10 Worst Jobs in 2013

April 29, 2013 |

Kneeling Soldier

If you think the job market is tough, a new study put out by CareerCast might provide a little bit of (ironic) hope: according to the study, if you served as enlisted in the military, you’ve already survived the third worst job in America. “The only easy day was yesterday” indeed. At least they didn’t get the top spot, which goes to newspaper reporters (that sigh you hear is the Military.com editorial team thanking their stars they learned about the Internet at an early age). CareerCast based their rankings on income and job growth, and concludes everything in the list below pays poorly relative to the work and isn’t part of a growing industry.

1. Newspaper Reporter – Print media isn’t what it used to be, and newspaper reporters are taking a hard hit. Stress, low pay, and a dwindling industry has pushed this to the top of the list.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics National Salary Median: $36,000
Projected Job Growth: -6%

2. Lumberjack – Even if you could a find a job as a lumberjack, the pay is peanuts even without considering you’ll be working with chainsaws, chains, and falling trees.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics National Salary Median: $32,870
Projected Job Growth: 4%

3. Enlisted Military Personnel – With operations in the Middle East drawing down, the military isn’t experiencing the growth it did ten years ago. As most of our readers know, this job is one of the most stressful you can endure.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics National Salary Median: $41,998 (E-7, 8+ years experience)
Projected Job Growth: Varies

4. Actor – Acting an unforgiving professions where you’re either a superstar or virtually penniless. Unless you’re part of the miniscule fraction of actors who are rich and famous, chances are you’ll be barely scraping by.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics National Salary Median: $17.44/hour
Projected Job Growth: 4%

5. Oil Rig Worker – The oil industry has earned a bad rep. over the years and green energy is making strides to replace it entirely. Dwindling job prospects, low pay, and intense isolation make this a very undesirable position.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics National Salary Median: $37,640
Projected Job Growth: 8%

6. Dairy Farmer – If you aren’t part of a large farm, your family-owned plot may be in trouble. Furthermore, modern farming techniques mean that individuals will be handling hundreds, if not thousands, of animals at a time which is stressful, dangerous, and smelly.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics National Salary Median: $60,750
Projected Job Growth: -8%

7. Meter Reader – You should never take your anger out on a meter reader — their career is probably on the line, they’re usually isolated from their colleagues, and giving people tickets for putting one less quarter in a meter than they should have is a thankless task.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics National Salary Median: $36,400
Projected Job Growth: -10%

8. Mail Carrier – The digital world has effected sweeping changes in traditional media, and mail carriers are finding fewer and fewer letters to carry.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics National Salary Median: $53,090
Projected Job Growth: -26%

9. Roofer – Job growth doesn’t look bad for roofers, but the job itself isn’t a walk in the park. High altitudes, drastically varied temperatures, and frequent safety concerns plague this blue-collar career.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics National Salary Median: $34,220
Projected Job Growth: 18%

10. Flight Attendant – Airlines are still figuring out where they stand in the modern economy and this has resulted in zero job growth for flight attendants. If you’re thinking about trying to be one of the lucky few who makes it, remember to practice smiling while someone complains about their bland peanuts and tiny beverage.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics National Salary Median: $37,740
Projected Job Growth 0%

About Stephen Bajza


  1. Chris says:

    This is a repeat story. Why? Worst job, perhaps as opposed to some civilian cushy jobs. Yes indeed, tough job manned by the best people I had the privilege, and honor to serve with……. I would take a veteran applicant over a non vet any day of the week.

    • I will never understand why civilian employers pass up on veterans. They offer honesty, diligence, unit cohesion to the company, adaptability to any job assigned to them, and a willingness to always do more since these are already things that they have done in the military. These things can only make a company better.

      • 12345 says:

        most of them are not that smart, young, immature and does not have the common sense that is why. you need to spend more time with soldiers/enlisted, because it is freaking babysitting.

        • liam says:

          the other opposite side of the spectrium is that we are looked at as used goods, disposible or broken. That is the sad reality of things. The best like myself that I am maintaining is that I will be left alone in peace, with out having to fight, cause when that happens, it is not pretty!!

          • RobT says:

            Babysitting is what the enlisted do with the officers. Every enlisted person in my office has at least a B.S degree. We are the real workers of America, making sure that you enjoy your freedom all the while enduring your ignorance.

        • ed t says:

          What an idiot. Obviously you never served and I find it funny, army times always uses an E7 with 8 yrs as an average. What??? How about an E4 or E5 with 5 yrs as average – you know divide by how many in service, enlisted only and which amount is the largest?

          Anyway, back to this idiot – babysitting? Heck, I would take any well trained soldier (which is most) over any college kid…

          • bguy says:

            Absolutely…from that moron's writing, I can tell he/she could use a good veteran around! I'd take a vet over any college kid, myself. Have you interviewed the dingbats coming out of college, lately? Anyone can buy a degree, now.

          • EdLee says:

            I would not take a college kid period. Have you seen the nonsense that passes for educational materials today? These kids act like they are owed a job because they went to class 75% of the time and majored in something called “French Colonial Literature’s Impact Upon the Bolshevik Revolution”. Besides 95% of them couldn't carry on a intelligent conversation for 5 minutes on any subject without looking down to check their phone several times.

