How Much Does Your Job Suck?


Must be able to meet project deadlines in a fast-paced environment.

What are the best and worst jobs in these here United States? The Wall Street Journal has a list of 200 careers, including quite a few head-scratchers (and no, "head scratcher" is not one of the jobs listed). Here's the methodology: 

CareerCast.com, a career website, ranked 200 jobs from best to worst based on five criteria: physical demands, work environment, income, stress, and hiring outlook. To compile its list, the firm primarily used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other government agencies. From a software engineer to a lumberjack, see the complete list, and search for your job.

As that paragraph suggests, "software engineer" is Number One, and "lumberjack" is number 200.

I'm not sure about any list of jobs that doesn't include "doctor," "lawyer," "Indian" or "chief." "Physician (General Practice)" does come in at 39 and "Attorney" ranks 87th. Elected office also gets short shrift, with nothing listed for "politician," "senator" "mayor," "representative" or "city council member."

"Mounty" is not listed either.

The wonderful thing about lists like these is the veneer of objectivity they give to subjective data. While I'm happy for the nation's dental hygienists that they apparently have the fourth-best job in the country, I can't imagine what amount of physical ease or lack of workplace stress could compel me to stick my fingers into other people's pieholes on a regular basis. (Maybe the actual mouth work is done by machines these days. I haven't been to the dentist in a while.) 

 The list also contains bad news for our ever-growing population of liberal arts majors. "Poet," "composer," "novelist," "pundit," "columnist," and even "performance artist" don't show up, and in fact there's nothing listed for "performer" of any kind. Nor is there anything for "motion picture director," though in yet another victory for death, "funeral director" comes in at 90. (Unspecified "Artist" comes in at 101.) 

And if you want to understand why old media employees are feeling so sorry for themselves, note that "Reporter (Newspaper)" comes in at number 196, four spaces from the bottom, 161 slots below "Parole Officer" and 56 slots below "Typist" – a job I didn't even know still existed. (And yes, I am using scare quotes because I suspect most of these people don't do any actual work.) 

In fact, the list is strangely unreflective of the dynamic and shifting nature of employment in this century. Where are the "tech evangelists," "social media coordinators" and "digital imaging technicians" – jobs that seem to be so in-demand on Craigslist but apparently have escaped the notice of the BLS?  

Courtesy of DJ Dash Riprock