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Median pay: $88,300 Top pay: $112,000 10-year job growth: 19.0% Total jobs*: 55,600
What they do all day?
A nurse practitioner, depending on the state, may prescribe medications, assist with medical procedures and therapy, and provide treatment and counsel to patients as their primary health care provider. While not M.D.s, they hold a master's or doctorate degree in nursing, and need at least a year of clinical training.
Note: The training that nurse practitioners need was clarified from an earlier version of this profile.
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.