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The Best Jobs in America 2011

The Best Jobs in America 2011
There are a slew of but that doesn’t make them the best jobs.Of course, the job outlook for hiring is important, but when it comes to determining which jobs are the absolute best, there’s also the working environment, the salary, how physically demanding the job is and how stressful it is. took all of those criteria and came up with their list of the Best Jobs in America for 2011. Two threads run through the list of best jobs – those that involve technology and those that involve statistics an

There are a slew of jobs in demand right now, but that doesn’t make them the best jobs.

Of course, the job outlook for hiring is important, but when it comes to determining which jobs are the absolute best, there’s also the working environment, the salary, how physically demanding the job is and how stressful it is.

CareerCast took all of those criteria and came up with their list of the Best Jobs in America for 2011.

Two threads run through the list of best jobs – those that involve technology and those that involve statistics and number crunching, said Tony Lee, the publisher of CareerCast. Plus, “a college education played a large role in this year’s rankings,” Lee said.

So what are the best jobs for 2011? Click through to find out. And stay tuned to CNBC.com next week when we count down the worst jobs in America.

By Cindy Perman
Posted 6 Jan 2011

10. Dental Hygienist
Average Salary: $67,107 Scored High On: Hiring Outlook, Low Stress Dental hygienists, who help dentists with their day-to-day work, always rank high on the best jobs list because the need for them is always great and there’s a high rate of job satisfaction. “They tend to like their jobs and stay in it,” Lee said. Plus, it’s a job that doesn’t require a lot of education , and it's easy to return back to after a leave of absence. It’s a popular profession for women, who may take a leave to start a
Photo: Getty Images

Average Salary: $67,107
Scored High On: Hiring Outlook, Low Stress

Dental hygienists, who help dentists with their day-to-day work, always rank high on the best jobs list because the need for them is always great and there’s a high rate of job satisfaction.

“They tend to like their jobs and stay in it,” Lee said.

Plus, it’s a job that doesn’t require a lot of education , and it's easy to return back to after a leave of absence. It’s a popular profession for women, who may take a leave to start a family and then return when the kids go to school.

9. Audiologist
Average Salary: $63,144 Scored High On: Hiring Outlook, Low Stress Audiologists, who diagnose and treat hearing problems, saw the biggest jump this year, climbing 34 notches to No. 9. The reason can be summed up in two words: Baby Boomers. The oldest Boomers are now in their mid- 60s and having hearing problems for the first time. “There’s a big segment of the population running into hearing problems and not enough people to treat them,” Lee said.
Photo: Getty Images

Average Salary: $63,144
Scored High On: Hiring Outlook, Low Stress

Audiologists, who diagnose and treat hearing problems, saw the biggest jump this year, climbing 34 notches to No. 9.

The reason can be summed up in two words: Baby Boomers. The oldest Boomers are now in their mid- 60s and having hearing problems for the first time.

“There’s a big segment of the population running into hearing problems and not enough people to treat them,” Lee said.

8. Historian
Average Salary: $63,208 Scored High On: Hiring Outlook, Work Environment, Salary It used to be that the best job prospects for historians were in the classroom, and the pay was low. But, thanks to a boom in hiring of historians by the government and private sector in the past few years, demand and salaries rose. There’s recognition of what historians can do outside the classroom,” Lee said. The government, for example, hired of dozens of historians to research artifacts lost by Jews in Europe du

Average Salary: $63,208
Scored High On: Hiring Outlook, Work Environment, Salary

It used to be that the best job prospects for historians were in the classroom, and the pay was low. But, thanks to a boom in hiring of historians by the government and private sector in the past few years, demand and salaries rose.

There’s recognition of what historians can do outside the classroom,” Lee said. The government, for example, hired of dozens of historians to research artifacts lost by Jews in Europe during World War II and several manufacturing companies hired historians to help them learn from their mistakes, he said.

7. Biologist
Average Salary: $74,278 Scored High On: Hiring Outlook, Minimal Physical Demands The need for biologists, who study the relationship of plants and animals to the environment, has always been great, but demand has increased in the past few years for two major reasons: The mapping of the human genome and fighting biological terrorism. “The need for that kind of background and training is great,” Lee said.
Photo: David Joel | Photographer's Choice | Getty Images

Average Salary: $74,278
Scored High On: Hiring Outlook, Minimal Physical Demands

The need for biologists, who study the relationship of plants and animals to the environment, has always been great, but demand has increased in the past few years for two major reasons: The mapping of the human genome and fighting biological terrorism.

“The need for that kind of background and training is great,” Lee said.

6. Meteorologist
Average Salary: $85,210 Scored High On: Hiring Outlook There’s always one job on the list that kind of jumps up unexpectedly and this year, that wild card spot goes to meteorologist, which climbed six notches on the list. Meteorologists, or atmospheric scientists as the Labor Department calls them, are experiencing a spike in demand as more private companies that are affected by the weather hire their own meteorologists. Goodness knows it’s not because the evening news is thriving!
Photo: Getty Images

Average Salary: $85,210
Scored High On: Hiring Outlook

There’s always one job on the list that kind of jumps up unexpectedly and this year, that wild card spot goes to meteorologist, which climbed six notches on the list.

