3 Best Jobs for Long-Term Success

Picking the right field can lead to better pay and job prospects for years to come.

As baby boomers retire and leave the job market, younger generations will have better employment opportunities. But not every profession is booming, so we went looking for the cream of the crop.

Starting with a list of 784 popular occupations, we narrowed the choices by focusing on fields that not only have been adding to their ranks over the past decade but also are projected to continue to expand well into the next decade. Plus, all of the jobs on our list have annual salaries that are well above—and in some cases more than double—that of the average occupation. Here are three of the best worth exploring:

Those baby boomers will need help with their fading hearing and will turn to speech-language pathologists. Also, we're paying more attention than ever to treating children with language disorders, such as stuttering, which will contribute to this field's growth of nearly 20% in the next decade. The job demands a master's degree and, usually, state licensing. A typical speech pathologist earns more than $70,000 a year.

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If you've got a smart phone, you've got apps. And those apps need developers. There is big money here -- the median annual salary for app developers is over $92,000. A college degree in computer science, software engineering or a related field is a starting point. A master's degree and certifications in languages like Java or C-sharp can help, too.

Getting a job as a medical sonographer doesn't take as much education as some other fast-growing jobs on our list-- an associate's degree may be enough. Sonographers help doctors see inside you in a non-invasive way, using sound waves. And, with advancing technology, they can be applied in more cases and used in more places, such as doctor's offices and medical labs outside of hospitals. Job growth in the next decade is forecast to be a staggering 34%, and median earnings top $66,000 a year.

Learn about seven more career fields with great salaries and growth prospects. Plus, try to avoid these 10 dying professions that will lead to small paychecks and few job opportunities.

David Muhlbaum
Former Senior Online Editor

In his former role as Senior Online Editor, David edited and wrote a wide range of content for Kiplinger.com. With more than 20 years of experience with Kiplinger, David worked on numerous Kiplinger publications, including The Kiplinger Letter and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. He co-hosted  Your Money's Worth, Kiplinger's podcast and helped develop the Economic Forecasts feature.