Data scientists were No. 1 on Glassdoor’s “50 Best Jobs in America” for 2019 — for the fourth consecutive year with a median base annual salary of $118,000, according to the BLS (or $108,000 per Glassdoor’s own analysis). They were followed by nursing managers ($83,000), marketing managers ($82,000), occupational therapists ($74,000) and product managers ($115,000).
A decade-long bull market and low unemployment have contributed to a tighter labor market in 2019. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.08% is up 22.7% at 28,645 year-to-date, while the S&P 500 SPX, +0.00% is up 29.2% at 3,240 so far this year. A recession is more of a risk in 2021 than next year, according to a recent survey of the National Association for Business Economics.
The Glassdoor score is determined by weighing three factors equally: Earning potential (median annual base salary), overall job satisfaction rating and number of job openings. For a job title to be considered, it must receive at least 100 salary reports and at least 100 job satisfaction ratings shared by U.S.-based employees in one year. C-suite and intern level jobs were excluded from the data.
There were other six-figure jobs among Glassdoor’s top 20 list, including devops engineers at No. 6 ($106,000 a year) who work with developers and the IT staff to oversee code releases, data engineers ($100,000), software engineers ($104,000), physician assistant ($105,000), strategy manager ($140,000) and security engineers ($102,000).
A closer look at other six-figure jobs highly rated by employees
Data scientists and software developers use programming language such as Python, R, SQL, Hadoop and the more well-known Java, according to careers site Glassdoor. A mid-level data scientist is likely to be proficient in Python, R and SQL, and make close to $130,000 a year. Google GOOG, -0.63%, Aetna US:AET, and Microsoft MSFT, +0.18% typically hire these roles.
Earlier this week, LinkedIn announced its annual “Emerging Jobs” list, which identifies the roles that have seen the largest rate of hiring growth from 2015 through this year. Artificial intelligence specialist was top of the list. Demand for this job has grown 74% annually in the past 4 years, the site said, and the annual salary for AI specialists hovers at $140,000 per year.
However, a separate report by the U.S. News & World Report on the best jobs of the year lists software developers as No. 1. The position offers flexible hours and remote work opportunities, while investing in individuals’ personal and professional development. Like data scientists, software developers have a median annual salary of over $100,000.