Skip to main content

Main Area

Main

Best jobs that require a bachelor's degree

1/
JooFotia // Shutterstock

Best jobs that require a bachelor's degree

Deciding on a career path can be difficult, especially considering new careers in technology and media have sprung up in the past decade or so. In an age when college grads are facing sizable loans that make it difficult to invest in an advanced degree, pursuing jobs that require only a bachelor's degree may be the best way to go.

Enrollment in college undergrad programs has been declining, yet there are many career paths that having a bachelor's degree will get your foot in the door, such as those in the fields of engineering, finance, and administration. One thing colleges can do to keep their enrollments up is to increase graduation rates of their current student body. The more high school graduates and college students who know about meaningful, enjoyable, high-paying careers that can be earned with an undergraduate degree, the higher the probability that they will pursue these degrees to completion.

Using the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook and Payscale's list of the most and least meaningful jobs, Stacker has tallied occupations ranked by job index, which weights annual pay at 50%, job satisfaction at 25%, and job meaning at 25%. Each job criterion has been compared to the greatest recorded value among jobs that require a baccalaureate degree. The job index is compared and scaled to the maximum score of 91.56 to determine the final ranking out of 100 points. The BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook was updated in April 2019, and the Payscale list is comprised of 2.7 million people who took the survey between June 2013 and June 2015.

The “meaningful” job average is based on two factors from the Payscale list: high satisfaction and high meaning. High satisfaction is derived from the percentage of jobholders who said they find their jobs “extremely satisfying” or “fairly satisfying.” High meaning is derived from the percentage of jobholders who, when asked if their job makes the world a better place, responded “very much so” or “yes.” The list derived from the BLS is based on jobs that require a bachelor's degree as an entry-level requirement.

You may also like: Best jobs that don't require a college degree

2/
Andrey_Popov // Shutterstock

#50. Computer systems analysts

- Job index: 63.05
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 69%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 46%
- Median pay: $71,100

Successful computer systems analysts must be able to research and synthesize large swaths of data, install new systems and train employees in them, solve problems and think critically, communicate efficiently, and read technical reports and manuals. Typically, those who want to work in this area need a bachelor's degree in computer science and a background in the specific field in which they want to work. For example, doing systems analysis for a hospital would require some previous work in health care. Analysts are integral to any organization because they make sure everyday operations run as efficiently as possible.

 

3/
WorldSkills UK // Flickr

#49. Forensic science technicians

- Job index: 63.19
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 73%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 72%
- Median pay: $52,100

Forensic science technicians should have a background in multiple areas of natural science to analyze crime-scene evidence on chemical and biological levels. They must pay keen attention to detail, be organized, think critically, and clearly describe their methodology in case they have to testify in court. Some forensic science techs collect evidence at crime scenes, others work only in labs. Those seeking to work in this field require a degree in forensic science, biology, or chemistry. Some on-the-job training is required for technicians working in both labs and in the field, and the length of training depends on the area of focus. Forensic science techs help solve crimes and can help convict criminals by identifying suspects and determining a victim's cause of death, for example.

4/
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement BSEE // Flickr

#48. Compliance officers, except agriculture, construction, health and safety, and transportation

- Job index: 63.54
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 71%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 63%
- Median pay: $60,000

Considering compliance officers are responsible for making sure a company follows its internal and external laws and policies, someone working in this role needs integrity and honesty, leadership and networking skills, knowledge of risk management, and strong negotiation skills. Becoming a compliance officer in most fields requires a bachelor's degree in the field of interest or in finance or business, with coursework in ethics and law. An internship related to accounting or compliance would strongly benefit anyone looking to break into the field. Compliance officers are crucial to any business because if a company violates a regulation or policy, it could face serious legal consequences or jeopardize its reputation.

