Best jobs for fast growth

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10. Environmental Engineer

best jobs, fast growing, environmental engineer
Median pay: $81,200
Top pay: $113,000
10-year job growth: 31%
Total jobs: 50,000
The job: Want to save the earth and earn good money? As an environmental engineer, you get to apply your knowledge of biology, chemistry and other natural sciences to tackle problems such as pollution, waste management and recycling. These skills are quickly becoming sought after as businesses adjust to new water and air regulations, especially in the industrial and manufacturing sectors. Green initiatives are also beginning to catch on in several industries, including automotive (hybrid vehicles) and energy (like Shell Oil's move into wind energy).

How to switch: If you have experience in a related engineering field -- such as mechanical, civil or industrial -- a master's degree in a natural science like geology may be a good stepping stone. Almost all environmental engineers have bachelor's degrees in an engineering discipline.

Quality of life ratings:
Personal satisfaction Benefit to society Low stress Flexibility

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Do Environmental Engineers have great jobs, or what?
From the November 2011 issue
Notes: All pay data from Median pay is for an experienced worker (at least two to seven years in the field). Top pay represents the 90th percentile. Job growth is estimated for 2008-18. Total current employment level is estimated number of people working in each specific job.

Sources:, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and MONEY research
Using Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts for 7,000 titles, MONEY and compensation experts identified jobs requiring a bachelor's degree that have strong growth prospects, and eliminated any with fewer than 10,000 positions nationwide, plus those requiring advanced degrees that take more than three years. More

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