The best and worst jobs of 2011
It’s a tough exercise to measure what the top and bottom jobs in North America are because, frankly, most people will tell you their job is the worst.
But we’ve been here before: yes, your job as a year-round construction worker in Canada stinks, though, surely, it’s not as bad as it gets.
If not, then what is? A new report from CareerCast.com gives their thoughts on that – based on duties and midlevel income, here are their choices for the worst, and best, jobs in 2011.
Here they are, from 1-200, ranked according to a survey the job site undertook with data from the Labor Dept. and U.S. Census.
The top five, with midlevel incomes (in USD) in parentheses:
1) Software engineer ($87,000)
2) Mathematician ($94,000)
3) Actuary ($87,000)
4) Statistician ($73,000)
5) Computer systems analyst ($77,000)
And, the bottom five, with midlevel incomes (in USD) in parentheses:
5) Taxi driver ($21,000)
4) Roofer ($34,000)
3) Lumberjack ($32,000)
2) Ironworker ($34,000)
1) Roustabout ($32,000)
If you check the whole list, much of it is based, of course, on salary – the higher the midlevel income, the higher it’s generally to fall on the CareerCast.com rundown.
But money isn’t everything, at least. A few lower-paying jobs – paralegal assistant, at $47,000 per year, for instance, falls at no. 13 – rank rather high, and ahead of higher-paying gigs. Similarly, a few good-paying careers – farmer ($59,000) and highway patrol officer ($53,000) – don’t even crack the top 150.
What do you think makes a job “good” or “bad”? Where does your career fall on this list?
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
Posted by: John | Jan 27, 2022 11:50:22 PM
Some of these income figures seem quite low, even as midlevel. I am a chemical engineer (petroleum) with salary exceeding several times the highest numbers shown in the list, which is average for others in my industry, job level, and experience. I agree that money is not the key factor, but nevertheless it is still important. I get to work on major projects around the globe with great technical challenges, interface with many cultures and other experts in my field. The feeling of accomplishment from taking an idea through design and seeing that turn into a asset on the ground that generates revenue and creates new jobs is wonderful. It is hard for me to imagine retiring. Although my work can be quite stressful at times, and demanding, my company allows me to work out of my home with complete flexibility to manage my own work time. No more 9:00 to 5:00. With high speed internet, and my own network of computers, I can work efficiently at home, providing detailed designs, process simulations, drawings, and reports to my customers anywhere. The need for travel is greatly reduced. This helps tremendously with work/life balance. I recall 25 years ago, this way of working was unheard of, and taking time off for something like a dentist appointment was a big deal.
Posted by: SP | Jan 28, 2022 8:33:38 AM
I am frequently disappointed with the fact that these best/worst jobs survey's almost always fail to include a work/life balance component. What is the employee's total lifespan and not just job lifespan? What is their working time/home time breakdown. A great paying job in TO where you have to commute 4 hours a day which leaves you with a fatal heart condition at 65 might not seem so great taken in that light. But I am biased, I care about myself & my family and see work as a means to an end.
I am glad that John has such a great gig, with luck we can employ some people in China at $8/hr to do it and get cheaper gasoline here at home. Helping develping nations/helping ourselves, win/win!
Posted by: Ezzy | Jan 28, 2022 11:10:51 AM
I am a nurse and although I make a decent salary, that is not all there is to it. Our work was rewarding in the past. However in this day it has become very difficult. A shortage of nurses, increased acuity of patients, increased numbers of elderly and infirm, mandatory overtime, increased competencies, increased threat of litigation, have stressed our profession to the max. We go to work everyday with an unreasonable work load, literally run on our feet for our entire shift, and go home feeling like we have done an incredible amount of work but have still left a lot undone. It is very difficult to feel job satisfaction. With Regional Health Authorities in control of health care incredible numbers of positions are created for non nursing and non medical professions! I have to wonder at professions where there is time to complete all your work chores in a relaxed non-stressful manner as opposed to constant stress and work overload. Because the salary is nominally decent we continue on our hamster wheel. You have to wonder about the long term effects on the patients and nursing staff!