5/
Robert Kneschke // Shutterstock

#47. Tax examiners, collectors, and revenue agents

- Job index: 63.62
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 72%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 38%
- Median pay: $75,600

Tax examiners, collectors, and revenue agents need backgrounds in economics and accounting, keen math skills, meticulous attention to detail, and a strong sense of purpose. Tax examiners usually handle individuals and small business tax returns; revenue agents do tax accounting for the IRS, local government agencies, or large corporations; collectors are in charge of overdue payments. Examiners need either a bachelor's degree in accounting or a combination of education and experience in tax or audit work; collectors need a college degree and experience as a loan officer, in collections or in customer service; revenue agents need a bachelor's in accounting, economics, or business administration. These are important roles because taxes and revenues are vital to a society's ability to provide and administer public services.

 

6/
Michael Wilson // Flickr

#46. Dietitians and nutritionists

- Job index: 63.67
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 74%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 78%
- Median pay: $48,700

Professionals in nutrition field need great interpersonal skills, high levels of organization, excellent problem-solving skills, and a capacity for communicating research findings in a relatively simple way. Nutritionists must also be sensitive toward people who might feel uncomfortable talking about their diets. Apart from a bachelor's degree, aspiring dietitians will get the training they need through internships and coursework, and most states require a license to be a practicing dietitian. These kinds of roles help people eat healthy diets, which can lead to lower instances of disease and a better quality of life.

7/
Stock Rocket // Shutterstock

#45. Purchasing managers

- Job index: 64.28
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 73%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 49%
- Median pay: $69,400

Purchasing managers can work in all kinds of environments, from clothing retail to government agencies. People in these jobs should be able to negotiate and network, analyze data, make timely decisions, communicate effectively and have natural leadership skills. A bachelor's degree in operations management is typically required, as is some hands-on experience. Many companies offer a couple of years of in-house training. Purchasing managers are integral to any company because they can save the company money through smart purchasing decisions and ensure the prompt delivery of goods.

8/
Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#44. Personal financial advisors

- Job index: 64.40
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 77%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 58%
- Median pay: $61,300

Someone who advises individuals on insurance, mortgages, investments, and taxes needs excellent math and analytical skills, top-notch interpersonal skills, the ability to understand data and recognize trends, and the sense to foresee how different markets will be an asset to clients. In addition to a background in economics, finance, and investments, those who are hired by a firm can usually participate in a built-in training program, and advisors can even obtain financial planning certification to help them get more clients. Financial advisors help individuals and families manage cash flow, save money, and make smart decisions to ensure financial security.

9/
Microgen // Shutterstock

#43. Public relations managers

- Job index: 64.92
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 73%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 65%
- Median pay: $60,600

Being a successful public relations manager means having strong oral and written communication skills, being well-versed in different media, knowing how to work with news outlets, and having experience in strategic marketing and public speaking. Those seeking a job in public relations management must have a degree in public relations, communications, or a similar field, as well as several years of experience in entry-level positions. PR managers also can become certified via the Public Relations Society of America. PR is key for a business's branding and sales, and to grow client visibility.

10/
Bruce Weaver/AFP // Getty Images

#42. Mechanical engineers

- Job index: 64.96
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 69%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 53%
- Median pay: $71,000

If you want a career as a mechanical engineer, you'll need razor-sharp problem-solving skills, the ability to communicate effectively, a creative mind to develop products, and excellent math skills. Aspiring mechanical engineers need a license to practice, which besides a bachelor of science degree from a four-year college accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, requires supervised work experience and passing an engineering exam. Many things we use every day are mechanically engineered, such as generators and air conditioners, and simple machines like levers, pulleys, and the wheel.

11/
U.S. Air Force

#41. Materials engineers

- Job index: 65.64
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 65%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 50%
- Median pay: $77,100

To plan new projects, analyze labor costs, and design custom products and processes, a materials engineer must have keen math skills, be able to analyze how materials should be made to hold up in various conditions, be adept at solving problems, and have exemplary written and oral communication skills. Although a license isn't required for entry-level jobs, it would benefit those seeking to climb in the ranks. A license entails a bachelor's degree from an Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology-accredited program, passing grades on the Fundamentals of Engineering exam and the Professional Engineering exam, and usually at least four years of work experience. Materials engineering is instrumental in the design of all kinds of products, from biomaterials used in medicine to metals and glasses used in everyday objects.

