In the same way an architect designs a house, software architects lay out a design plan for new programs. That usually means leading a team of developers and engineers, and making sure all the pieces come together to make fully-functioning software.
What's great: New problems come up all the time and new technologies arise, making each day different, and keeping professionals in demand. "I'm pinged at least once or twice a week for new opportunities," said software architect Christopher Felpel. "There's just a lot of work out there, and that doesn't surprise me." --Jillian Eugenios
Quality of life ratings: Personal satisfaction: A | Benefit to society: B | Telecommuting: A | Low stress: A
Notes: All pay data from PayScale.com. Median pay is for an experienced worker (at least five or seven years in the field). Top pay represents the 90th percentile. Job growth is estimated for 2012-22, and based on people working in broader 'job family' from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For more details, see How We Picked the Best Jobs. Sources: PayScale.com, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and CNNMoney research
By Jillian Eugenios, Emily Jane Fox, Steve Hargreaves, and Kathryn Vasel @CNNMoney - Last updated February 16 2015 04:08 PM ET