January 8, 2010

Jobs, best to worst, ranked by "environment, income, employment outlook, physical demands and stress."

Actuary is #1, so... shouldn't there be more factors? Like something about how interesting it is... especially to do over the long haul? Is whatever gets categorized as "physical demands and stress" always necessarily bad? Shouldn't there also be deductions for lethargy and ennui?

Last place, #200, is roustabout. Yeah, but Elvis Presley never made a movie called "Actuary!"

59 comments:

HKatz said...

And number 199 is Lumberjack, though it seems like that has a great deal of potential for song and excitement too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUmXdMdRkQ0

Cheryl said...

Well, I'm a recovering actuary. We've been #1 for a while. This list was a source of astonishment to us in my firm..."If this is the best there is, then..."

And, seriously, DENTAL HYGIENIST? What kind of stupid list is this?

edutcher said...

Interesting.

Actor comes in at 163. Obviously, great-grandad was right about warning Minnie about a life on the stage.

RN, which switches with the military as the most trusted profession, is halfway down the list. Anyone want to talk priorities?

Two of the top three are computer-related. 15 is web developer, while 34 is programmer (same thing, really), but everybody wants to get on the web, so people will pay more. What's in a name, really.

Go figure.

Pogo said...

Physician at 128.
Way too high.

Advice to the young: avoid medicine, except as a government administrative position.

I can count ten college kids I successfully lobbied away from med school, and an equal number of medical residents turned far away from Primary Care.

Some of my greater sins may weigh less in the balance as a result of these very good deeds.

AllenS said...

Things that I like to do, start at #161 and then get worse.

rhhardin said...

Programmer ought to be above actuary.

Off my screen right now,

Number of 27 X 7 positive integer arrays with row sums 7 and column sums 27
208331100949259756193104423329102623781133012012666105942138464609597398211089193

What's not to like?

kynefski said...

This is not an original thought, but a lot of the distortions in the list (like dental hygienist being in the top ten) come from the inclusion of employment outlook as a criterion. You just know that many of the really best jobs are going to be hard to get.

Larry J said...

And, seriously, DENTAL HYGIENIST? What kind of stupid list is this?

My wife is a nurse. Over 10 years ago, she worked for a couple periodontists. They paid their dental hygienists $45 an hour back then, well over twice what my wife made. It only requires an associates degree to be a dental hygienist and many of them don't work over 30 hours a week but they can make a good living. Yeah, you're working inside of other people's mouths all day but they tell me it's a pretty good job.

Henry said...

The number one criteria seems to be whether or not you sit on your ass a lot. Dental Hygienist really is the outlier.

Now that I see this list I'm going to quit my job as Web Developer (#15) and become a Philospher (#11). The pay is the same too!

Skyler said...

I remember reading similar stats from 25 years ago. I thought then as I do now that if this were put together by anyone except actuarialists that it wouldn't make the list at all because no one has even heard of them.

Seriously I've only heard of the job twice in my life: when a similar ranking was announced when I wasin college, and now.

Paul Zrimsek said...

They seem to have forgotten how Aristotle threw out his back trying to move the Unmoved Mover.

TMink said...

Job satisfaction is a result of fit between the individual and the position. Statistics can tell you a lot about how 1000 people view the job, but not about how one person views the job.

If you have ADHD, you BETTER get a job you love, because you will only be able to focus well on a job that you find interesting.

Trey

EDH said...

Attorney is at 80th, where Legal Assistant is 7th at roughly half the salary.

shouldn't there be more factors? Like something about how interesting it is... especially to do over the long haul?

Considering that half the working population is male, they should have added the criteria "likelihood of getting laid."

From that Elvis clip, Roustabout would have moved up considerably the in ranks, I'm sure.

John Burgess said...

While I'd certainly be bored beyond tear with an actuary's job, I realize I'm not the standard by which job satisfaction is measured.

I think it a common mistake to project our druthers on others. There are people who love that kind of work, just as there are people who love being plumbers and pilots, sociologists and sex workers.e

MadisonMan said...

I don't know if I'd rather be a software engineer (#2) or a computer programmer (#34).

former law student said...

There is not going to be an employment boom in actuaries.

From my observation, few personality types make good actuaries. Of the nerd professions, it's about the nerdiest: lawyer < engineer < accountant < actuary

Pogo said...

I would like a job counting actuaries.

pinkmonkeybird said...

There is something quite wrong with the data on plumbers. The column for starting income says $28,000. That can't be right. Based on what my plumber charges me to open a clogged drain, he makes about $128,000.

Cheryl said...

