CareerCast.com evaluated 200 job titles based on environment, income, outlook, stress and physical demands and ranked them from “best” to “worst.” Any list is bound to provoke debate and disagreement, regardless of its methodology, but it’s still useful to look at education employment in a broader context.
The bottom four spots were occupied by lumberjack, dairy farmer, enlisted military soldier and oil rig worker. These are all folks who have physically demanding jobs with relatively low pay and high stress. That’s why it’s stunning to find newspaper reporters ranked at #196. Their average salaries are so low they are unlikely to listen sympathetically to teachers’ complaints about pay. Broadcasters come in at #191.
The lowest ranking education job is high school teacher at #137. Teachers’ aides rank #112, elementary school teachers #92, and school principals #74.
While the day-to-day jobs in education are all in the middle of the list, some education-related occupations rank quite well. Librarians come in at #61, vocational counselors at #36, and historians at #30 (left too soon!).
But work your way to the top 20 and you’ll see that virtually all of them are math- and science-related. The top job is software engineer.
There are a lot of societal inferences to draw from these rankings, but let’s stick with one obvious one: It’s going to get a lot harder to find math and science teachers when people with those skills can write their own ticket in the labor market.