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And the best job in America is software engineer

An analysis by CareerCast declares that, without doubt, software engineers have the best jobs in America. They beat out, um, actuaries.

Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I am about to make quite a few of you feel slightly smug inside.

For all of you who happen to be reading this -- and who happen to be software engineers -- you have the best jobs in America.

This would not be my own verdict. For the idea of being a software engineer would turn my heart to molasses.

However, a company called CareerCast, which turns out to be yet another of the fine sites where one can find a lovable job, has no doubts that software engineer is where it's at.

I am grateful to the Huffington Post for revealing the existence of CareerCast's 2012 Jobs Rated Report. For it is full of edification.

You might wonder what criteria CareerCast used to reach its perhaps foregone conclusion. Well, Physical Demands, Work Environment, Income, Stress and Hiring Outlook were its 5 pillars.

As all you software engineers dance your highland fling, while supping on a bottle of fine 15-year-old malt, might I toss a little ice cube your way?

You see, the second best job to have in America is actuary. Which would seem to me akin to living with a large, sharp pencil inserted in both your ears and nostrils every day of your life.

Third, improbably, was human resource manager, which is surely little more than a low-grade psychiatrist who didn't manage to pass any medical exams.

Fourth was dental hygienist, the very smell of which would surely put many off.

A mere fifth was financial planner. I have never met one of those who could do more than map out entirely unrealistic projections, based on figures plucked randomly from the numbers line of their laptop keyboard.

It seems, therefore, that software engineer has little to beat -- although lurking at number 8 is online advertising manager, at 9 computer systems analyst and at 10, mathematician.

There is something preternaturally delightful about mathematicians finally being recognized in the top 10 of anything -- except least the Least Likely To Be Found Sexy list.

Even physicist appears at number 27. Yes, 8 places above parole officer.

Sadly, hair stylist is merely at position 105. So I thought I'd reach for the depths and see which jobs were deemed the worst.

Have once been one myself, I felt depressed to see garbage collector down at number 160. It was, however, still 6 places above photojournalist.

But your bottom 5, those you software engineers are supposed to most look down upon, stacks up like this: number 196 is reporter (newspaper). At number 197, oil rig worker. At number 198, enlisted military soldier. At number 199, dairy farmer.

And, finally, propping up the world of employment, we have lumberjack.

So it seems that working outdoors doesn't rank highly for this survey. What does is being at the forefront of finding as many different ways possible for people to share their bikini shots.