Americans at Work: The Best and Worst Jobs

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Americans at Work: The Best and Worst Jobs

Most Americans spend more time on the job than they do on anything else.

FACTS:

The average employee spends more than 2/3 of his or her day at work or on work-related activities. That’s more time than we spend sleeping or raising our children.

Americans work an average of nearly one month more per year now than in 1970.

In 1960, only 20 percent of mothers worked. Today, in 70 percent of American households all adults work.

America vs. the world:

  • Americans work 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers
  • 260 more hours per year than British workers
  • 499 more hours per year than French workers
  • Average productivity for American workers has increased 400% since 1950
  • In every country included except Canada and Japan (and the U.S., which averages 13 days/per year), workers get at least 20 paid vacation days. In France and Finland, they get 30 – an entire month off, paid, every year.

So it matters what you do… doesn’t it? Because Americans work so much….

Here are the 10 Best AND 10 Worst Jobs in America, 2013 (with median salaries)

10 Best Jobs

#1 Actuary:

Salary: $91,211
Projected Job Growth: 27%
Unemployment rate: 0
What’s good: Job security, challenging, evolving job
What’s bad: Some consider it a lonely and boring job

#2 Biomedical Engineer

Median Salary (as of 2010): $85,163
Projected Job Growth: 62%
Unemployment rate: 0.4%
What’s good: Healthcare a growing field
What’s bad: You will be a jack of all trades, master of none

#3 Software Engineer

Salary: $89,147
Projected Job Growth: 30 %
Unemployment rate: 2.2%
What’s good: Companies need software engineers
What’s bad: Pressure job

#4 Audiologist

Salary: $68,135
Projected Job Growth: 37%
Unemployment rate: .4%
What’s good: Hearing aid technology improving
What’s bad: Very stressful

#5 Financial Planner

Salary: $64,750
Projected Job Growth: 32%
Unemployment rate: 2.4%
What’s good: Retiring baby boomers will need assistance
What’s bad: Stressful, at the mercy of the ups and downs of the stock market

#6 Dental Hygienist

Salary: $68,250
Projected Job Growth: 38%
Unemployment rate: .9%
What’s good: Opportunities in the field are abundant
What’s bad: Requires competitive tasks

#7 Occupational Therapist

Salary: $72,320
Projected Job Growth: 33%
Unemployment rate: .5%
What’s good: Increasingly caters to the aging boomer population
What’s bad: They cannot fully help someone recover from an injury

#8 Optometrist

Salary: $94,990
Projected Job Growth: 33%
Unemployment rate: .3%
What’s good: Opportunities with aging boomer population
What’s bad: Repetitive job, no career progression

#9 Physical Therapist

Salary: $76,310
Projected Job Growth: 39%
Unemployment rate: 1.8%
What’s good: Opportunities abound with older generations
What’s bad: Graduate education needed, licenses need to be renewed every two years

#10 Computer Systems Analyst

Salary: $77,740
Projected Job Growth: 22%
Unemployment rate: 3.2%
What’s good: Network administration is a critical component of business practices
What’s bad: Sitting at a desk all day watching monitors…if that’s OK with you, this is not a bad thing.

10 Worst jobs in America

#1 Newspaper Reporter

Salary: $36,000
Projected Job Growth: -6% (minus 6 percent)
Unemployment rate: 7.7%
What’s good: Informing the public
What’s bad: high stress, low pay, jobs disappearing

#2 Lumberjack

Salary: $32,870
Projected Job Growth: 4%
Unemployment rate: high (no accurate figures available)
What’s good: The great outdoors
What’s bad: Danger of working with heavy machinery in remote locations

#3 Enlisted Military Personnel

Salary: $41,998 (eight years experience)
Projected Job Growth: Varies
Unemployment rate: 0
What’s good: Serving your country
What’s bad: High stress, dangerous situations

#4 Actor

Salary: $17.44 an hour
Projected Job Growth: 4%
Unemployment rate: 8.6%
What’s good: It’s a calling, and if you make it big….
What’s bad: Very competitive, high stress

#5 Oil Rig Worker

Salary: $37,640
Projected Job Growth: 8%
Unemployment rate: 3.5 %, if you include the boomtowns in North Dakota
What’s good: Growth area in natural gas
What’s bad: Isolated at sea, long hours

#6 Dairy Farmer

Salary: $60,750
Projected Job Growth: -8%
Unemployment rate: 15.9%
What’s good: Independence, producing a product people need
What’s bad: Smaller farmers being forced out of business

#7 Meter Reader

Salary: $36,400
Projected Job Growth: -10%
Unemployment rate: 9%
What’s good: Outdoors work
What’s bad: Declining profession due to remote reading

#8 Mail Carrier

Salary: $53,090
Projected Job Growth: -26%
Unemployment rate: about 14%
What’s good: While USPS jobs shrinking, UPS jobs still available
What’s bad: Job becoming obsolete

#9 Roofer

Salary: $34,220
Projected Job Growth: 18%
Unemployment rate: 14%
What’s good: Outdoors work appealing to some people
What’s bad: Long hours spent in heat or cold. Work is cyclical.

#10 Flight Attendant

Salary: $37,740
Projected Job Growth: 0
Unemployment rate: 4.5%
What’s good: See the world
What’s bad: High stress, shrinking job market

BONUS: 5 Best jobs for people who hate (working with other) people

Accountant

Job prospects through 2018: 22 percent increase according to Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Average Salary for Accountants/Auditors: $59,430*

Computer Programmer

Good News: Job opportunities are expected to soar 22 percent through 2018.

Average Salary for Computer Programmers: $69,620*

Forensic Science Technician

Good News: expected to grow 20 percent through 2018.

Average Pay for Forensic Science Technicians: $23.97/hour*

Budget Analyst

Good News: 15 percent increase in jobs predicted through 2018

Average Salary for Budget Analysts: $65,320*

Actuary

Good News: Employment expected to jump 21 percent through 2018.

Average Salary for Actuaries: $84,810*

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Sources: