Follow the data to find the best job in the U.S.

What’s the best job in America right now? Being a test driver for Tesla? A visual-effects designer for Lucasfilm? A taster in the quality-control department at New Belgium Brewing?

At least according to the folks at Glassdoor, it’s something far less flashy. A new ranking by the careers website put data scientists – people with a background in computer science, statistics and math who can help companies analyze the mountains of data available now – at the top of its second annual list of the “25 Best Jobs in America.”

The top five also included tax manager, solutions architect, engagement manager and mobile developer. (Sorry, kids, but astronaut, rock star and baseball player don’t make a showing.)

The ranking analyzes median salaries, total openings per job category and career-growth opportunities – which are based on employee ratings about room for advancement – combining those factors to create an overall “job score” for each career type. The list isn’t based on job satisfaction, in other words, but on the potential for career and earnings growth. “This report looks at three of the prime reasons job-seekers indicate they consider most when making a job decision – earning potential, career opportunities and hiring opportunity,” said Scott Dobroski, Glassdoor’s career trends analyst. “Job satisfaction can really play a role depending on the company you work at.”

- FWBP Digital Partners -

Cross-reference the ranking with Glassdoor’s list of the best jobs for work-life balance, however, and a few jobs seem like they could be winners. User experience designers, quality assurance managers and those involved in software development are on both lists; data scientists, meanwhile, took the top spot in each ranking.

The list, unsurprisingly, is heavy on job categories in technology – nearly half of the 25 stem from the engineering or software industries, or require a technical foundation of some kind. Health care also makes a good showing (physician assistant and nurse practitioner are both ranked) as does finance (audit manager and finance manager both appear).

Meanwhile, Bloomberg News reports that Glassdoor revealed four jobs that are among the worst in the United States, at least according to the “job score” it calculated. They were guest services managers, accounts payable specialists, insurance agents and – uh-oh – reporters.