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CPA is sixth-best Job in America 2009 [With Ranks]!



CPA is rank-6th on the “50 Best Job in America for 2009”, released by CNN Money and today! The full list shows ranking of the 50 jobs in greatest demand in America, but as accountant, of course I’d love to know why and how CPA is become the 6th best America job in 2009, what is the pays, and etcetera.



Here is the why and how in details. Enjoy!


Rank-6 of 50. Certified Public Accountant [Sector: Financial]

What they do: Crunch the numbers, whether it’s for financial analysis or tax preparation.

Why it’s great: Businesses began stocking the payroll with CPAs after major accounting scandals earlier this decade, and a host of new corporate accounting rules going into effect soon should ratchet up demand further.

Government agencies are also hiring CPAs, to monitor how well companies are complying with the new regs. Add inevitable changes to personal income tax rules and they have a pretty recession-proof profession. Some 33,000 independent CPAs also work for themselves, typically as tax preparers.


Drawbacks: Deadlines are nonnegotiable; if they’re in tax preparation, kiss your personal life goodbye between mid-February and April 15.

Pre-requirements: A certification exam and, typically, 150 hours of business and accounting classes and work experience.


CPA’s Pay

  • Median salary (experienced) $74,200
  • Top pay $138,000


CPA’s Opportunity

  • 10-year job growth (2006-2016) 18%
  • Total jobs (current) 189,000
  • Online want ad growth (April 2009-August 2009) 1%


CPA’s Quality of life ratings

  • Personal satisfaction B
  • Job security B
  • Future growth B
  • Benefit to society C
  • Low stress C

For a comparison, you may want to read the 1st to 5th, 7 and 8th shown below. Read on…


Rank-1 of 50. Systems Engineer [Sector: Information Technology]

What they do: They’re the “big think” managers on large, complex projects, from major transportation networks to military defense programs. They figure out the technical specifications required and coordinate the efforts of lower-level engineers working on specific aspects of the project.

Why it’s great: Demand is soaring for systems engineers, as what was once a niche job in the aerospace and defense industries becomes commonplace among a diverse and expanding universe of employers, from medical device makers to corporations like Xerox and BMW.

Pay can easily hit six figures for top performers, and there’s ample opportunity for advancement. But many systems engineers say they most enjoy the creative aspects of the job and seeing projects come to life. “The transit system I work on really makes a tangible difference to people,” says Anne O’Neil, chief systems engineer for the New York City Transit Authority.


Drawbacks: Long hours are common; project deadlines can be fierce.

Pre-requirements: An undergrad engineering degree; some jobs might also require certification as a certified systems engineering professional (CSEP).

Here are the details:

  • Median salary (experienced) $87,100
  • Top pay $130,000
  • Opportunity 10-year job growth (2006-2016) 45%
  • Total jobs (current) 88,000
  • Online want ad growth (April 2009-August 2009) 22%
  • Personal satisfaction A
  • Job security B
  • Future growth B
  • Benefit to society C
  • Low stress C


Rank-2 of 50. Physician Assistant [Sector: Healthcare]

What they do: Call it MD lite. Working under the supervision of a doctor, PAs do all tasks involved in routine medical care, such as diagnosing illnesses and assisting in surgery. In most states they can write prescriptions as well.

Why it’s great: They get the satisfaction of treating patients minus insurance hassles, since PAs have far less administrative responsibility than the typical MD. “I’m part of a team yet have a lot of autonomy,” says PA Robert Wooten.

They don’t have to take on the time or expense of med school and the field is virtually recession-proof, owing to an ongoing shortage of primary-care physicians. PAs are also far cheaper to employ than MDs, so demand is expected to steadily increase as medical facilities try to rein in costs, says Bill Leinweber, CEO of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. And since they don’t need as much specialized training as doctors, PAs can switch from, say, geriatrics to emergency care with relative ease.


Drawbacks: It’s a fairly new profession, so the number of annual job openings is still small.

Pre-requirements: A master’s degree; 100 hours of training every two years; recertification every six.

Here is details:

  • Median salary (experienced) $90,900
  • Top pay $124,000
  • 10-year job growth (2006-2016) 27%
  • Total jobs (current) 82,000
  • Online want ad growth (April 2009-August 2009) 54%
  • Personal satisfaction A
  • Job security A
  • Future growth A
  • Benefit to society A
  • Low stress C


Rank-3 of 50. College Professor [Sector: Education]

What they do: Teach and grade papers, of course. But profs also spend about half their time doing research and writing articles and books about their field.

Why it’s great: For starters, major scheduling freedom. “Besides teaching and office hours, I get to decide where, when, and how I get my work done,” says Daniel Beckman, a biology professor at Missouri State University. And that doesn’t even take into account ample time off for holidays and a reduced workload in the summer.

Competition for tenure-track positions at four-year institutions is intense, but they’ll find lots of available positions at community colleges and professional programs, where they can enter the professoriate as an adjunct faculty member or non-tenure track instructor without a doctorate degree. That’s particularly true during economic downturns, when laid-off workers often head back to school for additional training.


