The 10 worst jobs for 2014

Dangerous, stressful — and loving it

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Who has the worst job?

Hey, put your hand down—you don't even know the criteria yet!

CareerCast is out with their annual list of the 10 best and . They look at 200 of the most populated jobs and then rank them on a variety of criteria that fall into four key categories: environment, income, outlook and stress. (Stress alone has 11 different factors, from high risk to tough deadlines.)

The "worst" jobs tend to be those with low pay, where your life is in danger and/or you have high stress levels.

This is where you saw residual effects of the recession peek through: Some of the jobs on the worst list took an extra hit in the hiring outlook because of industry consolidation, municipal cutbacks or other factors.

Of course,"worst" is relative: One notable thing on the list every year is that a lot of people who make the worst list say they love their jobs and they wouldn't have it any other way!

"There are always going to be happy lumberjacks!" said Tony Lee, publisher of CareerCast.com and JobsRated.com. "We've talked to happy lumberjacks who say, 'I love what I do. I love being outdoors. I don't care that I don't make much money or that there are layoffs pending."

Out of all 200 jobs, here are the bottom 10 — the worst jobs for 2014.

By CNBC's Cindy Perman
23 April 2014

10. Corrections officer

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Change from ranking on 2013 list: Down 2
Midlevel income: $38,970
Key factors for ranking: work environment and stress

Corrections officer is, without argument, one of the most stressful jobs. However, this is the first time it's landed in the bottom 10 — for the same reasons other jobs have landed on the worst list—municipal budget cuts and privatization.

This job is expected to see just a 5-percent increase in hiring between 2012 and 2022, compared with double-digit percent increases for most of the best jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

9. Firefighter

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Change from ranking on 2013 list: Down 25
Midlevel income: $45,250
Key factors for ranking: stress

Putting your life on the line to fight fires is indeed stressful. But the recession has heightened the stress load even further, said Lee. "Both municipal and local municipalities went through a very tough time during the recession," he said. "With cutbacks, people retired and the jobs weren't filled. Pay increases aren't happening. The stress of the job goes up because you're expected to do more." Add to that the fact that the latest OSHA rankings revealed an increase in firefighter deaths.

Still, most firefighters will tell you they have the best job. "If you're an adrenaline junkie, you don't care if you're running into a burning building," Lee said.

This job is expected to see a 7-percent increase in demand between 2012 and 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

8. Garbage collector

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Change from ranking on 2013 list: Down 32
Midlevel income: $22,970
Key factors for ranking: income, stress

Garbage collector has always ranked low, given the tough conditions and low pay. However, with municipal cutbacks during the recession, more waste management has been pushed to the private sector, and that means lower wages.

"Privatization has been going on for a while, but the recession accelerated that," Lee said. "Municipalities just don't want to spend the money on garbage collecting."

This job falls into the BLS classification of "hand laborers and material movers," which also include people who transport freight, stock or other material without the use of machines, and is expected to see a 10-percent increase in demand between 2012 and 2022.

7. Flight attendant

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Change from ranking on 2013 list: Down 3
Midlevel income: $37,240
Key factors for ranking: income, outlook

The big factors here are consolidation and cutbacks in the airline industry. Not only are there fewer jobs to go around, but now a flight might have three attendants instead of four. It also ranks as having one of the lowest incomes. "It's a hardworking, low-reward job," Lee said.

There were nearly 85,000 flight attendants in 2012 and that number is expected to drop 7 percent by 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

6. Head cook

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Change from ranking on 2013 list: New to the list
Midlevel income: $42,480
Key factors for ranking: stress, income

First, one thing to clarify for all you Food Network fans: We're not talking about head chefs; we're talking about head cooks. Chefs make the menu, but the head cook has the role of overseeing the execution of the restaurant orders. He or she is paid hourly, whereas chefs are typically on salary. And head cooks don't always work at fine-dining establishments; they also work at fast-food chains, prisons and schools—all tough working environments.

While cook has always been featured, head cook is new to the Bureau of Labor Statistics list and therefore the CareerCast ranking. Lee said that although the pay for head cook is just a little higher, the amount of responsibility is much worse. "When the cooks don't show up, you're doing it all," he explained.

The number of chefs and head cooks combined was just over 115,000 in 2012 and that number is expected to rise just 5 percent by 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

5. Broadcaster

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Change from ranking on 2013 list: Down 12
Midlevel income: $55,380
Key factors for ranking: income, stress, outlook

Broadcasting has always been a high-stress, low-pay career. But now broadcasters are also expected to do more beyond their radio or TV show, such as posting material online to increase visibility, Lee said. Plus, consolidation in the industry has taken a toll on the hiring outlook.

The number of reporters, correspondents and broadcast news analysts was just over 57,000 in 2012 and that number is expected to tumble 13 percent by 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

4. Taxi driver

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Change from ranking on 2013 list: Down 51
Midlevel income: $22,820
Key factors for ranking: work environment

Taxi driver has always been a tough job, from dangerous work conditions to low pay. But the fact that it fell 51 notches to land in the bottom 10 was because of two factors, Lee said. With updated statistics from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), it has earned the distinction of being the most likely profession to be the victim of a crime. Plus, the trickle-down effect in the job market that resulted from the recession has increased competition for low-requirement jobs such as taxi driver.

The BLS says there were 233,000 taxi drivers and chauffers in 2012 and that number is projected to climb 16 percent by 2022.

3. Enlisted military personnel

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Change from ranking on 2013 list: No change
Midlevel income: $28,840
Key factors for ranking: work environment

Soldier surfaces on the worst jobs list every year because it's such a dangerous job: Your life is always on the line, as is the life of everyone you work with. And now, with military cutbacks, the ability to re-enlist and make a career in the military is threatened, Lee said.

There were more than 1.1 million active duty enlisted military personnel in 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of active-duty and reserve personnel is expected to be flat through 2022, according to the BLS.

2. Newspaper reporter

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Change from ranking on 2013 list: Up 1
Midlevel income: $37,090
Key factors for ranking: hiring outlook, stress

Reporters have always had long hours and tight deadlines with low pay, but with the move to digital, the hiring outlook is brutal. In fact, between papers shutting down, consolidating or moving exclusively online, newspaper reporter is the only career on the list to have a negative outlook.

From 2012 to 2022, the number of jobs are expected to decline 13 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

1. Lumberjack

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Change from ranking on 2013 list: Down 1
Midlevel income: $24,340
Key factors for ranking: work environment (ranked worst of all 200 jobs), income and outlook

And the worst job is ... lumberjack.

Lumberjack comes close to the bottom for nearly every factor, from the job being dangerous to low income. But it's also taken a hit on the outlook as the construction industry slumps and the newspaper industry shrinks. Plus, technological advancements are quickly replacing the need for humans in the wood-harvesting process.

There were just under 44,000 logging workers, as the BLS calls them, in 2012, and that number is expected to drop 9 percent by 2022.

Still, good luck finding a lumberjack who would agree he (or she) has the worst job! Most say they love being outdoors and that trumps everything else.

Read more:
The 10 best jobs for 2014