively.

The rise of the machine learning engineer is particularly striking. This role shot up from 17th place in 2017 to #4 in 2018, likely reflecting increasing interest in AI and robotics. Data scientist, however, cooled a little, dropping from its previous second place ranking to eighth this year.

We also see some tech newcomers in the ranks of “best jobs.” Agile coach (#11), product owner (#21) and user experience researcher (#23), are all new to the best jobs list.

An agile coach helps a team adopt agile methods and practices in order to better go about development, while a product owner is responsible for working with the user group to determine what features to include in a new product. A user experience researcher seeks to establish facts, find problems and reach new conclusions related to user-centered design, via interviews, usability testing and other means.

Healthcare roles and more add variety to this year’s best jobs

Healthcare-related jobs are also prominent this year, with roles such as optometrist (#7), staff pharmacist (# 16), senior clinical specialist (#22) and registered nurses with a specialization in infusion (#24) making the final results.

Out of these healthcare roles, optometrist ranks the highest and has seen a 118% growth in job postings from 2014 – 2017. Registered nurses specializing in infusions are also doing well—job postings have risen by 19% over the past few years.

In fact, as we explored in a recent post, “RN” and “registered nurse” ranked among the top ten most-searched terms overall on Indeed Resume last year. Also of note is that this “best job” does not necessarily require a college degree, yet still offers a very competitive average salary of $79,952.

Beyond healthcare, we also see jobs for people with a variety of skill sets, such as head of sales, partnership manager and senior talent acquisition manager, which is a recruitment role. These further contribute to the occupational diversity of this year’s best jobs compared to the tech-dominant results we saw the previous year.

So those are the best jobs of 2018 in terms of job growth, and pay. If you’re a job seeker with skills in these areas, you may want to give them serious consideration. And if you’re an employer looking for candidates, then you are in a good place in terms of what you have to offer.

Methodology: Indeed compiled this list by including jobs with an average base salary of at least $75,000 and at least 15 job postings per 1M total postings, combined with consistent growth in share of postings from 2014-2017.