Do You Have One of the Best or Worst Jobs in 2018?

Do You Have One of the Best or Worst Jobs in 2018?

How much do you love and value your job? For the masses, the answer likely relies on a few important factors: compensation, work environment, stress level, growth potential, and did I mention pay? Recently, released its annual Jobs Rated Report, which provides a general snapshot of 220 different job titles using the aforementioned key criteria as a scale for ranking. According to CareerCast, its report has tracked and ranked careers for three decades. Needless to say, the job landscape has changed quite a bit over that time.


Scan the slideshow above to count down’s Best 5 and Worst 5 Jobs in 2018.

Occupation Relations
As a sure sign of modern times, Genetic Counselor ranks as the top job in 2018, scoring high in all the right categories. In fact, the healthcare field dominated the top spots. Curious, I scoured the report and failed to find Farmer/Agriculturist on the list. Perhaps it’s because almost every agribusiness management structure is uniquely layered, making it difficult to set standards for general comparison.

A closer look at the list, though, did reveal lots of STEM careers, some related to the field of farming. Out of the few noted, Biologist ranked highest at No. 34. A good work environment and low stress levels contributed to the solid score. Natural Sciences Manager came in at No. 53 with a six-figure salary and fair job growth. And Agricultural Scientist (No. 92) earned high marks for low stress, but was dinged for poor growth potential.

Scanning down the list, it’s obvious the judging benchmarks aren’t skewed. Who’d figure a “Bicycle Repairer” would rank higher (No. 88) than so many other eligible careers? Believe it or not, the trade’s projected growth is rated at “Very Good.” This goes to show the usual compensatory benefits don’t always draw folks to a career path. Sometimes a career chooses us. Passion is priceless.

Dirty Jobs
We know not all occupations are glamorous, nor do they get the respect they deserve. Converse to the top jobs in CareerCast’s report, I did spot a few ag-related vocations near the very bottom of the draw.

Loggers ranked as the second worst job of 2018. Ironically, poor projected growth is what felled this particular profession. Also in CareerCast’s bottom 10 was Pest Control Worker. This role is a vital cog to the field of agriculture. However, a less-than-ideal work environment and high stress still put it in relative bad career company. To no surprise, Farmworker/Laborer is absent from the list.

Pulling into the very last parking spot on CareerCast’s jobs list for 2018 is Taxi Driver. Poor pay and stress levels aside, the emergence of convenient ride-share apps loomed largest for this transportation-fueled trade.

Listed only a few notches above the bottom were two separate journalism/media career entries. Seeing this is somewhat sobering (for me and my colleagues at least). Well, what can I say? I dig what I do. How about you? Someone’s gotta do it.

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The job of university professor does have much to commend it: independence, working with young people, decent benefits and working conditions – but “low stress” it is not. The pressure to get grants, publish, stay current with the literature, grade hundreds of papers each semester, being prepared for each and every class, countless meetings, constant interruptions during the work day by phone calls, emails, and students, and frequent travel away from the office, all lead to a significant amount of stress – especially among younger faculty. The average university professor works 60 hours a week, so I would not consider this a low stress job.