Think you have the worst job in the world?
Unless you’re a roustabout, you don’t. This is according to CareerCast.com, which has released its annual Jobs Rated list, ranking 200 jobs from best to worst.
The website says. “Each year Jobs Rated researchers survey 200 jobs – from Accountant to Zoologist – scoring them according to five key criteria: Physical Demands, Work Environment, Income, Outlook and Stress. Some factors remain relatively constant from year to year, but others fluctuate greatly due to changes in the job market, technological innovations or current events. Using data from government sources, trade groups and private organizations, every job receives a score and rank in each category….”
And the best job on the list is….drumroll please…Software Engineer. This is followed by Mathematician, Actuary, Statistician and Computer Systems Analyst. Rounding out the top ten are Meteorologist, Biologist, Historian, Audiologist and Dental hygienist.
Not surprisingly, most of the top jobs require skills in math and/or computing, as well as education and specialized training. There’s a reason to go to school, people.
Software Engineers are needed these days to design everything from operating systems to apps to games. CareerCast explains that they only rank #23 in terms of salary, but two emerging industries: web applications and cloud computing, helped push the job into the #1 spot, bumping Actuary down to #2 (sorry Actuary). The demand for development of mobile applications and cloud software has diversified the field and, apparently, “a diverse job market brings improvements in stress factors such as Growth Potential and Competitiveness, as workers become less beholden to employers or vulnerable to outsourcing.”
Right in the middle at numbers 99, 100 and 101 are broadcast technician, teacher and surgeon, respectively. So, teaching ranks higher than operating, because a surgeon may make $365,258.00 and a teacher only $51,132.00, but the surgeon’s job is far more stressful. You get the idea. Wild card placements one might find interesting are Philosopher at #16, Parole Officer at #18. Who’d have thought those two would be neck in neck?
For the second year in a row, the worst job on the list is roustabout – “Twelve-hour shifts, exposure to the elements in hostile environments, low pay, high risk of injury and isolation from loved ones for weeks at a time are just some of the factors that combine to make Roustabout the worst job of 2011.” An explosion at the Deepwater Horizon facility in the Gulf of Mexico last year killed 11 workers. Also, a seven year suspension of offshore drilling in America’s Eastern Gulf and Atlantic coastlines has worsened the hiring prospects for oil rig workers.
Again, not surprisingly, most of the worst jobs are physically demanding and pay little. Roustabout is followed by Ironworker, Lumberjack, Roofer, Taxi Driver, EMT, Welder, Painter, Meter Reader and Construction Worker.
Not everyone is hip to CareerCast’s methodology and the comments section is full of angry rants calling the list a load of bull.
Some of the less offensive posts include, “So software engineer is a low stress job with almost no physical demands? I’ll remember that next time I pull a buddy out from sleeping under his desk in the middle of a scrum.” And “taxi more stress than an EMT hahahaha, that’s the dumbest thing I have ever read.”
I don’t know. I have a friend who’s an EMT and I doubt he’d give it up to start driving a cab.
Maybe the list is flawed but it makes a lot of sense. Hey, if you’re thinking of a career change, you might want to have a look.