January 8, 2011

Best and Worst Jobs for 2011

Career website CareerCast.com recently announced their picks for best and worst jobs for 2011 – and some of these career paths may surprise you. Over 200 professions were evaluated and rated based on five different criteria: pay, outlook, work environment, stress, and physical demands.

Topping the list for best jobs of 2011 were:

  1. Software Engineer
  2. Mathematician
  3. Actuary Jobs
  4. Statistician
  5. Computer Systems Analyst

As you can see, these top jobs all have one thing in common – workers are skilled in math! This hearkens back to the report I recently posted from CBS Moneywatch on the Top Salaries by College Degree, where the winners were all in the math and science fields.  If you’re looking for a career outside of these fields, some other high-rating options include working as a historian (ranked #8 on the CareerCast.com list), working as a paralegal assistant (ranked #13), and working as a philosopher (ranked #16).

Similarly, CareerCast.com ranked the worst jobs, using the same metrics. The jobs at the bottom of the list are often dangerous and stressful, as well as low-paying. According to their list, the worst jobs for 2011 are:

  1. Roustabout
  2. Iron Workers
  3. Lumberjack Jobs
  4. Roofer
  5. Taxi Driver Jobs
  6. EMT
  7. Welder
  8. Painter
  9. Meter Reader
  10. Construction Worker

Take that information with a grain of salt, though – “best” and “worst” is subjective! If you love working as a taxi driver, for example, you might be happy to put up with low pay rates and stressful fares in exchange for the happiness it brings you in other areas. The same is true of the jobs that top their list of the best for 2011. If you hate working with numbers, becoming a statistician probably isn’t going to make you happy, even if you’re working in a secure field with little stress and a fairly high salary.

In short, it’s about finding what’s right for you – and keep in mind that there are a lot of jobs that weren’t ranked as part of this studying. Finding a unique job like becoming a bush pilot or working as a forensic artist might be the best choice for you. Check out JobMonkey’s database of guides to learn more about jobs that were included on CareerCast’s list, as well as jobs that you may not have even realized existed.

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