          • Lost Ringer says:

            I take the dingbats from the streets and guide them into adaptable, capable, warrior-professionals. Then I send them to college at night. I would definitely not want to trade my little killers for anyone with less potential.

            After all, isn’t that our job – to train the force? Besides, all the scrubs who have come our way are back on the streets where they fit in better.
            Good humans are just that; I can train them. If you have some good college kids that’s even better! Send them to be a Cavalry Scout, we’ll take care of the rest.

          • Steve says:

            Good comments "ed t". I'm totally with you on that. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics must have looked at Army or Navy enlisted, because I never met an E-7 in the Air Force with only eight years in. Way tougher promotion system and our average trip to E-7 is 17 years. (http://www.military.com/benefits/resources/air-force-ranks)

          • Moe says:

            I totally aggree the idiot dosen't know satisfaction to be able to serve your country ——Military Veteran ANY day over a college kid

        • Nash847 says:

          Its unfair to say "most of them". And you obviously haven't hired any civilians lately. Most civilians we've hired lately are lazy, expect to be paid just for showing up and lay out at the drop of a hat. There's a cultural environment in the US that few people (a vast number of them under the age of 35) don't want to work. Veterans are used to work and sacrifice and make great employees.

          • DAD says:

            Amen to that. Most civilians I have hired do not want to work for their money, but just want it handed to them.

        • Mark says:

          @12345, Judging by how you form a sentence. You still need a babysitter for simple English. I retired as an enlisted man, with two bachelor’s and a acceptance letter into medical school. But to you, (I is not that smart). And not one minute was taken from duty for any school. Plus ninety percent of my classmates were active duty. With two or more combat tours on the books. So keep thinking what you want about the enlisted, as you take our lunch orders.

        • John says:

          My experience is that the veteran brings maturity and judgement to the job that takes the college graduate years to develop.

        • Dino says:

          "Most of them are not that smart." Really??? FACT: many–if not most—military members have some college, a B.S. degree, or even a Master's Degree….so where do you get off saying that they aren't smart?? Also, ANY military member who has gone through the discipline of BCT (basic training) is FAR more mature than ANY college student!! And, who the heck needs to "babysit" an enlisted member??? They are quite capable of taking care of themselves, and they do so honorably!! Your comment is pathetic and ignorant

        • Jay says:

          And where did you attend school? At what point did you ever spend time with a young man or women that has served our country? Your comments are way out of line and disrespectful.

        • kj says:

          To 12345,
          Most enlisted soldiers are not that smart and have to be babysat? Were you in the military? There are stupid people everywhere, your statement proves that. I was an enlisted MP for 5 years, went to Iraq for 15 months, recieved a purple heart for injuries from an IED blast that killed my gunner, came home went to college and I am now enrolled to attend Georgetown Law School. Sounds to me like the only stupid one is you. I assume you were never in the military because no one who has served would EVER make a comment like that. I believe if the veteran is the right candidate for the job position, then they should get the job. Being a veteran should have nothing to do with it although, i do believe being the army did teach me discpline, hard work, and pushed me further past my limits than I ever could have imagined. Every individual is different and they should certainly not be passed up only because of their veteran status. 123456, you truly are an idiot.

        • Christoph says:

          Your clueless and an idiot! I have served in 2 branches of service and have been through 3 campaigns. Served with outstanding soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in preserving the freedom that you and many others take for granted! Obviously from what I've read here in replies to your comment is truly that you didn't serve or were booted out before you ever experienced what being a real enlisted/soldier is??? Obviously you lack the skills at just being a person? Give it a rest and babysit yourself, you need it.

        • Koolaidguzzler says:

          I second that experience. Something unravels when young enlisted reenter civvie life. Once back in civvie world, if they were under E6-ish, they exhibit alarming immaturity and, ironically, poor team skills when there’s not a strong leader around. And substance abuse is higher than people might think. There’s half as many losers exiting the military as are in civilian life, but that still leaves lots of veteran losers to go around.

        • Albert0 says:

          Not my soldiers.
          Personalities aside, nearly every one showed sense, intelligence, and initiative MUCH greater than I've seen in the civilian world.
          And, by the way, they were ALL able to write a proper sentence in their native English — when YOU can do that, THEN you can start telling me about the intelligence, maturity, and sense of MY soldiers!

      • Jim K says:

        Well, there is really a simple explanation as to why employers pass on veterans, and basically, it is because unless the hiring manager, and HR business partner are veterans, then they lack honesty, diligence, and adaptability, and thus they don't understand what that really means. It really boils down to whether an employer is prepared to handle the aggressive "get the work done" attitude and leadership that comes with hiring a veteran.
        Now, on the other side of the argument, veteran's, myself included, need to understand that civilians DON"T think like we do, and they don't act like we do, and they don't work like we do, and they, for better or worse, are in control, so who is more willing to adapt, the employer, or the veteran.Just food for thought.