12/
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District // Flickr

#40. Geoscientists, except hydrologists and geographers

- Job index: 65.84
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 72%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 55%
- Median pay: $69,800

There are many subfields of geoscience, including geochemistry, geophysics, and oceanography, to name a few. Successful geoscientists need stellar interpersonal and communication skills, critical thinking, good computer skills, and the ability to work in various outdoor settings for long periods, depending on the area of focus. Although most employers prefer candidates to have a bachelor of science degree in geoscience, a degree in environmental science or engineering will suffice to start out in the field. Many states require a license. Geoscientists ultimately help safeguard the Earth by learning about different environments, making assessments, and identifying sources of energy.

13/
UC Davis College of Engineering // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Biomedical engineers

- Job index: 66.06
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 69%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 82%
- Median pay: $54,900

Biomedical engineering professionals require a background in natural sciences, such as biology and chemistry, strong math skills, the ability to tackle complex problems, and solid reading-comprehension skills. Like other engineering fields, getting a license besides a bachelor's degree will help candidates open many more doors to employment. Licensure involves working for four years as a biomedical engineer and passing an exam. Biomedical engineers play important roles in the development of medical technology that can save lives and help doctors properly diagnose patients.

14/
U.S. Geological Survey // Flickr

#38. Hydrologists

- Job index: 66.23
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 66%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 57%
- Median pay: $73,300

Hydrologists need strong analytical and critical-thinking skills, the ability to communicate effectively, and physical stamina to reach potentially remote locations. Keen research skills also are required to develop ways to reduce the effects of erosion and pollution. To get an entry-level job in hydrology, candidates do not need a bachelor's degree in hydrology; a degree in geosciences or engineering can be helpful, as can a background in environmental law or economics. Hydrologists are essential to help solve problems related to water quality and shortages and to help prevent water pollution.

15/
U.S. Air Force

#37. Directors, religious activities and education

- Job index: 66.69
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 84%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 96%
- Median pay: $37,600

Directors of religious education must be adept at fostering interpersonal relationships, solving problems, being organized and detail-oriented, and managing time tables. Those pursuing careers as religious education directors should have a bachelor's degree in Bible studies, religious education, or missionary studies, as well as at least two years of experience in lower-level jobs. Roles in religious education help facilitate discussions about the meaning of one's own experiences and the experiences of others and tap into spiritual life.

16/
OLUWATOBILOBA // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Civil engineers

- Job index: 66.80
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 71%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 68%
- Median pay: $64,300

Civil engineer candidates should be well-versed in math and physics, and must be able to manage projects and communicate effectively, creatively devise solutions in architectural environments, and think critically. In addition to a bachelor's degree from a four-year Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology-accredited school, civil engineers need a license, the criteria for which varies by state, but usually involves two-to-four years of work in the field and an exam. Civil engineers are integral to the safe construction of things we need to function in society, such as bridges, highways, and buildings.

17/
Staff Sgt. Don Branum // U.S. Air Force photo

#35. Music directors and composers

- Job index: 67.19
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 80%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 88%
- Median pay: $46,500

Music directors and composers have to be multi-talented: They can read, write, play, and sing music. They must know the fundamentals of western musical pedagogy and practice and have great communication and teaching skills. Self-discipline is also paramount because composers and music directors often work as freelancers. Experience conducting orchestras and directing musicals can be acquired during college, but songwriters do not need a degree in music to break into the pop music industry, although knowledge of the music business helps. Music education and practice fosters creative problem-solving skills, cultivates teamwork, helps develop language skills, and plays a role in developing empathy.

