Strong math skills are a key to landing some of the best U.S. job opportunities -- particularly data scientist positions, according to job search portal CareerCast's 2015 Jobs Rated report. Four of the 10 best jobs focus on mathematics, the study says.

An actuary -- who uses mathematics, statistics and financial theory to assess the risk that a given event will occur -- topped the career list, ahead of mathematician, statistician and data scientist.

The data scientist position, which CareerCast added to the Jobs Rated report this year due to its growing popularity, involves applying predicative models to project consumers' behavior and has an average salary of $124,149 per year.

"Jobs in mathematics rank among the nation's best because they are financially lucrative, offer abundant opportunities for advancement and provide the opportunity to do great work in a supportive environment," Tony Lee, publisher of CareerCast.com, said in a statement.

IT and healthcare jobs were also highly ranked, the report says, evidenced by the favorable growth outlook and high salaries for audiologist, biomedical engineer, dental hygienist, software engineer, occupational therapist and computer systems analyst.

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