Education

Job site releases lists of best and worst jobs

In a list released by a career site, two IT jobs made the best list. Take a look at what the others were, as well as the 10 worst.

In a list released by a career site, two IT jobs made the best list. Take a look at what the others were, as well as the 10 worst.

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I got a press release in my mailbox yesterday from Careercast.com that featured its list of the best and worst jobs. The e-mail says that "Each occupation is ranked using data from such sources as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau, as well as information provided by a wide range of trade associations and industry groups."

Here are the lists:

The best

1) Mathematician

2) Actuary

3) Statistician

4) Biologist

5) Software engineer

6) Computer systems analyst

7) Historian

8) Sociologist

9) Industrial designer

10) Accountant

The worst

1) Lumberjack

2) Dairy farmer

3) Taxi driver

4) Seaman

5) Emergency medical technician

6) Roofer

7) Garbage collector

8) Welder

9) Roustabout (a laborer typically performing temporary, unskilled work. The term has traditionally been used to refer to traveling-circus workers or oil rig workers.)

10) Ironworker

Careercast's over all conclusion? "The upshot: secure, well-paying office jobs, like mathematician, landed high. Physically demanding, high-risk jobs like lumberjack brought up the rear." Well, no kidding. What I question is whether those factors should be considered more desirable? Did they ask anyone in the professions themselves? I'd bet that you couldn't pay a lumberjack to leave his line of work to become an industrial designer. And wouldn't a dairy farmer consider a career as an accountant the worst?

(I have to confess I had to look up "roustabout." I'd always associated the term with traveling circuses, so I couldn't imagine it being a common enough profession to earn a place on a list.)

Lists like this bother me because they don't clearly outline what the criteria was and what's onsidered a great line of work for one person could be the worst for another.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

14 comments
Wisconsincat
Wisconsincat

Interesting, but it's in the eye of the beholder. I know a guy who was working in the tech industry. Liked it, etc. But decided he had enough of the rat race. He's now a dairy farmer. Of course, everything is on computer, the house and barn are networked. He loves it.

chris
chris

post it if you don't like lists like this? kinda like saying, "I'm not one to talk about other people, but...."

Toni Bowers
Toni Bowers

I posted it to open it up for discussion--The same reason I would have posted it if I agreed with it.

JamesRL
JamesRL

I come from a family of dairy farmers, and when it paid relatively well, they certainly didn't mind it. There were many long days, and shit happens every day, literally and figuratively. You are kinda stuck on the cows schedule, they must be fed and milked on a strict schedule. On the other hand, you have no boss, and your success or failure is the result of your own work. If you are a decent person, you can get help from your neighbours even if you compete with them. I'd also think lumberjacks appreciate working outdoors. The EMT people I've met are adrenaline junkies and few jobs provide it like EMT work. James

cbulla
cbulla

Blows office off the floor every day. I did this until an injured shoulder became to much of a personal liability and I chose to be in position where I may need rescue or assistance because of my own adrenaline addiction. It was by far the most enjoyable and amazingly demanding job, but I went home every day knowing I did make a difference. FF/EMT is definitely a great job option!

NotSoChiGuy
NotSoChiGuy

....by the pasty, for the pasty." That's the first thing that comes to mind when I see this list. If you took the most sniveling office drone, and had them put together a best/worst job list, I'd imagine it would look like this. I'm shocked that MMA Fighter didn't eek out Taxi Driver! On a more serious note, I'm curious as to why astronaut/cosmonaut never makes the list for worst jobs. It has far and away one of the worst mortality rates per capita then any other profession; and is extremely demanding both physically and mentally in even the best conditions. I suppose the 'coolness factor' outstrips that in the minds of the writers.

jck
jck

After sitting in a damned, over-air-conditioned, noisy office for over 15 years now, I'd prefer to be out working a manual labor job. I just can't make the money doing those things that will pay for me to have a house and all. Otherwise, I'd drive a semi-truck or be a park ranger.

ees
ees

I'm a lumberjack who moonlights as a taxi driver. I guess I better call my career counselor. :-) But seriously, words are my bread and butter. If you had all those questions after reading this release, seems to me they need to hire a new PR writer.

pgit
pgit

Setup is out of memory and can't continue. Shut down or restart your computer. First off it's not my computer, second, I swapped out the memory and this continues. I love my job. =) wouldn't trade this line for anything. I guess I'm lucky.

BlackKris
BlackKris

If you look back over the last 100 years, all of the "worst" jobs have been there and will continue to be there. Nothing wrong with doing what you enjoy, when you don't enjoy it any longer, that's when it becomes a "job".

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Somebody in a "secure, well-paying office job" there at Careercast decided what went on the list and what didn't. This list is about as useful as a...hey, Careercast isn't associated with Gartner, is it? edit: slpeling

cbulla
cbulla

Both are Gartnerisms. No office job is secure.. In fact no job is. I have a friend who was recently fired because a woman at his work place said 'sexual harassment.' His comment was "You're very efficient with doing this task, I'm impressed! If I could afford it, I'd hire you to come by my house and redo how I currently do a similar task there." It was a menial but time consuming task and he was very sincere and honest in placing a compliment for just being a rock star employee. Absolutely nobody can believe she said 'sexual harassment', including the owners, and even the company managers have not filed it in the records, letters of recommendation, etc., but chose to let him go 'just in case' she filed a case. To each their own with jobs.. I just find it sad how few telecommute jobs are truely available.

MikeGall
MikeGall

People have different interests. What is an ideal job for one person isn't for another. For example I know people that enjoy hard physical labor, they say it is "a free workout", and they can shut their mind off and the time goes faster. Or they can think about other things rather than have to do that on their own time. I know people that look down at people with manual labor jobs, and the less physical the work the better for them. Also, everyone's skills aren't the same. I have a physics background and am a good programmer. But I suck at small detailed physical jobs: etc assembling computer hardware, my hands are too big and I don't have the fine muscle control for it. Similarly lets face it, not everyone is smart enough, or desires the amount of education required to be a mathematician or biologist. If you want to start a family early for example, you aren't likely to want to pursue a career that requires 10 years of university.

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