It's a great time to be a job-seeker. The US economy is humming, adding a total of 2.7 million jobs in 2015, and the potential for job growth in 2016 is bright as well.
U.S. News & World Report's recently published 2016 Best Jobs ranking provides a tool for job-seekers to compare professions based on important metrics like salary and expected number of openings.
To compile their ranking, U.S. News identified jobs with the greatest hiring demand--those with the highest projected number of openings from 2014 to 2024--as categorized by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The jobs that topped the list were then scored using seven measures, including stress level, work-life balance, median salary, and employment rate. Read more about the full methodology.
U.S. News also broke down the best jobs by industry, including the best business jobs for 2016. The top business jobs this year are statistician, operations-research analyst, and accountant. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts more than 30% job growth for positions as statisticians and operations-research analysts and more than 10% job growth for positions in accounting.
Check out the 20 best business jobs for 2016 below, along with their average annual salary, according to 2014 figures from the BLS.
20. Loan officer
Average salary: $73,670
Best-paying cities: Grand Junction, Colorado; Ocala, Florida
Loan officers are available to help clients with financial milestones like paying for a college education or buying a new car or house. The best loan officers have excellent interpersonal skills and advise, evaluate, and authorize loans to people and businesses.
Positions are available in a range of settings from commercial banks and credit unions to mortgage companies and car dealerships. Employment growth of 8% is expected for loan officer jobs through 2024.
Average salary: $56,840
Best-paying cities: Durham, North Carolina; Washington D.C.
Fundraisers raise money for nonprofit organizations like educational institutions, health-research foundations, and political campaigns. People in this position are relied upon to bring in the big bucks by making cold calls, writing grants, and organizing events. Fundraising jobs are expected to have a growth rate of 9% through 2024.
18. Administrative assistant
Average salary: $34,500
Best-paying cities: Trenton, New Jersey; Boston, Massachusetts
This position is defined by the employer, though many fill diverse roles such as operations managers, event planners, accountants, and maintenance workers.Administrative assistants provide support at all levels of an organization and are often tasked with keeping track of budgets and ensuring all departments adhere to their budgets.
In 2014, there were 2.4 million jobs in this position, but the BLS projects that number to grow by 3% within 10 years.
17. Compliance officers
Average salary: $68,000
Best-paying cities: San Jose, California; Bridgeport, Connecticut
Compliance officers make sure companies and governing bodies stay in line with internal policies and regulatory requirements. Openings for this position are in high demand in the financial industry as the government steps up enforcement of anti-money-laundering laws.
There are also openings healthcare, telecommunications, and gas extraction. Duties include identifying risks, implementing controls to mitigate the risks, and reporting on the effectiveness of these solutions. The BLS estimates that about 8,700 new jobs will be added through 2024.
16. HR specialist
Average salary: $62,590
Best-paying cities: San Luis Obispo, California; Santa Cruz, California
HR Specialists operate under the belief that if a company hires talented people and keeps them happy, success is inevitable. Analytical people are best in this position where daily tasks range from recruiting or training new employees to addressing compliance issues.
The best candidates for this position--which is expected to grow by 5%--are those with a bachelor's degree in training and development, education, human resources, computer science, or instrumental design.
15. Social and community-service manager
Average salary: $67,730
Best-paying cities: Mankato, Minnesota; Washington D.C.
By their very nature, jobs in social work are about making a difference in a community.Social and community-service managers do this by working with a specific group of people, like medical patients or the homeless, seeking to identify problems and gaps in care. They may also research and design programs that address these problems and analyze data, write grant proposals, or mentor staff. Solid growth is expected for this position:
10% through 2024 driven by the aging population.
14. Cost estimator
Average salary: $64,340
Best-paying cities: Midland, Texas; Anchorage, Alaska
Cost estimators are an integral part of the manufacturing and building industries. They're responsible for estimating the costs, time, resources, and labor of various types of projects and analyzing those patterns. Many work in nonresidential-building construction or for building equipment contractors.
Job growth is projected to be 9% through 2024, translating to about 18,700 new jobs.
13. Financial analyst
Average salary: $92,250
Best-paying cities: San Francisco, California; New York, New York
Financial analysts are always on top of current economic trends, business news, and company strategy so they can best advise their clients when to buy and sell investments. Many analysts work at financial companies and dedicate 50 to 70 hours a week to their job.
The BLS predicts job growth of 12% for this competitive position.
Average salary: $76,830
Best-paying cities: San Jose, California; Washington D.C.
Logisticians work largely behind-the-scenes, coordinating responses to natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes or environmental disasters like oil spills. Jobs are available in virtually every field from retail to finance to government, where the position requires workers to develop strategies for minimizing costs while maximizing efficiency.
