NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Considering a career change? You may want to think outside the box.
According to a report from online job search portal CareerCast ranking the most underrated jobs in America, some of the best gigs out there are also those that are most often overlooked. While they have a solid growth outlook, low stress level and stable work environment, they are fields many workers simply don't take into consideration.
"The landscape for underrated jobs points to favorable hiring outlook in coming years. While they may not attract much attention, these jobs are often lower stress and can be high-paying," said Kyle Kensing, online content editor at CareerCast.
CareerCast examined 200 professions using a methodology based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data and focusing on four main criteria -- environment, income, outlook and stress. It took into account issues like inherent stress, competition, industry volatility and job turnover to determine its final ranking.
Read on to see the eight most underrated jobs in America today.
Annual Median Salary: $63,550
Growth Outlook: 13%
Apparently, there are cooler things to being an accountant than getting to wear a fun visor.
Accountants have a median annual salary of $63,550, or $30.55 per hour. There were 1.3 million accountancy and auditing jobs in the U.S. in 2012, and the sector's 10-year growth outlook is 13%. The job's stress level largely depends on the time of the year, as workloads increase at the end of the budget year or during tax season.
California, Texas and New York boast the highest level of accounting occupations, while Washington, D.C., New York and New Jersey are the top payers.
7. Civil Engineer
Annual Median Salary: $79,340
Growth Outlook: 20%
Civil engineers design, construct, supervise, operate and maintain large construction projects like roads, buildings, airports, bridges and tunnels. There were 272,900 jobs in the arena in the U.S. in 2012, and the field is growing at a fast 20% rate. More positions are expected to become available as infrastructure ages and engineers are required to rebuild, repair and upgrade works.
Civil engineers make a median annual pay of $79,340, or $38.14 per hour. Those that are highest paid work in Alaska, Texas and California.
6. Environmental Engineer
Annual Median Salary: $80,890
Growth Outlook: 15%
As climate change and the environment become an increasingly important part of the economic and political conversation, the role of environmental engineers expands. There were 53,200 jobs in the field in 2012, and by 2022, at least 8,100 are expected to be added. The BLS specifically cites government concerns regarding water and a need for efficiency on that front as the reasoning behind its estimate for growth.
Environmental engineers have a median annual salary of $80,890, or $38.89 per hour. California, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania have the highest employment level, while New Mexico, Alaska and California pay the most.
Annual Median Salary: $90,890
Growth Outlook: 16%
Architectural and engineering companies provide the most jobs to geologists, followed by companies in oil and gas extraction. The oil and gas companies are among those that pay the most to geology professionals, too.
The median annual pay for geologists is $90,890, or $43.70 per hour, and the job growth outlook is 16%. The BLS anticipates a need for energy, environmental protection, responsible land and resource management to spur demand for professionals in the field.
4. Human Resources Manager
Annual Median Salary: $99,720
Growth Outlook: 13%
Not only does CareerCast rate human resources manager as one of the most underrated jobs in the United States, but it also says it's one of the safest.
HR managers earn a median $99,720 per year, or $47.94 per hour. The field's 10-year growth rate is about 13%, with expansion driven by new and expanding companies that need more human resources staff to oversee and administer programs. The BLS warns that "very strong competition" can be expected for most positions.
3. Multimedia Artist
Annual Median Salary: $61,370
Growth Outlook: 6%
Multimedia artists and animators create animation and visual effects for television, movies, video games and other formats. They make an annual median salary of $61,370, or $29.50 per hour.
It is worth noting that about half of multimedia artists are self-employed, and growth in the field is 6% -- slower than the average for all occupations. The motion picture and video industry provides the most employment for the field's professionals, while the wholesale electronic market pays best. Washington State has the highest concentration of multimedia artists and also ranks in the top three states in terms of the amount of jobs and pay.
Annual Median Salary: $46,270
Growth Outlook: 19%
Physiologists assess, plan and implement fitness and exercise programs and can work in a wide variety of settings, ranging from hospitals, outpatient clinics and university laboratories to physicians' offices, sports teams' facilities or schools.
They earn a median annual salary of $46,270, and job growth is an estimated 19%, spurred by an increased awareness of sports-related injuries among the general public. Texas, Florida and Virginia boast the highest level of employment for physiologists, and New York, Massachusetts and California offer the most pay.
Annual Median Salary: $84,460
Growth Outlook: 12%
Veterinarians can expect some stiff competition for jobs, meaning specializations and prior work experience will be needed to help them stand out from the crowd. Once they do land a job, they can expect to earn $84,460, or $40.71 per hour.
There were 70,300 vet jobs in the United States in 2012, and 8,400 more are expected to be added by 2022. Vermont, Idaho and Colorado are the states with the highest concentration of veterinarians; however, vets in Delaware, New Jersey and Connecticut get the best pay.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.