03/28/2008 02:46 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Best (And Best-Paying) Jobs For 2008

If you're job hunting in the professional or service-oriented fields, we have good news. Of the ten categories into which the Bureau of Labor Statistics divides jobs, the "professional" and "service" categories -- already the two largest in the economy -- will boast the most job openings in 2008. In the next decade, 17 percent more employees will be employed in these two categories than are today, nearly double the expansion of other categories.

With an increase in demand, professional and service jobs, which include professions like educator, scientist, health care worker and artist in the "professional" category, and police officer, child caretaker and cosmetologist in the "service" category, will also add roughly a million new jobs to the economy. By comparison, other categories such as construction, sales and administration, are predicted to grow by only 10 percent; all eight other occupational groups combined will add only about half a million jobs to the economy in 2008.

But wait a second: Aren't we heading for recession? Where are all these open jobs coming from? While new jobs are being created, they don't represent the majority of the open positions workers will see this year. Career switching and baby-boomer retirement will create a higher turnover than ever, which will continue to increase the supply of jobs available. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that while a slightly expanding economy is spurring job growth in a majority of fields, "the need to replace workers who leave a field permanently is expected to create more openings than growth will.

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A select sampling:

* Computer software engineers (the #4 fastest growing job) had the highest median income in 2006, coming in at more than $79,000.
* Veterinarians (the #9 fastest growing job) are close behind with a median income of nearly $72,000.
* Financial analysts and advisors place next in terms of salary (#12 and #6) at $66,000 median income for each.
* Dental hygienists (#18) are also well compensated at a median of nearly $63,000.

See a slideshow of the Top 8 Jobs of 2008