The Best (and Worst) Jobs of 2012

October 04, 2012 |

2012 is nearly over, and CareerCast has published a fresh evaluation of what it sees as the top 10 jobs in the country — as well as the worst 10. Evaluating each job using five components (Physical Demands, Work Environment, Income, Stress and Hiring Outlook) they came up with these picks for the top 10 and worst 10 jobs of this moment.

For more details, which includes evauations of 200 jobs visit the CareerCast website. Have experience at one of these jobs, or disagree with these evaluations? Sound off in the comments section below — we’re sure their pick for third worst job will raise some eyebrows… 

10 Top Jobs of 2012:

1. Software Engineer (Average income: $88,000): Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or other device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or control networks.

2. Actuary ($88,000): Actuaries analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty. They use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to assess the risk that an event will occur and to help businesses and clients develop policies that minimize the cost of that risk.

3. Human Resources Manager ($99,000): These managers plan, direct and coordinate the administrative functions of an organization. They oversee the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of new staff; consult with top executives on strategic planning; and serve as a link between an organization’s management and its employees.

4. Dental Hygienist ($68,000): Dental hygienists clean teeth, examine patients for oral diseases such as gingivitis, and provide other preventative dental care. They also educate patients on ways to improve and maintain good oral health.

5. Financial Planner ($104,000): Personal financial advisors give financial advice to clients. They help with investments, taxes, and insurance decisions.

6. Audiologist ($67,137.00): Audiologists diagnose and treat a patient’s hearing and balance problems using advanced technology and procedures.

7. Occupational Therapist ($72,000): Occupational therapists treat patients with injuries, illnesses, or disabilities through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They help these patients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working.

8. Online Advertising Manager ($87,000): Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers plan programs to generate interest in a product or service. They work with art directors, sales agents, and financial staff members.

9. Computer Systems Analyst ($78,000): Computer systems analysts study an organization’s current computer systems and procedures and make recommendations to management to help the organization operate more efficiently and effectively. They bring business and information technology (IT) together by understanding the needs and limitations of both.

10. Mathematician ($99,000): Mathematicians use high-level mathematics and technology to develop new mathematical principles, understand relationships between existing principles, and solve real-world problems.

Worst 10 Jobs:

1. Lumberjack ($32,000)

2. Dairy Farmer ($33,000)

3. Enlisted Soldier ($36,000)

4. Oil Rig Worker ($32,000)

5. Reporter ($35,000)

6. Waiter ($18,000)

7. Meter Reader ($35,000)

8. Dishwasher ($18,000)

9. Butcher ($29,000)

10. Broadcaster ($27,000)

About Ho Lin

Ho Lin is an editor at His interests include naval history, the New York football Giants, and loud rock music.


  1. annoni says:

    I went into the Florida Workforce One Veterans Office when was criticized for my Resume, was told, "if you want a job apply online", then told " what you think we have a drawer of jobs?" What they did say they do is; resume writing, interviewing but its up to me to find the job. I have a HR Degree, Certifications, Awards and to see these "stupids", without a Degree telling me this gets my blood boiling. This is a waste of taxpayers money and this Office across America should be closed.

    • drew says:

      not just in florida these places supposed to help vets dont do a damn thing ….ive been through it and learned last year…good luck

    • fester225 says:

      That sounds like the kind of thing I've come to expect HR departments. Why are you so surprised?

    • HR Person says:


      I'm sorry that you've had such a negative response to the Veteran's Office.
      As a Human Resources degreed person myself (and a veteran), my advice to you would be: Check into the SHRM website for jobs in Human Resources; check with schools (such as the University of Illinois) who have major HR departments and find out who is recruiting for HR majors at this time; Know that the major companies are looking for employees with Masters Degrees in Human Resources, so use your GI Bill money to update your degree; go to the websites of companies where you would like to work and see if they are looking for HR Analysts, read up on the company, make sure you are prepared when you interview (read up on the company, know the business, check their stock prices, etc etc etc), and know who is expanding (I see a MAJOR oil company in the midwest just bought another oil companys assets in Texas toda- may be some HR opportunities therey) Lastly, keep your hopes up. You may have to relocate, but check into relocation when you interview. Good Luck- I'm rooting for you!

    • BigTony says:

      Yeah, thank the Obama administration for that!

      It's required to attend job prep courses before exiting the Army, but normally you are being helped by some lazy civilian employee who is prior Army who has either a terrible degree (diploma mill style that he/she earned while in service at XYZ College on the base), or someone with a HS education who is trying to teach you how to get a job in the real world when they never have worked outside of a government job (excluding McDonald's).
      So then you may as well start going back to school using that Post 9/11 GI Bill….because otherwise you're screwed!!

      • R Bridges says:

        Obviously you don’t know anything or you’re looking for someone to blame. Just for your shallow knowledge this office was around well before President Obama took office. I would get my facts straight before making a statement like that.

        • BigTony says:

          Boooooo hoooo….cry me a river R Bridges. Does not change the fact that these places are useless; nor does it change the fact that the O-Admin does very little to actually help veterans gain employment after the military–or anyone for that matter seeing as the real unemployment rate is over 11% now….pretty bad considering it should be under 5% in a good economy!

          • Hate No-Nutz says:

            Do you even know what your talking about or are you always ********? The unemployment rate is now actually under 8%, for the 1st time in almost 5 yrs, thanks largely inpart to the Obama administration, as well as regular people & veterans like myself who don’t sit around waiting for things to be handed to us on a platter. We actually pursue opportunities tirelessly. Instead of complaining about why your still part of the unemployed 7.5%, polish your résumé and post it on every job site you can find. Get a better attitude & good luck in your search.

          • BigTony says:

            Wow, look at the hatred coming from someone who obviously only goes by what the liberal media tells him (that is the biggest oxymoron, it is hilarious!)
            Anyhow, Open up your eyes and quickly read this article on the real 11%+ unemployment rate:

            If you can comprehend what that is saying, then maybe you'll actually understand that unemployment rates don't jump down / improve by 1/3 of a point by only gaining 114,000 jobs!
            If you think the United States creating only 115,000 new jobs per month is good, then you are not worth my time typing to you.

