There are a lot of rewarding jobs that may not seem glamorous, but the pay is great and the job growth high.
These factors put them at the top of job site CareerCast.com's list of the most underrated jobs of 2013 published Tuesday. The company used survey data that "weighed stress, physical demands, and both the current and future employment outlook," combined with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The list also takes into account data from the company's Jobs Rated report, which includes the competitiveness and growth potential of specific fields.
"Perception is not reality in this case," Tony Lee, publisher at CareerCast, tells Business Insider. "There are some really great jobs on this list that you may not have considered because they don't seem so exciting."
Take an emergency medical technician, for example. The job doesn't require a college degree, but the job growth is a whopping 33%. Plus, it's a great way to break into the health-care industry.
"People who are EMTs love it," Lee says. "They are passionate about it, and we find that most of them wouldn't want to do anything else."
Many of these professions also made last year's list of the most underrated jobs, except EMTs and librarians. And three jobs on the list - EMT, plumber, and electrician - don't even require a college degree.
A stable hiring outlook, competitive pay, and life-enriching work are the common themes of many of the professions on CareerCast's most undervalued jobs list.
Median Salary: $55,370
Projected Growth: 7%
Why: "Competition for jobs can be stiff — librarian scored No. 148 in the 2013 Jobs Rated outlook metric — but the field can be rewarding, evident in its ranking in both stress levels and workplace environment. Managerial qualities are important to overseeing a smoothly operating library."
Median Salary: $49,840
Projected Growth: 23%
Why: "Similar to plumbers, electricians are in increased demand despite the slow construction market." At 23% projected growth through 2020, the BLS estimates a total of 133,700 jobs.
"Homes and businesses need more wiring than ever before, and electricians will be needed to install the necessary components," the BLS reports.
Median Salary: $49,140
Projected Growth: 26%
Why: "Despite slowed growth in the construction sector, specialty trades have provided opportunities for those seeking good jobs. Few are as accommodating as plumbing, which has seen strong hiring growth in the last year and is projected to swell another 26% by 2020."
"Demand for plumbers is expected to come from new building construction and stricter water efficiency standards for plumbing systems, such as low-flow toilets and showerheads," the BLS reports. With stability and the position’s low stress level score, it's a more valauble job than many might imagine.
9. School Principal
Median Salary: $87,760
Projected Growth: 10%
Why: "Education can be a rewarding field, but low pay is a frequently cited argument against pursuing a career as a teacher. Principals, on the other hand, earn a median annual salary of over $87,000. Principals also take an active approach in formulating the direction of a school and the lives of their students."
8. Civil Engineer
Median Salary: $79,340
Projected Growth: 19%
Why: "Projected increases in infrastructure-related construction resulted in a positive outlook for the civil engineering profession. Median salary is competitive, and a positive work environment rounds out an overall great prognosis for the field."
7. Legal Assistant
Median Salary: $46,990
Projected Growth: 18%
Why: "While opportunities for attorneys dwindle, legal assistants are in increased demand. Legal assistants offer firms versatile professionals who can take on numerous essential tasks, yet tend to work 9-to-5 and avoid the typical stress factors of working in the field of law."
6. Emergency Medical Technician
Median Salary: $31,020
Projected Growth: 33%
Why: "Emergency medical technician moved into the top half of the Jobs Rated report in 2013. The field is fast-pace and can be stressful — it was the No. 21 most stressful career measured — but burgeoning opportunities to begin in this rewarding career make it a high potential field for those breaking into health care."
Median Salary: $63,550
Projected Growth: 16%
Why: "Experienced accountants are in increased demand amid economic turbulence. That spells a jump in employment for a field benefitting from a high quality work environment, low stress and low physical demand."
4. Market Research Analyst
Median Salary: $63,550
Projected Growth: 16%
Why: "One of the fastest growing fields per the BLS, market research analyst makes a vital impact on the direction of business decisions by applying data of economic and technological trends."
Median Salary: $72,700
Projected Growth: 31%
Why: "Combining many elements of science, biologists have a unique work perspective. Most also enjoy favorable conditions: minimal physical demands, low stress levels and a pleasant work environment."
Median Salary: $84,460
Projected Growth: 36%
Why: "With a median pay range in the top 20% of the 2013 Jobs Rated report, veterinarians can be well compensated for rewarding work. People love their pets, and as a result the demand for veterinarians is expected to increase 36% over the next seven years per Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates. Combine that with low stress, and veterinarian is a promising career option."
1. Computer Systems Analyst
Median Salary: $79,680
Projected Growth: 22%
Why: "Combining technology and business skills — two of the most essential elements to an organization — computer systems analysts are the bridges that connect management and IT together. Strong compensation and a positive job growth outlook make computer systems analyst one of the best fields in today’s workforce."