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The 20 best and 20 worst jobs of 2012

CareerCast has just issued its annual compilation of 200 jobs, ranked from best to worst. Software engineer tops the list, lumberjack hits the bottom as the best and worst jobs to have in 2012.
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Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer on

CareerCast has just issued its annual compilation of 200 jobs, ranked from best to worst.  Software engineer tops the list, lumberjack hits the bottom as the best and worst jobs to have in 2012.

It's a great time to be a software engineer -- as it was last year, when this job also placed first on the placement service's list. These jobs cover everything from the design and creation of software for everything from operating systems to cell phone apps to interactive games. With the huge focus on mobile, cloud and online enterprises, today's software engineers have an array of career choices.

CareerCast says it arrives at its rankings along five categories: physical demands, work environment, income, stress and hiring outlook. "Jobs receive a score in each individual category, and when these are added together, the career with the best overall score is ranked 1st, while the one with the worst overall score is ranked 200th."

The top 20 best jobs this year, listed below, tend to have few physical demands, relatively low stress levels (though that may be debatable), and have relatively healthy hiring prospects.

The bottom 20 (posted below the top 20 list) tend to be very physically demanding jobs, or dim hiring prospects. Meter readers are a classic example, since to the proliferation of wireless transmission of meter data that most utilities now employ.

And here are the 20 best jobs this year:

  1. Software engineer
  2. Actuary
  3. Human resources manager
  4. Dental hygienist
  5. Financial planner
  6. Audiologist
  7. Occupational therapist
  8. Online advertising manager
  9. Computer systems analyst
  10. Mathematician
  11. Speech pathologist
  12. Optometrist
  13. Physical therapist
  14. Pharmacist
  15. Web developer
  16. Petroleum engineer
  17. Dietitian
  18. Statistician
  19. Chiropractor
  20. Sociologist

And here are the 20 worst jobs this year:

  1. Lumberjack
  2. Dairy farmer
  3. Enlisted military soldier
  4. Oil rig worker
  5. Newspaper reporter
  6. Waiter/waitress
  7. Meter reader
  8. Dishwasher
  9. Butcher
  10. Broadcaster
  11. Shoemaker/repairer
  12. Drill-press operator
  13. Conservationist
  14. Taxi driver
  15. Automobile assembler
  16. Firefighter
  17. Shipping/receiving clerk
  18. Mail carrier
  19. Maid
  20. Dressmaker/tailor

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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