FLS...Ha ha. That is really true. Because I'm a recovering actuary AND engineer. But now I just own a shop and raise my four kids. Stealth nerd.

And, Pogo, the job would be approximating actuaries five, ten and fifteen years in the future, given the probability that...oh, sorry. Actually COUNTING actuaries is an accountant's job.

c3 said...

Pogo;
Advice to the young: avoid medicine, except as a government administrative position.

Its sad for me as a physician to see that. And I guess I should admit I'm in an administrative position. (So I some of the source of that discontent.)

Still I moonlight seeing patients to not only "keep my clinical skills up" but also because I enjoy seeing patients and participating in taking care of their illnesses. It is still intellectually and emotionally stimulating. And I particularly enjoy the geriatric patients, who are them most complex and seemingly the more hopeless.

Clearly, medicine has changed since I started my career (more paperwork, more outside hassles, higher expectations etc). But the essential stuff of medicine is still there and I still enjoy it.

former law student said...

Based on what my plumber charges me to open a clogged drain, he makes about $128,000.

Joe the Plumber thought he would be clearing between $250K and $280K, so I share this puzzlement.

Pogo said...

"But the essential stuff of medicine is still there and I still enjoy it."

Not full time.

It will be a part-time or hobby or charity endeavor for a whole host of people. But it is no longer a reasonable full-time job.

It's fast becoming a clock-punching high-output factory position.

I thank God every day my kids didn't go into medicine.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I'm #17 and perfectly happy with my job. And YES it does seem to involve a lot of sitting.

Based on what my plumber charges me to open a clogged drain, he makes about $128,000.

"Joe the Plumber thought he would be clearing between $250K and $280K, so I share this puzzlement."

Well, that all depends on if the plumber is working for some one else in a menial/beginning capacity or if he has his own business that employs himself and others.

Working for someone else he probably does make about 30K a year.

Self employed make much more per hour but don't be confused between the gross wage that you are charged and the actual amount the business realizes. After all the deductions for operating expenses, taxes, fees etc etc etc. The actual amount is much less.

Hmmmmmm...on second thought....maybe I should have been an actuary.

former law student said...

I thank God every day my kids didn't go into medicine.

pogo, whining is unattractive. Kindly list occupations more appealing than healing the sick. If your complaint is that the perks have vanished, welcome to the 1980s for every other profession.

PatCA said...

Historians make $100K??? Doing what?

Smilin' Jack said...

rhhardin said...
Programmer ought to be above actuary.

Off my screen right now,

Number of 27 X 7 positive integer arrays with row sums 7 and column sums 27
208331100949259756193104423329102623781133012012666105942138464609597398211089193

What's not to like?


There is obviously only one such array, and all of its elements are 1.

Were you involved in the development of Vista, by any chance?

Joe said...

Software Engineer #2. The problem with software engineering is working for assholes with MBAs who think they know what they're doing as they run the company in to the ground. (And there's nothing more fun that having bosses who say that engineering is the backbone of the company and then ignore everything we say.)

(And hurray for us Software Engineers who convinced everyone that there is a difference between that and Computer Programmer. And for anyone who posts after me attempting to defend the difference, let me say it now: you are full of shit.)

I looked at the end of the list. Fireman, Welder, Lumberjack, Carpenter, Policeman... So they hate people who actually do physical work for a living. But then there's Photojournalist. Huh?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Kindly list occupations more appealing than healing the sick.

Porn star?

I mean throw me another softball why don't ya?

John Thacker said...

Like something about how interesting it is... especially to do over the long haul?

Sure, and that would help actuary even more in my opinion. I really can't think of anything more fun to do all day than math.

a lot of the distortions in the list (like dental hygienist being in the top ten) come from the inclusion of employment outlook as a criterion. You just know that many of the really best jobs are going to be hard to get.

You have to make a distinction between what the average person considers fun and what you in particular consider fun. Most actuaries love their job; they enjoy math, and they get paid extra because most people don't like math and wouldn't like the job.

These lists are useful so you can see where your advantage lies, in jobs which you like more than the average person-- but are still needed.

Arturius said...

Joe the Plumber thought he would be clearing between $250K and $280K, so I share this puzzlement.

My uncle owned his own plumbing business (since handed down to his son) and was doing quite nicely in the mid 6 figures so it should not be all that puzzling. His employees on the other hand didn't earn quite as much.

I still consider retirement as an occupation and would submit that as my choice.

John Thacker said...

I know a lot of smart people who like math. Say you're trying to decide between actuary and law school. Everybody thinks that they want to be a lawyer. Most realize that they don't like math. So if you do like math, you should go for actuary and enjoy the added job security.

