What’s Your Dream Job? (Probably Not News Reporter): Survey Ranks The Best And Worst Careers

April 23, 2013  |  

CareerCast has released its latest ranking of the best and worst jobs out there. Up top: actuary. And down at the very bottom: newspaper reporter.

An actuary, defined by The Wall Street Journal, puts ” a financial value on risk – for instance, the chances of a hurricane destroying a beachfront home or the long-term liabilities of a pension system.” Natural disasters are happening aplenty, the article continues, so this is a profession with lots of available work. Moreover, there is a shortage of actuaries. The story says the job comes with reasonable work weeks and good pay, with a median salary of $87,650. The description offered on the CareerCast website describes a position steeped in math, statistics, and policy. For example, the new Affordable Healthcare Act, which will be enacted in 2014, is something that an actuary would have to bone up on over the next year.

BeAnActuary.org has everything you’d need to know about what an actuary does and how to become one. Some colleges, like Arizona State, Baruch in New York, and Clemson in South Carolina, have programs specifically in pursuit of an actuary degree.

Rounding out the top five jobs, in order, are biomedical engineer, software engineer, audiologist, and financial planner.

On the worst end of the spectrum, newspaper reporters have seen a huge shift in their industry, leading to layoffs, cutbacks, and low pay. Moreover, the usual amounts of pressure — to be accurate, meet deadlines, etc — are heightened by the speed and ubiquity of news on the Internet.

“The Newspaper Association of America, via the Pew Research Center, estimates that the industry earned approximately $49.2 billion in 2006. By 2011, that total had dropped by well over half to $23.9 billion taking many jobs with it, including thousands of newspaper reporter positions,” says CareerCast. The median national salary is $36,000. Lumberjack and enlisted military members round out the bottom three.

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