If you’re like most Americans, you probably spend more than 40 hours a week on the job.
For this reason, your career of choice plays a big role in determining your overall well-being. Not only does your profession have a massive influence on the potential money you make, but it also impacts your stress, work-life balance, happiness, and feeling of accomplishment.
However, it’s well-known that not all careers are created equally – and while some are stress-free with comfortable salaries, others can be high-stress without the compensation to make up for it.
Ranked: 100 Common Careers
Today’s chart uses data from the 2018 Jobs Rated Report by CareerCast.com, and we’ve used it to rank 100 of the most common careers based on median income, as well as three other categories: stress, growth outlook, and workplace environment.
The careers at the top of the list below have the best aggregate score, while the jobs towards the end of the list tend to be high-stress, low-income.
The 2018 Jobs Rated Report uses median income, as well as three other key categories to compile its rankings of common careers:
A score based on the relative physical and mental demands for the job
A weighting of 11 different stress factors, which range from “deadlines” to “own life at risk”
- Growth Outlook:
Factors such as employment growth, income growth potential, and unemployment
See the full methodology here, for a more detailed explanation of the above categories.
Choosing the Optimal Career
If your goal is to maximize income, then traditional high-paying careers – like being a lawyer, doctor, investment banker, or senior corporate executive – are a good way to go.
For many people, however, a good career is defined as being more than just having high earning potential. Ideally, it’s also low-stress, while providing a healthy workplace that makes workers look forward to their jobs every day.
For people that think that way, it seems like being a pharmacist or a data scientist might present the best of both worlds:
At the same time, it may be safe to say that taxi drivers and reporters get the worst of both worlds: high stress and low pay.
Where does your occupation fall on the money/stress spectrum? Do you feel like the ranking above provides an accurate representation of your career?