The U.S. economy is constantly evolving. So, too, is the U.S. job market. Some occupations that were once high paying and relatively stable are now fading from the economic landscape, while others jobs that are now in high demand practically did not exist 50 years ago.
Identifying the best and worst jobs for an individual is inherently subjective as people can have a wide range of interests and abilities. However, by accounting for certain objective factors, such as pay and job security, certain jobs stand out as better than others.
Job database website CareerCast provided 24/7 Wall St. with its 2017 list of the 10 worst and 10 best jobs in the country.
According to the report released today, a statistician — a relatively high-paying occupation with rapid employment growth — is the best job in the country. Meanwhile, a newspaper reporter — a relatively low-paying occupation with declining employment — is the worst job in the country.
Many of the worst jobs in the country are low paying. Of the 10 worst jobs, seven have a lower median income than the $37,040 annual median income for all occupations. Many of the worst jobs are also disappearing.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment across all professions is projected to increase by 7% between 2014 and 2024. Of the worst jobs, taxi driver is the only profession with greater than average projected employment growth, while the BLS projects total employment to contract in five.
Some of the worst jobs are also dangerous. Military service members are expected to work in life-threatening situations; pest control workers often work with poisonous chemicals; and loggers, the third worst job in the country, also have the highest fatality rate of any profession.
On the other side of the equation, the best jobs tend to be both high paying and in demand. All of them have higher than average projected growth and high median annual income.
Of the 10 best jobs, four require advanced math skills and three are in medical care. Growth in these areas in the coming years will be driven by industries becoming more computer-based and data-driven, and an aging baby boomer population.
To determine the best and worst jobs in the country, 24/7 Wall St. analyzed data from CareerCast’s “The Best Jobs of 2017” and “The Worst Jobs of 2017” reports. CareerCast provided the top and bottom 10 jobs, as well as the annual median salary and projected growth outlook from 2014 to 2024 for these professions. CareerCast’s rankings are based on four criteria: environment, income, outlook, and stress. A complete breakdown of CareerCast’s methodology may be found at this link.
Employment figures for all occupations other than enlisted military personnel came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and are as of May 2016. The total number of enlisted military personnel came from the Defense Manpower Data Center of the Office of the Secretary of Defense and includes Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard and is for February 2017.