This Is the Best Job in America (Hint: It’s Not a Doctor or Lawyer!)

Did yours make the list?

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Start brushing up those resumes, stat! There’s never been a better time to consider a career change—and here’s what you need on your resume if you are. The U.S. News and World Report just released its annual list of the best jobs in America, and you might be surprised by what tops the list.

To determine the nationwide ranking, a team of researchers gathered data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on 100 popular jobs. Then, they ranked each position based on characteristics such as demand, work/life balance, and growth potential.

While dentists have been considered the best job in America for the past several years, one tech position offers a better overall lifestyle, according to the report. Software developers earned the highest rank on this year’s survey of the best jobs in America.

Not only do these skilled techies earn an average salary of $108,080, but they’re also likely to be hired fast, the survey says. The “huge” demand for software developers isn’t expected to drop anytime soon, either. Check out even more of the best careers to pursue right now.

“Our society is more and more dependent on digital technology for all aspects,” Rebecca Koenig, a careers reporter for U.S. News, told the Chicago Tribune. “Not just [large tech firms such as] Facebook and Google, but every other business needs software developers to make their applications. Even hospitals are tapping into digital communication to make sure doctors and patients can communicate.”

Meanwhile, the job of dentist was demoted to the No. 2 spot this year. Other top positions include physician assistant in third place, followed by nurse practitioners and orthodontists.

The bottom line: Maybe you were laid off recently, or maybe you’re just looking for a change of pace. Either way, consider this a sign to start learning the most important job skill in the future. We’re willing to bet you won’t regret it.

[Source: TIME]

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Brooke Nelson
Brooke Nelson is a researcher at PBS FRONTLINE in Boston, Massachusetts, and writes regularly about travel, health, and culture news for Reader’s Digest. Previously she was a staff writer at Reader's Digest. Her articles have also appeared on MSN, Business Insider, and Yahoo Finance, among other sites. She earned a BA in international relations from Hendrix College. Follow her on Twitter @BrookeTNelson.