These Are the Best and Worst Jobs of 2013

Because we love to compare ourselves with other people

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Analyzing numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other government agencies, has published its 25th annual rankings of 200 common jobs throughout the U.S. The rankings are calculated based on work income, stress, hiring outlook and environment (including minimal physical demands). The top spot this year goes to actuaries — analysts who apply statistics and financial theory to help companies, particularly insurance firms, manage future financial risk. (Even if you don’t know an actuary, you’ve probably seen a fictional one in the movies.)

Biomedical engineers and software engineers rounded out the top three. University professor — No. 15 on the list — claims the top spot on’s list of 10 Least Stressful Jobs of 2013 because of job security, rewarding pay and low health risk. That’s particularly true for those working at private institutions, which pay professors the highest salaries while also having the lowest ratio of students to faculty members, according to a study done by the Chronicle of Higher Education. The most stressful job, according to the site’s analysis, is being a member of the U.S. armed forces.

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Newspaper reporter beat actor and lumberjack to the bottom as the worst profession on the list. In addition to traditional sources of stress — tight deadlines and a high public profile — reporters are now increasingly under pressure because of budget cuts, longer working hours and the growing ranks of “citizen journalists” who do it for free.

On a separate list of jobs for military veterans — who already face an unemployment rate higher than the 7.6% national average — the top vocation to pursue is software engineer, followed by training manager and industrial production manager. Rounding out the top-10 list is tractor-trailer truck driver — now easier to get into thanks to new legislation that eases licensing restrictions for service members who move around often.

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