Career guidance website CareerCast has released its 26th annual breakdown of the best and worst jobs of the year, and the results may surprise you. Click through our slideshow to check out the jobs--the worst, followed by the best--or see below.
Apparently it's a great time to be a math wiz: statistician and actuary are among the current top jobs in the country, with mathematician snagging the number-one spot.
The factors evaluated in ranking professions included income, outlook, environmental factors, stress, and physical demands. CareerCast considered over 200 professions across numerous industries in building the list, all varying widely in salary and skill level.
The "best job" title for mathematician was chalked up to the current strong hiring demand among employers in multiple industries, including government agencies, educational institutions, and the non-profit sector. With a median salary of over $100k, it also pays exceptionally well.
"Mathematicians are employed in every sector of the economy and have critical skills related to the success of many businesses, from Wall Street brokerages to energy exploration companies to IT R&D labs to university classrooms," said CareerCast publisher Tony Lee. "Mathematician rose significantly in the rankings thanks to rising hiring demand and higher salaries, which help to boost much of the other criteria we measure."
On the other end of the spectrum, lumberjacks hold the dubious honor of "worst job" due to low pay and poor job growth projection, coupled with a high risk of injury.
Beyond income and potential for growth, CareerCast considered competitiveness and public contact as negative factors, as well as physical demands and quality of work conditions.
But not every job featured toxic fumes or loud noise--the number-two spot went to newspaper reporters, who, with a growth projection of -13 percent, probably aren't going to be receiving raises any time soon.
10 Best Jobs
2. Tenured University Professor
6. Dental Hygienist
7. Software Engineer
8. Computer Systems Analyst
9. Occupational Therapist
10. Speech Pathologist
10 Worst Jobs
2. Newspaper Reporter
3. Enlisted Military Personnel
4. Taxi Driver
6. Head Cook
7. Flight Attendant
8. Garbage Collector
10. Corrections Officer