18/
Oregon Department of Transportation // Flickr

#34. Construction managers

- Job index: 67.20
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 74%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 58%
- Median pay: $69,700

Effective construction managers are also great communicators and leaders. They should be able to manage time effectively, be adaptable to changing conditions, and be versed in construction methods. In addition to a degree in construction science or architecture, construction managers typically need a few years of experience working as contractors or carpenters, and can get certified through the Construction Management Association of America. Managers play important roles because they employ competent workers, ensure that regulations and safety standards are met, and generally make sure jobs run smoothly and efficiently.

19/
Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington // Flickr

#33. Foresters

- Job index: 67.51
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 85%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 81%
- Median pay: $48,500

A forester should be able to solve problems using scientific methods, have great collaboration skills, be physically fit, and have keen instinctual and survival skills. Other than a degree in environmental science or forestry, some states require a license to work as a professional which includes a bachelor's degree, on-the-job training, and taking an exam. Working to preserve forests is vital because forests allay climate change, provide air to breathe and lumber to build things, and serve as animal habitats.

20/
Oracle PR // Flickr

#32. General and operations managers

- Job index: 67.72
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 75%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 57%
- Median pay: $70,900

General and operations managers must be powerful leaders, highly organized, and possess significant critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. They need to be able to manage budgets, delegate responsibilities, and be deadline-oriented. In addition to a degree in business administration or a similar field, general managers typically need at least one or two years of training and work experience, though the more experience in entry-level jobs, the better. Operations managers are key for businesses, which need someone to make sure products are made and delivered on time, and to ensure that day-to-day activities run smoothly.

21/
Dragon Images // Shutterstock

#31. Financial managers

- Job index: 68.06
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 77%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 47%
- Median pay: $76,800

To prepare financial reports and statements, supervise employees, and analyze market trends, financial managers need to be great communicators, possess analytical and critical-thinking skills, pay meticulous attention to detail, and excel at math. Beyond a bachelor's degree in finance or a related area, experience in an entry-level job as an accountant or financial analyst is essential to landing a management position. Although a license or certification is not required, it would be an asset in getting a higher-level job in finance. Financial managers are critical to overseeing a company's intake and expenses.

22/
Staff Sgt. Sharon Singer // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Environmental engineers

- Job index: 68.20
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 72%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 70%
- Median pay: $65,600

Those seeking a job as an environmental engineer need strong math skills, knowledge of legal codes and government regulations, the ability to apply the principles of science to solve problems, and must know how to use electronic equipment and software. Past a four-year degree, aspiring environmental engineers need a license to practice on their own, the requirements of which vary by state. State requirements for licenses can be found via the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. Environmental engineers create systems to ensure drinking water is clean and create drainage systems to avoid water pollution.

23/
Michaeljung // Shutterstock

#29. Registered nurses

- Job index: 68.32
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 71%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 80%
- Median pay: $60,100

Nurses need keen observation skills, attention to detail, a strong bedside manner (kindness and compassion are key traits for successful nurses), the ability to manage stress, and sharp judgment and decision-making skills. They also need physical and mental fortitude to work long shifts and the ability to snap into action if they're on call. Apart from a bachelor of science degree in nursing, aspiring nurses must pass the National Council License Exam, and apply for a registered nurse license at the state level. Nurses are often empathetic and compassionate toward patients, which may lead to lower anxiety, more optimistic outlooks, and mitigation of pain.

24/
REDPIXEL.PL // Shutterstock

#28. Computer software engineers, applications

- Job index: 68.77
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 57%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 29%
- Median pay: $103,000

To excel as an applications software engineer, candidates should be well-versed in programming languages like Java and Python, have strong critical-thinking skills, be detail-oriented, be capable of analyzing user-experience patterns, and thrive in team settings. Other than a bachelor of science degree in computer science or software engineering, internships or work studies will help in finding jobs in the field. Many employers also offer seminars to update engineers on the latest trends in software development. Applications engineering is vital to many industries because most, if not all, businesses use computer applications in their day-to day-operations.

