About this time every year CareerCast.com releases the results of its job survey and lists the top 200 careers. The career categories come from the U.S. Department of Labor and the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Ratings are based on income, work environment, stress, and hiring outlook. The list below is a selection of jobs from the 2014 report followed by my comments on each trade or job. The top rated job is #1; the bottom is #200. My job is near the bottom of the list; I hope yours ranks higher.
1) Mathematician: Really, this is a job?
2) University Professor: Teach one class per week, get the summer off, and every few years take a 6-month sabbatical—hmm, where do I sign up?
21) Meteorologist: Hey #190, don’t listen to this person when they say it won’t rain; bring some tarps just in case.
32) Technical Writer: This is the guy who wrote the instructions no one can understand.
34) Chiropractor: The person everyone in construction sees sooner or later.
49) Psychiatrist: Shopping for tools is cheaper than seeing this guy. Well, maybe not…
65) Occupational Safety/Health Inspector: Makes #103’s life miserable.
89) Electrician: Evidently, this is the top job in construction. (up from 76th last year).
97) Plumber: “Don’t worry, I’m only going to notch that joist a little.” (down from 66th last year)
102) Carpet/Tile Installer: “How’s it my fault the walls aren’t parallel and there’s a big hump in the slab?”
103) Construction Foreman: Spends much time with #119, #49, and #112. (ranked 101st last year)
112) Bartender: Works with #49 to minister to the woes of #103.
113) Forklift Operator: The reason the rack on your truck is bent to one side.
119) Carpenter: My former trade, and a far better job than #186. (up from 147th last year)
120) Construction/Building Inspector: Makes #103’s life miserable and causes him to visit #49 and #112.
125) Architect: “It’s only a minor change; I’m sure the contractor will be able to do it for the same price.”
135) Construction Machinery Operator: “It’s not my fault you parked on the wrong side of the trench I was about to dig. Don’t worry; I’ll be back next week to fill it in.”
141) Sewage Plant Operator: No thanks; I worked on a site where the wind knocked over a port-a-potty and blew it down the hill.
147) Iron Worker: Good balance, no fear of heights, and knows all those hand signals for cranes (down from 118th last year)
149) Glazier: Not a job for someone who’s clumsy or easily distracted.
156) Painter: Inspiration for the phrase “don’t worry, the painter will fix it.”
160) Sheet Metal Worker: Tin knocker; takes something flat and makes it 3D.
173) Automobile Mechanic: Used to be a grease monkey—now needs to understand advanced electronics
185) Welder: This should be rated higher; there’s smoke and sparks, and you get to work in a leather jacket.
186) Photojournalist: A job that is uncomfortably similar to my own and far less enjoyable than #119’s.
190) Roofer: Whatever you do, don’t listen to #21.
199) Newspaper Reporter: Okay, so there’s one job in journalism that’s even worse than mine.
200) Lumberjack: Now I know why those guys on Ax Men are always yelling at each other.