The BEST Jobs in 2012
1. Software Engineer--2012 pay: $88,142--2011 pay: $87,140--Software engineer has been the No. 1 job for two years running. You can sum that up in two words: "Technology revolution."
2. Actuary--2012 pay: $88,202--2011 pay: $87,204--Actuaries analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty, using mathematics, statistics and financial theory to assess the risk that a particular event will occur.
3. Human Resources Manager--2012 pay: $99,102--New to the list for 2012--HR manager being the No. 3 job was the biggest surprise of the best list, but when you think about it, it makes sense: A lot of skilled HR managers are retiring and fewer young people pursue human resources as a career, so it becomes one of the best jobs in America this year.
4. Dental Hygienist--2012 pay: $68,109--2011 pay: $67,107--Dental hygienists clean teeth and examine patients for oral diseases. They are also doing more of the dentist's work. To be a dental hygienist typically requires an associate's degree in dental hygiene.
5. Financial Planner--2012 pay: $104,161--2011 pay: $101,164--As Baby Boomers get older, they need financial advice for retirement. And with the stock-market recovering from the financial crisis, that demand is even greater.
5 WORST Jobs for 2012
1. Lumberjack--2012 pay: $32,144 --2011 pay: $32,109--Lumberjack has always been one of the worst jobs. You're working outside whatever the weather, in dangerous conditions, with low pay in an industry that took a huge hit during the recession.
2. Dairy Farmer--2012 pay: $33,119 --2011 pay: $32,114 --Dairy farmers weren't in the 10 worst last year so they not only shot into the bottom 10 but they debuted at No. 2. First, it's a low-paying job. Second, it's very dangerous working with large animals like cows. There are more fatalities in dairy farming than ever before.
3. Enlisted Military Personnel--2012 pay: $36,261--New to the list for 2012--Enlisted military personnel are part of an incredibly dangerous job. You're on the front lines and you're responsible for others. The stress level is extremely high.
4. Oil Rig Worker--2012 pay: $32,132 --2011 pay: $32,143--These guys are the entry-level spot on the oil totem pole. Their jobs are dangerous: working on oil rigs, far away from home or offshore, in bad weather and dangerous working conditions. And they don't share in the wealth of the industry because they are paid very low.
5. Newspaper Reporter--2012 pay: $35,275--2011 pay: $34,275--Newspaper reporter has always been a high-stress, low-pay job, but add to that the explosion of online and mobile news. With the move to digital, that has added pressure on newspaper reporters. They're now required to tweet and do video as well as write articles. They're asked to do much more for less and the pay isn't good.