This is the 2012 version of the top 200 Jobs Rated report. Read the Top 200 Jobs of 2013  here.
Finding your dream job requires more than just hoping the stars will align in your favor. You probably have a better chance of winning the lottery than having the job fairy deliver you the perfect job just when you need one. In fact, you likely ended up in your current career because you followed in your parent’s footsteps (or heeded their advice), or you took a job because it was something you thought might be “cool” to do. Perhaps a teacher suggested your current career path, or maybe a job simply “opened up” just when you needed one.
Landing the job that’s right for you – that’s a good match for your skills and interests - requires soul-searching, some trial and error and lots of research. And we’re here to help! Our 2012 Jobs Rated report helps job seekers sort through the clutter with a comprehensive analysis of 200 different jobs – from Accountant to Zoologist – ranking each profession based on factual analysis and hard data instead of guesswork.
2012 Jobs Rated Report
How do our Jobs Rated researchers determine which professions rank better than others?
Our team gathers mounds of data and sorts through all of the factors to break each element into five key categories: Physical Demands, Work Environment, Income, Stress and Hiring Outlook. Jobs receive a score in each individual category, and when these are added together, the career with the best overall score is ranked 1st, while the one with the worst overall score is ranked 200th. By sorting the data of the 200 jobs into one central list, our Jobs Rated report serves as a valuable resource for anyone trying to research their career options, get an understanding of what a job entails and see a clearer picture of the job market potential. (For complete details on how we score, visit the JobsRated.com Methodology Page) 
Although each individual’s experience with a position can vary greatly, our Jobs Rated report is here to help you make a more qualified career decision based on data rather than subjective surveys. Take a look and a first step towards a possible new career.
Continue to the next page to see Jobs 21 - 40
Most professions that rank 21 – 40 fall into one of three categories: science-related, historical or technical. A majority of these professions require advanced degrees and are well paid for their services. All experience mid- to low stress levels and aren’t very physically demanding.
Continue to the next page to see Jobs 41 - 60
Professions that require math, science or legal knowledge dominate Jobs 41-60. Most of the professions offer mid- to high-level salaries and all share a positive hiring outlook. Lower stress, good work environments, low physical demands: where else would a Loan Officer and a Aerospace Engineer have a common job setting?
Continue to the next page to see Jobs 61 - 80
Jobs 61-80 are a good mixture of blue- and white-collar jobs. Most of the jobs offer median-level incomes and decent work environments. Two very different careers, such as a Judge and Heating/Refrigeration Mechanic, rank next to each other. Both jobs have lower stress levels, but a Judge has a better work environment while a Heating/Refrigeration Mechanic has a better job outlook.
Continue to the next page to see Jobs 81 - 100
From Electrician to Cosmetologist, the jobs listed from 81-100 run the gamut of professions. The closest grouping are those careers that require a lot of caring and compassion (for example: Funeral Director, Elementary School Teacher, Clergy, Nurse), which all ranked closely together. While the Event Coordinator has the highest job outlook, stress and a challenging work environment keep them lower on the list.
Continue to the next page to see Jobs 101 - 120
Higher-stress jobs and poorer job prospects are starting to become more prevalent with Jobs 101-120. At the rank of 109, the Electrical Technician posts the first instance of a negative job outlook. Two of the most stressful jobs rank in this grouping: Airline Pilot appears at 104 while Corporate Executive ranks in at 116.
Continue to the next page to see Jobs 121 - 140
With Jobs 121-140, professions with lower stress and higher pay are beginning to fade. With the exception of Air Traffic Controller at $108,207, most of the jobs here are in the $30k to $65k-a-year range with average to high stress levels.
Continue to the next page to see Jobs 141 - 160
Jobs that are hands-on rule 141-160. Most of these professions are out in the field (or shop) and not in a cubicle farm. While a few of them may require an advanced degree, such as Military General, for the most part the majority of these jobs require a high school education and some education from a trade school.
Continue to the next page to see Jobs 161 - 180
As we sink lower into the ratings of Jobs 161-180, the salaries of these professions drop as well. Farmer, listed at 179, has the highest income of this group with $61,269. Most of the professions in this list earn about $30k to $40k a year. The hiring outlook is also bleaker, with Construction Worker and Ironworker leading the pack at 18.38 and 18.12 respectively.
Continue to the next page to see Jobs 181 - 200
As we get to the bottom of our rankings, these professions all have a varied mixture of physical labor, declining job opportunities, lower incomes, poor working conditions and high stress. While not all of them have the physical demands of a firefighter, cushy would not be a word to describe any of these positions. For most of the jobs in this group, the salaries are very low with an even worse hiring outlook. Opportunity to grow in these job is minimal.
The 2012 Jobs Rated rankings serve as a guide for anyone trying to get a clearer picture of employment in an uncertain time. Whether you’re graduating from college, have recently found yourself downsized or just can’t stand the thought of going back to the grind for one more day, our rankings and individual category scores can help you take the guesswork out of your job search. And with facts on your side, you’ll be starting out already ahead of the game.