25/
nd3000 // Shutterstock

#27. Sales engineers

- Job index: 68.88
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 74%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 46%
- Median pay: $81,300

Good sales engineers ought to have excellent public speaking and interpersonal skills, know how to analyze competing products, be conversational with technology, and know how to solve problems promptly and creatively. Other than getting a degree that specializes in a particular area of engineering, like electrical or civil engineering, sales engineers need some on-the-job experience before they can work independently, and should continue learning about new technologies that pertain to their industry. Sales engineers can bridge the gap between developers and salespeople by helping customers fully understand their own needs and how the company can meet them.

26/
fizkes // Shutterstock

#26. Actuaries

- Job index: 69.00
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 80%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 36%
- Median pay: $84,100

Those aspiring to work as actuaries will need skills in the areas of calculus, probability and statistics, the ability to analyze data and solve problems, excellent written and oral communication skills, and the capacity to use statistical analysis software and other computer programs. Most actuaries work in health and life insurance. After getting a bachelor of science degree in actuarial science, a certification is required to work as an actuary, either through the Society of Actuaries or the Casualty Actuarial Society. Potential actuaries must pass six exams that usually take four-to-six years to obtain associate level, and another three exams over two or three years to gain fellowship status. Actuarial work is important because all businesses need strong risk assessment experts to maintain financial stability.

27/
Iakov Filimonov // Shutterstock

#25. Database administrators

- Job index: 69.03
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 72%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 49%
- Median pay: $81,000

To maintain a company's databases, ensure data is stored securely, and assess the purchasing of database software, database administrators should be excellent communicators, expert analysts and problem-solvers, and have a proclivity for detail. Typically, database administrators with bachelor's degrees can up the ante by getting certified in relevant software. Companies that rely heavily on software to function need these workers because they usually know about hyper-technical aspects of database management, as well as how applications run.

28/
Pexels

#24. Sales managers

- Job index: 69.08
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 75%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 46%
- Median pay: $81,100

Getting a job in sales management involves exemplary business acumen, excellent leadership skills, hiring smarts, great decision-making abilities, and stellar interpersonal skills to coach sales representatives. Apart from a degree in business administration, public relations or a similar area, sales managers usually need several years of experience in lower-level sales jobs, as well as a few years in a sales leadership position. Good sales managers help businesses flourish by maximizing sales, hiring talented staffers, and making smart overall financial decisions.

29/
U.S. Air Force

#23. Arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators

- Job index: 69.09
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 90%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 69%
- Median pay: $56,600

Arbitrators and mediators are used in cases of alternative-dispute resolution, and should have a deep understanding of conflict resolution, communication and negotiation skills, a natural inclination to solve problems, and great judgment. Arbitrators typically need to have studied conflict management or law to get a job, but professionals with other backgrounds are starting to break into the field. In many states, mediators must accomplish 20-to-40 hours of training before landing a job which can be obtained through national and local mediation organizations. This line of work is a useful alternative to time-consuming, expensive courtroom proceedings, and typically yields outcomes that more equally benefit both parties.

30/
Wipas Rojjanakard // Shutterstock

#22. Occupational health and safety specialists

- Job index: 69.15
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 73%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 73%
- Median pay: $65,200

Those seeking work as health and safety professionals need to have keen technology skills, pay close attention to detail, possess physical endurance, and excel at solving problems. Depending on the job environment, potential health and safety specialists will need some hands-on training before getting a job. Certification is not required, but it's helpful to land a good job. Graduation from an accredited school and previous work experience are requirements for taking most certification tests. Health and safety specialists play important roles in many businesses by making sure they adhere to regulations and codes, and perform tests to avoid accidents that may be hazardous to workers and property.

31/
gdsteam // Flickr

#21. Health educators

- Job index: 69.45
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 75%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 87%
- Median pay: $55,600

Health educators need to communicate effectively to convey information to all kinds of audiences. They need strong teamwork and people skills to collaborate with physicians and other health-care staff, the ability to solve problems and think critically, and computer skills to maintain individual patient files. Beyond a bachelor's degree, those looking for health-education jobs may need to become certified depending on the employer which can be obtained through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing. Health educators are instrumental in informing the public about the best ways to achieve physical, emotional, mental, and sexual health, which ultimately can lead to fewer instances of disease and a better quality of life.

