Best Job in the World

January 10, 2011
Well.. so I guess I'm in the right field?

If you think you have the worst job in the world, and you are an oil rig labourer, you are probably right, at least according to one survey published this week.

In ranking pay, stress levels, physical toll and other factors for 200 professions, the website CareerCast thinks that "roustabouts" get the rawest deal.

Maintaining oil rigs and pipelines is physically tough and offers little in return, the firm said.

CareerCast described a hardscrabble life of "12-hour shifts, exposure to the elements in hostile environments, low pay, high risk of injury and isolation from loved ones for weeks at a time," making it "the worst job of 2011."

For all that roustabouts are likely to receive around $32,000 a year.

Conversely, if you are a software engineer, congratulations, yours is the best job in the world.

Limited stress, few physical demands and the near-certainty of getting a job make that the top career, according to the survey.

"It's an excellent profession," said Nancy Mead of Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute. "There is a very high demand."

"Software is in practically every device used in our daily lives -- telephones, cars, appliances -- and that is becoming even more the case."

In return for keeping up with the latest codes, computer languages and techniques engineers can expect to earn an average of $87,000 a year.

But it is not all paycheques, brainstorming and coffee breaks, according to Mead.

"Many software development projects have difficulties with schedule and budget and it is not at all unusual for software engineers to be working a lot of overtime, a lot of weekends."

"There can also be a significant amount of travel."

According to CareerCast, other great jobs include mathematician, actuary, statistician and computer systems analyst.

Meanwhile it might pay to avoid becoming an ironworker, lumberjack, roofer or taxi driver.

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