November 4, 2013
Flight attendant, reporter on list of 9 worst jobs of 2013
CareerCast.com recently published its list of the Worst Jobs of 2013. The site analyzed several hundred jobs and rated them by work environment, income, outlook and stress. Using data from sources including the U.S. Census and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, CareerCast came up with a scoring system that narrowed down the "worst" jobs of this year.
9. Flight attendant
Median annual salary: $65,599
Although it used to be an extremely sought after and glamorous job, being a flight attendant seems to have lost some of its luster.
The airline industry in general changed drastically after Sept. 11, 2001. People became more hesitant to fly, and the people who continued to fly were subject to much more intrusive and extensive security measures, which made airports and airplanes a nuisance for many. Several airlines went bankrupt and most of the others slashed personnel in the face of declining revenue. That led to flight attendants having to deal with passenger fallout from increased fees for food, baggage and other amenities that used to be free.
Add to all of that a fairly high burnout rate and it's no wonder this stressful job landed in the top 10.
Median annual salary: $32,097
Until you've been up on a searing hot roof for 11 hours a day breaking your back all the while trying not to go over the edge, you probably can't understand why this job makes the list. And that's not even taking into account the recession and the construction industry coming to a screeching halt several years ago, which has not fully recovered.
7. Mail clerk
Median annual salary: $26,791
We're stretching a bit here as CareerCast technically named "Mail Carrier" on their list of worst jobs, but since we don't have postal carrier in our database, we're going with mail clerk because the story is essentially the same.
Mail clerks collect incoming mail and disseminate it accordingly throughout an office, as well as gather all the outgoing mail, put the proper postage on it, and then make sure it gets sent out. The only problem is mail ain't what it used to be. Living in the age of technology means "snail mail" and paper hard copies in general are being replaced by email, text, PowerPoint, FaceTime, Skype and Facebook.
6. Meter reader
Median annual salary: $26,824
Another victim of technology. These employees periodically drop by homes to check water, gas and electric meters for billing purposes, and to ensure the meters haven't been tampered with. But thanks to automated and wireless technology, many meters can now be read by machines. Companies like that because it's faster and cheaper than paying someone to do it manually. Other contributing factors to the job's low rating: walking around in inclement weather and relatively low pay.
5. Oil rig worker
Median annual salary of a derrick man: $48,581
A dangerous work environment coupled with an increased world focus on greener technologies might be the start of a severe downward spiral for oil rig workers, who already work 14-21 consecutive days in remote areas far from home.
Median annual salary: $51,132
Lights, camera, not a lot of action. Sure, big-time actors make more money in a year than most of us will see in a lifetime. But they're the exceptions. Most actors have to work multiple jobs just to keep auditioning and hoping for that one big break. The competition for even the smallest of parts is fierce, and a career in acting is the antithesis of steady work.
3. Enlisted military personnel
Median annual salary of an E-2 Army private: $17,987
The brave men and women who serve in the U.S. armed forces work very hard, and their efforts are invaluable in supporting our country, so placement on this list in no way means this isn't a worthy occupation. But the inherent risks of the job caused it to be ranked No. 1 in stress on the list.
Median annual salary: $33,989
It's not just environmentalists who think loggers have one of the worst jobs. Remote work locations, working with heavy machinery, trudging through potentially horrendous weather -- name the adverse condition and loggers face it. Throw in slower-than-average projected job growth, and that's why logger lands at No. 2 on this year's list.
1. Newspaper reporter
Median annual salary: $37,638
Why does the Fourth Estate top the list and manage to beat out those in war zones for the worst job? Lots of reasons.
First of all, journalism is a noble profession. Providing the public with information and keeping elected officials honest is vital, and even though it's popular to "blame the media," think about where we'd be without the information they provide.
But a number of factors are working against print news. First of all, newspapers haven't figured out a good way to make money in the Internet age. They're experimenting with pay walls and charging for online stories, but it's a work in progress. Also, most papers were slow in adapting to the changing needs of their readers as everyone went digital. That led to a huge loss in advertising revenue, massive layoffs and some newspapers closing up shop.
The good news is more people than ever are consuming news, but until newspapers can successfully monetize their product and convince people to pay for content delivered by trained professionals, the doom and gloom surrounding journalism is here to stay.
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