JOB SEARCH / APR. 22, 2014
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Can’t Even Get One of the Worst Jobs of 2014?

Image via Flickr by Andrew Magill

CareerCast recently published their list of the 10 worst jobs in America. And if you can’t even get one of those jobs, the list can be pretty depressing.

After evaluating the 200 jobs that have the most employees in the United States, CareerCast has released their annual jobs report. The list was compiled using data from the U.S. Labor Department. Factors like income and growth potential are used to determined what makes a job simply bad...and what makes it one of the worst in the country.

Worst of the Worst

According to the official numbers, lumberjacks officially have the worst job in the country. They work outdoors, and that means they sometimes work in extremely unsavory conditions. The job is the most dangerous according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. When you factor in that the average salary is $24,000 annually and the job has a projected 4% rate of job growth over the next 8 years, this career does look fairly dismal.

Newspaper reporter closely comes second as the worst of the worst jobs. Considering the massive competition the print industry has faced in recent years, this isn’t a surprise. The median salary was $37,090 in 2012, and this is the only job on the list that has a projected job growth in the negative.

Don’t go to the Government

The job list shows that many career tracks are less-than-stable these days. Broadcasters, with a median salary of $55,380, and flight attendants, at a median salary of $37, 240, are on the list as two of the worst jobs. In the past, these positions have been something to aspire to. But some jobs that appear on the list aren’t just a mild surprise, they’re downright shocking.

If you’ve ever been told to look for a government job because they’re well-paying and stable, you may want to think again. Enlisted military personnel come in at number 3 on the list. With their median salary of $28,840 and projected job growth of 0% until 2022, now is not a good time to run away and join the Army. Other government jobs are equally distasteful. Garbage collectors are 8 on the list, with a median salary of $22,970 and only 10 percent projected job growth to 2022.

Firefighters and corrections officers came in at 9 and 10 on the list, respectively. Both have a median salary of less than $50,000 annually, and less than 8 percent projected job growth.

Say What?

Surprising list, right? Firefighter, newspaper reporter, flight attendant -- these are the dream jobs that you shared with your fellow school mates way back when. Today, these are low-paying careers with little growth and few options. But what if you can’t even land one of the jobs that are considered to be the worst in the nation?

It’s going to be very hard for you to get one of the best jobs, according to the report. The most lucrative job on the list is Mathematician, with a median income of over $100,000. The other top jobs on the list include statistician and actuary, both of which are math-centric careers.

When both the best and the worst jobs in the nation aren’t really on your job list, you’re not completely out of options. Because what the report doesn’t cover is small business owners and other entrepreneurs who don’t hire a lot of staffers (or any). Only the jobs that employ the most people are evaluated, and that leaves a whole lot of question marks still out there. Some sectors are growing, and in big ways, for the individual job seeker. New opportunities in social media and self-publishing are appearing on Internet job boards daily, because both these markets are still growing.

Focus on the skills you have, and finding new ways to apply them to the current needs of consumers and employers. Instead of looking for specific jobs or even specific career fields, look for people who can use your specific talents and skills.

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