Posted by: DMOZ Listing | Jan 29, 2022 9:52:13 AM
In this blog best jobs of 2011 and worst jobs of 2011 are given.High salary is given is top jobs like software engineer,computer system analyst,mathematician.Not only in USA but also in whole world these jobs have more value.
Posted by: hamster100 | Jan 29, 2022 10:01:54 PM
I disagree with the report. Most successful people in the work force in the USA are actually self made entrepreneurs which work for themselves and make money based on their own business skills, not making money for other companies or for their employers. Self employed professionals often make much more than what is listed for example, doctors, lawyers, dentist, plastic surgeons,self employed pharmacists, private accountants, etc all make more money than listed. In addition, professional sports athletes, congressman, even local gas station and restaurant owners can make more than the salaries listed. If you want to list top earning employees, I would suggest stock brokerage agents, investment advisors, business analysts, and capital investments directors and managers make much more money than the professionals listed in this report. I have heard some top performing stock brokerage agents and capital investment analysts can make well over 100,000 per year with some reaching upto a million dollars in bonus and stock options.
Posted by: Steve | Jan 30, 2022 7:14:42 AM
So Best = more $ ? Why then no listing then for prostitutes?
Posted by: randy | Jan 30, 2022 9:45:00 AM
Right on Steve is more always better I think not.
Posted by: Chris | Jan 31, 2022 3:10:38 PM
What about customer service reps or cashiers? Thoes jobs blow - I'm a customer service rep with a bachelors degree in marine biology and it blows. It blows hard indeed. $70000 education making <30k per year. We have to deal with pissed off customers, get paid very little and often work weekends.
Posted by: Rick | Feb 1, 2022 5:35:14 AM
I agree with Ezzy the nurse.
When the meat wagon took me to the hospital with broken bones and teeth in my face and brain damage she was more of a doctor than the guy that called himself one.
She was so darn busy she didn't know who to tend to first. My brain damage prevented me from talking or seeing very much but I could see enough to figure out that there should have been two more nurses with her. The doctor said I was okay to leave and she said no but the doctor won.
The next day I was back and she and a good doctor had a hell of a time to save my life.
Yep, Most of the other nurses were just like her. Running their asses off all day long. I was in there for a few weeks and seen first hand how hard they work.
Ladies you have a thankless job but I sure as hell thank you.
Posted by: simmeringhot | Feb 3, 2022 1:43:16 PM
Come run a school as a principal for a day. Then you will see what work is. You get paid more and work less then administration staff running schools across North America. This is not to mention teachers teaching your children making half the wage you do. Enjoy your coffee breaks. I have never seen a nurse run let alone be stressed out at work. Your post just made me think about the nurse who was complaining about her job as my wife was in labour, ridiculous. Do your job and do not complain.
Posted by: Exham | Feb 4, 2022 3:16:41 AM
Dear Simmering Hot,
In defence of Ezzy I myself am an ironworker and pride myself on hard physical work and am able to see on a daily basis what my 2 hands can construct/build.
Now i am not a Nurse nor a Principle of a school but i know for damn sure that i would not be able to stare death in the face day in day out nor will i be able to change a total strangers soiled bed or hold an amputated disfigured body part with poise and professionalism.
Life is far too short to start comparing difficulty of jobs and how much money you make... woopty f-ing doo if you make a billion a year or 20,000 a year... if you are a c*&^ to peolple eventually it will catch up with you and you will soon realise that money will buy you only the wrong sort of friends.
