Best cities to score your dream job

If you're seeking a better-paying job, the job you wind up with might depend on where you live. GOBankingRates took a multipronged approach to determine the best cities for the best jobs available right now.

First, we looked at U.S. News & World Report's list of "Best Jobs" and examined the best jobs in each industry category with at least 10,000 projected new jobs over the next decade. Next, we looked at job listings on ZipRecruiter to determine which cities had the highest average salaries for each job, and of the top three cities, which had the most available job openings.

If you want to snag your dream job, click through to find out where you should live for a successful career

21 PHOTOS
The places to find your dream job
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The places to find your dream job

Civil Engineer

No. 1 City: Los Angeles, $80,500
No. 2 City: Chicago, $76,500
No. 3 City: Houston, $76,000

Civil engineers work on all aspects of infrastructure projects — including roads, bridges, buildings, airports and sewage systems — from conception to construction to maintenance. Employment for civil engineers is expected to grow at a higher rate than average compared to jobs in all fields, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is why it's a desirable job.

Of the cities with the highest pay for civil engineers, Los Angeles has the most job openings.

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Computer Systems Analyst

No. 1 City: Los Angeles, $85,000
No. 2 City: Fort Meade, Md., $83,500
No. 3 City: Phoenix, $76,500

Computer systems analysts combine their knowledge of business and information technology to design computer systems and procedures that help a business to run more efficiently and effectively.

U.S. News & World Report ranked computer systems analyst as the No. 1 best technology job, with high scores for salary, job market and future growth. It's also one of the hottest, highest-paying STEM careers.

Fort Meade has the most job openings for computer systems analysts among the cities that pay the most. 

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Dentist

No. 1 City: Dallas, $127,500
No. 2 City: Houston, $117,500
No. 3 City: Miami, $115,500

This is one of the jobs you're least likely to live paycheck to paycheck. U.S. News & World Report ranked dentist as No. 1 on its list of "The 100 Best Jobs" thanks to its high salary and the work-life balance the job allows. Dentists have the highest median salary of all the jobs included on this list.

Dentists diagnose and treat problems involving the teeth, gum and mouth. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall employment of dentists is growing at a much faster rate than the average for all occupations.

If you want to be a well-paid dentist, head to Dallas, which has the highest median dentist salary and the most job openings among the top-paying cities. 

Photo credit: Getty

Elementary School Teacher

No. 1 City: San Diego, $44,000
No. 2 City: Atlanta, $42,000
No. 3 City: Philadelphia, $40,500

Elementary school teachers instruct young students on core subjects, including reading and math. Of the dream jobs included on this list, it has the third-greatest number of projected job openings, with over 78,000 jobs expected to be available through 2024.

Of the cities where elementary school teachers get paid the most, San Diego has the most job openings. California is one of the states where teachers get paid the most, a separate GOBankingRates study found. 

Photo credit: Alamy

Elementary School Teacher

No. 1 City: San Diego, $44,000
No. 2 City: Atlanta, $42,000
No. 3 City: Philadelphia, $40,500

Elementary school teachers instruct young students on core subjects, including reading and math. Of the dream jobs included on this list, it has the third-greatest number of projected job openings, with over 78,000 jobs expected to be available through 2024.

Of the cities where elementary school teachers get paid the most, San Diego has the most job openings. California is one of the states where teachers get paid the most, a separate GOBankingRates study found. 

Photo credit: Getty

Insurance Agent

No. 1 City: Boise, Idaho, $85,000
No. 2 City: Fresno, Calif., $81,000
No. 3 City: Tulsa, Okla., $78,500

Insurance agents sell various types of insurance coverage, including home, health, life and auto. U.S. News & World Report ranked insurance agents as No. 2 on its list of "Best Sales & Marketing Jobs," thanks to the number of available jobs and the work-life balance the job provides.

Of the cities where insurance agents earn the most, Fresno has the greatest number of job openings. 