    • Model Citizen says:

      Stephen-Bajza, our Warfighters are the best you numbskull! they put their lives on the live everyday for keeping the evil in this world under control. Are you an American? Have ever put your life on the line for the freedom and liberty that you enjoy? What cave did you crawl out of? You are one of many blabber mouths with a computer who sling their useless opinions and other garbage to the world…

    • Steve says:

      Roger that!!! 27 years enlisted USAF service and I can vouch for "thankless" and "stressful". Thought it would be less so, now serving our nation's flying public in the FAA, but I am being proven wrong every day…

    • J Tasctic says:

      Interesting. One of my friends just became a flight attendant.

    • Jim says:

      Amen Chris!

  2. D M Waggoner says:

    It's relative to perspective. If you have the right perspective, that list rearranges. No matter what the pay, you have to like what you're doing. That's one. One hardly does anything with a single motive. Usually, we have several, and per each of us, they have to balance out. So, while useful to some extent, this list isn't set in stone.

  3. JoshR says:

    My job is worse than all of these. I get paid diddly (12.50 an hour at my level) to get yelled at by angry customers all day.

    That being said, though, despite not making nearly as much as the so called median, I still own a house and am fairly content. I just wish people didn't hate on Internet Tech Support so much.

    • Jason says:

      Indeed, you don't get paid squat. Try, though, adopting my mantra of "Just relax. Breathe… and we will get this figured out." As a fellow tech, the singularly most annoying thing is being talked down to by a "tech" obviously reading from a script or "troubleshooting manual" who tries to blame a problem on my side when, as a tech, I've already traced the issue out of my side back to the service provider's side of things. We should honestly be given more tools so we can quickly and accurately trace the root of problems and isolate "hiccups" in systems, rather than have to try to lay blame back on the customer because of procedural protocol.

    • Patrick Madison says:

      And that’s where someone with the drive and determination instilled during military service would come into play. They wouldn’t complain about there “temporary” crap 12.50 job instead they would do that job to the best of there ability and do it with a smile and at the same time they would work on getting the qualifications needed to make a career change to a job with higher pay and benifits. There discipline, commitment, and dedication would ensure that they would get a job that was above crap.

    • Steve says:

      So Josh, you're the know-it-all Internet Tech Support geek we all want to meet face-to-face on the street one day…

      Better use some of that hard-earned income for some Tae-kwon-do classes…

      Just messing with you. Keep doing what ever you love to do…

    • Garry says:

      Wait… you are in IT tech support AND you are an American citizen AND a veteran? You don't live in India do you? I am just kidding. As someone who works as an application developer (under Indians who, as a group, are really good at following detailed instructions but not so hot at giving them) I can tell you that I do respect what you go through. In fact, as an application developer, my goal is to make you and people like you play WOW or some other game all day long while getting paid JUST IN CASE someone has a problem with my program. In other words, I really don't want tech support to have anything to do beyond asking "So, sir, your computer screen is black? Is the power on?"

  4. J Mirowski says:

    tell it to the Marines at the Canal, Iwo, Viet Nam, Korea, and the Middle East! What an Idiot!!!!!

  5. Pete says:

    Not that smart? Babysitting? No common sense? Wow…you are very welcome 12345…now I understand why you didn’t serve…

  6. Ryan says:

    They pay amount they have listed for an E-7 over 8 years only includes base pay. Housing allowance and other special pays make up almost half of a person's income. In reality, that E-7 is probably making around $75,000, which isn't too bad. Add the benefits and it's even more. Free health coverage is worth quite a bit. $4,500 extra a year for education. Cheap groceries, it adds up. And the Post 9/11 GI Bill has paid me about $70,000 so far too. I know I'm doing pretty well compared to most people.

    • Elizabeth Sellars says:

      I served nearly a decade as a MP. There were no openings in my path due to military service. I was activated twice after 9/11. I didnt get the GI Bill or Army College Fund because of some high speed PAC clerk error. I also had an undiagnosed fracture in my L-Spine that the Army docs said was a pulled muscle for 5 years and despite my complaints of back and leg and foot pain I was diagnosed with metatarsalgia or in layman terms…unknown ankle and foot pain. Never onve looked at my back despite my repeated complaints and asking. The VA helped me with college and compensation, but the Army said I couldnt be a MP any longer and wanted to reclass me to a nondeployable MOS with three months leftvon my contract…there was no way I could do AIT again with my dead man walking profile. I was considered a sh**bag and malingerer. I made points at 2 years in but this was when you had to have time in service. So I watched E-1s pass me up because I was told after my injury I could not lead from the rear. I busted my back literally and all for naught. I didnt even get a medical discharge. So, the moral of the story is the military is hard. We work hard. We fight hard. And life is hard for those who are brave enough to serve. They deserve respect. They deserve praise and they deserve to be treated as heroes because they are. We are and we go through enough crap while in that we dont need it when we get out.

