Best & worst jobs in Oklahoma

Oklahoma is doing its part to get Americans working again, with energy industry jobs leading the charge, according to a new Jobs Rated report from  As energy industry hiring surges in Oklahoma, Petroleum Engineers easily rank as the state’s best job in the new report. Not only are jobs plentiful, but also working conditions are ideal and the pay is great, as the average annual salary for a Petroleum Engineer in Oklahoma last year was $114,148.

The expansion of the oil and energy sectors, especially in Oklahoma City, is helping to feed into an increase of jobs in manufacturing as well.  In March, Oklahoma reported a 5.4% unemployment rate while its two largest cities, Oklahoma City (4.4%) and Tulsa (5.4%), recorded some of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation. With lower than average unemployment rates in other cities across the state, and more companies reporting that they plan to hire more workers this year, Oklahoma’s job outlook is bright.

Other top-rated jobs in Oklahoma include Software Engineers, Human Resources Managers, Civil Engineers and Physicians. And with consumers demanding a more digital world, job prospects for Software Engineers will continue to be hot.

“Opportunities for Software Engineers especially are growing two to three times faster than the overall economy in Oklahoma,” says Tony Lee, publisher, “The factors that make this profession so highly rated include a high salary, low on-the-job stress and strong job-growth potential.”

On the flip side, the worst job in Oklahoma is Newspaper Reporter.  Competition, on-the-job stress, declining job opportunities and income levels for both newspaper reporters and broadcasters are why these jobs made it to onto the list for Worst Jobs in Oklahoma for 2012.

“The one sector that hasn’t grown in Oklahoma is the information industry, which includes Broadcasters, Publishers and Newspaper Reporters,” says Lynn Gray, Chief Economist for the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission. “Our forecast was a decline of about 6% in job growth.”

The second worst job, Enlisted Military Soldiers, whose work varies widely within each service branch, have jobs that potentially require them to be in harm’s way at all hours of the day and night.  Soldiers often are required to be away from friends and family for long periods of time, missing important milestones in their lives.  While Soldiers may have job security and consider it more of a lifestyle than a job, they tend to have a tremendous amount of work stress and lower pay compared to their civilian counterparts.

Another dangerous job — Oil Rig Worker — made it onto’s worst jobs list, especially in light of last year’s oil rig explosion northwest of Oklahoma City and this year’s drilling rig fire in Sweetwater.

“The long hours, hostile working environment, lower pay and higher risk of injury are just some of the factors that catapulted Oil Rig Qorker to its position among the top ten worst on our list,” says Lee.’s Best Jobs of 2012 have one key element in common: a high level of education.

Best Jobs in Oklahoma                       Average Annual Salary
1.    Petroleum Engineer                      $114,148
2.    Software Engineer                          $88,142
3.    HR Manager                                  $99,102
4.    Civil Engineer                               $78,133
5.    Physician                                      $205,029
6.    Veterinarian                                   $82,190
7.    Market Research Analyst              $61,236
8.    Pharmacist                                    $112,070
9.    Geologist                                        $83,266
10.  Registered Nurse                            $65,116
Worst Jobs in Oklahoma                  Average Annual Salary
1.    Reporter (Newspaper)                      $35,275
2.    Enlisted Military Solider                  $36,261
3.    Drill Press Operator                          $32,129
4.    Mail Carrier                                       $54,047
5.    Broadcasters                                      $27,324
6.    Shipping/Receiving Clerk                 $28,132
7.    Dressmaker/Tailor                             $27,133
8.    Farmer                                               $61,269
9.    Maid                                                  $19,088
10.  Oil Rig Worker                                  $32,132
To view the full report on the best and worst jobs in Oklahoma, visit:
Best Jobs in Oklahoma
Worst Jobs in Oklahoma researchers gathered and sorted through tons of job data from a variety of sources. They looked at the critical aspects of every job for over 200 professions and rated them in five key areas, such as: Work Environment, Physical Demands, Job Outlook, Income Levels and Stress. These “Core Criteria” are characteristics that are inherent in every job and were used to compare each job equally.  (For complete details on how determine our rankings, visit the Methodology Page.), created by Adicio, is a job search portal that offers extensive local, niche and national job listings from across North America, job-hunting, career-management and HR-focused editorial content, videos and blogs, and provides recruiters with the ability to post jobs directly to more than 800 niche career sites. also compiles the Jobs Rated Report (, where 200 jobs across North America are ranked based on detailed analysis of specific careers factors.