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The top 10 hottest jobs in today's economy

Welder sparks hot jobs

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Knowledge is power ... and paycheck

What are the best jobs for Americans in this economy? The answers are as varied as the millions of individuals that make up the national workforce.

If a high salary is what you want, a career in medical science is a pretty sure bet. The first nine of the top-paying occupations in the country, as measured by average median wage, are in the medical and dental fields, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The education and training required for those jobs is long and expensive, but the money down the road is very good.

Jobs in the so-called STEM-related fields (science, technology, engineering and math) as a whole are growing far faster than the economy, as are the wages paid in those jobs. "There's going to be lifelong growth in wages in these areas," said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder, a consultant specializing in human resources. "It will pay dividends for people to educate themselves with that in mind."

It also pays to know what specific jobs employers are most looking to fill but having the hardest time finding people to fill them. CareerBuilder and its data-crunching subsidiary recently updated their list of hottest jobs for 2016 as measured by the difference between the average monthly job postings for an occupation and average monthly hires in those jobs. The bigger the gap between the two figures, the greater the opportunity for someone to find work in those occupations.

"The list reflects where the opportunities are," said Ferguson. "People need more quantitative information like this to make better decisions about their college majors and career choices."

Many of the hottest jobs require a commitment to lifelong learning. Others require less education and training, and for some you don't need a college degree at all. Here are the top 10 hottest jobs in the economy through March 31.

— By Andrew Osterland, special to
Posted 18 May 2016

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