Top 10 Career Fields to Boost Your Retirement Chances


With accommodating pension plans fading into extinction, defined contribution vehicles are becoming the focus of company retirement programs. There are many factors to consider when preparing for retirement, but workers should not overlook the benefits of different industries.

Not all retirement programs are created equally. BrightScope, a leading provider of independent financial information and investment research, recently conducted a study ranking the best 401k plans by industry. Lawyers and airline pilots have some of the best retirement plans, while education workers and employees in retail or food services have the worst. Interestingly, the health and medicine industry failed to make the top 10.

“The range of industries topping this list shows that employers of all types are taking necessary steps to set up employees for a secure retirement by providing a robust 401k plan,” said Brooks Herman, head of data and research for BrightScope. “We hope companies across the country are now inspired to evaluate the options available to workers and make positive changes that have the potential to make a huge impact to employees’ financial future over time.”

Here’s a look at the top ten industries for 401k plans, according to BrightScope. They are rated by analyzing more than 200 individual data points, such as total plan cost, company generosity, and investment menu quality. BrightScope has rated nearly 50,000 401k and 403b plans, spanning more than 57 million workers and over $3 trillion in assets.


10. Wholesale Trade

BrightScope Rating: 69.26

Ford Mustang

9. Automotive

BrightScope Rating: 69.93


8. Manufacturing

BrightScope Rating: 72.54

Earnings Reports

7. Business and Finance

BrightScope Rating: 73.58

Hang Seng

6. Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

BrightScope Rating: 74.33


5. Airlines

BrightScope Rating: 74.65

iPad 3 2011 Apple

4. Technology

BrightScope Rating: 75.33


3. Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction

BrightScope Rating: 77.10


2. Utilities

BrightScope Rating: 77.32


1. Law

BrightScope Rating: 82.75

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