Meteorologists, or atmospheric scientists as the Labor Department calls them, are experiencing a spike in demand as more private companies that are affected by the weather hire their own meteorologists. Goodness knows it’s not because the evening news is thriving!

5. Computer System Analyst
Average Salary: $77,153Scored High On: Hiring Outlook, Work Environment Information technology remains one of the hottest areas for hiring, helped by a boost from development of apps for iPods, tablets, smart phones and other devices. Computer system analysts, who plan and develop computer systems, remain in high demand, despite the outsourcing and cloud computing trends. “Outsourcing was a trend … But the work wasn’t at the same level. That bubble has been swallowed, and now we’re back in growt

Average Salary: $77,153
Scored High On: Hiring Outlook, Work Environment

Information technology remains one of the hottest areas for hiring, helped by a boost from development of apps for iPods, tablets, smart phones and other devices.

Computer system analysts, who plan and develop computer systems, remain in high demand, despite the outsourcing and cloud computing trends.

“Outsourcing was a trend … But the work wasn’t at the same level. That bubble has been swallowed, and now we’re back in growth mode,” Lee said.

4. Statistician
Average Salary: $73,208 Scored High On: Hiring Outlook, Work Environment “The world seems to be living on statistics these days,” Lee said. Statisticians, who tabulate, analyze and interpret statistics, jumped four notches on the list as demand has increased, but fewer people are pursuing the profession than in years past. Banks and insurance companies are just a few types of companies that are hiring statisticians to help them determine levels of growth and where the opportunities are, Lee said

Average Salary: $73,208
Scored High On: Hiring Outlook, Work Environment

“The world seems to be living on statistics these days,” Lee said.

Statisticians, who tabulate, analyze and interpret statistics, jumped four notches on the list as demand has increased, but fewer people are pursuing the profession than in years past.

Banks and insurance companies are just a few types of companies that are hiring statisticians to help them determine levels of growth and where the opportunities are, Lee said.

3. Actuary
Average Salary: $87,204 Scored High On: Hiring Outlook, Work Environment Speaking of living on statistics and the insurance industry, actuaries, who determine the probability of accidents, sickness, death and other events for insurance companies, also made the list. Demand for actuaries has grown outside the insurance industry as everyone these days crunches numbers to find ways to make money. Plus, actuaries have greater control over their day – they don’t have someone standing over their shoul

Average Salary: $87,204
Scored High On: Hiring Outlook, Work Environment

Speaking of living on statistics and the insurance industry, actuaries, who determine the probability of accidents, sickness, death and other events for insurance companies, also made the list.

Demand for actuaries has grown outside the insurance industry as everyone these days crunches numbers to find ways to make money.

Plus, actuaries have greater control over their day – they don’t have someone standing over their shoulder – and they’re not on tight deadlines, Lee explained. There’s a high job satisfaction level in this profession and people tend to stay in these jobs for a long time. The only reason they really leave, Lee said, is if they get a better (i.e., higher paying) job offer.

2. Mathematician
Average Salary: $94,178 Scored High On: Hiring Outlook, Work Environment Again with the numbers! Mathematicians, those who apply all sorts of mathiness to teach in an academic environment or solve problems for a business, come in at No. 2, up four notches from last year. This one is a simple case of supply and demand: People with math skills are in short supply these days and more businesses are hiring mathematicians to boost their business. And it’s not just limited to a few sectors: “Opportuni

Average Salary: $94,178
Scored High On: Hiring Outlook, Work Environment

Again with the numbers! Mathematicians, those who apply all sorts of mathiness to teach in an academic environment or solve problems for a business, come in at No. 2, up four notches from last year.

This one is a simple case of supply and demand: People with math skills are in short supply these days and more businesses are hiring mathematicians to boost their business.

And it’s not just limited to a few sectors: “Opportunities have opened up like crazy across all sectors,” Lee said.

1. Software Engineer
Average Salary: $87,140 Scored High On: Hiring Outlook, Salary, Work Environment Knocking actuary off its perch, this year’s top job is … software engineer! If you had any doubt that technology was king, this No. 1 ranking should erase it. Software engineers, those who research, design and maintain software systems, are in great demand as mobile technology and computer networking grows. Plus, the need to secure and update those systems gives an added spike to demand. Employment of computer softw

Average Salary: $87,140
Scored High On: Hiring Outlook, Salary, Work Environment

Knocking actuary off its perch, this year’s top job is … software engineer!

If you had any doubt that technology was king, this No. 1 ranking should erase it. Software engineers, those who research, design and maintain software systems, are in great demand as mobile technology and computer networking grows. Plus, the need to secure and update those systems gives an added spike to demand.

Employment of computer software engineers is expected to jump more than 30 percent in the next decade, according to the Labor Department.

The pay is highest at scientific-research, computer-equipment manufacturing and software-publishing companies.