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How Does Your Job Stack Up?

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It's that time of year again. Every year, late in the summer, major media outlets rank the best and worst jobs in America. PRrag has decided to delve into jobs that have a certain image about them; an image that is either wholly spun and inaccurate or simply misunderstood by the public: Fishermen, lumberjacks, and airplane flyers.

Fun words that elicit a sense of adventure and excitement. Just don't go around saying that to the people who actually do these jobs. These are the three most dangerous jobs in America, as reported by CNNMoney.

Fishermen fared worst in 2005 with a 21 percent increase in fatalities from 2004. Forty-eight fishermen died at a rate of 118.4 per 100,000, as reported.

The Discovery Channel ran a popular television series called "Deadliest Catch," which tried to show some of the true dangers of the fishing industry.

Even more loggers died in 2005. Last year, 80 people died in the pursuit of wood products, at a rate of 90.2 per 100,000. In a profession where one deals with multi-ton round objects on unstable terrain and hours away from any qualified emergency aid, it is no small wonder how deaths in this profession actually managed to decrease from 2004-2005.

Forestry and logging are somewhat romanticized professions. The image is of big, burly men hacking away at mammoth trees until they come crashing to the earth. It is easy to forget that a tree makes noise when it falls in the woods and people are around to hear it.

Flyers fared "best" on the list of most dangerous jobs. This profession had a 66.9 per 100,000. Whimsical crop dusters flying bi-planes that look leftover from World War I simply don't portray the image of how dangerous this type of work actually is.

With danger comes dirt, and in an effort to humanize the often ignored and ill-perceived "dirty jobs," Discovery Channel has released their own profession rankings: Dirtiest Jobs of 2005.

At the top of the list, assuming there was any doubt, is sewer inspector. After watching Discovery's Mike Rowe do this job for a day, any false visions of four mutant turtles and their rat sensei are immediately forgotten. This is a truly dirty job when one comes full-circle with their own waste and a viewer realizes exactly what raw sewage is.

Rounding out the dirtiest jobs in America are chicken sexer, oyster shucker, sludge cleaner and hot tar roofer.

It is not all bad news, however. CNNMoney also pointed out some of the best jobs in America. This listing of jobs–which are much cleaner, safer and better paid than their counterparts–will either please or terribly upset the reader depending on employment status.

Top of the list: software engineer with over 46 percent job growth and an average salary over $80,000. This further proves every old adage about nerds growing up to be rich and successful and marry supermodels and drive fast cars.

Advertising manager ranked as the 11th best job in America. While not growing as rapidly as other jobs, the average advertising guru pulls in $107,000 per year.

This is very upsetting to the PR guy, as public relations specialist ranked 20th with an average salary of only $85,000. Journalists did not appear in the top 50, but editors tweaked their way to 19 and an average salary of $78,000.

There were few surprises this year. Basically all of the top 10 jobs were in the healthcare, technology or financial areas.

And despite best intentions to curb stereotypes, Chief Executive Officer is at the top as the highest paying job in America.

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  • duane

    Interesting that some of the higher salaried jobs were down a bit on the list. I think it makes a lot of sense to include job stress, etc., as criteria. Surprised that college professors ranked so high. The professors I know are seriously stressed. I’m pretty happy with my job. It’s 16th on the list. I would not want to be a software engineer.

  • Onespeed

    Surprising that this article didnt pick up on the growng legal services industry where growth is growing at an exponential rate.

    It is one of the few jobs availale to a non-college graduate where I can consistently make over 100K a year and have enormous job security.

  • Phillip Winn

    Very nice summary!

  • JR

    Duane: The professors I know are seriously stressed.

    Even the ones with tenure?

    In my experience, it’s everyone around them who’s stressed.

  • duane

    Haha, yeah, everyone around them is stressed out too, JR. Even the tenured professors that I know are constantly running around like chickens with their heads cut off — meetings, teleconferencing, proposal writing, managing their horde of students, traveling, sitting on committees. It takes a big ego to want to do that kind of stuff, not to mention a lot of smarts and a lot of drive.