By Noah Graff
A recent video from the online Wall Street Journal discusses a survey ranking the “best and worst jobs” of the 2010 economy. On the list, actuary ranked as the best occupation and roustabout ranked the worst.
The study, published by a site called Careercast.com, is based on five criteria: work environment, income, employment outlook, physical demands, and level of stress. Feeling good at the end of the day from helping society, and plain old fun were not criteria.
So the best job is actuary—the person who interprets statistics to determine probabilities of accidents, sickness, and death, and loss of property from theft and natural disasters. (Remember Ben Stiller from Along Came Polly. Really relaxed, happy guy.)
The most physically demanding jobs ranked the lowest with lumber jack second to roustabout. In case you’re wondering, roustabouts maintain oil rigging and natural gas equipment. The study rationalized that roustabouts and lumberjacks undergo harsh physical labor in rough, dangerous outdoor environments which then leads to stress. However, there is ok pay for roustabouts at a top-end salary of $49,000 plus overtime, and the employment outlook could be quite good in the present natural gas rush.
Machinist was not mentioned in either list, but welder was number five on the “worst” list, right between dairy farmer at four and garbage collector at six—and NAM wonders why they have trouble getting young people to want to be welders.
Honestly, few of the jobs on both the “10 best” list and the “10 worst” list appealed to me. I’d be more partial to Hollywood film director, pro tennis player, or Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition photographer.
Questions: Does the data in the study surprise you?
What is your dream job, and what job is your nightmare?
WSJ’s Sarah Needleman discusses a survey of the best and worst jobs. Of the best, actuary ranked number one. Of the worst, roustabout was on the bottom.