Report ranks software developer as the best job in the U.S. this year

The best job in 2018 is that of a software developer, according to the annual ranking, which uses data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to identify jobs with the greatest hiring demand and the best work/life balance, salary and future prospects, among other factors. (Andor Bujdoso/Dreamstime/TNS)
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The best job in 2018 is that of a software developer, according to the annual ranking, which uses data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to identify jobs with the greatest hiring demand and the best work/life balance, salary and future prospects, among other factors. (Andor Bujdoso/Dreamstime/TNS)

For several years over the past decade, a day spent examining and fixing teeth was considered to be the “best job” in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report’s annual survey. This year, a job that requires tech savviness and scientific know-how tops the list.

The best job in 2018 is that of a software developer, according to the annual ranking, which uses data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to identify jobs with the greatest hiring demand and the best work/life balance, salary and future prospects, among other factors.

The job of dentist, which has frequently topped the annual ranking over the past decade, was No. 2 this year followed by physician assistant at No. 3 and nurse practitioner at No. 4. Health care jobs, including nurse practitioners and physicians, usually dominate the list, but this year marks first time since 2015 that a health care practitioner has not topped the list. Orthodontist, which held the top spot last year, came in at No. 5.

Software developers, which on average make $100,080, according to the report, are in “huge” demand now and are expected to be in the future, said Rebecca Koenig, U.S. News’ careers reporter, who researched and contributed to the report.

“Our society is more and more dependent on digital technology for all aspects,” she said, “Not just (large tech firms such as) Facebook and Google, but every other business needs software developers to make their applications. Even hospitals are tapping into digital communication to make sure doctors and patients can communicate.”