Best and Worst Jobs -- A Rating of 200 Popular Careers

by Amy Bernstein has rated 200 popular jobs on how satisfying they are. has recently published its rankings of the 200 best to worst jobs of 2011. It bases its rankings on a mathematical formula derived from five criteria: Work environment, physical demands, outlook, income and stress. Jobs are rated  according to how “gratifying each profession will be for a majority of workers—not just those who are famous or exceptional…”

This year’s top job, Software Engineer, requires significant skills not just in mathematics, but also in computing. Next in line: #2, mathematician; #3 actuary; #4 statistician; #5 computer systems analyst.  Many of the highest paying jobs don’t rank highly on the list because they come with  too much stress and insecurity.  For example, the job of attorney (#82) has an average pay of $113,211, but entails a high level of stress.  Even lower-ranked, at #101, is the job of surgeon, with an average income of $365,258. (It has an even higher level of stress).  Similarly, at #114, a senior corporate executive receives an average pay of $161,141, but has one of the highest stress factors on the list.

Low-paying jobs, such as taxi driver and emergency medical technician tend to be the least desirable on the list, since they generally also have a combination of both a relatively poor work environment and high stress. Others, such as lumberjack and roustabout (an unskilled laborer) may have less stress but comparatively high physical demands.  The one constant in the rankings is that white collar jobs overall seem to rank higher than blue collar jobs.

The conclusion? Education and training do count in the pursuit of a better job—and higher pay.  Browsing through the list (which included the stats for each job in each dimension) makes for fascinating reading. 

To see the full list, click Best and Worst Jobs 


by Amy Bernstein | Tuesday, October 25, 2011 | Career Change, Change Your Career

Stop Stressing About What to Do With Your Life

Take complete control of your career in a matter of minutes

Image Description
Entrepreneurship - A Possible Path to Career Fulfillment
with Liz Marion Masterclass Expert Presenter Thursday, December 19, 2019 at 2 PM EST
Reserve My Seat!
Want to Contribute a Blog Post?
Are you a career expert and ready to share your expertise?

Please review our guidelines for blogposts, the sample blogpost and the sample bio and send your material to

FREE GUIDE: Career Change
Image Description

Get our free 36-page guide on career change and life balance.

Get Your Free Guide Now
FREE GUIDE: Know Yourself
Image Description

Get a free copy of Know Yourself!, a user's guide to selecting and getting the most out of your career aptitude test or personality test.

Get Your Free Guide Now
FREE GUIDE: Become a Teacher
Image Description

This free, 40-page guide includes everything you need to know about making a career change into teaching.

Get Your Free Guide Now

Take Control of Your Career Path Today


Smart Career Design
and Job Search

Pathwise Publishing, LLC
PO Box 102847
Denver, CO 80250