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Check it Out: The Most Underrated Jobs of 2013

September 17, 2013

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Median salary: $55,370
Hiring outlook (job growth through 2020): 7%

Shhhhhhh! Keep your voice down, but here's an interesting thing about librarians: They're underrated.

Librarians have a lower-than-average hiring outlook but they rank so high in other criteria, such as low stress level and better office environment than average, that they squeaked into the top 12 list of most underrated jobs.

"Librarians have an opportunity to work in an environment they love. They have good hours. And they're serving the public, which is what most librarians get into this business to do," Lee said.

See Also: When a Family Business Goes Bad


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Median salary: $49,840
Hiring outlook (job growth through 2020): 23%

Electricians are benefiting from the housing-market recovery, which has created more job opportunities than in recent years. Plus, salaries are rising and the hiring outlook is improving--more than double the average for careers on the list at 23 percent, according to statistics from the Labor Department.

Plus, Lee said, it's a lower stress level and electricians can work on their own schedule.

"People tend to not be rushing you because they want you to do the best job," Lee said.


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Median salary: $49,140
Hiring outlook (job growth through 2020): 26%

You have definitely never heard a mother say, "My son, the plumber!" But, like electricians, plumbers are getting a nice boost from the housing recovery.

The number of plumbers is expected to grow by 26 percent by 2020, more than double the national average. Plus, salaries are rising, stress is below average and there's more opportunity than in other careers to make your own schedule.

School principal

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School principal

Median salary: $87,760
Hiring outlook (job growth through 2020): 10%

School principals don't have as strong of a hiring outlook as some other professions on the list, but it is the highest paid of the underrated jobs.

In addition to monetary compensation, job satisfaction tends to be high among school principals.

"They have a job that they truly enjoy and get a lot of fulfillment from that," Lee said.

See also: 10 Ways to Get Your Retirement Plan Back on Track

Civil engineer

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Civil engineer

Median salary: $79,340
Hiring outlook (job growth through 2020): 19%

Civil engineers are the engineers who design and supervise large construction projects such as roads, buildings, bridges and water-treatment plants.

As the economy improves, there's more money for infrastructure projects--and that's good news for civil engineers.

Their hiring outlook is above average and their pay is near the top of the list for underrated jobs.

"The job isn't seen as glamorous, but many civil engineers wouldn't want to do anything else," Lee said.

And you'll always have bragging rights to say, "You see that bridge? Yeah, I built that!"

Legal assistant

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Legal assistant

Median salary: $46,990
Hiring outlook (job growth through 2020): 18%

"My son, the legal assistant!," said no mom to anyone ever.

Well, that may be true, moms who wanted their sons to be lawyers, but that's just one reason why legal assistants have one of the most underrated jobs. First, they tend to have better hours and lower stress than lawyers, Lee said, and their hiring outlook is above average. "Probably better than actually being an attorney," Lee said.

"This job has fared well every time we looked at it," Lee said.

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