'Lawyer' ranks 51st in US News list of best jobs in America, down from 35th

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Being a lawyer isn’t the best job in America. It’s not one of the 10 top jobs, or even among the top 50 jobs.

According to U.S. News, being a lawyer is the 51st best job in America. Above the Law notes some of the jobs that outranked lawyer, including nail technician, maintenance/repair worker, esthetician, and massage therapist.

“Being a lawyer is now a second-tier career,” the blog says. “How embarrassing.” Last year, lawyer was ranked No. 35 on the U.S. News list.

According to U.S. News, lawyers earned a median salary of $113,530 in 2012. They face a job market that has improved in recent years, U.S. News says, though projected job growth through 2022 is slightly below the average for all other professions. On the downside, the publication ranks upward mobility as below average, stress level as high, and flexibility as below average.

U.S. News ranks lawyers seventh on a separate list of the best social-service jobs in American. Outranking lawyers on that list are school psychologist, maintenance and repair worker, speech-language pathologist, high-school teacher, nail technician, and middle-school teacher. Ranked eight through 10 are child and family social worker, exterminator and elementary school teacher.

The top five jobs overall are software developer, computer systems analyst, dentist, nurse practitioner and pharmacist. The publication ranks jobs based on projected job growth, median salary, job prospects, employment rate, stress level and work-life balance, according to this story. Much of the information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but the publication uses interviews and other research to determine stress levels and work-life balance.

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