'Software Engineer' Rated Nation's Best Job, 'Roustabout' Ranks at the Bottom of New CareerCast.com 2011 Jobs Rated Report

Jan 05, 2011, 08:00 ET from CareerCast.com

CARLSBAD, Calif., Jan. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- With a boost from the development of apps for iPods, tablets, smart phones and other devices, the profession Software Engineer has jumped to the top of the new 2011 Jobs Rated Report released today by CareerCast.com. The worst rated job is Roustabout, a dirty, dangerous and often stressful job, as evidenced by the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and subsequent oil spill.

CareerCast.com's Jobs Rated Report utilizes a wide range of such criteria as income, outlook, environmental factors, stress and physical demands to rank 200 U.S. jobs annually.

Software Engineer topped the list as the hottest job of 2011 thanks to its low stress, great outlook for employment, strong income growth potential, few physical demands and a high environmental ranking.  Rounding out the five best jobs are Mathematician, Actuary, Statistician and Computer Systems Analyst, while Roustabout, Ironworker, Lumberjack, Roofer and Taxi Driver ranked as the five worst jobs.

"A college education played a large role in this year's rankings," says Tony Lee, publisher of the CareerCast.com 2011 Jobs Rated Report, which has been conducted for more than a dozen years. Not only do the top 5 jobs pay more than twice as much when comparing mid-level incomes as the bottom 5 jobs ($83,777 per year vs. $30,735 per year), they all benefit from a college degree and math skills.

"Job seekers who want to compete for the nation's best jobs will gain a competitive edge by expanding their knowledge and skill set through higher education," says Mr. Lee. "Conversely, the majority of the nation's worst jobs do not require a high school diploma."

Roustabout ranks as the nation's worst job for the second year in a row due to the difficult and often dangerous nature of the occupation. CareerCast.com first reported Roustabout as the nation's worst job in their 2010 report, just months before an April 20 blast that killed 11 workers and poured millions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. While the mid-level annual salary has risen this year to about $32,000, the negative outlook for employment growth, low-income growth potential, great physical demands and high unemployment in the field make it the nation's worst job once again.

"If the worst job was ranked solely on salary, Dishwasher would have been at the bottom of the list with a mid-level income of $18,053, while Surgeon, which is the highest-paying job with a mid-level salary of $365,258, would have been the top job. But once you factor in stress, environmental factors, hiring outlook and other factors, income becomes just one piece of the puzzle," Mr. Lee says.

To see the 2011 rankings of all 200 best and worst jobs, go to:


To review the 2011 Jobs Rated Report methodology, go to:


Best Jobs in 2011 vs. How They Fared in 2010:

1. Software Engineer (up 1 spot)

2. Mathematician (up 4)

3. Actuary (down 2)

4. Statistician (up 4)

5. Computer Systems Analyst (down 2)

6. Meteorologist (up 6)

7. Biologist (down 3)

8. Historian (down 3)

9. Audiologist (up 34)

10. Dental Hygienist (no change) 

Worst Jobs in 2011 and How They Fared in 2010:

200. Roustabout (no change)

199. Ironworker (down 1)

198. Lumberjack (up 1)

197. Roofer (down 18)

196. Taxi Driver (down 2)

195. Emergency Medical Technician (down 9)

194. Welder (up 2)

191. Painter (down 32)

191. Meter Reader (up 1)

191. Construction Worker (up 2)

SOURCE CareerCast.com