          • TheFactChecker says:

            Hate No whatever??? Aaanyway, Big T is correct, only a retard would think unemployment is 8% and lower. It is really more at 14% cause people's UIC has run dry, zip, zilsch, nada. They have nothing, thats NOTHING. Only family and friends to help if they can. Wow, are people really that dumb to believe that UIC is that low???

          • Frank says:

            Hate No-Nutz: Please. Take a look for yourself. I would not be saying anything, but your statement about unemployment under 8% because of Obama's administration… Wow, you have been fed the go juice. The only reason the current and former administrations (both parties) talk about unemployment under its real value is the books are cooked to make the current office holders look as good as possible in casual lighting. Continued

          • Frank says:

            Put lipstick on a pig, you still have a pig. There are more people unemployed or under-employed or have just plain stopped looking ofr work (that last is no longer even counted in the statistics) than you believe. The biggest issue with the current administration (in regards to employment (besides cooking the book Chicago politics style) is the all out war on old energy waged by this President and the EPA. Do not forget…HE told us that energy costs would necessarily skyrocket to "move us to green energy." The fallout is less economic activity since the "new energy" is so much more expensive at this stage. Look at the $25/gal bio-jet fuel the military pays vs. the $3-4 it pays for regular oil based JP-8. Uncertainty and expense drive economic spending for most companies. the more expensive it is to even turn on shop lights, the less likely those shop will go on and people will be able to populate those shops.

          • This We'll Defend says:

            Big Tony, no doubt you are a comment troll. Your political agenda has no merit nor does it relate to the problem the servicemember brought up. It seems you are just like the rest of the 47% Romney described. How about you pull up your boots straps or more than likely sandels and stop complaining.

          • BigTony says:

            Not sure how I am part of the 47% that Romney was referring to, when the reference was made towards the 47% of voters that will vote for OBAMA and are reliant on his failed policies and agenda of giving out government handouts to anyone who is likely to vote for him (poor, lower middle class, minorities). Nice try though attempting to understand politics. LOL

        • Obviously you don't recall within the first year Obama took office his Secretary of State Clinton declaring vets returning from Iraq/Afghanistan one of the biggest threats to Naional Security and this was on National Television. So for all that the Obamas say they have helped, thier administration first called us a threat and who, as in employers, wants somthing to do with that commodity!

        • Mooseman190 says:

          Obama made it mandatory for all active duty soldiers to go through training through the office b4 separating from active duty. Leave people alone if you are going to make ignorant comments.

          • HammerSix says:

            Well, I retired from the Army before Barack Obama was even a US Senator. I was an O-4 and everyone, and I mean everyone was required to go through TAP Training before separation.

            TAP or Transition Assistance Program was a 40-hour program created by the US Department of Labor and contained the very same worthless BS that is given now.

            Obama didn't make shit mandatory. All he did is make it that much more important because he did nothing to improve the employment situation during his first and ONLY term.

          • Gerald Wilson says:

            Look here! You are wrong President did a hell of alot for the Veterans. He signed two veterans improvement bills. So, the Republicans are the ones you should be calling stupid people. They are the worst people in this country. Also, this will not be President Obama only term. **** face!

          • C.A. Bleicher says:

            I pay taxes, my own bills, vote, abide by the law, help my family members when in need, I am respected in my community, donate to worthy causes, served my country with honor & integrity…have never asked for or taken any kind of public assistance (no Obama phone for me!), do not believe the government owes me anything or that I'm entitled to something merely due to the color of my skin or political beliefs. I am a female, disabled (SC) vet, conservative (republican) and I am not "stupid" nor am I one of those "worst people" of whom you refer. Now, if I felt the need to be unladylike or wanted to emulate liberals and this administration, I would tell you to stop broadcasting that 3rd grade education you worked so hard for and stuff a sock in it.

        • Bill Carter says:

          Hey hey calm down there are good and bad people in all companies. Let us not turn on each other. We have a common bond. We shared in each others pain. We were all soldiers, marines, airmen and sailors. We all stood on the wall shoulder to shoulder. We can do it again in the civilian world

      • Chris says:

        WOW! Really??? I say good for the guy who took the time to go to XYZ College on the Base while in the Military in hopes of making a better life for himself. Sorry I am a little confused how you are downgrading the educational efforts of another person and then somehow linking it to Obama's adminstration. Im not a big supporter of Obama but I fail to see the connection.

        • BigTony says:

          The comment about the Obama Administration was their failed efforts to create these "job assitance programs" to help people transition. The garbage diplomas that these colleges churn out offer nothing better than a high school education–if any education at all; some places just allow these soldiers to transfer their experience in the Army into college credits without ever even attending a school and somehow obtaining a 2-year Associates degree out of it.

      • Chuck says:

        BigT, I can appreciate your frustration, but I think it is shortsighted…regardless of who we can thank for the condition of the economy, while these programs are 'designed' or supposed to help you 'get' jobs, it is unrealistic of you to expect an employer to take the word of anyone, w/exception of the 'hookup' or 'good ole boys' click, to qualify someone for their staff; these programs are instead are intended to provide guidance and insight and do sometimes resemble telemarketing canned presentations, but still aid in offering ideas and resources you may not have been aware of had you not used them…yes, I agree some of them turn out to be total wastes of time and money and often too, those providing the guidance seem underqualified, but it is for you to take what you can and dispose the unuseful…surely you're search is broader than what the military offers…I, as a veteran myself, too felt much of what I got before leaving the military was a waste, but found value in some of it. Don't disregard other opportunities, you never know when or if the one you miss was the opportunity you were seeking.

