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November 09, 2021

Is your job high-stress, low-pay?

There is no more strangely satisfying human convention than complaining about your job.

Why else would we get work if we couldn’t whine about it? It has become our rite of passage.

A roofer, for example, knows what he’s getting into when he signs up. But he continues to tolerate the back-breaking labour because – on some level – he knows he’s got a leg-up in any “My Job Sucks” talk at the local coffee shop. That isn’t the only reason he stays being a roofer, but it sure helps.

So, under that premise, it might be useful if someone would quantify which jobs were the worst. Like, a list you could point to and say, “You know, Sally, I realize things aren’t so great at the local blood clinic. But I’m a grocery store stock boy. And as you can see here, I’ll be the authority on bitching in this argument, thank you very much.”

Has CNN Money made that list?

The news site just unveiled its highest stress/lowest pay jobs rundown, a top 15 that’s sure to get people bickering at each other. You can check it out here, but the frontrunners are as follows:

-Social worker
-Special events coordinator
-Probation officer
-News reporter
-Music ministry director
-Membership manager
-Commercial photographer
-Assisted living director
-Marriage/family therapist
-Substance abuse counsellor
-Film/TV producer
-High school teacher

See your gig on there? If not, there’s probably the job of someone you know listed above … and the high stress/low pay shoe likely fits. They all seem to be valid entries.

What the list fails to include are labour jobs, like the make-believe roofer I mentioned at the top of this post. Work like that isn’t a walk in the park, by any stretch.

What jobs would you add to the list? Are there objections from anyone who’s one of the listed occupations above? Let us know your thoughts.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...