Two years into the coronavirus pandemic, the workplace has changed dramatically. With millions of Americans working from home and reevaluating what’s most important to them, the jobs considered most desirable have changed—and may even come as a surprise.
On Wednesday, job-search platform Glassdoor released its eighth annual list of the 50 Best Jobs in America. All jobs considered had to have received at least 100 salary and job satisfaction reviews on Glassdoor in the past year, and at least 2,000 job openings as of mid-December. Earning potential, job satisfaction and number of job openings were weighted evenly when determining the ranking.
Clinching the No. 1 spot is enterprise architect. Those responsible for ensuring the reliability of their organizations’ IT systems and software, enterprise architects have been instrumental in the shift to remote and hybrid work. In fact, the pandemic propelled the position onto the list in 2021, when it debuted at No. 4.
“Because of how important it is to have a consistent and reliable IT infrastructure in today’s remote context . . . the importance of enterprise architects and the IT organization, overall, is more important than ever,” says Daniel Zhao, a senior economist at Glassdoor. Enterprise architects, who earn on average $144,997, have a job satisfaction score of 4.1 (out of 5). The essential nature of the role has, he says, proven attractive to workers.
Rounding out the top three is full stack engineer, followed by data scientist. Six-figure average earnings—$101,794 and $120,000, respectively—and high satisfaction scores—4.3 and 4.1—helped them earn high marks. Those in highly technical jobs such as these, and the 21 other tech-related roles on Glassdoor’s list, are often more easily able to work remote or hybrid than their colleagues in other fields, says Zhao. When Glassdoor job reviews with mentions of “hybrid” increased by 626% last year, 80% of those were for jobs in tech. Zhao believes this likely contributed to this field’s standing on the list.
“Candidates are looking for companies that have values that match their ideals,” says David Napeloni, vice president of global client services at Korn Ferry. “A lot of candidates out there are looking for companies that are offering flexibility, not having to be in the office again five days a week or being totally remote and being able to live in another part of the country, which I think we’ve seen over the course of the last couple years.” According to a December survey conducted by the firm, 51% of professionals want to work from home.
Another pandemic-era trend that’s influenced this year’s list: the Great Resignation. As workers have quit at unprecedentedly high rates, companies have had to hire at breakneck speed human resources managers (No. 13) and corporate recruiters (No. 17). Zhao says it’s illustrative of “how important it is for companies today to find the right people to hire the right people. That’s a trend that is accelerating due to the pandemic and is why we’ve seen these people-oriented roles pushed higher in the list this year.”
Over the course of the past year, job openings for HR managers—charged with enhancing the employee experience—nearly doubled, while those for corporate recruiters—responsible for attracting talent—close to quadrupled. At $91,502 and $77,700, their average earning potential may not match that of their tech colleagues, but they’re more satisfied in their jobs, with each scoring 4.4.
Appearing on the list for the first time are psychiatrists (No. 22) and psychologists (No. 34). Though healthcare workers have been among those hardest hit by the pandemic—a December survey of over 500 healthcare workers published by the Journal of General Internal Medicine found nearly 50% plan to leave the field in the next five to 10 years due to Covid-19—those in these two positions reported high job satisfaction, scoring 4. Zhao suspects this may be the result of the purpose such professionals derive from counseling and treating those with mental, behavioral and emotional issues.
“There is a mental health crisis going on in America today as a result of the pandemic,” Zhao says. “For psychiatrists and psychologists specifically, the reason that they’re still on the list is that they do help. Those jobs are in high demand—and they do offer significant salaries.” Psychologists can earn on average as much as $95,199, while psychiatrists can bank a whopping $252,385.
The full list of Glassdoor’s Best Jobs for 2022 is below.