Rewarding careers aren't always the most recognized. We all seek a stable hiring outlook, competitive pay and life-enriching work, but those qualities often are difficult to find. But not for veterinarians, a job that fits all three criteria, which makes it one of the most underrated jobs of 2013.
Veterinarians have the sixth best hiring outlook among all careers measured in our Jobs Rated report, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the field will grow up to 36% by 2020, with wages averaging more than $80,000 per year. Perhaps most important, though, is the service veterinarians provide.
“Working with the clients is what I love most about being a veterinarian,” Dr. Brittany Marvel explains. “I love the animals of course, but being able to relate to people and help them take care of their other ‘family members’ is what I really love.”
Our report uncovered a wide range of undervalued jobs that job seekers and career changers should consider. Most of the jobs focus on working directly with others, but for those with a technical expertise, the computer systems analyst position rises to the top as the single most underrated job of 2013.
The career path for computer systems analysts is very promising for those with both technological insight and business savvy. When those two traits are combined, it makes a candidate particularly enticing to corporate suitors, as this position bridges the sometimes-wide gap between IT and commerce.
Working with others takes on a different meaning depending on the industry. Emergency medical technicians certainly don't have the same interaction with “clients” as service professions, but the work they provide is invaluable. It’s a high-stress field, but it ranks in the top 20 of the Jobs Rated Report’s employment outlook.
Some of the most underrated jobs are those that many people ignore until they are most needed. For instance, Marvel says her practice in The Woodlands, Texas, emphasizes preventative veterinarian medicine, which sheds light onto why her profession has become so important to the growing pet-owner population.
“During regular check-ups, 60% of the time I find something abnormal: ear infections, skin issues, heart murmurs,” she says. “If you weren’t trained to [diagnose] an ear infection, you might not catch it.”
As with any career, veterinarians face plenty of challenges. Marvel says that working within clients’ financial constraints to provide their pets with adequate care can sometimes be difficult. And the American Veterinary Medical Association also released a study estimating that there are more trained veterinarians than available positions, contrary to BLS estimates.
Nevertheless, Marvel says that after completing her veterinarian science post-graduate studies at Texas A&M, she was fortunate to enter a job market with abundant opportunities.
Stability is a positive career quality for many job seekers, and the education field is statistically proven to be one of the most stable even in tumultuous times. School principal is a particularly appealing job, as the median salary outpaces that of elementary school teacher by more than $30,000 annually.
Of course, identifying a career as underrated is a subjective exercise. However, the Jobs Rated methodology, along with BLS data, makes the conclusions easier to reach. Remember, too, that before you target one of these jobs, make note of the educational requirements – some positions require specialized degrees or additional schooling.
The underrated distinction is subjective, though using determining factors from the 2013 Jobs Rated report, recent social and economical impact on specific industries, and BLS data helped craft the rankings. The same criteria were used when formulating the most overrated jobs rankings.
1. Computer Systems Analyst
Combining technology and business skills -- two of the most essential elements to an organization -- 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.