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

amy bernstein career change Oct 25, 2011

by Amy Bernstein

photo via pixabay 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.


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