Best jobs for fast growth

16 of 20
16. Certified Public Accountant

best jobs, fast growing, certified public accountant, CPA
Median pay: $73,800
Top pay: $124,000
10-year job growth: 22%
Total jobs: 200,000
The job: While CPAs may not command the hefty paychecks of those in other areas of finance, there's also much less volatility in this field, which means job security and to some, that's worth more than gold in today's economy. You will need to be able to interpret financial data and ensure compliance with state and federal regulators, which means training and passing some exams.

How to switch: CPAs are licensed by their State Board of Accountancy -- no small feat. First, number crunchers must pass a four-part exam, which can take over a year to complete -- and less than half of those who sit for the exam pass every part on the first try. Before you take a stab at it, check your state's prerequisites at

Quality of life ratings:
Personal satisfaction Benefit to society Low stress Flexibility

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Do Certified Public Accountants have great jobs, or what?
From the November 2011 issue
Notes: All pay data from Median pay is for an experienced worker (at least two to seven years in the field). Top pay represents the 90th percentile. Job growth is estimated for 2008-18. Total current employment level is estimated number of people working in each specific job.

Sources:, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and MONEY research
Using Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts for 7,000 titles, MONEY and compensation experts identified jobs requiring a bachelor's degree that have strong growth prospects, and eliminated any with fewer than 10,000 positions nationwide, plus those requiring advanced degrees that take more than three years. More

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