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Software engineer best job in US

The job of software engineer topped the list based on strong growth prospects, average pay and potential for creativity.

india Updated: Apr 13, 2006 11:11 IST

Software engineers have the best jobs in America, according to a survey released on Wednesday.

Placing second were college professors and administrators and third were financial advisors, as surveyed by Money magazine, published by Time Inc, and Salary.com, compensation experts based in Needham, Massachusetts.

The job of software engineer topped the list based on strong growth prospects, average pay of $80,500 and potential for creativity, the survey showed.

In second place, college professors, instructors and administrators reported the lowest number of work hours per week, averaging 30 hours, and the highest number of annual vacation days, at 31 days, the survey said.

They also scored well in terms of stress levels, flexibility and creativity.

Dentists, on the other hand, reported the least number of vacation days, averaging 14 days, it said.

To rank the jobs, the study weighted job growth and income along with so-called softer factors such as flexibility after surveying people who said, "I'm completely stressed out, and I can't manage everything. Home and work are this massive jumble," said Craig Matters, Money's executive editor.

"People were really looking for more flexibility and less stress," he said. "That just got pounded into our heads."

The top three complaints of stress were too much work at 28 per cent, no room for advancement at 20 per cent and deadlines, also at 20 per cent.

Rounding out the top 10 best jobs were human resources manager, physician's assistant, market research analyst, computer/information technology analyst, real estate appraiser, pharmacist and psychologist.

Technology and health care fields accounted for nearly a third of the top 50 best jobs, the survey said.

The list appears in Money's May issue, which appears on newsstands on April 24.

To determine the top 50, Money and Salary.com said they began with a list of about 250 jobs, most requiring more than a high education, in 19 industries.

They eliminated jobs with low growth rates or low levels of employment or compensation, using data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

They used online surveys of 26,000 people to rank the rest based on growth and average pay as well as stress levels, flexibility, creativity and ease of entry and advancement in the field.