Friday, April 18, 2014

It Was the Best of Jobs, It Was the Worst of Jobs

Each year, CareerCast ranks 200 jobs, from the ten best to the ten worst, and this week they published the 2014 list. Want to know how your job ranks? Read on to learn what the ten best and ten worst jobs were, with my assessment of why the jobs got the ratings they did.

According to CareerCast, the ten best jobs for 2014 were:

1. Mathematician - low stress, generally high pay, quiet office environment.

2. Tenured University Professor - good pay, low stress, status and prestige, quiet office environment, job security.

3. Statistician - good pay, low stress, quiet office environment.

4. Actuary - low stress, quiet office environment, good pay.

5. Audiologist - very low stress, quiet office environment, good pay, sense of accomplishment.

6. Dental Hygienist - good pay, low stress, lots of openings. The downside: having to work up close with people who have nasty teeth and foul breath.

7. Software Engineer - high pay, low stress, generally low-key work environment.

8. Computer Systems Analyst - low stress, low-key work environment.

9. Occupational Therapist - low stress, sense of accomplishment.

10. Speech Pathologist - low stress, quiet office environment, sense of accomplishment.

The ten worst jobs were:

191. Corrections Officer - low pay, dangerous working environment.

192. Firefighter - low pay, high level of danger, risk of injury or death.

193. Garbage Collector - well, what do you expect?

194. Flight Attendant - relatively low pay, long hours, constant jet lag, stress of having to be pleasant and accommodating to jerks.

195. Head Cook - high stress, physically demanding, long hours.

196. Broadcaster - low pay, high stress (need to conform to rigid time schedules and generate good ratings), need to work odd shifts.

197. Taxi Driver - fluctuating pay, long hours, high stress, risk of death or injury.

198. Enlisted Military Personnel - relatively low pay and status, high stress, high risk of death or disfiguring/disabling injury.

199. Newspaper Reporter - high stress (constant need to turn up stories, meet deadlines, and scoop the competition).

200. Lumberjack - high stress, extremely dangerous work environment.

You can find some very interesting things in the list. One is that Military General came in at #179 ... a pretty low rating for people one might expect to have a pretty cushy and well-paid life considerably less dangerous than the Enlisted Military Personnel at #198. The reason for the low ranking seems based largely on the stress of long hours, great responsibility and the need to make - literally - life and death decisions. The Military Generals came in well below the occupation at #141 - Sewage Plant Operator - which ought to tell you something.

It's also interesting to compare the occupations in the bottom ten of this list with those on the top-ten list I offered up last month's post titled Where the Psychopaths Are. On that list Media (#2) corresponds generally to Broadcaster (#196), Journalist (#6) to Newspaper Reporter (#199), and Chef (#9) to Head Cook (#195). Police Officer (#7) could also correlate to Corrections Officer (#191) and is related to Firefighter (#192) I leave you to draw your own conclusions.

You can read the entire list of best and worst jobs here. And if you need musical accompaniment, here's Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass playing "The Work Song" ...

Looking at the list, the key determiner of what makes jobs good or bad doesn't seem to be the size of the paycheck (although that's important) - it's the amount of stress and degree of danger involved. My job? Not too bad, all things considered. It's a comfortable-enough office environment, with moderate levels of stress driven by high workload and the pressure of inflexible deadlines. On the plus side, my co-workers are intelligent and interesting people, making the environment an intellectually stimulating one.

How does your job rate? Leave a comment and let me know what makes it good or bad. Mike, no snarky comments about being retired, okay? And psychopaths need not reply.

Have a good day. Come back tomorrow for Cartoon Saturday.



eViL pOp TaRt said...

Some of the best jobs are hard to get into. For example, tenured university professor positions are routinely replaced by less well-paying part-time faculty positions, you have to be particularly smart to be a mathematician, and so forth.

Grand Crapaud said...

Software engineers and computer systems analysts do have well-paying, low stress jobs. :-)

The downside is that you have to go through rigorous college majors in order to qualify.

Mike said...

There is a shortage of computer people in the St. Louis area. The estimate is around 5000 jobs.

Sinner Bob said...

Running a barbecue joint is great because it allows me to talk and kid around with lots of people. It's bad because of the hours.