Posted July 16, 2013 by

The 9 Worst Jobs of 2013

Aaron Gouveia

Aaron Gouveia, Salary.com contributing writer

“My job is the WORST!”

How many times have you or your friends said that? Usually it’s uttered in a moment of frustration or annoyance when everything seems to be going wrong at work. But for the employees who work in the fields included on this list, it very well might be the truth.

The website CareerCast.com recently published it’s list of the Worst Jobs of 2013. They analyzed several hundred jobs and categorized them by four “core criteria” with which almost every job deals — environment, income, outlook, and stress. Using data from the US Census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to name a few, they came up with a scoring system that narrowed down the “worst” jobs of this year. So if you’ve been thoroughly unhappy at work and you spy your job on this list, maybe it’s time to start looking around for greener pastures.

 9. Flight Attendant

FLIGHT ATTENDANT
MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $65,599

Although it used to be an extremely sought after and glamorous job in which you’re whisked to different locales on a daily basis, being a flight attendant seems to have lost some of its luster.

The airline industry in general changed drastically after Sept. 11, 2001. People became more hesitant to fly, and the people who continued to fly were subject to much more intrusive and extensive security measures, which made airports and airplanes a nuisance for many. Several airlines went bankrupt and most of the others slashed personnel in the face of declining revenue. That led to flight attendants having to deal with passenger fallout from increased fees for food, baggage and other amenities that used to be free.

Add to all of that a fairly high burnout rate and it’s no wonder this stressful job landed in the top 10.

 8. Roofer

ROOFER
MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $32,097

Miserable conditions that are fraught with disaster? Welcome to roofing.

Until you’ve been up on a searing hot roof for 11 hours a day breaking your back all the while trying not to go over the edge (literally and figuratively), you probably can’t understand why this job makes the list. But throw in the relatively low pay for the amount of hard work you put in, you start to get the picture. And that’s not even taking into account the recession and the construction industry coming to a screeching halt several years ago, which has not fully recovered.

 7. Mail Clerk

MAIL CLERK
MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $26,791

We’re stretching a bit here as CareerCast technically named “Mail Carrier” on their list of worst jobs, but since we don’t have postal carrier in our database, we’re going with mail clerk because the story is essentially the same.

Mail clerks collect incoming mail and disseminate it accordingly throughout an office, as well as gather all the outgoing mail, put the proper postage on it, and then make sure it gets sent out. The only problem is mail ain’t what it used to be. Living in the age of technology means “snail mail” and paper hard copies in general are about as useful and relevant as encyclopedias and rotary phones, because everything is done by email and text.

Think about it, when’s the last time you handed in a written report instead of a PowerPoint? There’s no need to send a letter when you can FaceTime or Skype, and Facebook wall posts with “happy birthday” messages have replaced greeting cards.

 6. Meter Reader

METER READER
MEDIAN ANNUAL SALARY: $26,824

Another victim of technology.

In days gone by you might’ve been home during the day and seen someone walking up to your house. No need to be startled, it’s just the “Meter Man.” Employees who periodically drop by your house to check water, gas, and electric meters on the outside of your home for billing purposes, and to ensure it hasn’t been tampered with just so you could save on your bill.

But unfortunately for the friendly face traipsing through your yard, he/she is quickly becoming unnecessary. Thanks to automated and wireless technology, your meter can now be read by machines. Companies like that because it’s faster and cheaper than paying someone to do it manually. But even if you haven’t been replaced yet, you still face inclement weather and a lot of walking around to get all the readings — all for relatively low pay.  Continue reading . . .

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