October 15, 2015

Good News for People Who Like Things That Go ‘Boom’: 2015’s Top 10 Jobs

FireworksLate last month, SmartAsset released its list of the “Top 10 Jobs for Salary and Growth in 2015” — and it’s kind of a weird one.

The list is the result of a lengthy analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data. SmartAsset looked at “every job with total U.S. employment of at least 5,000″ — 700 jobs overall. For each job, SmartAsset wanted to know:

– the current average salary;

– the annual salary growth rate;

– and the annual growth in the total number of jobs.

“Our goal with the study was to find jobs that pay well and that are seeing good growth going into the future, in terms of how many opportunities there are and how much these jobs are going to pay,” explains Nick Wallace, the SmartAsset data journalist who conducted the analysis.

And what jobs made it to the top 10 based on Wallace’s Criteria? You can view the full list (with accompanying job descriptions) at SmartAsset’s blog, or check it out below:

  1. Personal Financial Advisors
  2. Film and Video Editors
  3. Marine Engineers and Naval Architects
  4. Orthodontists
  5. Riggers
  6. Explosives Workers
  7. Postsecondary Health Specialties Teachers
  8. Earth Drillers (non-Oil and Gas)
  9. TV and Movie Camera Operators
  10. Anesthesiologists

Some of the results are unsurprising. Is anyone shocked to see personal financial advisors, anesthesiologists, or orthodontists show up? Probably not.

But then, jobs like explosives worker and TV and movie camera operator pop up. Whether you’re the kind of person who enjoys real-life explosions (safe, legal, controlled explosions, of course) or the kind on the big screen, it looks like 2015 might be your lucky career year.

“We were kind of surprised to see explosives workers in the top jobs,” Wallace says. “To be honest, that was not a job I had even heard of before starting this research.”

But that, Wallace says, is exactly what makes this list valuable to job seekers.

“It might spark someone’s interest and send them to do a little more research on what exactly an explosives worker does,” Wallace says.

planeIn other words: Wallace and SmartAsset believe this list can help job seekers learn about lucrative career paths of which they may have been unaware. Who knows: Maybe you, sitting behind your desk, reading this right now, just realized you were always meant to be a rigger — that is, someone who is “responsible for moving, transporting, and positioning heavy equipment and oversized loads,” according to SmartAsset.

Wallace also notes that this list shouldn’t be any job seeker’s be-all, end-all when it comes to selecting a future career. These jobs may be doing very well at this moment, but the economic future can be tricky to predict.

“[The list] is really a snapshot of where things are right now,” Wallace explains. “It’s hard to say five, ten years down the line what these jobs will look like. But they did see strong growth over the past year.”

SmartAsset also spent some time looking at the bottom ten jobs of 2015, all of which experienced negative wage and job growth over the last year:

  1. Metal Pourers and Casters
  2. Drilling and Boring Machine Tool Setters
  3. Multimedia Artists and Animators
  4. Middle School Career Education Teachers
  5. Continuous Mining Machine Operators
  6. Motor Vehicle Electronic Equipment Installers
  7. Gaming Change Persons and Booth Cashiers
  8. Gaming and Sports Book Writers and Runners
  9. Tailors and Dressmakers
  10. Medical Transcriptionists

Anyone currently engaged in any of these roles may want to head back up to the beginning of this post and take a look at the top ten jobs. It may be time for a career change.

Read more in Economic Numbers

Matthew Kosinski is the managing editor of Recruiter.com.