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Median pay: $136,000 Top pay: $208,000 10-year job growth: 26.7% Total jobs*: 21,700
What they do all day?
Insurance companies rely on actuaries to figure out the chances of your house getting hit by a hurricane or how long you're likely to live. Actuaries make these forecasts by taking a hard look at all the statistics out there and analyzing them -- for both risk and financial liability. They then create probability tables that insurance companies use to figure out how much to charge customers.
Quality of life ratings:
Benefit to society
Published: October 29, 2012
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 2010-20, and based on people working in broader 'job family' from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
*Total jobs is estimated number of people working in broader BLS 'job family.'
Sources:PayScale.com, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and CNNMoney research
It's still a tough job market out there, so when CNNMoney and PayScale.com set out to find America's Best Jobs this year, first and foremost we looked for professions that offer great growth opportunities.