More valuable perks: reduced or free tuition for family members and free access to college gyms and libraries.

Drawbacks: Low starting pay and a big 50% salary gap between faculty at universities and community colleges. If the position is at a four-year university, they’ll probably have to relocate, and they’ll be under pressure to constantly publish new work to sustain career momentum.

How to get it: For a tenure track position, they’ll need a Ph.D. But all colleges want at least a master’s degree and prefer plenty of teaching experience.

Here is details:

  • Median salary (experienced) $70,400
  • Top pay $115,000
  • 10-year job growth (2006-2016) 23%
  • Total jobs (current) 278,000
  • Online want ad growth (April 2009-August 2009) 16%
  • Personal satisfaction A
  • Job security B
  • Future growth B
  • Benefit to society A
  • Low stress B


Rank-4 of 50. Nurse Practitioner [Sector: Healthcare]

What they do: In addition to performing routine caretaking tasks, nurse practitioners have the advanced medical training to diagnose and treat a wide range of ailments. They can also prescribe medication without consulting an MD.

Why it’s great: Thanks to the growth of retail health clinics and the shortage of primary-care doctors, opportunities abound for nurse practitioners in settings from hospitals and urgent-care centers to private practice. They can specialize in fields such as women’s health or oncology. Experienced nurse practitioners looking for a change of pace can shift to teaching or medical research.

Nurse practitioners are also specifically trained in patient teaching; disease prevention is typically a large part of their practice. “Helping people see that small changes in their lifestyles can make a big difference to their health is very rewarding,” says New York City nurse practitioner Edwidge Thomas.


Drawbacks: Constant insurance headaches. Education requirements are ratcheting up.

Pre-requirements: Must first complete training to get license as a registered nurse; master’s degree, plus certification. A doctor of nursing practice degree is increasingly in demand, which requires about three additional years of study.

Here is the details:

  • Median salary (experienced) $85,200
  • Top pay $113,000
  • 10-year job growth (2006-2016) 23%
  • Total jobs (current) 23,000
  • Online want ad growth (April 2009-August 2009) 30%
  • Personal satisfaction A
  • Job security B
  • Future growth A
  • Benefit to society A
  • Low stress D


Rank-5 of 50. Information Technology Project Manager [Sector: Information Technology]

What they do: Keep big tech projects like software upgrades running on time–and on budget. “We bring order to chaos,” says April Ellison, an IT project manager in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Why it’s great: Lots of opportunity. “Just about all companies need techsavvy people who are great managers,” says Houston tech recruiter Linda Ranostaj. Figuring out how to implement cutting-edge technologies keeps the job challenging.

Good upward mobility: IT project managers can rise to chief technology officer of a company, where the salaries can hit $300,000.

Do they prefer to work for theyrself? The field offers plenty of consulting work.

Drawbacks: Hours (and hours and hours) of meetings. Aggressive project timelines. Staff jobs can be outsourced to consultants.

Pre-requirements: Five to seven years of technology and computer-related experience. A project management professional certification, along with an MBA, will enhance career prospects.

Here is the details:

  • Median salary (experienced) $98,700
  • Top pay $140,000
  • 10-year job growth (2006-2016) 16%
  • Total jobs (current) 174,000
  • Online want ad growth (April 2009-August 2009) 17%
  • Personal satisfaction B
  • Job security B
  • Future growth B
  • Benefit to society C
  • Low stress C


Rank-7 of 50. Physical Therapist [Sector: Healthcare]

What they do: Restore strength, flexibility, and range of motion to people who have been sidelined by injury, illness, or disease.

Why it’s great: Unlike many health-care professionals, physical therapists generally see great progress in their patients. “I don’t just treat the symptoms–I give people the tools to get better,” says Jennifer Gamboa, an orthopedic physical therapist in Arlington, Va. Plus, there’s no overnight or shift work.

Medical advances that allow a growing number of people with injuries and disabilities to survive are spurring demand, says Marc Goldstein, senior director of research at the American Physical Therapists Association. And hey, baby boomers’ knees aren’t getting any theynger: An aging population means more chronic conditions that need physical therapy treatment.


Drawbacks: The impact of health reform on the profession is a wild card. Can be physically demanding.

Pre-requirements: A master’s degree, plus certification and state licensing. Many employers prefer a doctor of physical therapy degree.

Here is the details:

  • Median salary (experienced) $74,300
  • Top pay $98,100
  • 10-year job growth (2006-2016) 27%
  • Total jobs (current) 181,000
  • Online want ad growth (April 2009-August 2009) 27%
  • Personal satisfaction A
  • Job security B
  • Future growth A
  • Benefit to society A
  • Low stress C


Rank-8 of 50. Computer/Network Security Consultant

  • Median salary (experienced) $99,700
  • Top pay $152,000
  • 10-year job growth (2006-2016) 27%
  • Total jobs (current) 13,000
  • Online want ad growth (April 2009-August 2009) 25%

For full 50 Best America Job 2009 read it here

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