        • BigTony says:

          Valid points there chuck. I see where you are coming from; but I wish that I was not REQUIRED to take these lame classes which are going to waste 3-4 days of my life that I could be spending with my family, instead of having to travel out of state to go back to my unit instead of staying on leave as I transition out of the military (yes I have that many leave days left). I already have a job locked up and waiting for me upon my medical retirement. In cases such as this (when I have guaranteed employment waiting for me with an offer, etc., how can they still bother me with this rubbish?)

          • Chuck says:

            BigT, i think it would be big mistake for you to rush out of the military…your circumstances sound almost identical to mine, however I committed too much to potentially put any entitlement I felt I earned at risk, by trusting in an opportunity that has potential vs. those I could lose by rushing into my preference…I know how badly you want to get out, especially with an opportunity or job locked up; I understand how you've prefer to be with your family and the training sounds stupid, but President Obama did not enact this stuff. I retired in 04 and upon our return from Iraq in 03 we were required to do the same stuff…first two weeks back were restricted to or near our post, no leave until after being debriefed, seemed worthless classes, etc. Don't get caught up in the drama, all this stuff is that our military leadership recommended in response to soldiers killing their spouses or girlfriends upon returning from war or committing crimes…the public demanded it (a response)…this is the response they got. Again, be patient and don't compromise your benefits through delusion.

          • BigTony says:

            Anyhow, don't ever saying that I wanted to stay in the Army by any means. 1) I am being medically retired, so I'll be be just that, retired from the Army. 2) I have served honorably for quite a long time and I don't need the stress of the Army any longer even if I were not being retired. 3) What great benefits does the Army offer that my new job does not? Let's see…full medical, check, dental, check, vacation time, check, not being sent all over the world (check for new job, not Army); not being treated like a child (check for new job); having freedom (check for new job); should I continue?

          • DocHiggs says:

            For someone who's been in a long time, it seems to me that all you learned how to do was to complain about the things you aren't entitled to. What a load of crap – quit blaming the president for your own inability to get off your butt and do something for yourself.

      • cs rock says:

        What…has Mr Obama to do with that, you dont know your talking about.
        You must be out of your mind.

    • robert60 says:

      There is only so much that a veterans employment rep or disabled veterans outreach person can do for you. The job search is up to you and your responsibility! If we get you the job, then should we also go do the job for you? I don't know what the requirements are for a vet rep job in FL are, but some states require some college, whereas other states require a bachelors degree, while some only require a HS diploma so don't think that all these "stupids" don't have a degree. If you have to use the word stupids in this way, we know you didn't get your degree in english, that's for sure!

    • MT Veteran Rep says:

      As a Veteran Representative at a job service in Montana, I am sorry that you had a negative experience with the Veterans Office in Florida.

      That representative should be ashamed if that is the response they are giving to customers. I'm happy to say that is not the norm. Usually the job service or workforce office will have a list of jobs, and the staff assists customers in finding jobs that meet their skills and interests as well as offering resume and interviewing assistance.

      I would recommend checking out SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) at or joining the LinkedIn Human Resources groups.

      • Chuck says:

        You should be in customer service…great response, however, what service members need is what others on this page have tried to offer 'tough love'…they haven't and aren't experiencing anything other service members haven't, necessarily…and yes, there are some VRs who don't relate or convey the 'spirit of the mission/vision' and intent of the programs they represent, but as someone mentioned earlier, VRs provide the information, how you use it and present yourself in an interview, if you get one, is entirely on you. Don't expect to be handed a job, like the 'stupids' mentioned earlier, (sarcasm), but put some effort into it…if you have a legit complaint, air/report it, but don't try to use that, or the PRESIDENT Obama, as the basis for your lack of success or failure…and surely you realize their perspective is through different colored lenses, paraphrased and opinionated. I'm not nor have I ever been a VR, did pursue and earn a degree in the military and out and without question the Degree I earned from the Diploma Mill on post played a great role in landing the job BEFORE I got out. My message: take responsibility for yourself.

    • MSgt Cesarano says:

      Based on your skills demonstrated in your post, I would not consider hiring you at all for anything. Each time you communicate, in any form and for any reason, you are presenting yourself and your traits to the world and potential employers or business partners. Your message is important but, the delivery portrays a lack of proper focus, discipline, attention to detail and evidence of an expected level of maturity. The job market is brutal. You need to stand out above the rest, not below.

      • Chuck says:

        The tough love I spoke of earlier…exactly what a potential employee needs to hear…better here than being run out of an interview.

    • Fran says:

      What ever happened to "pull up your boot straps" and work. My husband just retired after 25 years of service. I am proud to say that he has never complained or blamed anyone for his faults. However, he has done quite well for his family. He must have received a lot of his characteristics from his Mother. His Mom raised 10 children, by herself, and NO welfare or public assistance of any kind! His Father was killed in 1966 by someone who deliberately ran him over, in the deep south. This man was never prosecuted because my husband's Father was a black man and the person who ran him over was a white man. Nevertheless, my husband nor his family never held a grudge or let that hold them back. We have been married for almost 20 years and I have never heard my husband use his Father or their circumstances and an excuse. We have two healthy and happy children, one who has been in a movie and a national commercial already (he is only 17 yrs old). They are both honor students and we have hardly NO bills! We own three homes, 70+ acres of land, and we only have 1 house payment

    • Fran says:

      What happened to "pull up your boot straps”? My husband just retired after 25 years of service. I am proud to say that he has never felt sorry for himself. He must have received a lot of his characteristics from his Mother, whom raised 10 children, by herself, NO welfare or public assistance of any kind! His Father was killed by someone who deliberately ran him over, 1966, in the deep South. We have two healthy and happy children, one who has been in a movie and a national commercial already (he is only 17 yrs old). We own three homes, 70+ acres of land. We have never filed bankruptcy nor had credit issues; all on a Soldier's pay. We are wise enough to know, without GOD, we can do nothing! So with GOD, all things are possible. So for those of you above who are wasting time complaining, "STOP". All things are possible, with GOD. "There is no atheist in a foxhole".