      • skypilot1992 says:

        First of all, thank you for your service.
        Did you have 180 days+ of consecutive honorable service? If so do you have a VA compensation/pension? Have you sought to increase the rating (unless you are already at 100%)? You may well be eligible for re-training programs. ( I do note your mentioning VA ed and compensation.)
        My wife and I have some understanding of "pass me up" and the feelings that come with it. I hear your statement about working hard. Please don't let the past lead to bitterness. Keep pursuing the VA opportunities. Some really complain about the VA. But often it's because the paperwork was not completed or they did not use the VFW or Legion. There is also a specific office established for women vets that was very helpful for my wife. She is a DS vet and I am a VN vet. Hang in there.

        • sueb1989 says:

          Yes thank you for your service as well as all you vets reading.
          It was 13 years after I separated from the AF I was even told I could file a claim for my problem which started in the AF. I just happened to be talking to a vet at the family support office while getting help finding a job. Even though my claim was approved after a year with no appeal necessary, I still felt betrayed because I should have been told about the claim process upon my discharge which was in 1989. .

      • Don says:

        Amen Elizabeth, even with documented line of duty, you still don't get what you deserve. Thanks for serving, I'm retired with 30 yrs of service 12 active the rest reserve.

    • Johnny P. says:

      Funny, doesn't seem like a lot of money after the tali bubbas initiate the ambush…

    • Kevin says:

      That is no money! Those are pennies! Lol

    • Rick says:

      Ryan… I dont know what pay scale your using but I am an E-8 with 30 yrs and fly. I make a little over $80,000 a year Gross, BHA, ect. and the Commissary is not cheap groceries, Free heath care??? Is that what you call all the Co-pays, dental programs, ect. wait until you retire and see what you will pay! Yes you are lucky, one to be an E-7 in 8 years but you diffently havent figured your pay correctly.

  7. Pete says:

    …and I would also like to add that I LOVE my job! I do have a question for the author though…why isn’t BAH and separate rations part of the equation? Add it all up and an E7 earns much more than $42k. Closer to $80k or more depending on BAH…

    • Terry says:

      The pay they listed is probably just base pay. BAH and BAS entitlement are not taxable income and don't get counted when filing taxes. Base pay and Special pays are taxable (e.g. sea pay/ sub pay/hostile pay). Hope this helps.

    • Garry says:

      I lived in the dorms (Air Force speak for 'barracks') during my time in service – twenty years ago (has it really been that long?). Anyhow, the fact is that not everyone gets BAS or BHA. Some get hazard pay (or combat pay) and some don't. Some get COLA and some don't. The median salary is the salary most commonly resembling the middle of the pack. The fact is that depending on the TIG/TIS, whether or not someone receives COLA and where that COLA is paid, and whether or not someone receives BAS/BHA or lives in dorms and eats at the choke-and-puke (usually called 'dining facility' in the Air Force and 'mess hall' or 'chow hall' by other service members) can all weigh in on the salary. And as far as the clothing allowance, it was never sufficient for the people who go through uniforms the most to replace them. My four years as a mechanic ended up costing me $1000 per year in new uniforms, boots, etc. and my clothing allowance was only about $200 a year. I understand some things have drastically improved since I was in, and I am happy for today's service members who are being overcompensated compared to when I was on active duty, but you still have long hours, risk your lives, and have little to look forward to in the civilian world when you get out. Veterans should be at the front of the line to be hired by companies getting government contracts, but we are at the back, after people on H-1B visas who have no intention of ever becoming citizens. (After asking about 100 H-1B holders if they intended to become U.S. citizens, only 2 have said yes, and neither was from India, Pakistan, or any other country in that region where the largest percentage of H-1B visas are awarded. I believe a larger sample would show similar results.)

  8. Jeff says:

    I would choose an enlisted service member over any silver spoon fed college kid any day. The enlisted ranks get the job done no matter what obstacles may get in their way. Officers just sit around and create problems and tension.

    • John says:

      You probably know that from your experience in the officer corps, right? You want to hire some of those highly qualified enlisted personnel to do the work while you sit on your ass and create tension and problems in your civilian job.

    • Old Vet says:

      Rather than focus on who works harder/more dedicated, look at the employer. I served both as enlisted and later as an officer, active and reserve deployed to nasty combat places over the years. Even after 11 Sept 2001, my civilian employer, a very large city government, resented having to keep positions open for personnel called to active duty as well as for annual reserve training. When it came time for the parades and military recognition, these political assholes were at the forefront beating their chests as to how they supported the military – nothing more than a huge lie.

    • Old Vet says:

      I filed a USERRA suit against this employer employer and lost because all the persons testifying on behalf of the employer perjured themselves in court, claiming that I was not discriminated against for promotions and harassment. The only truthful statements my supervisors made was that my job performance was consistantly outstanding. My attorney was lazy and allowed all the written evidence against the employer to be suppressed. Shortly thereafter, he 'won' an election and became a city council member. Of course, I lost case because so much evidence was suppressed. Despite this, the feder judge forbade the employer to take "any retaliatory action" against me. The employer then wrote me out of the budget contrary to the judge's order. Neither the US Dept of Labor nor the Dept of Defense provided any legal support for me and essentially said that I'll "simply have to get over it." I could net get a job because my USERRA case comes up whenever anyone does a name search on the internet in Bing or Google. A few honest potential employers told me that they could hire me because this indicates a "trouble maker." So much for the USERRA protection bullshit

      • Old Vet says:

        "could" in the previous comment should be "could not" because USERRA complaints indicate "trouble makers."