Employment for logistician jobs is only expected to grow 2% through 2024.
11. Market-research analyst
Average salary: $68,700
Best-paying cities: San Jose, California; San Francisco, California
Market-research analysts are hired to help their clients figure out who their consumers are, what they want, and how much they'll pay for it. New technology has altered the description of this job over the last five years, but market-research analysts still churn out reports on sales trends and consumer demographics, preferences, and spending habits.
The BLS projects massive growth with an 18.6% increase in the number of jobs available through 2024.
10. Financial manager
Average salary: $130,230
Best-paying cities: New York, New York; San Francisco, California
Financial managers are responsible for the finances of major companies or agencies, where they coordinate accounting and produce financial reports, cash-flow statements, and profit projections. People in this position must be detail-oriented and excellent communicators.
The BSL predicts job growth of 7% for this position and notes that the most marketable candidates are those who can handle international finance and the increasingly complicated worlds of financial instruments and securities.
Average salary: $110,090
Best-paying cities: Washington D.C.; New York, New York
Actuarial science uses math, statistics, and financial theory to measure, manage, and mitigate financial risk and uncertainty.Actuaries are integral to the insurance industry and are rapidly finding their places in other industries. In fact, the BLS predicts jobs available for this occupation will increase by 18% through 2024.
8. Business operations manager
Average salary: $117,200
Best-paying cities: Bridgeport, Connecticut; New York, New York
Often referred to as the "go-to" people at a company, business operations managers'duties depend on the specific company but typically include hiring people, negotiating contracts, addressing budget matters, understanding general business operations, and guiding work teams for projects. Driven by the creation of new businesses, employment for this job is projected to grow 7%.
7. Management analyst
Average salary: $90,860
Best-paying cities: Greeley, Colorado; Pittsfield, Massachusetts
Companies hire management analysts, also known as consultants, to improve an organization's efficiency and increase profits. People in this position come in with a fresh perspective to collect and analyze data on a company's procedures and present them with suggestions and new ideas. Employment for management analysts is expected to grow by 14% through 2024.
6. Medical and health-services manager
Average salary: $103,680
Best-paying cities: San Jose, California; Madera, California
Excellent organizers make the best medical and health-services managers. They plan, direct, and coordinate behind the scenes at hospitals, nursing homes, group practices, and healthcare facilities to keep things running smoothly.
These managers also possess strong communication, interpersonal, and technical skills. The BLS projects huge job growth of 17% for medical and health-services managers through 2024.
Average salary: $104,350
Best-paying cities: Washington D.C.; San Francisco, California
Some mathematicians conduct research to explore and develop theories, and others actually apply those theories and techniques to solve daily problems. Common positions mathematicians fill include financial analysts, systems analysts, professors, and elementary-, middle-, and high-school teachers. The job's growth rate is expected to hit 21% through 2024.
4. Financial adviser
Average salary: $108,090
Best-paying cities: Danbury, Connecticut; Panama City, Florida
Financial advisers can perform the combined roles of stockbrokers, community bankers, and insurance salespeople. The general duty of today's financial adviser is to counsel clients on their finances, which cover everything from investing to retirement plans. The best candidates for this position are good listeners and sympathizers who can explain complex ideas in simpler ways.
The BLS projects a massive growth rate of 30% in this occupation driven by the baby boomer population seeking advice for retirement, though this could be hindered by an increase in online advisory tools.
Average salary: $73,670
Best-paying cities: New York, New York; San Jose, California
Accountants--whether public, internal, management, or government--are responsible for preparing taxes, performing audits, and providing consulting. They're "numbers people" who have exceptional problem-solving skills and organization.
The BLS expects there to be an 11% increase in jobs for accountants by 2024.
2. Operations-research analyst
Average salary: $82,940
Best-paying cities: San Jose, California; San Diego, California
Operations-research analysts turn raw data into value for businesses. They're high-level problem-solvers who use optimization, data mining, statistical analysis, and mathematical modeling to develop solutions that help businesses and organizations operate more efficiently.
Virtually every industry employs operations-research analysts; demand is expected to remain incredibly high, with growth reaching 30% by 2024.
Average salary: $84,010
Best-paying cities: San Jose, California; San Francisco, California
Statisticians collect data and design experiments that aim to solve problems in variety of sectors, including public safety, healthcare, the environment, and sports. Moving forward, statisticians are expected to partner with biomedical, computer, genetics, and social-sciences professionals as well as to contribute to quantitative solutions involving human rights and counterterrorism.
The BLS reports that jobs will grow at 34%, resulting in 10,100 new jobs for statisticians.