      • Emma Thompson says:

        Statement is true, but would Christ have said this with such tone.???
        We are to be a light to this world and Christ words were filled with Love.

        In Christ,

        • Fran says:

          Remember when Jesus went through the temple, pushing over the tables? When he answered some of the people who were testing him. When he held an hour at noon for the Soldier to defeat his enemies, when he was with David to defeat his enemies…… Love enough to tell them the truth. To spare the rod is to spoil the child. If one still drinks milk, they are children.
          With Love,

      • Dear Fran, I’m going to assume that your husband has the following among other fine qualities: optimism, healthy self esteem, perseverance and an abiding faith that if he works hard and keeps his eye on the prize, he will know success. And in spite of the disadvantages that he had growing up, he still managed to produce great results. Good for him; but I cannot help but add “LUCKY” to his list of qualities – the right place, the right time and the right sets of choices made. We all make life changing choices every day, some are easy, some are not, some are toss-ups, some are more complex, some are immediate and some you have time to consider. All things being equal and without luck, the chances are long that your husband and the right set of circumstances can come together. Like Lefty Gomez, an old baseball hall of famer, once said “I’d rather be lucky than good”.

        • Well, a lot of other people have those aforementioned qualities except for luck. They try long and hard, they educate and prepare themselves, they scrimp and save and try to create an environment where success is most likely produced. But are unlucky and are not able to get over the hump. It doesn’t mean that they are done trying. It just means they are a venting and bit discouraged that all the preparations they made did not pay off right now. So when you say “pull up your boot straps”, “quit complaining”, “we own 3 homes and 70+ acres of land all from a soldier’s pay” or “all things are possible with God”, I say good for you but say something positive and inspiring or keep it to yourself because it just irritates people and makes them wonder if God was too busy making up for your husband’s dead father to give other people His attention.

      • ProudFoxholeAtheist says:

        There are plenty of atheists in foxholes.

      • Robert Baker says:

        Fran you should receive the "extra effort award." Certainly, with your faith in God, you will always be a winner. Also, I salute your husband and especially his mother. I have a mother just like her. She taught all of us children to be thankful for what we have and to keep our faith in God. Again, I salute you and your family.
        RRB of NC. USA RET.

    • Tom says:

      They have VA reps in the Texas workforce commission, they e-mail you when jobs are available that might be the type of job you are interested in, sned you all the TWC job openings, assist you in resume prepararion, direct you to jobs for veterans only.

    • Eddie says:

      If your resume is written as well as your post I can almost understand why you're still looking.

    • Jason T says:

      Job seekers please read. No one is entitled to a job. When did we start thinking this way? It is a competitive process. No one is entitled to a job, just because you have a degree and well most of us have a degree, and certifications. I mean, yeah it is tough I have been out there also. Take ownership; because you have it whether you want it or not. Blaming people will not change that.

      • Jason T says:

        The reality is those offices do not have a drawer full of jobs, so they are correct in saying so. However they are professionals who can help you sharpen and hone your resume, job search skills, interviewing skills, and networking skills. These are things that lead to a position and will actually, in the long term, serve you better than if they had a drawer full of jobs. Jobs are out there but it is competitive, it is not Bush’s fault or Obama’s fault. It is how things will be.

        • Jason T says:

          The world is global now; technology has made the world smaller so companies are able source candidates from all over the world increasing the competition. Coupled with technology allowing us to be more efficient and do more with a smaller workforce and when you factor in a growing population equates to more competition for fewer jobs. So what the government can do is provide programs, free of cost to people like you, to sharpen those skills. Even better would be to provide access to education so our workforce is competitive and we can attract employers the United States. There is not secret drawer of jobs, no one is standing in your way employers want to fill jobs and are filling them with candidates they deem are the best fit. Learn the skills that allow you to show you are the best fit and do not scoff at help even if it is not the help you may want.

    • Jerry says:

      EXACTLY. They told me the same thing. the offices are useless and should be shut down. They don't assist veterans at all. They tell you to make a resume and check Google for jobs that are hiring. I got so mad talking to them that I never called them back again. They are a waste of everyone's time and effort. Don't bother with them.

    • WrknHard says:

      Heres the deal fellas! Spent 22 years leading Marines only to stack cans at the grocery store. Humbling as it was I made ok money, it payed the bills and took care of the family. I hated it every day for four years, but I did what I needed to take care of business. I own my own company now as a Handyman. I took the skills that I learned from the service and made them work for me instead of someone else. There are times that you have to really look at yourself and see what your potential / value is and not worry about what somone else has to offer. It took me four years to figure that out and only two days to make it happen! Now stop standing around whinning about what someone else has and get your as… moving forward Semper Fi

    • Juan says:

      I agree 110% with your statement. I had the very similar experience with Florida Workforce One Veterans Office. I am retired Marine (20yrs), I also have a BBA in Management degree. The Veteran Advocate or the specialist is a waste of tax payers money. The whole program is a squander.

  2. KEVIN GOULD says:


  3. secretsociety says:

    What about CEO's and movie stars and other jobs not to be mentioned making hundreds of thousands, even millions, even billions a year?

    • BigTony says:

      Are you really that moronic? You don't just go and apply for CEO jobs; nor is being "a movie star" a job either. Why waste your time posting useless rubbish?

    • TAB says:

      That's not a good job when you really think about it!!!

  4. Sgt d says:

    My last year as a server ("waiter") I made over 90k. Granted, I worked in Manhattan and worked my way up through 9 of the top 200 restaurants in the city over the course of several years….

    • BigTony says:

      Again you answered your own comment about waiter jobs. On average they do not pay well as you get paid $2/hour and work on tips….and in most restaurants (except in Manhattan) you get paid didly. I was never a waiter myself, but my wife and friends were before and I've heard it all.