This doesn't mean that if you don't like math you should be an actuary.

Kylos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

"so... shouldn't there be more factors? Like something about how interesting it is"

Yea, by their criteria, being in a coma collecting disability would be perfect.

bagoh20 said...

They pay people to be philosophers? Damn!

Lottery winner is desired job.

Kylos said...

Smilin' Jack, 0 is typically considered a positive integer. Perhaps you were the one working on Vista.

rhhardin keeps driving me crazy wasting time on his little puzzles. My computer is still walking through latin self referential sentence permutations. I have performed some optimizations and filtering, but it's still going pretty slow (I think I'm looking at a year of computation rather than septillions or something like that).

bagoh20 said...

The jobs at the bottom are mostly essential to society and those at the top are mostly not.

I'm not even sure what an actuary does. It's just collecting and organizing statistics, no? Sounds like punishment to me. I mean, what's a really great day of actuariating like?

edutcher said...

Joe has it right in terms of computers. A lot of who gets paid what in IT is semantics, but the managers are all business types. They took Concepts of Calculus while the programmer had at least 2 years of the real thing, plus at least as many years in logic, discrete math, etc.

The best part is that the MBA types think good programmers, a rare commodity in reality, are a dime a dozen and almost anybody can do it - therefore the people on whom everything depends(if you don't think so, watch what happens when somebody brings down Microshaft), can be treated like serfs.

The fascinating part is that the guys on whom we often depend for survival (lumberjack and welder - house, welder - jetliner, plumber - fresh water) are at the bottom of the list. Everybody hates manager, but they get all the goodies.

As I said, go figure.

MadisonMan said...

0 is typically considered a positive integer.

What? By who?

Icepick said...

I mean, what's a really great day of actuariating like?

It's a day in which one solves a very complicated puzzle and gets one's boss to believe in the work. Hard work, but satisfying at times.

DISCLAIMER: I once worked as a actuary in a consulting firm. That had the added benefit of sometimes intense deadlines.

Largely I DID find the work boring, but that is partly because I was a junior analyst and got a lot of the crap work - database scrubbing and the like.

But as for the nerdiness of the people? I left actuarial work to work as a financial analyst (specializing in benefits). The financial analysis work was much easier, but the people were a helluva lot more boring. Actuaries sometimes have their personalities removed, but business school grads seem to have never had personalities to begin with.

Icepick said...

FLS wrote: Kindly list occupations more appealing than healing the sick.

What occupation ISN'T more appealing than healing the sick? Afterall, one has to deal with all of those damned sick people, and where's the fun in that?

Kylos said...

MadisonMan, by computers, I suppose. I was perhaps assuming rhhardin to be including zero, because his claim would be immediately disprovable otherwise. But, I'll take it back, since zero isn't technically positive.

bagoh20 said...

""I mean, what's a really great day of actuariating like?""

"It's a day in which one solves a very complicated puzzle and gets one's boss to believe in the work. Hard work, but satisfying at times."


Okay, then I choose Roustabout, where a great day is creating a very complicated puzzle and getting one's boss blamed for it. Hard work, but satisfying at times.

kynefski said...

I looked at the end of the list. Fireman, Welder, Lumberjack, Carpenter, Policeman... So they hate people who actually do physical work for a living.

Maybe they figured that a person who (1) actually does physical work for a living, and (2) reads the Wall Street Journal, would take badass pride in finding their occupation at the bottom of such a list.

muddimo said...

LOL,


Paralegal assistant = #7
Attorney = #80

John Thacker said...

Smilin' Jack, 0 is typically considered a positive integer. Perhaps you were the one working on Vista.

No, it is not. It is considered a non-negative integer, but not a positive integer.

Now if we were arguing about terms like "the natural numbers," I could find you some textbook authors who disagree. And "by computers" is no answer at all. Perhaps "by this software library." On second thought, if you come up with a silly definition based on the sign bit in the binary representation and assume that all numbers are negative or positive, I suppose you could argue such. It wouldn't be a very useful definition, though, when "non-negative" already exists and you need a separate term for the set not including zero.

but the managers are all business types

I feel sorry for where you work. Where I work, everyone up to the CEO has a real CS or EE degree. Yeah, the high ranking ones got an MBA somewhere along the way, but they all also have an MS or PhD.

Sounds like punishment to me.

That's why it's great. So many people think like you and don't like math, which means that those of us mathematicians and actuaries get paid great to do something we love that society needs.

John Thacker said...

