Image: Richmond, Va., historian Mark Greenough
Steve Helber  /  AP
A historian gives a tour to House of Delegate pages as they look over the George Washington statue in the rotunda of the Capitol in Richmond, Va. Historians are a favorite on the CareerCast.com top 10 list, earning about $63,000 a year.
By
updated 2/9/2011 7:58:42 AM ET 2011-02-09T12:58:42

Do you hate your job? Have you been thinking of moving to greener pastures? A new ranking of the best jobs in America might contain some hints for a career move.

Some results may surprise you. Surgeons, who top the income category at a whopping $365,258 per year, actually place only No. 100 in the ranking because of negative factors like lawsuits, stress and anxiety. They're ranked much lower than chiropractors (No. 32), which may come as an unwelcome shock to those med students who've mortgaged the house to pay for their surgery residency.

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In addition to income, CareerCast.com, which produces the annual list, ranks the jobs by more than 100 criteria grouped into five categories: wages, work environment, stress, physical demands and hiring outlook.

At risk of being sent offshore
Another surprise is that mathematicians, actuaries and statisticians all rank in the top five, though they all lack a certain sex appeal. The work environment for mathematicians is described as much better than that for actuaries, but don't they both just sit in a cubicle in an office park?

"Actuaries tend to be in more of a corporate environment such as insurance or finance companies, so their level of stress might be a tad bit higher," says Tony Lee, publisher of CareerCast.com.

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Computer jobs such as software engineer, systems analyst and programmer were all at the top of the list, but the website warns there's some downside risk of those jobs being sent offshore to India.

In case you were wondering (of course you are), the worst job in America is a roustabout on an oil rig — the guy who picks up after everybody else. Although it pays better than a dishwasher, it's a lot more dangerous: 11 roustabouts died last year in the BP Gulf oil disaster.

Here are the Top 10 jobs with average annual salaries. The full list is at careercast.com:

1. Software engineer — $87,140

2. Mathematician — $94,178

3. Actuary — $87,204

4. Statistician — $73,208

5. Computer systems analyst — $77,153

6. Meteorologist — $85,210

7. Biologist — $74,278

8. Historian — $63,208

9. Audiologist — $63,144

10. Dental Hygienist — $67,107

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