The Best and Worst Careers of 2013
Last month, online job database CareerCast.com published "The 200 Best Jobs of 2013," its annual analysis of various careers based on environment, income, outlook and stress. Despite the name, the list is not a look at 200 amazing job positions; rather, it looks at 200 of the most common careers and ranks them against each other, with the list rating each from "best" to "newspaper reporter."
Seeing the last job I held come in dead last made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but it's not unexpected. As CareerCast.com notes, newspaper employees have a low median salary ($36,000), high stress level and a large drop in job growth (-6%) thanks to the constant closing of newspapers and competition from Internet-based media. "Publication editor" came in at a somewhat better 168, citing higher pay and a slightly less negative outlook (-5.62%). Let's hear it for slightly less negative outlooks!
But everyone knows print is dying. How are sales jobs faring in 2013? According to the list, most positions are in the middle of the pack, depending on career level and industry. For distributor salespeople, the most relevant positions were "wholesale sales representative" at 119 and a "advertising account executive" at 124. For some distributors, "online sales manager" could also apply, and that came in at 81.
Although every sales position was in the middle of the bell curve, each had positive figures. Online sales managers have the highest median salary of the group at $88,000, and wholesale sales showed strong growth prospects with a hiring outlook ranking (a combination of job growth and income growth against unemployment) of 14.11. Advertising account executive was in the middle, with a better salary than wholesalers and better prospects than the online managers. The main reason for these three careers not ranking higher? Stress due to a sales-dependent career.
It's fun and interesting to see how your salary and work satisfaction measure up against the statistical averages, but where things get really interesting is in looking up your customers' careers. Want to know how much your computer programmer clients are making and, therefore, can spend? Trying to figure out who needs to buy the most stress reducers? (Hint: it's newspaper reporters.) It's all on the list. The Wall Street Journal has created an easy-to-search utility to help you find different career rankings, and you can browse the full list with income and other metrics on CareerCast.com.
No matter where you rank or how your business is doing, I think we can all remain thankful that we aren't USPS employees: Mail carriers have -26% job growth, the worst of all ranked careers. That's a headline-worth statistic. A newspaper reporter should cover that.