32/
Suwin // Shutterstock

#20. Electrical engineers

- Job index: 69.54
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 72%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 58%
- Median pay: $76,400

Electrical engineers should have exceptional science and math skills to build and maintain electrical machinery, as well as the ability to think critically, solve problems and analyze data, and lead teams and collaborate with others. The Fundamentals of Engineering Exam is required to get a job which involves a bachelor of science degree from an Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology-accredited program, and a passing score on the fundamentals test, at which point engineers are considered engineers-in-training or interns until they pass the professional engineer exam. Electrical engineers play vital roles in the construction of objects used in everyday life, such as computers, cell phones, and light bulbs.

33/
Gorodenkoff // Shutterstock

#19. Natural sciences managers

- Job index: 69.70
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 73%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 77%
- Median pay: $63,900

Those who wish to become managers in the world of the natural sciences should have the ability to communicate well with scientists, technicians, and policymakers, a deep understanding of the area of science in which they're working, top-notch interpersonal and leadership skills, and the capacity to evaluate other people's work and solve problems creatively. Most managers in this field start out working as scientists and gradually gain responsibility during their careers. The natural sciences play a key role in advancements in medicine, studying and maintaining ecosystems, and combating climate change.

34/
Pixabay

#18. Marine engineers and naval architects

- Job index: 70.03
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 75%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 53%
- Median pay: $78,800

Marine engineers and naval architects design, test, and maintain different aspects of marine machinery and ships, and often collaborate with each other. To excel at either job, candidates need first-rate communication skills, interpersonal smarts, a strong knowledge of trigonometry and calculus, and excellent problem-solving skills. Aspiring engineers and architects who get degrees from state maritime academies take a licensing exam through the U.S. Coast Guard. Others may obtain a professional-engineering license, which gives them the ability to accept leadership roles. This kind of work plays a vital role in the oil industry and other industries that rely on oil to function, not to mention general imports and exports.

35/
PxHere

#17. Training and development managers

- Job index: 70.55
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 77%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 60%
- Median pay: $74,200

Training and development managers need razor-sharp critical thinking skills to gauge classes and programs, excellent decision-making skills, the ability to communicate effectively with staffers and students, knowledge of current educational practices, and excellent public speaking skills. Other than a degree in human resources or a related field, training managers usually need at least two-to-four years of on-the-job experience to land a management role. Certification can be obtained through the American Society for Training and Development. Trainers and developers are crucial to many companies because the more up-to-date employees' skills in everything from technology to communication are, the more efficiently a company will run.

36/
CDC Global // Flickr

#16. Emergency management specialists

- Job index: 71.05
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 86%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 79%
- Median pay: $57,300

Those working in emergency management should be great at managing stress, thinking critically, communicating well, and solving problems while maintaining their calm. Job candidates should have two-to-five years of work experience, and can up the ante by becoming a certified emergency manager through the International Association of Emergency Managers. Emergency management specialists are important because the need for proper resources in an emergency is universal, whether it be weather-related, a man-made disaster such as an oil spill, or an act of terrorism.

37/
NTNU, Faculty of Natural Science // Flickr

#15. Chemical engineers

- Job index: 71.35
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 73%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 61%
- Median pay: $78,000

Chemical engineers not only need technical skills in chemistry, biochemistry, and physics, but must also know how to apply those skills to design processes, possess excellent leadership and people skills, and be highly adaptable. Other than a degree in chemical engineering, internships or cooperative programs help to get a job in the field which can be accessed through some college programs. A license is not necessarily required for an entry-level job. Chemical engineers can work in all kinds of industries such as pharmaceuticals, environmental regulations, oil production, or metal industries—all of which play parts in medications we need to stay healthy, access to clean water, and infrastructure construction.

