10 Careers With Rock-Bottom Unemployment Rates

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The sluggish economy has many workers anxious about job security. Yet despite the nation's high 7.8 percent unemployment rate, there are careers out there with jobless rates so low as to nearly guarantee a job to anyone qualified to work in those fields.

What kinds of jobs are they? Of the 10 listed here, compiled from Bureau of Labor Statistics data, most are high skill and require extensive education, but some require only a high-school diploma or certification. They aren't all glamorous; a few can even be dangerous. But with unemployment rates below 1 percent, many job seekers likely will still find them attractive.

Take a look and tell us what you think.


10. Information security analysts:
  • Unemployment rate: 0.9 percent.*
  • Median annual pay: $75,660.*
  • Entry-level education: Bachelor's degree.
  • Number of jobs (2010): 302,300.*
  • Projected employment growth: 22 percent (faster than average), or 65,700 jobs.*

Find a job as an information security analyst.


9. Audiologists:
  • Unemployment rate: 0.8 percent.
  • Median annual pay: $66,660.
  • Entry-level education: Doctoral or professional degree.
  • Number of jobs (2010): 13,000.
  • Projected employment growth: 37 percent (much faster than average), or 4,800 jobs.

Find a job as an audiologist.


8. Physicians and surgeons:
  • Unemployment rate: 0.8 percent.
  • Median annual pay: $40,300.
  • Entry-level education: Doctoral or professional degree.
  • Number of jobs (2010): 691,000.
  • Projected employment growth: 24 percent (faster than average), or 168,300.

Find a job as an physician or surgeon.


7. First-line supervisors of correctional officers:
  • Unemployment rate: 0.6 percent.
  • Median annual pay: $55,910.
  • Entry-level education: High-school diploma or equivalent.
  • Number of jobs (2010): 41,500.
  • Projected employment growth: 6 percent (slower than average), or 2,300.

Find a job as a corrections officer.


6. Petroleum engineers:
  • Unemployment rate: 0.6 percent.
  • Median annual pay: $114,080.
  • Entry-level education: Bachelor's degree.
  • Number of jobs (2010): 30,200.
  • Projected employment growth: 17 percent (fast as average), or 5,100 jobs.

Find a job as a petroleum engineer.


5. First-line supervisors of firefighting and prevention workers:
  • Unemployment rate: 0.4 percent.
  • Median annual pay: $68,240.
  • Entry-level education: Post-secondary certificate or training.
  • Number of jobs (2010): 60,100.
  • Projected employment growth: 8 percent (slower than average), or 4,900 jobs.

Find a job as a firefighter.


4. Judges, magistrates and other judicial workers:
  • Unemployment rate: 0.4 percent.
  • Median annual pay: $91,800.
  • Entry-level education: Varies, but a law degree is typical.
  • Number of jobs (2010): 62,700.
  • Projected employment growth: 7 percent (slower than average), or 4,600 jobs.

Find a job as a judge, magistrate or other judicial worker.


3. Biomedical engineers:
  • Unemployment rate: 0.4 percent.
  • Median annual pay: $81,540.
  • Entry-level education: Bachelor's degree.
  • Number of jobs (2010): 15,700.
  • Projected employment growth: 62 percent (much faster than average), or 9,700 jobs.

Find a job as a biomedical engineer.


2. Directors, religious activities and education:
  • Unemployment rate: 0.3 percent.
  • Median annual pay: $36,170.
  • Entry-level education: Bachelor's degree.
  • Number of jobs (2010): 126,000.
  • Projected employment growth: 17 percent (average), or 21,200.

Find a job as a director of religious activities and education.


1. Astronomers and physicists:
  • Unemployment rate: 0.3 percent.
  • Median annual pay: $105,430.
  • Entry-level education: Doctoral or professional degree.
  • Number of jobs (2010): 20,600.
  • Projected employment growth: 2,800.

Find a job as an astronomer or physicist.


*Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook.


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