  9. Sgt. P says:

    Anyone check out that pic that goes along with this story? Keep your head up private…start pulling security!! Not sure about other MOSs but I would hire an infantryman any day. No such thing as hard work…just work..and we get it done..fast and smooth

  10. Zackary says:

    Most Enlisted that served their 4-6 years and then seperated are young, immature, and not motivated to work. I've seen a majority of those young vets that don't work as hard because they beilieve they're owed something, or they shouldn't have to work as hard because they served. It's a harsh truth, but the truth none the less.

    • MPB says:

      Zack you're full of ..it.
      "Most enlisted"… So, you've met every enlisted person? That's why you can judge "Most" of them? And you've "seen a majority of them". Wow! You must really get around.
      They are owed something, you thankless prick. Why don't you try "thank you" for once. You have no idea what you are talking about because you've never served. You don't have what it takes.

    • kjkj says:

      The ones (the few) that go around thinking they are owed something are the ones that never truly did or experienced anything that made them worthy of that self entitlement. The ones who truly saw hell or held their best friends hand as they died (even if they only served that 4-6 yrs that you decided was the amount for a soldier to not matter) do not feel that self entitlement, they don’t demand respect and they certainly don’t act like they deserve special treatment. You can’t put a # on how many years it takes to make a soldier, what about those who deployed within months of graduating basic training and spent over a year in iraq or afghnistan and not little fobbits but actually went into the fight??? And had to watch as multiple buddies were loaded up in body bags as they saluted them one last time. Those don’t deman respect or entitlement or special treatment….they don’t even know how to react when a random person thanks them because its a job to them..you have no validity in your statement. I know E-7 and E-8 s who have never seen combat…never did anything but work behind a desk for that matter….but from your logic, they can demand respect and entitlement over a soldier who just went to hell and back because they have served longer??….difference is…a true soldier won’t need to demand respect.or even want it for that matter.

    • Dino says:

      Zackary, I would just like to know if YOU have ever served our country and that you are speaking from experience or just plain ignorance on what you may have observed??? Gathering from what you wrote, you are making generic judgements about people that you have no first-hand experience working with. A True Soldier does not expect accolades nor recognition–although they are well deserving of both–and they NEVER believe that they are "owed something" as you state.
      IF you served, then perhaps you ran across a few sour lemons, but if you didn't serve, then you are speaking out of ignorance–and out of line!!! Be thankful a VET gave you the right under our constitution to speak your mind……even when your'e wrong!!!

    • Modern Day Machiavelli says:

      Although I take no offense to your opinion, I think you are completely incorrect. I would say that most young adults (22-24 years old) who have just been discharged from the military are much more mature and responsible than their counterparts who did not serve. I think it is somewhat silly to even allude otherwise. I would think that would be obvious to even the most casual observer.

    • Garry says:

      I served 4 years, 7 months on a 4-year enlistment. I was willing to serve another 9 months, but my service was 'no longer required' by my chain of command. I voluntarily went in-theater for Operation Desert Shield, but pre-existing orders got me sent to Germany before the 'Storm broke. I was not a 'model airman' by the Air Force standards. I was not 'mature' by their standards because when I was under 21 and stationed stateside, I did not drink, spent my weekends playing AD&D in the dorms, and did my best at a job I both hated, and was not cut out for. I refused 'early-out' offers because I had signed a contract and was a man of my word. Meanwhile, the 'good troops' jumped at early-out programs because they did not even want to try. In fact, I had to have a General Under Honorable Conditions discharge to get me out of the military. I wanted my G.I. Bill – the one benefit I believe I should have, but did not get. I did not care about my VA mortgage, but reluctantly used it to buy a home after taking out $40,000 of student loans to pay for college. I had to cash in my savings bonds when I got out of the Air Force, after only two years, to move out of my parents' home because my father was a belligerent ass. I worked ten years in factories, throwing out my back for my 29th birthday before even going back to school. Do I think I am owed something? Yes. Do I deserve respect? Yes – everyone does. Your statement that someone who 'just did their time and got out' applies to me, apparently, because I ask for respect. Of the veterans' benefits I have, I really did not care about any, but the one I did not get is the one I would have traded the lot for. By the way, I was 23 when I separated, and am 43 now. I never thought I deserved respect when I was in, or when I just got out, but I deserve some measure of it now, having gotten my B.S. and M.S. without my G.I. Bill benefits, kept myself afloat financially during my seven months of unemployment, helped to bail out a fellow veteran who was in danger of losing his home to a credit card company trying to do a sheriff's sale on his VA Mortgaged home, helped to keep 13 people safe during a flood in 1996, and many other things totally unrelated to the military. I deserve respect because although I generally sit back and allow things to go on, when there is a need, I step up. Do you?

  11. _cc_ says:

    Amen! Hire a vet! For the MBAs out there that don't understand: You'll get an excellent ROI….
    (Though if I were offered a job by an MBA that only understands ROI, I'd think twice abou it.)