Photo credit: Getty

Interpreter and Translator

No. 1 City: San Diego, $64,000
No. 2 City: Dallas, $58,500
No. 3 City: New York, $58,500

Interpreters and translators convert verbal and written communications from one language into another. The field is experiencing higher-than-average job growth, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and also ranks highly on U.S. News & World Report's list of "Best Creative & Media Jobs" because of the work-life balance it provides.

New York has the greatest number of translator jobs in the cities with the highest earning potential for the job. 

Photo credit: Getty

IT Manager

No. 1 City: Seattle, $93,000
No. 2 City: Houston, $82,000
No. 3 City: Nashville, Tenn., $80,000

Information technology managers are in charge of a company's computing systems and help a company meet its technology goals.

Employment in the field is growing at an above-average rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition to job growth, U.S. News & World Report ranked IT manager highly on its list of "Best Technology Jobs," thanks to its high salary. IT managers have the second-highest median salary of the jobs included on this list.

Seattle not only has the highest pay, but also the most job openings for IT managers working in cities where those workers are paid the most.

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Lawyer

No. 1 City: Boston, $88,000
No. 2 City: Austin, $85,500
No. 3 City: San Diego, $85,000

Lawyers advise and represent individuals, businesses and government agencies on legal matters. Being a lawyer is a desirable position thanks to its high salary — the third-highest salary of the jobs included on this list. It's one of the 20 highest-paying jobs for men and women, according to a separate GOBankingRates study.

Boston has the most available lawyer positions, in addition to the best median pay. Massachusetts is also one of the best states if you're unemployed and want a job, a previous GOBankingRates study found. 

Photo credit: Getty

Mechanical Engineer

No. 1 City: Boston, $83,500
No. 2 City: Seattle, $83,500
No. 3 City: Atlanta, $78,000

Mechanical engineers design, build and test all sorts of devices, including tools, engines and machinery. U.S. News & World Report rated mechanical engineering highly for its high salary and work-life balance.

Of the cities with the highest salaries for mechanical engineers, Boston has the most available positions. It's the overall best city in Massachusetts to find a job

Photo credit: Shutterstock 

Middle School Teacher

No. 1 City: New York, $50,500
No. 2 City: Los Angeles, $43,500
No. 3 City: Philadelphia, $42,000

Middle school teachers typically instruct students in sixth through eighth grade. While job growth is about average, the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that this will vary by region. U.S. News & World Report gave middle school teacher jobs above-average scores for job growth, salary and stress levels.

Los Angeles has the most open positions of the cities where middle school teachers earn the most. 

Photo credit: Getty

Nurse Practitioner

No. 1 City: Houston, $101,500
No. 2 City: Cincinnati, $100,500
No. 3 City: Atlanta, $99,000

Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who received additional schooling that allows them to perform medical services such as prescribing medication and authorizing treatment plans.

Nurse practitioner ranks as No. 2 on U.S. News & World Report's list of "Best Jobs," thanks to its high salary and job growth: It's expected that 44,700 jobs will become available between now and 2024. Thanks to its positive job outlook, nurse practitioner is one of the 10 jobs with the most job security, according to a previous GOBankingRates study.

Of the cities with the highest average salaries for nurse practitioners, Atlanta has the most job openings. It's also the best city for jobs in the state of Georgia. 

Photo credit: Getty

Occupational Therapist

No. 1 City: New York, $82,000
No. 2 City: Atlanta, $80,500
No. 3 City: Los Angeles, $79,000

Occupational therapists help the ill, injured or disabled to improve and recover so that they can get back to doing everyday tasks.

The job outlook for occupational therapists is growing at a much faster rate than is average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The rapid job market growth helped occupational therapist to rank as No. 1 on the U.S. News & World Report's list of "Best Health Care Support Jobs."

Los Angeles has the most job openings for occupational therapists among the cities where pay is the highest for this position. 