38/
Pixabay

#14. Computer hardware engineers

- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 71%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 53%
- Median pay: $85,900

To design, build, and assess hardware systems and electronic circuits, hardware engineers should be conversational in several programming languages, as well as engineering and board design. They also need tip-top analytical and problem-solving skills to track user needs and troubleshoot problems. And Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology-accredited degree in electrical engineering or computer science, as well as an internship or two, are key to land a job in the field. This kind of work is important because almost every industry requires computer systems to run properly.

39/
PxHere

#13. Health and safety engineers, except mining safety engineers and inspectors

- Job index: 72.28
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 74%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 75%
- Median pay: $70,500

Health and safety engineers may work in everything from product safety to fire prevention. Those who want to break into the field should possess creativity to map out designs that detail problems and solutions, critical thinking and observational skills to pinpoint potential dangers, and exceptional problem-solving abilities. In addition to a degree, candidates will need work experience that can be obtained through an internship or cooperative college program. Although most states do not require a license, those seeking to work as a systems safety engineer may obtain one, which requires at least four years of work experience. Health and safety engineers are vital to many industries because they take precautions to keep people, properties, and the environment out of harm's way.

40/
a katz // Shutterstock

#12. Clergy

- Job index: 72.84
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 90%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 98%
- Median pay: $46,600

Members of the clergy need extensive knowledge of theology, great listening and interpersonal skills, natural public speaking ability, some teaching experience, and social awareness. To become a rabbi, for example, you would need to spend four or five years at a college or rabbinical seminary, and gain a few years of work experience at a synagogue or Jewish education center. Members of the clergy providing spiritual guidance and moral support in their communities.

 

41/
Ethan Miller // Getty Images

#11. Aerospace engineers

- Job index: 72.88
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 71%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 64%
- Median pay: $80,900

Engineers in the aerospace field need technical knowledge of manufacturing procedures and aircraft systems, the ability to analyze design elements, a strong understanding of trigonometry and calculus, impeccable problem-solving and critical thinking skills, and meticulous attention to detail. In addition to a bachelor's degree, internships help candidates get jobs, and a professional engineering license can be obtained after four years of work as an engineer. Aerospace engineering is instrumental in the creation of national defense equipment, civilian airplanes, and equipment used in space exploration.

42/
Idaho National Laboratory // Flickr

#10. Nuclear engineers

- Job index: 73.20
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 67%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 67%
- Median pay: $82,300

Nuclear engineers should be well-versed in calculus, trigonometry, and natural sciences in order to design and test nuclear equipment and ensure nuclear power plants meet safety regulations. They also must anticipate problems and have keen analytical skills. For entry-level jobs, engineers must go through two-to-three months of training. Although licensure is not required, a fledgling engineer can get a professional engineering license to increase the opportunity for a leadership role. Nuclear science is important because nuclear energy has a relatively low impact on the environment compared with other energy sources.

43/
Official Navy Page from United States of America Greg Vojtko/U.S. Navy // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Electronics engineers, except computer

- Job index: 73.32
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 67%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 62%
- Median pay: $85,800

Aspiring electronics engineers should be knowledgeable in high-level math, have a knack for detail, have expert problem-solving skills, and be teamwork-oriented. A bachelor of science degree and internship experience are prerequisites for most entry-level jobs, and candidates also may pursue a professional engineering license. Electronics engineering is a versatile and vital profession—many industries require electronic components to function and advance, such as transportation and health care.

44/
Pixabay

#8. Compensation and benefits managers

- Job index: 73.45
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 79%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 55%
- Median pay: $82,800

Those who want to work as a compensation and benefits manager should have excellent math skills to perform quantitative data analysis, be detail-oriented, have critical thinking and analytical skills, and adhere to ethical codes. Apart from a degree in human resources or business management, experience working in lower-level jobs in finance or business administration will help to become a manager. Aspiring benefits managers can get certified through one of several organizations, including the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. This work plays an important role in attracting the right employees, as different generations value different kinds of benefits packages. Hiring the right candidates who will stay on the job long term often results in healthier work environments and higher productivity.

