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The Eight Best Jobs in Las Vegas for 2012

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Looking to land one of the best jobs in Las Vegas this year? You’d be wise to polish up your skills in medicine or computer science, according to the latest Jobs Rated report from Software Engineer, Physical Therapist, Dental Hygienist and Registered Nurse all rank among the eight best jobs in Las Vegas for 2012.

Benefiting from excellent working conditions, low stress and strong hiring growth – not to mention a median salary of nearly $90,000 – Software Engineer ranks as the best job in Las Vegas this year. This mirrors a national trend, but thanks to efforts by Zappos and the Vegas Tech Fund to transform Las Vegas into a “vibrant, connected tech community” through the Downtown Project, local demand for Software Engineers is projected to grow by nearly 5% a year through 2018, according to the Nevada Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation.

While a growing number of startups and major employers like Zappos – one of Forbes’ 100 best places to work in 2012 – have helped give the city a burgeoning tech sector, software isn’t the only industry to boast highly ranked jobs in the Las Vegas area. Dental Hygienist and Occupational Therapist finish as Las Vegas’ second and third best jobs, respectively, thanks to the same qualities of good pay, pleasant work environments and few dangerous physical demands. Additionally, according to the Nevada Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation, the projected growth rate for Dental Hygienist jobs in Las Vegas is a healthy 3.53% annually, with Occupational Therapist close behind with a projected growth rate of 3.36% per year.

After peaking at 14% in 2010, unemployment in Las Vegas has been trending downward and recently fell below 12% for the first time in nearly three years. And while the job market remains challenging, each of the eight best jobs project greater-than-average growth – even eighth-ranked Registered Nurse has a projected annual growth rate of 1.95%, above jobs such as Sales Manager and Lawyer.

Based on stress levels, work environment, physical demands and salary - combined with projected job growth in the Las Vegas area over the next six years - the following positions make up’s eight best jobs in Las Vegas for 2012:

  • 1. Software Engineer

    Work Environment: 41.00
    Stress: 10.42
    Income: $90,530
    Projected Annual Growth Rate - Las Vegas:


    Researches, designs, develops and maintains software systems along with hardware development for medical, scientific, and industrial purposes.

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    1 of 8
  • 2. Dental Hygienist

    Work Environment: 54.55
    Stress: 12.09
    Income: $68,250
    Projected Annual Growth Rate - Las Vegas:


    Assists dentists in diagnostic and therapeutic aspects of a group or private dental practice.

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    2 of 8
  • 3. Occupational Therapist

    Work Environment: 54.13
    Stress: 13.10
    Income: $72,320
    Projected Annual Growth Rate - Las Vegas:


    Develops individualized programs of activity for mentally, physically, developmentally and emotionally impaired persons, to aid them in achieving self-reliance.

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    3 of 8
  • 4. Computer Systems Analyst

    Work Environment: 47.39
    Stress: 16.48
    Income: $77,740
    Projected Annual Growth Rate - Las Vegas:


    Plans and develops computer systems for businesses and scientific institutions.

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    4 of 8
  • 5. Physical Therapist

    Work Environment: 59.13
    Stress: 15.70
    Income: $76,310
    Projected Annual Growth Rate - Las Vegas:


    Plans and directs treatment to improve mobility and alleviate pain in persons disabled by injury or disease.

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    5 of 8
  • 6. Pharmacist

    Work Environment: 65.29
    Stress: 15.70
    Income: $111,570
    Projected Annual Growth Rate - Las Vegas:


    Advises physicians and patients on the affects of drugs and medications; prepares and dispenses prescriptions.

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    6 of 8
  • 7. Physician Assistant

    Work Environment: 72.80
    Stress: 32.07
    Income: $86,410
    Projected Annual Growth Rate - Las Vegas:


    Aids in the performance of essential procedures which free physicians to attend to more specialized aspects of their work.

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    7 of 8
  • 8. Registered Nurse

    Work Environment: 65.75
    Stress: 30.16
    Income: $64,690
    Projected Annual Growth Rate - Las Vegas:


    Assists physicians in administering holistic medical care and treatment to assigned patients in clinics, hospitals, public health centers, and health maintenance organizations.

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    8 of 8

Each year Jobs Rated researchers survey 200 jobs – from Accountant to Zoologist – scoring them according to five key criteria: Physical Demands, Work Environment, Income, Outlook and Stress. Some factors remain relatively constant from year to year, but others fluctuate greatly due to changes in the job market, technological innovations or current events. Using data from government sources, trade groups and private organizations, every job receives a score and rank in each category, and these ratings are then combined to form a complete ranking of 200 jobs for 2012, from best to worst.

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best jobs in vegas..

if you're couch-potato or tomato, what difference does best jobs make anyway :)if you got greese drippin from both elbows, making business is #1 best job, contracting is #2, looking good sitting on a fence having the birds feeding you is like walking around town picking up trash or cans or wiping toilets or making beds are all the same and those make you a dead horse looking to get another beating the next day at work work.. but people does those things in vegas and someones stay on the job till retirement and they got jokes too :)

Software Jobs

I would have to disagree. I have lived in Las Vegas for 11 years and software jobs "were" great jobs. The jobs I see for software now are few and far between and if you do get a software job at a casino you are expected to work a lot of unpaid overtime. However, I do agree that if you get a programming job it is still better than a typical job in Las Vegas, but I have a hard time believing it would be #1. I would say being an entertainer of some kind would be number 1. Las Vegas is known for gambling and entertainment; jobs that relate to those should have made the list. I'm pretty sure that Celine Dion is doing better a dozen software developers put together.

vegas industry

Why do not any of the top eight "vegas jobs" have anything to do with casino or hospitality work? This industry is the reason why Las Vegas now has 2 million residents.  These eight jobs mentioned are jobs that any city in the country this article should read 8 best jobs in the USA, not Las Vegas.

Vegas Industry

Anonymous, obviously you do not live in Vegas. The article says "best jobs", and most casino and hospitality jobs are not great paying or have no benefits. Las Vegas is much more than the casinos and "the strip",  it is a city with malls, schools, businesses, healthcare and government that makes it run. Not the neon lights you are thinking.

Vegas Industry is wrong

Better you check one of the waiter's income at any fine dining restaurant in 5 star hotel in strip and you willl be surprising that these people beat the income from all those 8 best job in vegas plus the benefit you consider they do not have. And I am one of them. I got 401K and good medical insurance with dental for my family.

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