      This is like saying: "hey the salary of an enlisted soldier is not $33k, I was a Sergeant Major and I made 3 times that amount!"

      Bear in mind these are all AVERAGE starting salaries for people with the qualifications to work in these positions….

    • FirstSargeRet says:

      The key word I hear is "work". All I hear from everyone is how they are being mistreated and can't get a job but none of them has said they are willing to "work". Kudo's to the person from NY where they know how to "work".

  5. Andre Lambert says:

    I’m not sure where you got your figures from, but oil rig workers and lumberjacks make SUBSTANTIALLY more. A rig hand with any real time on the job can expect to earn well over 60,000 in a year, at least in Wyoming and North Dakota. I contract as a pressure tester and I’m at 65 for 2012 without egregious amounts of overtime.

    • tod says:

      your absolutely correct these are BS figures I come from N Idaho and the Loggers their do make a a decent living.
      Ive worked in the oil fields of Alaska (Prudoe Bay) and rig hand make just under a 100,000 ayear for the new hands ! Ive worked in PA gas fields < Colorado. Just so people know its a very good living Ive been over a 100,00 now for the past 11 years . Dont belive these stats their posting there very misleading must have a agenda their pushing

    • Nick Mauro says:

      I agree and I am in California. I have health insurance and over 75K in my 401K after I got out of the military (4.5 years ago) . Did I mention 80% of my wages at retirement? Oh and an 8% bonus and 3 weeks of paid vacation every year. If thats in the top 10 of worst jobs I'd love to have one of the jobs on the top 10 list…

    • I think a lot of this comes from the government's occupational index data. Many of these jobs make more. An 80k software engineer is either an entry level in the US or maybe a couple of years of experience.

  6. charlie says:

    When I left the navy I made $8,600bucks that year. equates to $4.22/hr but for the nav ofcourse i put in much more than an 8hr day – hah and as an E5 pittiful. 1st year out made $18,000 as an oilfield construction worker

    • Penny McCracken says:

      Right now, if you can stand the winter, jobs are going begging in North Dakota. The oil boom is on, and they need not only oil field workers, drillers, and truck drivers, they need all the supporting people: Waiters, nurses, doctors, the town has to build a new sewage plant, plus housing — they are desperate for workers! If you can't get a job there, you can't get one anywhere! If you already have a skill, great! If you don't, go learn one! Learn to be a truck driver – there is a WORLD-wide shortage of welders! Go for it!
      All of you! I'd go, but right now, I'm 74 years old, 100% disabled and homebound — but, can anyone use a great online proofreader?

      • Billiel says:

        Oh, yeah; the guy to whose letter you replied could use one! LOL.!
        And check out the English major (above) who wants the high priced spreads without knowing what they are.

    • ND23 says:

      $8,600 a year, the lowest E-1 makes $1,200 a month. Also free room and board unless you live out in town and thats another $900 to $1,500 a month depending on rents in your area. The average married navy will make over $2,000 a month, half not taxed. So you really make over $24,000 a year with 30 days paid vacation in the first year. E-5 would be averaging $36,000 a year . I forgot to mention free medical and dental. You made more when you where in, you just didn't know it.

  7. Jamie says:

    The rate they have listed for Enlisted military is actually really close to what an E5 makes. If you take into account the hours that they work (they don't get paid over-time, or double for holidays) it comes out to crap! They are on call 24/7 and most work 12-18 hour days, not to mention weekends. Yes we have decent benefits and get (most of) our housing payed for but it still does not come close to what they should make. However, this should not be called the worst jobs in America, maybe the worst paying though. Being an Enlisted soldier is an honorable job but they should be payed much more!

    • Future Politician says:

      and yet, we still have people out there in these United States that state that the military is overpaid.

      If they are overpaid, then those critizing should join and partake in the wonderful life of becoming a veteran.

      Every day, a person in these United States should thank a vet (serving, seperated, or retired). Oh and thank their significant other (spouse in my case) for their tireless sacrifices too. And since we're at it, thank a Policeman/woman, fireman/woman, and teacher.

    • kat says:

      Don't forget to add in all the benefits you receive that are not taxed ie housing, subsistence allowance, free medical and dental. Civilians have to pay for all these things out of the pay they receive.

      • Jonathan says:

        It's still a thankless job, and the "civilians" you speak of get all the benefits of a soldiers work. You actually need to discuss all these "benefits" with someone who is serving or has served. By your clueless statement you have not served.

        • KAT says:

          Don't be so narrow minded. I am a veteran with 30 years. Instead of feeling you are entitled for choosing to serve, enjoy the benefits you have earned and use the experience that you gained serving to move on in life. I am sure there are many people out there who would love to have college paid for and get a stipend to attend. Oh wait a minute, they too can have that if they CHOOSE to serve.

      • Ret. says:

        We earned these benefits through selfless sacrifice to our country. I suggest strapping on a uniform otherwise shut the **** up and pay for your benefits.

      • SoldierBoy says:

        Nothing is free for us as Soldiers we work for every penny. We are always gone so that can enjoy your freedom that so many Soldiers have died for over the years. We miss most of the most important days in our families life and in our very own life. Come join us and do what we have to do and lets see if you will still feel the same after walking in our boots.

    • jpe says:

      I agree Janie … it seems ironic to see enlissted soldier listed as one of the
      worst jobs on's newsletter …


    • tod says:

      i argree maybe not with the increase in wages tho. I was in the Navy for 5 years so Im not a outsider.
      It is a very honorable job your doing something for your country and yourself Military pay has been low ever since its inception surely its not a job your going to get rich at and are not suppose to. Its more for you and your country, in my opinion.

      • Chantell Black says:

        Active duty servicemembers are not rich, but with 100% medical and dental insurance, on-post housing, no fear of being laid-off, free child care, no need to spend money on gas to commute to work if you live on-post, a government car to drive instead of your own (cheaper gas on post at the shoppette), 100% tuition assistance to pay for classes if you are pursuing a degree, a DFAC for lower enlisted Soldiers free of charge to them if they are living in the barracks….as a Reservist, you may not be living large active duty, but you are saved half of the headaches that most Americans deal with education costs and insurance. So the benefits outweigh the annual salary.