  12. CPO over 16 says:

    Oh Waaah! already An E-7 over 8 makes $42,710.40 a year base pay. Tack on tax free 12,164.00 housing, 5K clothing, 4K subsistance, maybe another 6K sea pay, 3K seperation or other special duty pay… Not too shabby. The military ain't hurtin'.

    • Dino says:

      Really, CPO??? The statistics given–an E-7 with 8 yrs.—is VERY unrealistic!! Not too many soldiers make E-7 in just 8 years. In 8 years a soldier is more likely to be an E-5 or E-6 and having to support a family on this pay is not as easy as you make it seem!! Have YOU tried supporting a family on enlisted pay?? Given your sarcasm in the comment I would question it….

    • Bobby says:

      most enlisted personnel don't make the rank of E-7, it's consider one of the top three enlisted pay grades for a reason. So we should be really getting number for a more common pay grade, shouldn't we?

    • Adam says:

      sorry when congress can sit in office and get paid what they get paid, military men and women deserve alot more money than congress, when they can be away from there families 1or2 years at a time and good chance that they may not come home or come home with serious injuries, how do you put a price on that.

  13. Chief Smith says:

    Ryan, I see your point but from my perspective any enlisted member earns every sticking dollar that he/she receives. Noone mentioned the long deployments away from home, family, and friends. Put a value on that one. Sure, in my 22 years in the US Navy I didn't miss any meals but on two separate occasions my two kids qualified for "free lunches" in school. Both kids would not accept these "benefits" because of the stigma attached and I supported that line of reasoning. I agree with Ryan in that there are numerous pays (allowances) that are not included in Base Pay and most of these "allowances" are not taxable. I also gotreceived free mail delivery while I was in-country Vietnam. Wow, I didn't have to buy any postage stams.
    Anyone want to volunteer for that last "Benefit"? That's what I thought.

    • Raven says:

      Tell ya what, if you are or were in the Military for the money and bennies, shame on you. We all know its about a lot more than the money.

  14. retnavychief says:

    I served 20 yrs in the navy, and while you’ll never get rich for your service, I think the benefits you receive should be taken into consideration.

  15. Thinblue says:

    The military service pay and allowance is the best kept secret the government has…. and it keeps on getting better!! I remember making about 600 bucks a month as a Chief. An O-3 made about 1200. A GS-12 made about 1800. Today an O-3 makes about 90K and a GS-12 of similar TIS makes about 81K depending on the locality pay.

  16. Shawn McFadden says:

    After reading this article, I can say I consider myself very lucky. After serving 21 years in the Army, I now work as a Merchant Mariner. I won’t disclose my salary, but it’s more than the ones listed on this article.

    • lordofthegadflies says:

      If you're in the SIU, you are probably enjoying an easy life. AMO or MEBA? Not so much.

  17. @Lthrnek89 says:

    1989 LCpl… I was getting $242 per pay check for my first year. I left active service just shy of 10 years as a SSgt. Being an enlisted Marine was a great experience. I used the tools that the service had afforded me and I surpassed nearly all my friends from high school. There were times that the SUCK earned it's name- but I was in it with the best people that I have ever met. I have friends that I would do almost anything for. Not the worst…. one of the BEST JOBS for a young person!

  18. Pembrokejim says:

    Obviously they forgot about, or never worked as, a commercial fisherman. Still the most dangerous job in the country, and not exactly overpaid, especially in the Pacific NW or the Atlantic NE.

  19. bosunbilly says:

    Pride in ones work is important although Pride wont pay the bills. The Worst Job, Is the one you cant get

  20. Gary says:

    If you joined the military for the money you probably need help other than financial. My 20 years of Army enlisted service were among the most rewarding years of my life. I was given the opportunity to manage programs and lead people far greater than I would ever have seen as a civilian at that age. Those 20 years paved the way for a very lucrative civilian life for the past 27 years. Thank you for this great training ground.

  21. Vincent Sr says:

    Stephen-Bajza, you speak about the job of our heroic Warfighters in terms of money? Our heroes put their lives on the line for our freedom and liberty and against the works of evil people round the clock all year long, and all you can do is speak of their difficult job in terms of money? Get from behind out behind your computer and go out and get a real job!

  22. Charles Pierce says:

    Like most things the author has made some errors, base pay for E7 over is $44,000 per year when you add BAS and BHA the total is $60,500, and the allowances are tax free so they are more that they appear. Retirement is non contributory and an 18 year old recruit can walk away with 1/2 of his base pay and medical benefits at age 38. Time for a second career.

    • Steve says:

      Free Medical "bennies" are gone… TriCare Prime for retirees cost hundreds and will cost thousands in five years or so. Thanks ObaMao!!! Read it in his new budget proposal…

      • Charles Pierce says:

        Tricare is still a great deal, look at what you pay if you did not have Tricare. Also when you reach age 65 you go on Tricare for Life, based not on congress but on a court decision and is free, try to change we will be back in court!

      • Don says:

        If you are going to blame anyone for the rise in Tricare, look no further than John McCain, who has been pushing for this for more than a year, so retirees will stop using Tricare and use their civilian healthcare. That way, the defense contractors that support him will still get paid their big portion of the DoD budget.