Posted by: Dan | Feb 19, 2022 1:56:27 AM
I am in the same boat as Chris, in debt well over $20,000 cdn and working odds jobs on the side and working in Retail (customer service) I think is a tough job in itself dealing with irate people that have no value in human kindness or respect should not be involve in society at all, I work for a large Retail Giant, and some deal with large number budgets, and if its not met then they cut where it needs to be done, obviously the low paying jobs like cashier and customer service staff, when working with little or no staff on the sales floor, it can be hard especially when customers complaints when will they be served and very busy, stress levels tends to be high in this type of situations,luckly with my 11+ yrs in this industry I know how to deal with these situations, but it comes to person point in their lives, that changes has to be made, I for one don't like to deal with customer complaints, but I deal with it. As for my vocational and educational expenses, including be industry certified (A+, Network+ and soon to be Security+ certified) and hoping for a better life for myself, sometimes life is just the way you deal with it for better or worse. I know life as we know it will be for the worse, if you follow world events, oil and food prices going up, tension in the middle east, terror attacks not just physical but cyberattacks, which I think will be a real problem in the future, nothing is safe anymore, I am really paranoid when it comes with personal info stored in gov't buildings or on a server somewhere with my stuff on it. Again, it goes back with human trust and respect, if this is not acknowledge, then things will get worse as the years go by, to a point of world of wars because of ours actions and behavior towards with one and other, if you don't believe me watch the movie called "The day stool still with Keanu Reeves, a good but cheesy in a sense, where we are invaded by aliens in which they are here to save the planet and not humans because we can't change our ways and attitudes toward the planet and people, so the aliens exterminates us. Again stop this madness who's better, or who makes the more money $ I used to think like that not anymore.
Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 15, 2022 4:34:27 AM
Dear Simmering Hot,
I don't think you should make comments about another profession without having experienced it first hand. Do principals or teachers work 12 hour shifts? Do they work night shifts? Do they work have to work weekends and holidays? Well, nurses do. Sure, some teachers have to bring their work home (i.e. marking, lesson plans), but so do other professions who have to work overtime, but at least for some teachers, they get their summers off while the kids aren't in school for a couple months. I could not honestly say that I know what a prinicpal does day in and day out, but I don't think you should judge the entire nursing profession based on one experience you had with one nurse while your wife was in labour. Maybe she was trying to distract her from her pain during labour by making some conversation. I agree that complaining about her work isn't appropriate, but some nurses do like to talk to their patients, even make a few jokes to lighten up the mood as a hospital can be a pretty scary place for some. Anyhow, before you go on a rampage saying how nurses make more and work less, you need to walk in their shoes for a day first... better yet, just walk around for 12 hours while constantly doing something for 3-4 other people that day.
ool as a principal for a day. Then you will see what work is. You get paid more and work less then administration staff running schools across North America. This is not to mention teachers teaching your children making half the wage you do. Enjoy your coffee breaks. I have never seen a nurse run let alone be stressed out at work. Your post just made me think about the nurse who was complaining about her job as my wife was in labour, ridiculous. Do your job and do not complain.
Posted by: cheekychick | Mar 15, 2022 6:16:39 PM
I salute all of you in your careers and professions no matter what you do. I appreciate the principal of a school, as it looks like a thankless job, where you are responsible for other's children and their future.
However, being a third year nursing student and seeing what these men and women endure amazes me...life and death, resilience, family...they are accountable for their patients' lives and become involved during the critical times. They are amazing and also human, sometimes they need to vent however we are taught and know better not to complain in front of patients. I saw my first birth and was so grateful the new mother allowed me to be involved and share that experience. I embraced a family and tried my best to be there for them and their mother while she was dying. She just passed away last week from heart failure and wow, a spitfire she was at the age of 90!
Kudos to you all for what you do, we can be thankful we have work.
Posted by: Jimbo | Mar 16, 2022 1:10:48 PM
Why nobody talking about construction people? They work them as off to and I didn’t see any comment here about them, why?? I know how hard could be a nurse or a principal, or any other office work, but because construction workers don’t have too much of education doesn’t mean they stupid and don’t see the word, Money wise of cores almost we get the worst pay cheque every mount. Also everybody wants anew house to build and /or renovate, RIGHT????
Posted by: lrg1215 | Mar 20, 2022 10:59:22 AM
just a quick comment, there is a lot more crappy jobs out there than good jobs.i for one have a crappy job, work nights, underpaid,lots of demands for production, ignorant, biased, preferential, unsafe working environment all with our management. go to school folks, do not choose a carreer in the tire business.
Posted by: Cashier Job Duties | Feb 6, 2022 10:43:53 PM
Hay why didn't you mention about financial jobs, they are paid better then software engineers, and also the navy jobs. @bose