The fascinating part is that the guys on whom we often depend for survival (lumberjack and welder - house, welder - jetliner, plumber - fresh water) are at the bottom of the list. Everybody hates manager, but they get all the goodies.

Having worked under good and bad managers, having a bad manager can ruin your workday much more than a bad coworker. Combine that with how I really don't want to do management work, and I don't think I have a huge amount of room to complain about them.

Pogo said...

@FLS: " whining is unattractive."
Truth whining.

"Kindly list occupations more appealing than healing the sick."
Easy. (and why is it down at #128 if it's so appealing anyway?)
1. Administering over occupations that heal the sick.
2. Regulating occupations that heal the sick.
3. Suing occupations that heal the sick.
4. Selling equipment, drugs, real estate, and building construction to occupations that heal the sick.

Actually taking part in occupations that heal the sick is treated largely as a commodity where, at least by Medicare rules, no matter how good or bad you do your job, the pay is the same.

Your mistake is that you still think doctors are involved in an occupations that heals the sick. That's about 22% of it, and the only good part. It is being slowly whittled away.

Nursing is the same way. Most nurses try to get out of actual nursing once they are in it a few years. The smart doctors do as well. I am not smart.

Paul Zrimsek said...

In the 1976 version of this chart the #1 occupation was Elvis. They underestimated the risk.

MadisonMan said...

I vaguely recall that there are positive and negative zeros on a computer, depending on whether you're using 1s or 2s complements. I think that was the class I got a high D in.

Smilin' Jack said...

People who term zero a positive integer have their own made-up nonsense language that has nothing to do with English. They probably don't write the software; they write the manuals for it.

TheGiantPeach said...

I actually have fantasized quite often about an alternative lifetime where I become an actuary. It's probably what I should have gone into, if someone had steered me in the right direction. Instead, my parents tried unsuccessfully to convince me to become a CPA. They were sort of on the right track, but too far off to have offered a useful suggestion.

I did eventually become a paralegal though, which ranks pretty high.

Dave said...

I love how this comment thread has devolved into a nerd deathmatch about the value of zeroes. OCD represent!

Trooper York said...

My cousin Billy actually did run away and joined the circus. He was a roustabout for ten years down south in a traveling carnival. Drinking beer, eating fried foods and banging the local girls in each and everytown they hit. Occasionaly someone would shout "Hey Rube" and they would have to get in a ruckus with the townies because the wrong bimbo got to see the elephant.

Sounds pretty sweet to me.

Trooper York said...

Of course I am a man of simple tastes.

J said...

That was a great movie, and I think we can all agree the best song in it was "Poison Ivy League".

Jane said...

Ugh - Dairy Farmer is #197.

That's so depressing somehow.

jeff said...

I see I am close to topping out on my field which is depressing.
I knew a guy from highschool who's dad owned his own plumbing business and worked as an apprentice while in high school and got his master plumber while in his early 20's. He would work for his dad during the day and his dad let him use his truck to work for himself at night. He was making 70-80K a year by the time he was 22 or 23 and this was 20 years ago. Someone who thinks that a plumber making that kind of money doesn't know any plumbers.

AllenS said...

I was a pressman on a 4 color web offset press. It's not even listed.

baobao said...

There was this guy who believed very much in true love and decided to take his time to wait for his right girl to appear.
nike shox nz shoes
cheap nike shox nz shoes
nike shoxs
Chaussures puma
wholesale nike shox nz shoes
cheap ugg boots
nike womens shoes
hommes nike chaussures
femmes nike
mens puma shoes
hommes puma chaussures
femmes puma chaussures
Nike Air Max 360 chaussures
Nike Air Max 90 Chaussures
Nike Air Max 95 Chaussures
Nike Air Max Ltd Chaussures
nike shox
Nike Max Tn Chaussures
nike 360 air max
nike running shoes
NIKE air shoes
nike shox nz shoes online store
nike air max
Nike Air TN Spider Chaussures
Nike Max Plata Chaussures
Nike R4 Plating Chaussures
Nike Shox Rival Velcro
Nike Shox Deliver Chaussures
Nike Shox Classic Chaussures
Nike NZ Plating Chaussures
wholesale nike shoes
nike shox torch
sneakers shoes
Nike Tn
discount nike shoes
nike shox r4
tn dollar
cheap nike shoes
nike tennis shoes
cheap nike shox
free shipping shoes
Paypal Credit card Accept
nike shoes
nike discount shoes
cheap puma shoes
nike shox shoes
chaussures nike
nike free shoes
buy shoes online
You may painfully regret, only to realise that it is too late.