(Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Shawn Weismiller)
The annual CareerCast ranking of the 200 worst jobs in the United States was not kind to the military community.
The job title ‘enlisted military,’ a position that includes about 1,174,00 active-duty service members, is ranked 196th out of 200. It was only beaten in terribleness by four other occupations: disc jockey, broadcaster, logger and news reporter. This is the third year in a row that news reporter has won the infamous ‘worst job’ title.
When compiling its annual ranking, CareerCast takes several factors into account such as median pay, risks, job security and stress. While media professions are plummeting in pay and job security thanks to shifting business models and a decline in advertising, enlisted military jobs are hampered by the danger inherent to their work.
“Other factors that contribute to a job’s ranking near bottom include danger and stress,” CareerCast explains in its job rankings summary. “That’s the case for enlisted military personnel and firefighters, two roles that serve as pillars of our society. Both are noble careers, but those embarking on these positions should understand the dangers, as well as the surprisingly low pay for each.”
CareerCast found that Enlisted Military is the highest stress occupation on the entire jobs report. It also has the second-worst environment ranking, second only to firefighters. It’s median salary is a low $27,936.
Tallying all these factors together using a methodology described here, CareerCast gave Enlisted Military a 2016 Jobs Ranking Score of….666. Yikes.
While CareerCast may be onto something when it comes to high stress and low pay, its ranking does come with flaws. Task and Purpose notes that the ranking doesn’t reflect how job advancement works in the military, nor does it take into account the reasons people pursue military careers in the first place.