Nurse practitioner topped US News & World Report’s list of 2024 Best Jobs, while respiratory therapist ranked #53 overall and #12 in healthcare careers. Several other healthcare jobs made the top 100 list as well, including (#5) physician assistant, (#6) medical and health services manager, and (#30) physical therapist.

The rankings offer a look at the best jobs across 17 categories, including healthcare, engineering and business. The rankings take into account the most important aspects of a job, including growth potential, work-life balance, job safety, employment rate and salary. 

According to US News, increased demand for healthcare and healthcare support jobs played a role in nurse practitioner being ranked the top spot this year.

“Healthcare workers are critical to our overall well-being,” said Erika Giovanetti, Money expert at US News. “Nurse practitioner rose to the number one spot as this year’s best job. The 10-year outlook for the occupation is strong, with one-in-three of the top 100 jobs being in healthcare — an increase from one-in-four in the 2023 rankings. Future growth and a high median salary make this career sector appealing as well.”

Following nurse practitioner in the overall ranking is financial manager at No. 2, software developer at No. 3, IT manager at No. 4 and physician’s assistant at No. 5.

STEM fields and healthcare support jobs also continue to rank high among the Careers With the Most Job Security, with these industries capturing all of the list’s top 10 jobs. Of the six STEM positions noted in the top 10, nurse practitioner took the No. 1 spot, statistician landed at No. 2, software developer came in at No. 4 and information security analyst came in at No. 5. These have a median salary between about $99,000 and $128,000.

“With the 2024 job market exhibiting an appetite for web development, engineering and science-based professions, it is no surprise that STEM occupations make up nearly one-quarter of the Best Jobs rankings,” says Giovanetti. “The strong future job prospects and salary opportunities for many of these roles are a clear indicator for expansion in this industry.”

To calculate Best Jobs, U.S. News draws data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to identify jobs with the greatest hiring demand. Jobs are then scored using five component measures: future prospects, wage potential, employment, job safety and stability, and work-life balance. For further details on how the rankings were calculated, see the methodology.

US News 2024 Best Jobs Rankings

Top 100 Best Jobs (overall)

  1. Nurse Practitioner
  2. Financial Manager
  3. Software Developer 
  4. IT Manager
  5. Physician Assistant
  6. Medical and Health Services Manager
  7. Information Security Analyst
  8. Data Scientist
  9. Actuary
  10. Speech-Language Pathologist

Read the full list of top 100 jobs overall here.

Best Healthcare Jobs

  1. Nurse Practitioner
  2. Physician Assistant
  3. Speech-Language Pathologist
  4. Occupational Therapist 
  5. Veterinarian 
  6. Nurse Anesthetist
  7. Physical Therapist
  8. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
  9. Psychiatrist
  10. Registered Nurse
  11. Optometrist
  12. Respiratory Therapist

Read the full list of best healthcare jobs here.

Best STEM Jobs

  1. Nurse Practitioner
  2. Software Developer
  3. IT Manager
  4. Physician Assistant
  5. Medical and Health Services Manager

Read the full list of best STEM jobs here.