Job Rankings

Monday, January 12, 2009

Tony Lee, publisher of and talks about his website's new rankings of the best and worst jobs in the U.S. Question of the Day: What's the best and/or worst job you've ever had? Comment below!


Tony Lee

Comments [38]

Louis from New York

Well my dream job (Author) comes in at 93, but given the hundreds of unemployed wannabes I see in coffee shops every day compared to the few who’ve made it, I can understand why! Worst job I ever had? Definitely telemarketer. Dealing with mean people on the phone all day, knowing you’re nothing but a nuisance they don’t want to talk to -- one day I just couldn’t take any more and quit.

Looking at the complete list (it’s at I think it’s ranking jobs based on tangible figures – EMT being ranked low isn’t a dis on EMTs, it’s a comment on the hours/stress/difficulty of the job against its relatively low pay, and the tendency of cash-strapped cities to cut hospitals and staff. If anything, these factors should give us greater respect EMTs, given how hard their job is – or even better, we could pay them what they’re really worth!

Jan. 12 2009 02:06 PM
Meghan from inwood

Worst job: Sorter at a mass mailing factory or employee at McDonald's

Best job: Still haven't found it, but freelance photo retoucher hasn't been too bad

Jan. 12 2009 01:06 PM
Beth from Stockton, NJ

My best job was as a lifeguard at an apartment building. Very few people swam so I was free to read all summer.

Jan. 12 2009 11:50 AM
vanessa from brooklyn

waiting tables is so underrated. it's the perfect job-- flexibility, decent money (depending, of course), never the same day twice, physicality, leaving work at work.

Jan. 12 2009 11:38 AM
Abby from Manhattan

James Lipton on Inside the Actors Studio always asks guest which profession other than their own they'd like to try and which they would have no interest in trying. I have to agree with Nathan Lane that I think toll booth collector would be a pretty dismal job.

If I had no family responsibilities, I think travel writer could be fantastic. And if I never had to worry about calories, restaurant critic...

Jan. 12 2009 11:30 AM
Ulla from NY, NY

Being a blogger can be pretty exhausting. Posting on line for pay can become more time consuming then one thinks, it can also be lonely too.

Jan. 12 2009 11:21 AM
Brandon from Cold Spring

But alas, even the police pension is now under attack. These pensions are what made these jobs appealing to highly-qualified workers who could make a higher base salary in the private sector. If we lose this appeal factor, we lose these workers, and the city suffers in the end.

Jan. 12 2009 11:10 AM
Jane from New Jersey

Looking at the results on, it's pretty interesting that the jobs that really are appealing and have long-term earning and hiring demand potential are those that most of the high school kids I teach think are boring. I'll use this report in classes to illustrate the benefits of math and science long after graduation

Jan. 12 2009 11:08 AM

Hey Matt from Manhattan, how does one go about getting a wine industry related job? I knew of someone years ago who was in that industry and also loved it.

Jan. 12 2009 11:08 AM
Steve from Park Slope

Police Officer has to be one of the best jobs out there. Working outside, in a variety of enviroments and assignments, with the opportunity to do something different every day. Plus, great benefits, a pension that can't be beat, complete job security, and finally a decent salary. Beyond all of this, you get to contribute to the safety and security of law-abiding citizens so they can go about their lives with their minds more at ease. Great job.

Jan. 12 2009 11:01 AM
Mark Mangan from Asbury Park

Two questions / points:

1. How does he define "mathematician?" As someone with a B.S. degree in Math, I always understood that only those with at least a Master's (some say a PhD) qualifies.

2. Many of these "top jobs" were 'off-shored' over the years. And many of us with Systems backgrounds were out of work for long periods around 2001 to 2005. We are now working - but almost always as contractors - but have years of debts to make up. And we wonder when things might go downhill again.

Thank you,


Jan. 12 2009 11:01 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

best job i ever had was baking bagels...

Jan. 12 2009 10:59 AM
Jeff from NJ

Anyone whose career advice is to "follow your desires and do what you like" is already financially independent and can easily say that.

Reality is somewhere between pay and passion.

Jan. 12 2009 10:59 AM
Robin from New York City

The best job I ever had was driving the Wienermobile doing PR and promotions for Oscar Mayer. I traveled all over North America, visited towns of all sizes and got to meet people from all walks of life daily. So much freedom, so much fun.

Jan. 12 2009 10:58 AM

Being a reporter counts as one of the best HOBBIES in the world.

(I think they are only including jobs that include a living wage.)

Jan. 12 2009 10:57 AM

I think one of the best jobs around these days, which seems to be more and more in demand, is person who makes lists.

Jan. 12 2009 10:57 AM

Worst job I've had would be line cook at a 3 star restaurant. There were some fun aspects but the pay and hours were terrible.
I like construction, awesome job, work with my hands, work with power tools (man toys), and keeps me out of the office.

Jan. 12 2009 10:56 AM

Best job: political campaign worker (even though I was low level)

Worst job: Housing Finance (mortgage underwriter)

Jan. 12 2009 10:56 AM
O from Forest Hills

Law is my passion and so I will do that b/c I will not be happy doing anything else.