        That's right, the same John McCain who is retired military…

    • Kman says:

      Your Commander in Chief /Obama will find a way to tax It soon! Get ready! It won't be long!

      • Charles Pierce says:

        President Obama is, I believe, to destroy the military by starving it of resources, in order pay for his social programs. We will get hit again, large and well organized and by a country. We will have to respond and the military will have to be brought back.

  23. Mike Dugan says:

    The military retirement system is broken. Why should you "retire" after 20 years on the job and get half your pay!? I was in the military and saw many a fat NCOs in the Air Force who took out many times what they put in. Military women were the worst. Having as many babies as they could and they always got desk jobs and rarely did any physical work. To say they were military is a misnomer! They get clothing allowances? I was in the '80s and never got that and the pay wasn't anywhere near what they pay now. Compensation around $70K?!?! Ridiculous. That must have occurred after GW Bush gave the military a 40% raise in 2004 so he could get interested people to go to Iraq, which they still have not figured out how to pay for!? THIS COUNTRY IS BROKE!

    • Joyce says:

      Yes, the country is broke but so are you Mike Dugan! I am a very hardworking female retired Senior Chief from the USN. I have worked hard all my life and have one child! Because I tried to keep up with my male counterparts doing heavy lifting and other chores as assigned, I now have bad shoulders and had surgery on one of them and three surgeries on one hand! Talent is not necessarily dictated by gender but by physical stature and brain power. Those behind the desks may be better doing just that, working with data, reading, writing and arithmetic! We cannot all be super "man" or super "woman" though many of us try and pay for it in the end. And why did you not get a clothing allowance; I was in during the 1980s and got one! Oh ya, in your mind I probably got one because I am a female. Get a clue Mike Dugan though maybe brain power is not your talent!

    • I wasn't AIr Force, (Army) but I take issue with your comment, "Military women were the worst." I put in over seven years AD. I earned a commendation medal (not talking about the everyone-gets-one Good Conduct. That's a joke) a physical fitness award, WORKED hard, etc.
      I had ONE baby while in. . . Oh, broke a foot
      -on duty-when a steel joint fell on it- (I still worked out on my own-and finished 3rd overall in a forced road march right after coming off profile) and had my tonsils out.
      What about military men whose wives have 4 and 5 kids? Maybe the men need a vasectomy! By the way, I didn't put in for compensation for my foot, which still hurts at times, or when I bit it running on a road march knocking the crap out of myself, etc. Save it for the guy (or girl)whose leg is gone.

      • MALE says:

        If you didn't put in for something you're entitled to, then you're an idiot. You getting what you're due does not take from someone who has a worse injury than you. This post made you look retarded. Yes, "Military women are the worst," and you just proved it. BTW EVERYONE GETS AN ARCOM. You have to screw up not to get and ARCOM. All you do, was what you were supposed to. Don't expect a high five for doing your job, Soldier. Drink water and keep it moving.

        • Vet says:

          You're an idiot too. I know an Army MP who whined and cried that he had scoliosis to get a medical discharge. He has a lifelong disability check coming in now. Then turns around and applies to local law enforcement jobs and state trooper jobs. Men are guilty of siphoning the system.

    • top dog says:

      There's an old saying, "The Military is not for everybody".

    • Don says:

      Hey! Mike wake up, your senators & congressmen get a retirement & medical benefits after serving one (1) term. Most of them ever been in the service. Also are you a retired vet, I am. I served during Vet-Nam & other places. I wasn't around for a lot of my family actives. Think about that Mike.

    • Charles Pierce says:

      mike – I do not know if you served. I spent 20 calender years on the job in the military as a Combat Arms Officer. During that time I spent an average of 3120 hours on the job and 183 days on average away from my family. That represent the same as 30 years in a regular job, I received no overtime. As for this country being broke, it is because of the social programs an average of $21,000 per years is spent to keep a person on welfare, they do no productive work but still get paid as much as an army private.

    • Vet says:

      You're an idiot and a bigot. I was enlisted and an officer. I did not have multiple babies and I had a desk job because that's where you sit to work on computer software. Enlisted pay is crap. My husband is enlisted and his equivalent as an ATC FAA rated professional is earning $128K/yr. not a ridiculous $62K. A double masters degree in Airfield Operations and Safety in the civilian sector gets paid the worth. In the military, no matter what branch, enlisted are treated like just another uneducated enlisted (because that's what officers think and are told during training).

  24. Lee says:

    I was enlisted for 8 years, would not trade that for the world.

  25. upset says:

    Well if you think the Military retirement system is broke try working for the State SC then you would join the military tonight for the benefit and the challenge to lead and be put in a position at early age to lead and make decision to make you a better person.