Photo credit: Getty

Operations Research Analyst

No. 1 City: New York, $77,500
No. 2 City: San Diego, $77,500
No. 3 City: Bakersfield, Calif., $72,500

Operations research analysts are high-level problem solvers who utilize mathematics and analytics to identify a business's issues and come up with solutions. Employment is expected to grow 27 percent between 2016 and 2026 — a much faster than average rate — according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

New York has the most open positions for operations research analysts compared to the other cities where employers pay a high median salary for the job.

Photo credit: Getty

Psychologist

No. 1 City: Bakersfield, Calif., $89,500
No. 2 City: Dallas, $80,000
No. 3 City: San Diego, $78,000

Psychologists meet with and observe patients to help them improve their processes and behaviors. U.S. News & World Report ranked psychologist as No. 1 for "Best Science Jobs" because of its high salary and good work-life balance.

Of the cities that pay psychologists the most, Dallas has the most job openings. 

Photo credit: Getty

Public Relations Specialist

No. 1 City: New York, $58,500
No. 2 City: San Diego, $51,500
No. 3 City: Philadelphia, $50,500

Public relations specialists work to maintain a positive image for their clients through communications with the press, social media campaigns and other means. U.S. News & World Report ranked the job as No. 2 on its "Best Creative & Media Jobs" list, thanks to its above-average salary, future growth and work-life balance.

New York has the highest median salary for PR specialists and also the most available positions of the cities that pay the most. 

Photo credit: Getty

Sales Manager

No. 1 City: Chicago, $75,500
No. 2 City: Fort Lauderdale, Fla., $66,500
No. 3 City: Tampa, Fla., $65,500

Sales managers oversee a company's sales teams. The sales manager also helps to establish and meet sales goals. It is a highly prized occupation because of its high salary; of the jobs included on this list, it had the fourth-highest median salary nationwide.

Chicago has the most available sales manager jobs of the cities that have the highest pay for the role. Chicago also is one of the U.S. cities where incomes are growing the fastest, a separate GOBankingRates study found. 

Photo credit: Getty

School Psychologist

No. 1 City: Chicago, $71,000
No. 2 City: San Diego, $71,000
No. 3 City: Los Angeles, $69,500

School psychologists work with students to identify, diagnose and treat learning disabilities, mental disorders, and other mental health or behavioral issues. The job ranked No. 1 on the U.S. News & World Report list of "Best Social Service Jobs," with above-average scores for salary, job market, future growth and work-life balance.

Of the cities that pay school psychologists the most, Chicago takes the top spot for most positions available. 

Photo credit: Getty

Software Developer

No. 1 City: Columbus, Ohio, $95,000
No. 2 City: Nashville, Tenn., $94,500
No. 3 City: Pittsburgh, $92,000

Software developers come up with computer programs and applications to meet a variety of needs. Available jobs are growing at a much higher rate than is average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The job also ranked highly on the U.S. News & World Report list of "Best Technology Jobs" for salary, future growth and work-life balance.

Columbus is the best place for software developers to be. The median salary is the highest there, and it also has the most available jobs among the three cities where software developers earn the most. 

Photo credit: Getty

Statistician

No. 1 City: San Francisco, $112,500
No. 2 City: Boston, $102,500
No. 3 City: Seattle, $101,000

Statisticians analyze data and apply the takeaways to solve problems in business, engineering, healthcare and other fields. U.S. News & World Report ranked statistician as No. 1 on its list of "Best Business Jobs" and "Best STEM Jobs" because of how rapidly the field is growing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 33 percent increase in available positions in the field between 2016 and 2026.

Boston has the most open positions among the cities where statisticians earn the highest salaries. 

Up Next: The Most Popular Companies in the 50 Biggest US Cities 

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Methodology: To conduct this study, GOBankingRates sourced its list of "dream jobs" based on U.S. News & World Report's "100 Best Jobs" reporting, taking top jobs by industry category with 10,000 projected jobs as the threshold. Jobs listed by the magazine were then cross-referenced with ZipRecruiter job titles. The three cities with the highest average salary per position were taken as the top cities to score your dream job.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Best Cities to Score Your Dream Job

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