The 10 Worst (And Best!) Jobs of 2014

Turns out it's not a good year for lumberjacks


Career guidance website CareerCast has released its 26th annual breakdown of the best and worst jobs of the year, and the results may surprise you. Click through our slideshow to check out the jobs--the worst, followed by the best--or see below. ​

Apparently it's a great time to be a math wiz: statistician and actuary are among the current top jobs in the country, with mathematician snagging the number-one spot.

The factors evaluated in ranking professions included income, outlook, environmental factors, stress, and physical demands. CareerCast considered over 200 professions across numerous industries in building the list, all varying widely in salary and skill level.

The "best job" title for mathematician was chalked up to the current strong hiring demand among employers in multiple industries, including government agencies, educational institutions, and the non-profit sector. With a median salary of over $100k, it also pays exceptionally well.

"Mathematicians are employed in every sector of the economy and have critical skills related to the success of many businesses, from Wall Street brokerages to energy exploration companies to IT R&D labs to university classrooms," said CareerCast publisher Tony Lee. "Mathematician rose significantly in the rankings thanks to rising hiring demand and higher salaries, which help to boost much of the other criteria we measure."

On the other end of the spectrum, lumberjacks hold the dubious honor of "worst job" due to low pay and poor job growth projection, coupled with a high risk of injury.

Beyond income and potential for growth, CareerCast considered competitiveness and public contact as negative factors, as well as physical demands and quality of work conditions.

But not every job featured toxic fumes or loud noise--the number-two spot went to newspaper reporters, who, with a growth projection of -13 percent, probably aren't going to be receiving raises any time soon.

10 Best Jobs
1. Mathematician
2. Tenured University Professor
3. Statistician
4. Actuary
5. Audiologist
6. Dental Hygienist
7. Software Engineer
8. Computer Systems Analyst
9. Occupational Therapist
10. Speech Pathologist

10 Worst Jobs
1. Lumberjack
2. Newspaper Reporter
3. Enlisted Military Personnel
4. Taxi Driver
5. Broadcaster
6. Head Cook
7. Flight Attendant
8. Garbage Collector
9. Firefighter
10. Corrections Officer

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Railroad worker should be in the top 10 worst. your never home on call 24/7 365 work in all types of weather. bosses hide in the woods and watch you all the time to make sure your not breaking any rules. the only job I know that as soon as you get hired, they do everything they can to fire you. if wasn't for the benefits and the retirement they wouldn't be able to keep people doing this junk.

May 06 2014 at 8:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I get so angry every time I read one of these articles where a dental hygienist is touted as
a top ten job pick!! As a former hygienist of over 25 years, I can tell you that the profession
is over crowded, and has been for YEARS!! It is a two year program at a community college,
where four years of education is crammed into two years. It's a difficult program to get
through. Then you get a position that is stressful, both mentally and physically. The pay
is crappy, with little to no benefits provided. This is so all those money hungry dentists
can have their cushy lifestyles. FORGET any kind of pension. What you are left with is
chronic hand, back, neck, and shoulder pain for a lifetime!! Women...pick another

April 17 2014 at 9:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

All of the top ten jobs make sense and their usefulness in today's society speaks for itself, except the "Tenured University Professor". How about a list the excludes union-forced positions?

April 17 2014 at 7:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm just wondering, are there ANY jobs other than minimum wage for people who don't have math and science degrees that only a pittance of the population can get? (The average IQ is 100, which is generally enough to get through Algebra I with a C- or D.)

April 17 2014 at 6:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I got out of the millitary because of their "Political Correctness" being some officer's slave,Low pay,little or no appreciation(Returning Vietnam Vets,late 60s) Race relations,Thanks uncle sam I'm more of a Racest now than I ever was.(Gets me out of Jury Duty every time) & I got my life back!

April 17 2014 at 4:44 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Although how much you get paid is certainly not the only criteria for job satisfaction, it is an important factor. Both of my kids have college degrees but they are at opposite ends of the pay scale. My daughter works in the culinary world in New York. She recently left a job that had crazy hours and took a job with low pay because it is less stressful. She is planning to go back to school and get another degree so she can get a better job. My son has a masters degree in finance and is the highly-paid chief financial officer of a trade organization.

April 17 2014 at 1:38 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Gina Bobina

Average starting salary for a math major is only $50K.

April 17 2014 at 12:49 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Gina Bobina

Check out highest paying bachelor's degrees is the way to go. Petroleum Engineering is at the top.

April 17 2014 at 12:44 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Gina Bobina

As far as highest paying jobs ... you left off Petroleum Engineer. You can make $100K plus right out of college with a bachelor's degree. Do some research!!

April 17 2014 at 12:30 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

What a crock of crap. Math majors .. other than teaching...have few jobs available to them. Engineering is where the jobs are.

April 17 2014 at 12:13 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to domdeedomdee's comment

Math majors have many areas that are available to them. They happen to be smarter than Engineers. You, as an engineer, won't get it but...They are effing WAY more genius than you are!!!

April 17 2014 at 6:31 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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