Best Jobs in America

CNNMoney/PayScale's top 100 careers with big growth, great pay and satisfying work.

18. Bank Examiner
Bank Examiner
18
"You're never doing the same job and you're never in the same place," says Brandi Flowers, a national bank examiner at the OCC in Washington, D.C. "I'm always learning new things."
Median pay: $103,000
Top pay: $152,000
10-year job growth: 27%
Total jobs*: 29,300

What they do all day? The first line of defense in preventing banking disasters, these professionals work on site at banks, acting as the eyes and ears for financial regulatory agencies. They conduct audits, inspecting banks' assets, loans and liquidity, to make sure institutions are in compliance with regulations and aren't engaging in risky behavior.

How to get the job? Being detail-oriented is critical for such exacting work. Since the job involves complex financial analysis, it's useful to have banking experience or a degree in accounting, economics or finance.

What's great? What's not? Comprehensive on-the-job training is a big draw. For example, new hires at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which regulates national banks, spend their first six to eight months on a training team. But working in the field requires extensive travel. And bank examiners have a lot riding on their shoulders: They can come under heavy scrutiny if they miss a red flag. --G.W.

What they do all day? The first line of defense in preventing banking disasters, these professionals work on site at banks, acting as the eyes and ears for financial regulatory agencies. They conduct audits, inspecting banks' assets, loans and liquidity, to make sure institutions are in compliance with regulations and aren't engaging in risky behavior. --G.W.

Quality of life ratings:
  • Personal satisfaction: A
  • Benefit to society: A
  • Flexibility: C
  • Low stress: B
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*Total jobs is estimated number of people working in broader BLS 'job family.'

Sources: PayScale.com, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and CNNMoney research

Do Bank Examiners have great jobs, or what? Are these great jobs, or what?
It's still a tough job market, so when CNNMoney, in partnership with data from PayScale.com, set out to find America's Best Jobs this year, first and foremost we looked for professions that offer great growth opportunities.

Other big factors: pay (how strong it is now, and how fast it's growing), overall job satisfaction, and how many jobs are in the field overall.
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