The 12 Most Underrated Jobs In 2012

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Photo: Flickr/Dan Zen

There are some jobs that just don’t attract as much attention as others.For example, telling someone you’re a mechanic probably isn’t going to get as much curious glances as telling them you’re a pilot. 

But sometimes, these underrated jobs are more fulfilling because of the “high growth, low stress and rewarding opportunities” that come with them. 

“The pay is better, the hiring outlook is better, the level of stress tends to be lower, and the physical demands aren’t that great,” said Tony Lee, publisher at However, you “never saw a movie about a civil engineer or a TV show starring a computer-systems analyst.”

CareerCast recently published a list of the most underrated jobs in America based on their “increasing opportunities and rewarding potential for job seekers,” yet they usually don’t have the glamour aspect attached to them as more overrated jobs do.

To create this list, CareerCast used data from surveys that looked at “recent social and economical impact on specific industries” along with data from the Bureau of labour Statistics.

12. Automobile Mechanic

Median Salary: $36,200

Projected Growth: 17%

Why: 'A study by automotive research firm R.L. Polk & Co. conducted earlier this year finds that owners are keeping their vehicles longer. That means increased need for skilled automobile mechanics, whose expertise keeps cars in commission longer.'

Source: CareerCast

11. Electrician

Median Salary: $48,250

Projected Growth: 23%

Why: 'Similar to plumbers, electricians are in increased demand despite the slow construction market. At 23 per cent projected growth, the BLS estimates 133,700. The reason?

'Homes and businesses need more wiring than ever before, and electricians will be needed to install the necessary components,' the BLS reports.'

Source: CareerCast

10. Plumber

9. School Principal

Median Salary: $87,122

Projected Growth: 10%

Why: 'Education can be a rewarding field, but low pay is a frequently cited argument against pursuing a career as a teacher. Principals, on the other hand, earn a median salary of $86,970. Principals also take an active approach in formulating the direction of a school and the lives of their students.'

Source: CareerCast

8. Economist

Median Salary: $89,223

Projected Growth: 6%

Why: 'Economists are at the forefront of our national consciousness, the result of the national and global recessions. Their work environment, stress level and physical demands are all highly positive, as is the estimated $89,223 median salary.'

Source: CareerCast

7. Legal assistant

Median Salary: $46,680

Projected Growth: 18%

Why: 'While opportunities for attorneys dwindle, legal assistants are in increased demand. Legal assistants offer firms versatile professionals who can take on numerous essential tasks, yet tend to work 9-to-5 and avoid the typical stress factors of working in the law.'

Source: CareerCast

6. Accountant

Median Salary: $62,174

Projected Growth: 16%

Why: 'Experienced accountants are in increased demand amid economic turbulence. That spells a jump in employment for a field benefiting from a high quality work environment, low stress and low physical demand.'

Source: CareerCast

5. Market Research Analyst

Median Salary: $61,236

Projected Growth: 41%

Why: 'One of the fastest growing fields per the BLS, market research analyst makes a vital impact on the direction of business decisions by applying data of economic and technological trends.'

Source: CareerCast

4. Biologist

Median Salary: $73,285

Projected Growth: 31%

Why: 'Combining many elements of science, biologists have a unique work perspective. Most also enjoy favourable conditions: minimal physical demands, low stress levels and a pleasant work environment.'

Source: CareerCast

3. Veterinarian

Median Salary: $82,190

Projected Growth: 36%

Why: 'With a median pay range of $82,040, veterinarians are well compensated for rewarding work. People love their pets, and as a result the demand for veterinarians is expected to increase 36 per cent. Combine that with low stress, and veterinarian is a promising career option.'

Source: CareerCast

2. Civil Engineer

Median Salary: $78,133

Projected Growth: 19%

Why: 'Projected increases in infrastructure-related construction result in a positive outlook for the civil engineering profession. Median salary is $77,560, and a positive work environment rounds out an overall great prognosis for the field.'

Source: CareerCast

1. Computer Systems Analyst

Median Salary: $78,148

Projected Growth: 22%

Stress: 16.480

Why: 'Combining technology and business skills -- two of the most essential elements to an organisation -- computer systems analysts are the bridges that connect management and IT together. Strong compensation and a positive job growth outlook make computer systems analyst one of the best fields in today's workforce.'

Source: CareerCast

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