When you count stress, control, and money, it's not always the prestigious jobs that come out on top.
Here are the top ten, starting at the best:
- Actuary, $94,209
- Audiologist, $71,133
- Mathematician, $102,182
- Statistician, $79,191
- Biomedical Engineer, $89,165
- Data Scientist, $124,149
- Dental Hygienist, $71,102
- Software Engineer, $93,113
- Occupational Therapist, $77,114
- Computer Systems Analyst, $81,150
In addition to STEM jobs are those in healthcare. For example, while actuaries, who calculate the likelihood that insurance companies will have to pay out on policies, are at the top of the heap, audiologists, who test hearing, are in second place. "The projections are a third of all audiologists will be retiring in the next few years," Lee said. But there will be plenty of work, as baby boomers increasingly age and many experience hearing problems. "You're working in a private practice. You're setting your own schedule," he said of the occupation. And there's a high satisfaction level of helping people every day.
Notice that dental hygienists are in the top ten but dentists are not. "Their salary is actually pretty reasonable for the job," Lee said. "They work a set schedule and walk out the door. They don't have to think about anything else." Dentists, on the other hand, must market their businesses, deal with insurance and billing, and often are on call. "It's a much higher stress job," he added. "The dental hygienist comes, cleans, leaves."
Then there is the other end of the spectrum with the worst jobs, with the absolutely bottom of the list at the end.
- Mail Carrier, $41,068
- Firefighter, $45,264
- Taxi Driver, $23,118
- Corrections Officer, $39,163
- Photojournalist, $29,267
- Broadcaster, $55,380
- Cook, $42,208
- Enlisted Military Personnel, $28,840
- Lumberjack, $34,110
- Newspaper Reporter, $36,267
Similarly, photojournalist is an occupation with a murky future and potential danger. Broadcasters, related to photojournalism and reporting, have seen big cutbacks. "Streaming makes it far more difficult to enter," Lee said. "So many people do it for nothing [and stream online]."
Some of the other jobs are at the bottom because of danger. Lumberjacks are the most likely to die on the job of any occupation and they're out in all weather. According to Lee, taxi driver is the career most likely to be the victim of a crime.