45/
NTNU, Faculty of Natural Sciences // Flickr

#7. Materials scientists

- Job index: 76.35
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 67%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 62%
- Median pay: $92,800

To plan and execute research projects and prepare solutions and compounds, a materials scientist must have a solid understanding of organic and inorganic chemistry, have exceptional critical thinking and analytical skills, be conversational in high-level math, and be able to develop alternative methods of conducting experiments. An internship or fellowship, as well as a bachelor's degree in chemistry or materials science, are minimum requirements for an entry-level job in the field. Materials science is critical to the production of everyday materials like metals and ceramics, as well as materials used in the biomedical industry, such as prosthetic limbs.

46/
everything possible // Shutterstock

#6. Medical and health services managers

- Job index: 76.89
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 81%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 84%
- Median pay: $70,800

Managers in the medical and health services field need great interpersonal skills to train and communicate with health care staffers, a detail-oriented approach to create work schedules and manage billing, sharp technical skills, problem-solving smarts, and accounting skills to manage budgets. In addition to a degree in health management or health administration, some work experience in an administrative position in a health care environment is required to land a management job. Health services managers play important roles in hospitals and clinics by making sure systems work smoothly to deliver the highest quality care to patients, and to making healthcare available for as many people as possible.

47/
NASA

#5. Cartographers and photogrammetrists

- Job index: 76.94
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 97%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 80%
- Median pay: $63,100

Those seeking work as a cartographer should possess keen computer coding skills and knowledge of geographic information systems to create digital maps, along with the ability to think critically and analyze data, pay high attention to detail, and to solve problems creatively. In addition to a bachelor's degree, some states require a license to work in different aspects of cartography and photogrammetry, such as working as a surveyor. Cartography is integral to creating and updating maps, which are crucial in almost every field, including city planning, aviation, and anthropology.

48/
FrameStockFootages // Shutterstock

#4. Computer and information systems managers

- Job index: 78.56
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 72%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 49%
- Median pay: $103,000

There are several types of management roles in computer and information systems, such as chief information officer, IT manager, and chief technology officers. All require prior knowledge of basic business principles, and strong experience in computer programming, software development, and upper-level math. Analytical and problem-solving skills are also a must. A management position in this field typically involves at least five-to-10 years of experience in lower and mid-level jobs. This kind of work is important because most, if not all, businesses need efficient methods of communicating and sharing information to run smoothly.

49/
Official U.S. Navy Page // Flickr

#3. Engineering managers

- Job index: 86.49
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 75%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 62%
- Median pay: $111,000

Working as an engineering manager in any subfield of engineering requires exemplary leadership skills, the ability to connect with and assess groups of people, an aptitude for problem-solving, and technical expertise. Internships and hands-on work experience are required, as is gaining a license through the National Council of Examiners of Engineering and Surveying, the qualifications for which vary by state. Engineering plays an instrumental part in the construction of bridges, trains, and many other facets of modern life.

50/
Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement BSEE // Flickr

#2. Petroleum engineers

- Job index: 87.28
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 80%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 66%
- Median pay: $107,000

Petroleum engineers assess oil and gas reservoirs for profitability. To do so, they should be well-versed in design technology, geology, math, and other natural sciences, and must have excellent teamwork, organizational, and analytical skills. They must obtain a professional engineering license, which includes passing a test and having four years of experience on the job. Petroleum engineers are vital to many industries; they make sure oil drilling is efficient and safe and ensure prices are reasonable.

51/
World Travel and Tourism Council // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Chief executives

- Job index: 100.00
- Employees reporting high job satisfaction: 88%
- Employees reporting high job meaningfulness: 74%
- Median pay: $126,000

Chief executives in any field must possess sharp leadership and interpersonal skills to build relationships with staffers, media, and other beneficiaries, business and math know-how to plan strategies and prepare budgets, and strong public speaking and advocacy skills. Experience in senior management and leadership roles is paramount to landing the job. Chief executives make key decisions about operations, human resources, financial planning, and just about every aspect of an organization.

2018 All rights reserved.