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The 10 Worst Jobs of 2009

lumberjack cutting down tree By Andrew Strieber

This is our 2009 10 Worst Jobs report. See the 10 Worst Jobs of 2010

If you're lucky enough to have one of this year's 10 best jobs, you most likely enjoy a pleasant, low-stress work environment. But even the best jobs can be unsatisfying for some people. In those cases it may be time to seek a new position, but only if you're very careful in your selection. For example, if you're a desk jockey with dreams of dumping the rat race, you might want to consult's rankings before saying goodbye to your cubicle. According to our empirical data, many of the nation's worst jobs involve physical labor and extended time in the great outdoors.

Based on research into 200 different positions, this year's report concludes that while mathematician earns the coveted title of America's best job, the career squarely at the bottom of our rankings is lumberjack. What makes being a lumberjack so unappealing? Also known as loggers, lumberjacks perform backbreaking physical labor in an unpleasant environment – detriments that also apply to our next-worst job, dairy farmer, which requires employees to rise with the dawn and work hard for a minimum of 50 hours every week. Despite their privations, both positions pay less than the salary earned by an entry-level bookkeeper.

Rounding out the 10 worst careers are jobs saddled with other glaring deficiencies. Taxi drivers deal with crime and the stress of traffic all day, while a sailor is away from home for most of the year while dealing with storms and pirates. Roustabouts, who maintain oil rigs and pipelines, shoulder intense physical demands in a dangerous environment, while the disadvantages of being a garbage collector are pretty self-explanatory. Most of the positions in's lowest rung have an average annual salary below $40,000.

If you're considering a career change, the following are your worst overall options:

  • Find This Job1. Ironworker
  • Raises the steel framework of buildings, bridges, and other structures.
  • Overall Ranking: 191 Overall Score: 808 Work Environment: 1593.720
    Physical Demands: 36.85 Stress: 50.911 Income: $32,129 Hours Per Week: 45
  • Find This Job2. Roustabout
  • Performs routine physical labor and maintenance on oil rigs and pipelines, both on and off shore.
  • Overall Ranking: 192 Overall Score: 821 Work Environment: 1731.450
    Physical Demands: 36.89 Stress: 65.548 Income: $29,140 Hours Per Week: 50
  • Find This Job3. Welder
  • Joins or repairs metal surfaces through the application of heat.
  • Overall Ranking: 193 Overall Score: 839 Work Environment: 1180.140
    Physical Demands: 29.08 Stress: 47.660 Income: $33,127 Hours Per Week: 45
  • Find This Job4. Garbage Collector
  • Collects refuse on a designated municipal route, and transports trash to disposal plants or landfill areas.
  • Overall Ranking: 194 Overall Score: 842 Work Environment: 1368.320
    Physical Demands: 36.55 Stress: 42.760 Income: $30,189 Hours Per Week: 42.5
  • Find This Job5. Roofer
  • Installs roofs on new buildings, performs repairs on old roofs, and re-roofs old buildings.
  • Overall Ranking: 195 Overall Score: 846 Work Environment: 1481.200
    Physical Demands: 33.46 Stress: 46.552 Income: $34,164 Hours Per Week: 42.5
  • Find This Job6. Emergency Medical Technician
  • Attends to situations which demand immediate medical attention, such as automobile accidents, heart attacks, and gunshot wounds.
  • Overall Ranking: 196 Overall Score: 850 Work Environment: 1610.700
    Physical Demands: 21.26 Stress: 67.113 Income: $26,158 Hours Per Week: 40
  • Find This Job7. Sailor
  • Performs any number of tasks involved in the operation of ships, boats, barges, or dredges.
  • Overall Ranking: 197 Overall Score: 870 Work Environment: 1660.560
    Physical Demands: 30.77 Stress: 51.282 Income: $34,160 Hours Per Week: 50
  • Find This Job8. Taxi Driver
  • Overall Ranking: 198 Overall Score: 900 Work Environment: 2317.210
    Physical Demands: 14.46 Stress: 100.491 Income: $21,127 Hours Per Week: 47.5
  • Find This Job9. Dairy Farmer
  • Directs and takes part in activities involved in the raising of cattle for milk production.
  • Overall Ranking: 199 Overall Score: 908 Work Environment: 1474.480
    Physical Demands: 30.53 Stress: 64.509 Income: $33,109 Hours Per Week: 52.5
  • Find This Job10. Lumberjack
  • Fells, cuts, and transports timber to be processed into lumber, paper, and other wood products.
  • Overall Ranking: 200 Overall Score: 937 Work Environment: 1817.530
    Physical Demands: 38.87 Stress: 67.603 Income: $32,124 Hours Per Week: 45

With the exception of some positions like EMT, many of these jobs require little more than basic training and, in most cases, a strong back and large muscles. But even if a job like lumberjack isn't on your radar, info from can help ensure your career choices are the right ones. In the coming weeks we will release rankings based on such criteria as stress and income, along with a comprehensive list of all 200 surveyed positions. And if you simply must try a new career in the great outdoors, be warned – according to our data, you're better off staying close to your desk.

Mathematician may be the nation's best job while lumberjack is the worst, but where does your occupation stand in our rankings? Check out our complete list of 200 positions for detailed info on today's job market.

See 2009's Complete Ranking of 200 Jobs

These are some

These are some horribly-paying jobs for the work they involve.




Very usheful!

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