Mathematicians Have The Best Job In America

The Wall Street Journal covers a new study that determines the best and worst jobs in America using five criteria: environment, income, employment outlook, physical demands and stress. When all was said and done, all the data weighed and all the experts consulted, one occupation stood head and shoulders above the rest: mathematician. Yep, you read that correctly. Here’s why it took the top spot:

According to the study, mathematicians fared best in part because they typically work in favorable conditions — indoors and in places free of toxic fumes or noise — unlike those toward the bottom of the list like sewage-plant operator, painter and bricklayer. They also aren’t expected to do any heavy lifting, crawling or crouching — attributes associated with occupations such as firefighter, auto mechanic and plumber. The study also considers pay, which was determined by measuring each job’s median income and growth potential. Mathematicians’ annual income was pegged at $94,160.

And as if that wasn’t enough — several of the other jobs at the top of the study’s list are math-heavy including actuary, statistician, software engineer and computer-systems analyst. Guess we should have paid better attention in Algebra I.

In case you’re wondering, jobs at the bottom of the list are lumberjack, dairy farmer, taxi driver, seaman, emergency medical technician and roofer. Hmmm. So we guess “he’s a lumberjack and he’s ok” wasn’t exactly a truthful song. ;-)

Anyway, all this “what’s the best/worst” job talk got us to thinking — what do you think makes a great job? Is it compensation, work environment, flexibility, challenge, sense of doing something worthwhile, or something else?

Doing the Math to Find the Good Jobs [Wall Street Journal]

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