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The 12 most underrated jobs of 2013

Nurd with calculator

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These jobs get no respect!

You probably never heard a mother brag, "My son, the biologist!" but maybe she should.

Job site CareerCast is out with its annual list of the most overrated and most underrated jobs for 2013, and as it turns out, biologist is one of the most underrated.

"These are jobs that most people look at and think 'eh,' when in fact they typically have a strong hiring outlook, rising salary, a fair amount of autonomy and the people who have them tend to really like them," said Tony Lee, publisher of CareerCast.

Think: That guy with the pocket protector and calculator. You weren't nearly as dazzled by him as the stockbroker in the pin-striped suit. But he is totally in demand. Boom! Underrated.

This list is, for sure, more subjective than, for example, CareerCast's best and worst jobs. But the economic recovery has provided some objective criteria for the list, Lee said.

"As the economy slowly improves, that changes how various jobs end up getting ranked—their hiring outlook improves more than another and it might move up the list, or the average salary increased," Lee said.

The housing recovery has played a part for several jobs that have seen their hiring outlook improve as the housing market improves.

And, of course, there's that little factor called supply and demand—if there aren't a lot of applicants for a particular job, the salary goes up. Or, if you're starting to see a lot of turnover on your staff, which does happen as the economy and job market improve, what's the first thing bosses try to do to keep talented employees? Raise their salary. Combine that with a job that a lot of people say "eh" about and you've got one of the most underrated jobs.

To come up with these lists, CareerCast takes a look at 200 jobs, using Labor Department and other statistics. On average, Lee said, the hiring outlook for most jobs is about 12 percent, meaning hiring is expected to increase by that much through 2020. For some of these underrated jobs, it's as high as 30 or 40 percent. What's particularly encouraging, he said, is that CareerCast has found more job openings for each one of the jobs on the list than they've seen in at least the last five years.

Click ahead to check out the 12 most underrated jobs for 2013.

By Cindy Perman
Posted 17 Sept. 2013

Image Source: Andrew Rich | Vetta | Getty Images