        • desertsailor says:

          look at it more like "free" medical and dental – whereas my dad always told me "you get what you pay for"

          "oh, you don't feel good? Got one of those sick days? Oh, yeah, we don't have sick days. If you're well enough to complain, you're well enough to go back to work… so, hop-to-it!"

    • Chantell Black says:

      The irony is that we're reading that the "enlisted soldier" is one of the worst jobs….on MILITARY.COM!!! So, since I'm a Soldier and a Reporter, that makes me screwed right?

  8. catlover says:

    You shouldn't say stuff like that,,,,first of all, you are in America (get the spelling right) so you apparantly came here for a reason?? Also, lies and treason exist EVERYWHERE!!!

  9. Rodney says:

    The oil rig worker annual wages are not really correct. I started in ROV’s 5 years ago for around 70 k a year, probably around 7 1/2 months of the year working. Now that i have some experience I am looking at 115 k for 6 1/2 months a year on a 4 week on 4 week off rotation. Keep in mind we are not the highest paid offshore or lowest paid, we also do not require a degree. There are a lot of opportunities if you are willing to travel and be away from home half the year. Good frequent flier miles also!

  10. kat says:

    I see a lot of negative comments and it seems that some people expect someone to hand them a nice paying job on a silver platter. No one ever said life was easy and you have to put forth an effort to be rewarded with a job. A degree is required in many fields, and prior military have an excellent opportunity to use education benefits that they earned while serving. Not a scholar then seek a technical field. A young friend of mine was told she could make about $40 an hour as a welder. She is a senior in HS trying to decide where her future lies. Don't know those low paying jobs they help put food on the table for some. I agree with Rodney-you sometimes have to be willing to relocate or be away from your family. I have seen alot of assistance offered for finding a job both for military veterans and civilians. So get off your high horse and recognize that the person trying to help you land that $30 an hour job may only be making $9 themselves but they don't hold it against you or treat you disrespectful.

  11. paul says:

    I personally dont think this list should be called the best and worst jobs. It reads as if it should be called the best and worst “paying” jobs of 2012.

    I know some lumber jacks and they love their jobs…..and some illegal immigrants who love being dishwashers…. :-/

  12. paul says:

    I personally dont think this list should be called the best and worst jobs. It reads as if it should be called the best and worst “paying” jobs of 2012.

    I know some lumber jacks and they love their jobs…..

  13. Jonathan says:

    The writer did not consider tips when producing that waiter salary.

  14. John says:

    And the number one bad job is U.S. Ambassador

  15. Doug says:

    I would just like to point out, that after my last deployment I (wish there was a way to make that bold) enrolled myself like a big boy into school, used some credits from my military transcript, got a job myself in the ER, and about to graduate in December with a bachelors in nursing using the GI Bill. The best part about school is with my employers contribution and the VA money I actually get paid to go to school. Every job fair I see on the news lets vets have the first hour before civilians. Polish those resumes, make a great first impression, and get a job. I’m pretty sure that’s what that week long ACAP was for.

  16. Of course, if you wash dishes or do some other lowlife job, you are truly not going to make so much money.

    • Geoff DeVore says:

      Don't ever call someone a low life because of a job they do. If they molest little children, sell drugs on a corner, or are a person who continues to make promises but doesn't deliver etc… then call them type of folks low life, but don't ever call a person a low life because of the job they do.

  17. rep2 says:

    BigTony give it a rest already I am straight and no one feels sorry for me. I am so sick and tired about all these special groups and people thinking they deserve more because they are gay or whatever. I don't hear anyone out on the streets telling everyone they are straight.

  18. This We'll Defend says:

    I see all of the comment trolls are out in full force! So many of us are so sick of this whining and complaining about Obama. We can't wait until Nov. 6th so this election is over with. Unfortunately, this same section of the population will be still be whining and blaming their problems on Romney in 2016.

    • freedombooster says:

      Jesse Ventura and Andrew Napolitano have both endorsed Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party. I am voting for Gary in 3 weeks! Mitt and Bummer are corporate shills and want more wars and more debt.

  19. Eddie says:

    Do you remember how you got to America? Use the same mode of transportation to leave!

  20. masonts says:

    Everything is not the president's fault…though, I understand he's an easy target for people's frustration about anything/everything. In any case, my advice to those who're seeking employment would also be to VOLUNTEER and or intern somewhere – preferably in the field in which you'd like to work. So many employment opportunities have come to me from volunteering. Also, if you're separated (not retired) consider joining the Reserves. It's a little extra money in your pocket and you can use drill/AT/ADT/ADSW/TDY (I'm Navy, so I'm not sure what the other service equivalents are for reservists serving on limited active duty are) to get in some training as well. Also, the Reserves is a MAJOR networking tool. I've gotten two full-time contractor jobs (doing the same thing I do as a Reservist) from networking with people during drill. The first job – I was hired b/c I did an AT working in that office, then after two weeks and my AT was up they realized they really needed me full time. I was hired 10 days later as a contractor…

  21. No says:

    Don’t understand how an oilfield worker is one of the ten worst. And you actually make more than what they’re saying

  22. navyxman says:

    I don't know where they got this list or what area of the country they targeted for their research but it's not at all accurate. A waiter making 18,000 in Cali won't be able to afford to pay the taxes on his wages, however, in WVA or a lower COL area he'd live in a mansion and have a yacht….So, if it gets you a mansion and a yacht, how can it be a "bad" job??_

  23. sebastian Aboki says:


    I was born and raised in Nigeria, came here went to college for 2 years and could not continue and then joined the Air force. I worked part time at the NCO Club part time to supplement my family's income as an Airman. Again when we moved to another base, I worked at Pizza Hut delivering pizza for 4 year making $10,000.00 to $12,000.00 a year. Now retired after 21 years was lucky my old boss hired me as a civilian NAF employee then a civil service position opened up and now I'm setting sweet.

