Special Report

The Worst Jobs in America

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25. Welder
> Median annual wage: $41,380
> Total employment: 389,190
> Projected employment change 2018-2028: +3.4%

This job ranks as one of the worst jobs in America in part because of how physically demanding it is. Welders often work in confined areas or awkward positions with potentially dangerous equipment. Most entry-level jobs in the field require only a high school diploma. The median annual wage is $41,380, slightly above the median wage of $38,640 for all occupations.

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24. Automobile mechanic
> Median annual wage: $40,710
> Total employment: 648,050
> Projected employment change 2018-2028: -0.8%

Automobile mechanics face a challenging work environment, rolling under vehicles or leaning over them to inspect and repair different parts. There were nearly 650,000 auto mechanics in 2018, though that number is expected to fall slightly in the next decade. Newer cars are becoming more reliable, which is why the BLS projects the total number of mechanics will be lower in 2028 than it was in 2018.

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23. Buyer
> Median annual wage: $62,750
> Total employment: 407,410
> Projected employment change 2018-2028: -7.4%

Buyers are responsible for purchasing the products or services their company needs. Though the job tends to pay well, with a median annual wage of $62,750, it can be very stressful. The field is projected to contract sharply by 2028, losing over 7% of the workforce. The job is being phased out by automation and outsourcing. For context, the average projected growth across all occupations is over 5% from 2018 to 2028.

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22. Mail carrier
> Median annual wage: $55,210
> Total employment: 342,410
> Projected employment change 2018-2028: -19.8%

Due to budget constraints and innovations like automated sorting systems, the number of mail carrier jobs is projected to drop by nearly one-fifth from 2018 to 2028. The job can be challenging depending on the weather, as mail carriers must deliver the mail regardless of the conditions outside.

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21. Truck driver
> Median annual wage: $43,680
> Total employment: 1.8 million
> Projected employment change 2018-2028: +5.1%

The job of a truck driver is challenging and stressful, as it requires spending long periods on the road to meet deadlines. It can also be emotionally difficult, as truck drivers often spend days or even weeks on the road away from their families. Though there is no formal education to become a truck driver, they do need to earn a commercial driver’s license.