  26. Steve says:

    Military retirement (as I now live it) will be gone pretty soon… They just kept "moving the target" on us and even more so with today's service-members. I'm proud of all of you who serve, but you have GOT TO SPEAK UP for yourselves, our they will just take it all away to pay down our national debt. Join your service organizations and VFWs, visit and e-mail your congressmen, and above all, "watch your six". because you work for him, Uncle Sam will always have his hand on your wallet…

  27. Shaky Jake says:

    An enlisted military job is a great job. I don't think it should be rated as the number 3 worse job. Look what you accomplish with a military job: Self sufficiency, education, travel, medical, experience, job skills,es spirit de corp, supervision, management, adoptability, courage, life skills, exploration, pay,
    30 days a year vacation, retirement, security, a roof over your head, adventure,
    and a lot of other things that lazy rich kids don't get by themselves.

    Shaky Jake

  28. Patrick Culver says:

    Officers create tension…That guy must know the "Good Idea Fairy." LoL…We make a decent living in the service. And we earn every penny. Some days 0 to 60 in a phone call. Some days easy street. Some days gone in a phone call with no return date specified. Some days it's popping spring all over. We have jobs when others do not. Enjoy the adventure.

  29. top dog says:

    As a retired Soldier, I find it strange that an enlister Military personel, and a Postal worker is on this list, thats two of the best jobs in the world(bennies), if that were not true, there would be a lot less Federal retirees. And an actor? try telling Brad Pitt, or Samuel L. Jackson, or any actor that have made millions plying their trade that their job is one of the worst in 2013. I'll bet they make a heck of a lot more than anybody at this CareerCast place. These jobs listed are progressive, you're only as good as you are at them, ie;, if you're good at them, you make more, but by the same token, if you're not so good at them, mabe it's time to look for another line of employment. Thats the way it works all over the World. That list somebody put together last week are the worst jobs, botton end, $8, and top end, $13 dollars an hr…….somebody got it bass ackwards.

  30. Bobby says:

    I have to disagree to some extent with most of you. It may be because I’m in the Navy, but most enlisted there are f’ing retarded and need more than a babysitter. And most do not have a degree, at least on my ship, and the ones who do could have spent more time in class. Again I’m not saying this about the other services, but I wouldn’t hire someone based on the sole fact that they were in the Navy.

  31. GJD13 says:

    GJD13 I have to agree with this article. The enlisted is the worst job. When you take the patriotism out of being the service it is absolutely horrible. I was in the military for over 10 years and being around alot of people who only joined due to family tradition or no other jobs in their local towns. Look at the low pay you receive. Compared to a boot lietenant who makes as much as a E-7 with 12 plus years just to start is a big difference. Plus the skills you learn do not make you ready for the civilian world. Nope, military is crap without the patriotism.

  32. Macinac says:

    I was in the USAF back in 1958-59-60. Absolutely clean record but the promotions were just not there. You needed 24 months in grade to make E3! For the most part I enjoyed being in but happily got out and never looked back. The military technical training and work experience got me a very good civilian job that I kept for 42 years. My pay increased by a factor of 20 from new hire to retirement.

  33. Beau says:

    @12345 sad just sad, by the way if you guys get a chance please check out oathkeepers …. Org for there NASCAR on June 1st check them out and support the car

  34. Terry says:

    Oil rig workers making $37,000? What a joke! I work on a production rig and I've never came close to making 37K except maybe my first year. Even then I made around 55K and I had only worked 4 months. Now I make over 100K. Even New guys on drilling rigs make more than 37K. Oil is big business right now the problem is getting those jobs. And far as enlisted pay, I got out stationed in San Diego after 10 years at the rank of E-6, combine that with BAH I was making the equivalent of a civilian making 65K. I had a girlfriend who was a nurse and our take home pay was almost the same.

  35. Cherry R says:

    My time in the Marines was the best 4 years of my life ('79-83)! I didn't join for the money. I joined to serve my Country. My military experience helped pave the way for a successful career in both the private and public sectors.

  36. S.S says:

    I'm a prison guard now. I was in the Marines and the Army in my younger days. The military is more physical, however guards deal with far more mental stress than the average military personal does. Guards get less pay than the military's base pay, without the (allowances). My wife is Active duty Army, and when we compare work stories, I laugh about her easy money. When she is deployed, who gets stuck with raising our two kids and work? She enjoys her deployment/vacation from house work. I wish I was so lucky. Another thing, I have coworkers who are reservist that look forward to deployment, too.

  37. James Campbell says:

    It is easier said than done. I have found employer use the Equal Employment Opportunity Survey ( EEO Survey ) to by pass the Americans with Disabilities Act. and otrher employment laws; they use the EEO Survey form to obtain certain information and sort the prospective employee by it. The survey say it is voluntary; however, if it is not completed then the employer will by-pass the person and it it is completed the employer will by pass a person based on the responses received. This is even if the person might be highly qualified based their response. This is especially so when it comes to employing service-connected veterans. The EEO Survey provides a manner to discriminate against individuals without having to specify the reason for the person not being hired. A means of legally discriminating in employment.

  38. Jim says:

    Want to talk about low pay? try an elementary school special education paraprofessional…$9.35/hr. Must have at least 60 college credit hours to be considered. I had to take the job as part of a special education master's program. These wages listed above look awfully good!

  39. Thank God for higher education. I would not have to worry about working at some lousy job, working hard, getting hurt, being treated like dirt, and earning "chicken change".