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3. Human Resources Manager

2012 pay: $99,102
New to the list for 2012

At first glance, HR manager being the No. 3 job was the biggest surprise of the best list, but when you think about employment trends, it makes sense: There are some high-skilled jobs in high-demand fields like health care and information technology that are in demand and there aren’t enough skilled workers to fill them, Lee said.

Add to that the fact that a lot of skilled HR managers are retiring and fewer young people pursue human resources as a career and you’ve got a perfect storm for one of the best jobs in America this year.

And, because it requires a qualified HR person to be able to spot and hire these skilled workers, HR managers get paid, on average, just shy of six figures.

Photo: Stockbyte | Getty Images