    The point is most people want to start from the top. Take what you can now and everything will work itself out. Spring I should have 2 bachelors degree using my 9/11. Get to work. I know people that cut grass or paint that make as much money as I do. quite being lazy!!!

  24. sebastian Aboki says:

    Mind you I still worked my Air force job full time and then some. Yes I have been deployed 3 times. No regrets. I will do it again even though knowing it will not make me rich. Network and get a job.

  25. Marie says:

    You know what is a worst job….when you don't have one. When you have to feed a family you will work and do what ever is necessary.

    • Or when you work 300 hours a month with no overtime and don’t have a life…US Army! I’ve been at that breaking point where I was in and out of the hospital for exhaustion and dropped all the way to 100 lbs (too skinny for being 5’8″) and my chain of command didn’t know why I was so stressed out. I was told to suck it up! It sucks having no job but it sucks to do everything against your will. It would of felt good sometimes to decline the overtime with no pay. Freedom – 2013!

    • Or when you work 300 hours a month with no overtime and don’t have a life…US Army! I’ve been at that breaking point where I was in and out of the hospital for exhaustion and dropped all the way to 100 lbs (too skinny for being 5’8″) and my chain of command didn’t know why I was so stressed out. I was told to suck it up! It blows having no job but it also blows to do everything against your will and feel like a puppet on strings 24/7. It would of felt good sometimes to decline the overtime with no pay. Freedom – 2013!

  26. Frustrated RDH says:

    I am so tired of seeing Dental Hygienist on the list of TOP jobs. I graduated a year ago and have interviewed for two jobs. I have sent out over 100 resumes to area offices. There are no jobs and the field is now OVER SATURATED. While it may seem, on paper at least, that it's a great job with great pay, the reality is far different. Full time jobs are impossible to find, and if you do find work it's often part time and with no benefits. Even if it is full time, you'll receive few benefits. I've spent thousands pursuing this degree and licensing only to be unemployed and scrambling to pay my bills. Really wish I had pursued a different degree.

    • WrknHard says:

      Same thing happen to my wife! Instead of looking for full time work she fills in at several different offices (Think Subsatute Teacher) and actually makes more money has more time off and basically works what hours she wants. Do what you have been trained to do just approach it differently. Good luck

  27. 0621_bum says:

    This is for hate no nutz

    Sadly unemployment has gotten worse. In order to be considered in the unemployment percentage u have to be actively looking for employment. Many people have stopped looking or there not getting unemployment benefits, soooo these people without jobs are not plugged in the percentage of unemployment, this is just another loose end in the system to make it look like things are getting better when there not

  28. travelight says:

    This is for BigTony…REALLY? What kind of job interviews are they asking you about your sexual preference? Perhaps you should consider presenting yourself as a qualified candidate and leave your private life private. What you do outside of work is your business and shouldn't have any bearing on your ability to be a productive employee. This may come as a shock to you but honestly, most people just don't want to hear about your love life at work,straight OR gay!

  29. Connie says:

    I'm surprised "teacher" isn't listed as one of the top (worst-paying) jobs out there. I went into the Troops-to-Teachers program when I retired, got all my certifications and now realize that my army retirement still pays me more per month than what a starting teacher makes. Still, I enjoy working with today's teens.

  30. scout371 says:

    Engineer or conductor for the railroad, $65,000-$90,000. Plus almost all railroads companies love hiring vets and the railroads are continuing to grow. My father and I are both vets and we were told that basically we were hired do to our status as vets. Plus they have many jobs from mechanics to high up management where even low end workers make a minimum of $20 a hour. Plus there are benefits similar that in the military, retirement plans and medical benefits that cover dental and optical. Therare good reason why the military and the railroads have survived successfully for all these years… Oh but not Amtrak, they were government ran and controlled, look into Union Pacific and BNSF, they are privately owned supported by functioning unions and backed by the govt but ran independently.

  31. I'll Find it says:

    Look I complained and blamed the world but that didn't do anything good for me it just hurt me. The only person that is going to do for you is you. I've been out of work for a year. So I pound the pavement till I get tired, I take a breather then start all over again. I can't give up because if I do I lose, my 11 month old daughter lose. Then what make it worst her B-day is in two weeks. So I pound the pavement and I'll get off the book jobs here and there until something hits and something will hit. Look those of you who know rent in NYC is not cheap, so I leave you guys with this its hard and stressful but no one is going to do it for you only you can do for you, keep your head up bros.

  32. Cindy says:

    Because you work with your hands, it is a 'worst' job? I call BS.

  33. Retired EW says:

    I am a 14 month retiree guys and I have had to take a 40% pay cut while still receiving my retirement pay and disability. What has worked for me is GOING BACK TO SCHOOL(college) to learn a new trade(healthcare) and finding a part time that can support college schedule. ALWAYS NETWORK with prior military friends guys. All the jobs I have had came by word of mouth….Praying daily for all to not give up and know that it will come"BE READY FOR THE UNEXPECTED…Concerned and understanding about the sailors, soldiers and airmen…..!!!!

  34. An actuary requires a degree in accounting typically. To be a financial planner is harder. You have to get certified in financial planning and then work for someone for either 3 or 5 years. You'd want a degree in business and finance with a concentration in investment and treasury management

  35. Brian says:

    Why would Enlisted Soldier be among the worst jobs? The pay looks unusually high for an unskilled 18-year old kid at $36,000. You have your clothing made for you, vehicles at your disposal, a ton of responsibility and you get to see the world whether at war in Afganistan or at peace in Germany, Korea, Italy, Panama, Guam, and any other place where soldiers serve around the world.

    I was an enlisted soldier once. it beats by far a waiter/dishwasher, reporter, and all the rest.

