The best and worst jobs of 2013

When you’re in your early-to-mid 20s, just having a stable job is a huge accomplishment. When we run into our old high-school classmates at the local 7-11, we don’t ask them what their job is, we ask if they even have one. If the answer is ‘Yes,” then we don’t need to know more. Because that means they’re doing well.

But a few years later, that question does evolve. Now, we do ask what their job is. The subtext to that question is really — how much money are you making, and can you afford your own apartment? It’s all a competition.

It’s like that old Chris Rock sketch, where he discusses the difference between having a job and having a career. Having a job is nice, because you’re making some cash. But having a career means your settled. You’ll never struggle to find work. You’re good.

Forming a career takes years. But you form one by taking job after job, and working your way up a certain industry. Of course, some industries are better than others. Heck, some industries are much, much better than others. But it’s tough to gauge sometimes because things are changing so damn fast. Computer science is the way to go now. That wasn’t necessarily the case 10 to 15 years ago.

Luckily, we have a wonderful website called CareerCast to keep tabs on things for us. CareerCast is just another one of those run-of-the-mill job networking sites, not unlike Monster, Indeed or Media Bistro. So I guess that makes them some type of authority, or something.

Well, the website went ahead and studied every job there is, looked at its potential for growth, its trends, the average salary, etc. By doing so, they managed to compile a best and worst jobs list for 2013.

Let’s take a look at it, starting with the best jobs.

  1. Actuary
  2. Biomedical engineer
  3. Software engineer
  4. Audiologist
  5. Financial planner
  6. Dental hygienist
  7. Occupational therapist
  8. Optometrist
  9. Physical therapist
  10. Computer systems analyst

It’s hard for me to really argue with any of these. Most involve either computers, science or medicine. So it seems pretty obvious that these would be the most prudent jobs to have.

Actually, I honestly don’t even know what some of these jobs do. Honestly, I have friends who are engineers, and I still don’t even exactly know what that means. I still think of it as in a train engineer. Like the guy who wears a hat and screams “All aboard!”

And an analyst? I know what a sports analyst is. Computer systems analyst, not so much. Do they look at a computer and then just tell people what they think about it, thus providing their analysis? Count me in for that, especially since the median salary is about $75k per year.

I’m not even going to delve into what an audiologist does, because even just looking at that word is intimidating.

But let’s look at the worst jobs. That’s the real fun part.

  1. Newspaper reporter
  2. Lumberjack
  3. Enlisted military personnel
  4. Actor
  5. Oil rig worker
  6. Dairy farmer
  7. Meter reader
  8. Mail carrier
  9. Roofer
  10. Flight attendant

Okay, this list just flat-out dumbfounds me. And I’m not even saying that because I personally behold the single worst job in the country. Not the seventh worst, not the third worst, the worst, according to But again, that is not even what comes close to bothering me.

Lumberjack. Oil rig worker. Dairy farmer. Mail Carrier. Roofer.

This is what bothers me. Those are five jobs that are absolutely mandatory for our society to function. These are necessary jobs that need to be completed in order to keep our world afloat. If no one was around to do these jobs — for even one single day — our society would flat line.

And yet, if an audiologist decided to take a day off — or shit, even a whole month off — I’m pretty sure nobody would notice.

I dare one of these nerds at CareerCast to approach a mail carrier after he just completed a 10-hour shift of walking house-to-house, delivering envelope after envelope, and tell him or her that they have the eighth worst job in America.

Come on CareerCast, send one of your brilliant employees down to an oil rig and have him tell all the workers that their job ranks fifth among the worst.

We owe these people a debt of gratitude for what they do — and yet, instead, we’re telling them their job sucks.

And military personnel? Are you shitting me? How does CareerCast even have the nerve to list that? Our troops protect our freedom so that we can even have the ability to possess jobs. While this list was being published, a Marine was probably just shot somewhere in Kosovo. But hey, their job sucks! I’d like to see someone at CareerCast spend one single moment of their lives being half as brave as an “enlisted military personnel” is every day.

I just can’t understand how these type of jobs can be even in the running as “the worst,” when they need to be done. I’m surprised that “house mom” wasn’t listed on there, considering they don’t actually have a salary.

God damn.

And again — I actually work for a newspaper. I’m the bottom of the totem people, according to this list. But that doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

In fact, when I look at the other jobs that share the list with me — the everyday workers who keep our society functioning, and the brave heroes who risk their lives to protect our freedom — I am absolutely honored to be in that same grouping.

Thank you, CareerCast.

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