12 best IT and engineering jobs of 2012, rated

IT positions top engineering categories in terms of hiring prospects.

CareerCast has published its list of the best jobs to have in the IT and technical professions, and software engineers have topped the list, the recruiting company says. While engineers dominate most of the top spots, IT professions are clustered toward the top.

CareerCast bases its rankings on environment, current hiring demand, average compensation, stress levels, long-term career outlook and physical effort required on the job. The "hiring outlook number" is based on a composite of employment growth in the field, income growth potential, and unemployment.

Based on these criteria, the top tech jobs are as follows:

  1. Software engineer. Average salary: $90,000. Hiring outlook: 25.02
  2. Computer systems analyst. Average salary: $78,000. Hiring outlook: 22.58
  3. Web developer. Average salary: $75,000. Hiring outlook: 21.49
  4. Petroleum engineer. Average salary: $114,000. Hiring outlook: 17.48
  5. Civil engineer. Average salary: $77,000. Hiring outlook: 18.73
  6. Computer programmer. Average salary: $71,000. Hiring outlook: 11.78
  7. Technical writer. Average salary: $63,000. Hiring outlook: 15.93
  8. Nuclear engineer. Average salary: $99,000. Hiring outlook: 10.32
  9. Aerospace engineer. Average salary: $97,000. Hiring outlook: 4.24
  10. Mechanical engineer. Average salary: $78,000. Hiring outlook: 9.03
  11. Electrical engineer. Average salary: $87,000. Hiring outlook: 7.39
  12. Industrial designer. Average salary: $76,000. Hiring outlook: 9.35

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