Do You Have One of the 10 Best Jobs of 2014?

Landing your dream job is often one of the defining moments of your life, but for millions of people, the job of their dreams lies somewhere out of reach. It doesn't have to be! With some careful planning, and a little luck, many people can get the job they've always wanted. It certainly helps to pursue a profession that's in high demand and that offers high pay, a good work-life balance, and a generally rewarding working experience.

This past week, U.S. News and World Report released its annual Best Jobs list, updated for 2014. The rankings may not be all that surprising for those already working one of the top 10 jobs on its list (you can see the full list of America's 100 best jobs here), but if you're struggling in your current profession, you might come away with a few options for your next big career shift. Let's start with the 10th-best job and work our way up the list now. 

10. Dental hygienist
If you like teeth, you'll love being a dental hygienist -- these trained medical professionals not only clean patients' teeth, but they also serve as front-line warriors in the battle against bad breath, plaque, and the gum disease gingivitis (among other mouthy ailments). Many work in dentist's offices, and more than half work part-time, which makes this a great job for those who want to spend more time with their families.

  • Entry-level education: Associate's degree
  • Entry-level (bottom 10% of profession) pay: $46,540
  • Median pay: $70,210
  • Best pay (top 10% of profession): $96,280
  • Number of jobs in 2012: 192,800
  • Expected new jobs in 2022: 64,200 (33% job growth)
  • Upward mobility: Below average
  • Stress level: Average
  • Flexibility: High 

9. Web developer
The look and functionality of this website -- indeed, of virtually every website you see -- was built by skilled Web developers, who merge artistic and technical skills to create an online experience that's pleasing to the eye, easy to use, and efficient in its use of server resources. About 25% of all web developers are self-employed, so competition can be fierce, and having the right professional connections can make a huge difference.

  • Entry-level education: Associate's degree
  • Entry-level (bottom 10% of profession) pay: $33,550
  • Median pay: $62,500
  • Best pay (top 10% of profession): $105,200
  • Number of jobs in 2012: 141,400
  • Expected new jobs in 2022: 28,500 (20% job growth)
  • Upward mobility: Above average
  • Stress level: Below average
  • Flexibility: High 

8. Physician
When most people think of doctors, they probably think of physicians, who can range from the friendly family doctor (a general practitioner) to specialists in children's health (pediatricians), women's health (obstetricians and gynecologists), or skin care (dermatologists), to surgeons. These highly trained medical professionals might have a number of specialties, but they're all dedicated to the same goal: helping patients live healthier lives. The need for physicians will continue to surge as more Americans age into their golden years.

  • Entry-level education: Doctoral degree
  • Entry-level (bottom 10% of profession) pay: $66,790
  • Median pay: $187,200 (higher for most specialists)
  • Best pay (top 10% of profession): $432,900 (anesthesiologists)
  • Number of jobs in 2012: 691,400
  • Expected new jobs in 2022: 123,300 (18% job growth)
  • Upward mobility: Above average
  • Stress level: High
  • Flexibility: Average 

7. Physical therapist
Physical therapists will also in remain high demand thanks to demographic changes, as they are primarily responsible for rehabilitating anyone with low mobility, whether that's a grandmother who's spent too much of her life on the couch watching TV or an elite athlete recovering from an on-the-field injury. Physical therapists can also work to alleviate the impact of chronic conditions like diabetes or obesity on patients' bodies. Many work in clinics, hospitals, or nursing homes, but some have their own private practices.

  • Entry-level education: Doctoral degree
  • Entry-level (bottom 10% of profession) pay: $55,620
  • Median pay: $79,860
  • Best pay (top 10% of profession): $112,020
  • Number of jobs in 2012: 204,200
  • Expected new jobs in 2022: 73,500 (36% job growth)
  • Upward mobility: Below average
  • Stress level: Below average
  • Flexibility: Above average 

6. Registered nurse
It should come as no surprise that another highly visible medical profession has landed on the list of top jobs, as the demand for registered nurses has been well documented by both the media and by nursing schools that have eagerly recruited thousands of bright students to the field. Nurses assist physicians of all stripes with a wide range of patient care, from general practice and emergency rooms to specialist care for particular conditions or parts of the body.

  • Entry-level education: Associate's degree
  • Entry-level (bottom 10% of profession) pay: $45,040
  • Median pay: $65,470
  • Best pay (top 10% of profession): $94,720
  • Number of jobs in 2012: 2,711,500
  • Expected new jobs in 2022: 526,800 (19% job growth)
  • Upward mobility: Average
  • Stress level: Above average
  • Flexibility: Average

Do you have one of the 10 best jobs in America for 2014? Are you still looking for an even better opportunity? There are five more jobs on our list, so click here to read about the top five jobs of 2014.

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