Debt collectors and compliance officers are listed among the top jobs to have in business in U.S. News and World Report's 2014 list of the 100 Best Jobs in America.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts employment growth of 14.7 percent for collectors between 2012 and 2022, creating more than 58,200 positions. A growing number of job opportunities are expected for collectors in medical industries as the cost of health care grows and an aging population incurs medical debt.
"When credit card companies sell their debts to third-party agencies, more bill collectors will be hired to retrieve payments. The high turnover among bill collectors also leads to a steady availability of job openings," according to the magazine's report.
Collectors ranked as the 11th best job in business while compliance officers came in at No. 10. On the larger list of all jobs, collectors ranked as the 57th best job, just behind No. 54 for compliance officers.
The U.S. News report continued: "The name might give you chills, but being a bill collector isnt just about hounding debtors. Bill collectors also help negotiate a repayment plan and provide credit advice. The BLS projects 14.7 employment growth for this profession by 2022."
While collection jobs can be outsourced to other countries, the report stated, collectors in the U.S. tend to have greater success in getting debtors to pay off their bills.
Nick Jarman, chief operating officer at Delta Outsource Group Inc., a national collection company, was quoted in the article: "We want to figure out what is going on and figure out a common solution to help them settle their debt. It's our job to talk with them to understand currently where they are, and then based on our clients, we might have the ability to offer a lower amount to settle their accounts or offer a long-term payment arrangement."
Collectors in 2012 earned a median salary of $32,480 in 2012, or $15.61 per hour, according to the BLS. The highest paid earned more than $48,640, while the lowest paid earned less than $21,850 in 2012. Two California cities compensate collectors especially well: San Francisco and San Jose.
Compliance officers, meanwhile, will be tasked with navigating a growing maze of laws and regulations. Compliance officers make sure companies and governing bodies adhere to internal policies and regulatory requirements.
"In the financial industry, these positions are particularly in demand as the government steps up its enforcement of anti-money laundering laws. Aside from their sizable presence on Wall Street and within the federal government, compliance officers work in a broad range of industries, from health care and telecommunications to oil and gas extraction. Duties may include identifying risks an organization faces, designing or implementing controls to mitigate those risks and reporting the effectiveness of the controls.
The BLS projects a modest employment growth of 4.6 percent between 2012 and 2022 for compliance officers, creating an estimated 11,000 jobs.
The median annual salary for compliance officers was $62,020 in 2012, but there can be wide differences in wages depending on a job's educational, scientific and work-experience requirements, according to the BLS.
The best-paid 10 percent in the field earned $97,760 in 2012, while the lowest-paid made $35,730. Department stores, oil and gas extraction companies and monetary authorities pay the highest salaries.
For details on other best jobs and to see the full U.S. News report, click here.