The best jobs in America

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Glassdoor's best jobs list is based on a combination of average annual base salary, career opportunities, and number of job openings.

You don't need to be a doctor to make a good living. In fact, going to medical school in order to get rich may be a terrible idea.

Given all the new rules under The Affordable Care Act and seemingly ever-smaller insurance payments, being a private-practice doctor ain't what it used to be. There is a lot of overhead, but not much upside.

Instead, become a physician assistant. Good pay, less hassle, lots of jobs. At least that's according to Glassdoor, which has come out with its annual list of the Best Jobs in America for 2015.

The list is based on a combination of average annual base salary, career opportunities and number of job openings. Careers are scored from 1 to 5, with 5 being best.

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Many of the jobs listed are no surprise, such as software engineer (No. 2, with average base salary of $98,074), or mechanical engineer (No. 12 at $73,015).

Others may surprise you, especially when it comes to salaries. Glassdoor reports that a nurse practitioner has an average base salary of over $95,000, more than any engineer on the list.

The job with the highest average base salary: finance manager at $122,865.

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The job with the most career opportunities: data scientist, with a rating of 3.8 on the scale of 1-5.

The job with the most job openings: software engineer with 104,828 openings, more than twice the openings of any other career.

Here are the top five jobs:

1. Physician assistant

  • Job score: 4.8
  • Number of job openings: 45,484
  • Average base salary: $111,376
  • Career opportunities rating: 3.5

2. Software engineer

  • Job score: 4.6
  • Number of job openings: 104,828
  • Average base salary: $98,074
  • Career opportunities rating: 3.3

3. Business development manager

  • Job score: 4.6
  • Number of job openings: 11,616
  • Average base salary: $94,907
  • Career opportunities rating: 3.5

4. Human resources manager

  • Job score: 4.6
  • Number of job openings: 8,073
  • Average base salary: $96,443
  • Career opportunities rating: 3.6

5. Finance manager

  • Job score: 4.6
  • Number of job openings: 9,728
  • Average base salary: $122,865
  • Career opportunities rating: 3.4

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