Jan. 12 2009 10:56 AM
meagan from brooklyn

is anyone going to say anything about how the "best" jobs are for ppl with the time/money to get college/masters/etc. degrees?

i often think that we need to acknowldege more the privilege and luxury of thinking about what job would be "most fulfilling" or "best." MOST people in the world do not get to consider these options when looking for work.

Jan. 12 2009 10:55 AM
Dan from Washington Heights, NYC

Wow, the best job sound so Bland ! No wonder NYC is changing for the worse. Where does Zombie rank on the list.

Jan. 12 2009 10:54 AM
The Truth from Atlanta/New York

Best: Financial Planner
Worst: Financial Planner

Jan. 12 2009 10:54 AM
Ninah from Queens

What about janitors in strip clubs and peep shows?

I'm pretty sure that is a worse job than lumberjacking.

Jan. 12 2009 10:54 AM
Matt Moriarty from Manhattan

I'm in the wine industry (distributor sales), and from what I know I don't have any friends that enjoy their job more than I do.
We (wine professionals) work in a dynamic industry with lots of perqs, we travel to great places, eat in top restaurants, and are paid extremely well. ...And all for selling WINE! It is the best job/industry I have ever known.

Jan. 12 2009 10:53 AM
a woman from manhattan

@ Bevin, my minimum wage telemarketing job a few summers ago was heaven compared to the better paid "better" jobs I've had working for snobs who thought they were doing ME a favor.

It's all about morale. I can be paid crap to do all sorts of boring things if I'm treated well and respected. Not that I aspire to being paid crap -- that's to be avoided at all times!

Jan. 12 2009 10:53 AM
Nicholas Magnus Velasquez from New York City

What about the toilet cleaners in discos bars clubs etcetera?

As we're talking of 'Jobs' and not Career paths, a job is a job but what about the human experience of single mothers working multiple jobs? They dont get paid very well, can't represent theirselves, rear a proper family?

Jan. 12 2009 10:53 AM
alecia from new jersey

I worked as a waitress in a small diner in the mountains of North Carolina. Being a Northern girl I was obviously lacking the southern drawl necessary. Within the first few weeks of work an older gentleman beckoned me over to the table and said with an extremely thick southern accent " Your not from around here are you? " I replied " Nope, just moved here! " He said " You know the difference between a yankee and a damn yankee?...... Yankee goes home."

enough said...

Jan. 12 2009 10:53 AM
Ninah from Queens

What about the janitor at strip clubs and peep shows?

I'm pretty sure that's a worse job than lumberjacks.

Jan. 12 2009 10:52 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

I am an animator...we are very happy...even when we have no work!

Jan. 12 2009 10:52 AM
M from New York City

Mathematicians? I'm a Ph.D. in Math with 10+ years in financial technology. Was laid off (mass lay-off) in September and cannot find anything. I don't think that there is such an occupation as a "mathematician" any more outside Academia. What do you exactly mean by "mathematicians being hired"?? Best regards & thanks for the show.

Jan. 12 2009 10:51 AM
Bevin from Brooklyn

During the first economic downturn right after September 11th I had my worst job ever: Telemarketer for a Medical Marketing company where I surveyed people about what medications they were using to treat their toenail fungus. Yuck.

Jan. 12 2009 10:50 AM
a woman from manhattan

Worst job I ever had was working as a hostess in fancy restaurants in NYC while saving up to buy a computer in the early 1990s. Without fail I was sexually harrassed by managers and busboys (never by waiters), and verbally abused or pestered by uppity/wannabe patrons.

Best job I ever had? When I employed myself! I love my job now! I'm simultaneously a cartoonist, a fit model, and an illustrator. It's pretty rocky sometimes when all three are slow, but IT'S TOTALLY WORTH IT!
That's how the world is going, anyway -- there will be no secure jobs in the future. Learn to work on your own! I saw this coming when I was in the fifth grade!

Jan. 12 2009 10:50 AM
Peter Katona from Brooklyn, NY

Best and worst I've ever had?
Best job: public school teacher;
Worst job: public school teacher.

Jan. 12 2009 10:49 AM

I once worked at a law firm that employed a mathematician to calculate the worth of stock options, etc. Boy did I envy her. She only worked a few hours a week and she got paid like the lawyers because she was indispensible.

Jan. 12 2009 10:48 AM
Norman from NYC

Did you actually talk to the people who work on those jobs?

Emergency medical technicians can save peoples' lives.

For EMTs, that gives them a satisfaction that outweighs anything else.

Jan. 12 2009 10:48 AM
Eunji Kim from Flushing, Queens

Worst job-Pastry cook. Any kitchen job. Bad hours, no money, chefs with too huge ego.

Jan. 12 2009 10:47 AM
O from Forest Hills

Where do lawyers rank?

Jan. 12 2009 10:46 AM
robert from park slope

I suspect Gazan school teacher doesn't rank very high

Jan. 12 2009 10:46 AM

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