  36. Dick Buster says:

    I just have to shake my head to hear all the progressive-socialist-demokrat-communists rear their ignorant heads to comment on

    The facts are, unemployment dropped a whopping .3% from 8%. WTF are you morons thinking when you call that a road to recovery. And from what BigTony has stated, O'blama has done squat for America and for Vets. You liberal cretins who voted for him are probably some of the light-in-the-loafers rump rangers who just are so glad for the queer parade of recent note. You're part of the problem with America, NOT the solution.

    As for the jobs equation, this so-called president, or should I more accurately state, presi-dunce, our nation has slipped so far from reality that it may just be unrecoverable. Some day this 16trillion plus dollar debt will come due. And when asked by Letterman about the debt, O'blama could only muster a remark that it was around 10-11 trillion (another lie), and that it would come due long after his term of office. So he'll pass it on to the Republicans to solve it…if it can be solved at all. This country needs another revolution, a la 1776.

    • Lillisn Turner says:

      Stupid, needs no comment,the Republicans left this debt to President Obama. Their was no debt when President Clinton left office and a Republicans,President Bush created this mess.

  37. scout371 says:

    Hey look obama the dems and the reps are not the reasons why you guys don’t have jobs. Its because too many of you are making excuses on why you can’t work. Saying I don’t have any one helping you or no one taught me how to look for a job or I can’t work that job because I’m a vet and that job is for people below me. All those things are excuses when I first got out I washed tables and then became a waiter at red lobster, as a waiter I worked Friday and Saturday nights plus Sunday mornings and made $500 in those days plus Monday through Thursday I worked as a cashier at a local grocery store. I made $3400 a month. Vets who complain about not working or having jobs are just lazy or they just think they are too good. You all maybe be vets but if you don’t have a job you’re just jobless people to me. Those who work please keep giving vets a good name. POLICE YOURSELVES UP TROOPERS! Greatest life advice I ever heard, thanks 1SG Reese.

  38. scout371 says:

    Saying “you don’t have any one helping you” or “no one taught you how to look for a job” or “I can’t work that job because I’m a vet and that job is for people below me.” All those things are excuses. When I first got out I washed tables and then became a waiter. I worked Friday and Saturday nights plus Sunday mornings plus Monday through Thursday I worked as a cashier at a local grocery store. Now I work for the railroad making $78k. “POLICE YOURSELVES UP TROOPERS!” Greatest life advice I ever heard, thanks 1SG Reese.

  39. Chris says:

    From comments and quick research on the web, it's clear that the author did not do diligent and comprehensive research. And that's sometimes a problem with using the web and writing for the web without talking to real people. It's also obvious that the worst list leaned disproportionately on income versust the other four factors.

    This best/worst list is like most of them in that you have to read them with a grain of salt since job satisfaction is subjective.

  40. flacoface says:

    Refer to Mike's "Amerika" comment and Catlover's response. Catlover assumed that Mike was not from the USA. In fact, my experiences with most people from abroad mirrors yours. Many foreigners see opportunity that us native USA folks tend to miss.

  41. Looking for work says:

    Apparently you are mistaken about unemployment benefits.

    If you go to school you do not get your unemployment benefits.
    If you volunteer and are not available for work you do not get your benefits.
    If you lie to the unemployment office you are fined and you go to jail.

    My unemployment benefits are a measly $300 a week for which I can barely get by. I should give them up and take a job for $200 a week? Your logic is amazing.

    I am aghast that you are a recruiter. No wonder so many people are unemployed.

  42. Fran says:

    No. You were not born that way. It's a "learned behavior" just like everything else. Pull up your boot straps and help yourself. GOD has equiped you with everything you need in this world. Never, ever, feel sorry for yourself. You can overcome anything!

  43. mexinaf says:

    Being Gay is not a handicap. Just like your gender or color or ethnicity are not handicaps. You cant help that you are gay more than the next guy can help that he's black or Hispanic or white. Like I told the holy roller. It's all genetic. She was right about not feeling sorry for yourself. I don't want to bring religion into this again, but there is that saying: God helps those who help themselves. If you want sympathy go somewhere else. I empathize that you may be getting turned away for being gay. I'm not gay, but I know what its like to be discriminated against for something you have no control over (no matter what ignorant people say). Just take care of business and stop making excuses. It's not about not getting knocked down, that's inevitable. It's about dusting yourself off, getting back up and going at it even harder the next time. Good luck.

  44. Big D says:

    Do you think you deserve specail treatment because you are gay? Get in line buddy all of us have problems finding a job. Stop making excuses and blaming it on someone else because "you are gay" shit happens deal with. Instead of complaining on here get off your butt and go look for other jobs. If you need one desperately enough work whatever is given to you until you can find what you want.

  45. Geoff DeVore says:

    Big Tony:

    Just curious as to why you call yourself Big Tony: Big as to your height or big as to what is lurking in your …….. Ha! Ha! just kidding. Good luck in your job hunt!!. Maybe play down the fact that your gay. It is none of their business.

  46. mexinaf says:

    Being gay is not learned, it is genetic and that is scientific fact. If you truly believed what you say, then you would realize if it exists in this world it is because God made it so. Gay, straight , believer or non-believer it is all made by God for a reason, one way or another. Not understanding God's plan is not learned. But being intolerant and/or judging someone is absolutely a "learned behavior". Only God can judge you, remember that.

  47. Beau Rippy says:

    HOMOSEXUALITY IS A LEARNED BEHAVIOR! Science now knows the make up of the total human gnome system and have clearly stated that there is no genetic connection that transmits homosexuality. The American Psychological Association (APA) is in absolute agreement with that finding. AGAIN, homosexuality is a learned behavior.

  48. KMS says:

    Could you please link to the peer-reviewed scientific article which states this? I would love to read it.

    Also it's genome, not gnome, which by the way is a small garden accessory with a red pointed hat and white beard. You may have seen one on that Travelocity commercial.