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Visualizing the Ranking of 100 Common Careers

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If you’re like most Americans, you probably spend more than 40 hours a week on the job.

For this reason, your career of choice plays a big role in determining your overall well-being. Not only does your profession have a massive influence on the potential money you make, but it also impacts your stress, work-life balance, happiness, and feeling of accomplishment.

However, it’s well-known that not all careers are created equally – and while some are stress-free with comfortable salaries, others can be high-stress without the compensation to make up for it.

Ranked: 100 Common Careers

Today’s chart uses data from the 2018 Jobs Rated Report by CareerCast.com, and we’ve used it to rank 100 of the most common careers based on median income, as well as three other categories: stress, growth outlook, and workplace environment.

The careers at the top of the list below have the best aggregate score, while the jobs towards the end of the list tend to be high-stress, low-income.

Visualizing the Ranking of 100 Common Careers

The 2018 Jobs Rated Report uses median income, as well as three other key categories to compile its rankings of common careers:

  1. Workplace:
    A score based on the relative physical and mental demands for the job
  2. Stress:
    A weighting of 11 different stress factors, which range from “deadlines” to “own life at risk”
  3. Growth Outlook:
    Factors such as employment growth, income growth potential, and unemployment
    1. See the full methodology here, for a more detailed explanation of the above categories.

      Choosing the Optimal Career

      If your goal is to maximize income, then traditional high-paying careers – like being a lawyer, doctor, investment banker, or senior corporate executive – are a good way to go.

      For many people, however, a good career is defined as being more than just having high earning potential. Ideally, it’s also low-stress, while providing a healthy workplace that makes workers look forward to their jobs every day.

      For people that think that way, it seems like being a pharmacist or a data scientist might present the best of both worlds:

      Money Stress Matrix for Careers

      At the same time, it may be safe to say that taxi drivers and reporters get the worst of both worlds: high stress and low pay.

      Where does your occupation fall on the money/stress spectrum? Do you feel like the ranking above provides an accurate representation of your career?

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Personal Finance

Mapped: The Income a Family Needs to Live Comfortably in Every U.S. State

Families in expensive states require over $270,000 annually to live comfortably.

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A map showing the income that two working adults with two children need to live comfortably in each U.S. state.

The Income a Family Needs to Live Comfortably in Every U.S. State

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Families in the top five most expensive U.S. states require an annual income exceeding $270,000 to live comfortably.

This visualization illustrates the income necessary for two working adults with two children to maintain a comfortable lifestyle in each state.

“Comfortable” is defined as the income needed to cover a 50/30/20 budget, with 50% allocated to necessities like housing and utilities, 30% to discretionary spending, and 20% to savings or investments.

The calculations for family income needed in each state were done by SmartAsset, using the cost of necessities sourced from the MIT Living Wage Calculator, last updated on Feb. 14, 2024.

Massachusetts Tops the List

Massachusetts is the most expensive state to live comfortably in, requiring a total family income of about $301,184. Hawaii ($294,611) comes in second, followed by Connecticut ($279,885).

Housing is one main reason Massachusetts is an expensive state to live in, particularly in the Boston area. In addition, the state also has a high cost of living, including expenses such as healthcare and utilities.

RankStateIncome for 2 working adults raising 2 children
1Massachusetts$301,184
2Hawaii$294,611
3Connecticut$279,885
4New York$278,970
5California$276,723
6Colorado$264,992
7Washington$257,421
8Oregon$257,338
9New Jersey$251,181
10Rhode Island$249,267
11Vermont$248,352
12Minnesota$244,774
13New Hampshire$244,109
14Alaska$242,611
15Maryland$239,450
16Nevada$237,286
17Virginia$235,206
18Illinois$231,962
19Arizona$230,630
20Pennsylvania$230,464
21Maine$229,549
22Delaware$228,966
23Wisconsin$225,056
24Utah$218,483
25Michigan$214,490
26Nebraska$213,075
27Georgia$212,826
28Montana$211,411
28Iowa$211,411
30Idaho$211,245
31North Carolina$209,331
31Ohio$209,331
33Florida$209,082
34Indiana$206,003
35New Mexico$203,923
36Wyoming$203,424
37Missouri$202,259
38North Dakota$202,176
39Texas$201,344
40South Carolina$200,762
41Kansas$196,768
42Tennessee$195,770
43Oklahoma$194,106
44Alabama$193,606
45South Dakota$192,608
46Kentucky$190,112
47Louisiana$189,613
48West Virginia$189,363
49Arkansas$180,794
50Mississippi$177,798

Meanwhile, Mississippi is the least expensive state for a family to live comfortably, requiring $177,798 per year. Arkansas ($180,794) comes in second, followed by West Virginia ($189,363). In common, all these states share low prices of housing.

Learn More About Cost of Living From Visual Capitalist

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out this graphic, which ranks the median down payment for a house by U.S. state.

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