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The 10 Best (and Worst) Jobs of 2016

The 10 Best (and Worst) Jobs of 2016
Credit: Kalinin/Shutterstock

The outlook for traditional media jobs doesn't seem to be getting any brighter, new research finds.

For the third year in a row, newspaper reporter was ranked as the worst job on CareerCast's 28th annual Jobs Rated report. Broadcasters and disc jockeys were also ranked in the bottom four this year.

Declining job opportunities are largely to blame for traditional media occupations' continued low ranking, said Kyle Kensing, online content editor for CareerCast. Both newspaper and broadcasting jobs are projected to decline by 9 percent over the next eight years, and radio jobs are expected to drop by 11 percent.

"Traditional news media is particularly hard hit due to newspapers folding or moving to digital-only, and waning advertising revenue," Kensing said in a statement.

To determine the 200 best and worst jobs, the Jobs Rated report analyzed each job's environment (emotional, physical and hours worked), income (growth potential and salary) and outlook (employment growth, income growth potential and unemployment), along with 11 stress factors, to determine which professions are among the most and least desirable. [See Related Story: 10 Jobs That Could Be Facing Extinction]

Based on the research, here are the 10 worst jobs this year and their annual median salary and growth outlook through 2024:

  1. Newspaper reporter– Annual median salary: $36,390; Growth outlook:  minus 9 percent
  2. Logger– Annual median salary: $35,160; Growth outlook: minus 4 percent
  3. Broadcaster– Annual median salary: $37,200; Growth outlook: minus 9 percent
  4. Disc jockey– Annual median salary: $29,010; Growth outlook: minus 11 percent
  5. Enlisted military– Annual median salary: $27,936; Growth outlook: N/A
  6. Pest control worker– Annual median salary: $30,660; Growth outlook: minus 1 percent
  7. Retail salesperson– Annual median salary: $21,670; Growth outlook: minus 7 percent
  8. Advertising salesperson– Annual median salary: $47,890; Growth outlook: minus 3 percent
  9. Taxi driver– Annual median salary: $23,210; Growth outlook: 13 percent
  10. Firefighter– Annual median salary: $45,970; Growth outlook: 5 percent

If you want one of this year's most desirable jobs, you'd better brush up on your math skills. Four of this year's 10 best jobs are in mathematics, including this year's top job: data scientist.

"Both hiring potential and pay for these math-intensive careers are high — the result of a rapidly growing need for data analysis," Kensing told Business News Daily. "Helping to fuel the growth is that industries like finance, tech and health care are using analytics to improve their productivity and reach."

Statistician, mathematician and actuary, all of which require top-notch math skills, are also ranked among this year's best jobs. Here are this year's 10 best jobs, according to CareerCast:

  1. Data scientist– Annual median salary: $128,240; Growth outlook: 16 percent
  2. Statistician– Annual median salary: $79,990; Growth outlook: 34 percent
  3. Information security analyst– Annual median salary: $88,890; Growth outlook: 18 percent
  4. Audiologist– Annual median salary: $73,060; Growth outlook: 29 percent
  5. Diagnostic medical sonographer– Annual median salary: $62,540; Growth outlook: 24 percent
  6. Mathematician– Annual median salary: $103,720; Growth outlook: 21 percent
  7. Software engineer– Annual median salary: $97,990; Growth outlook: 17 percent
  8. Computer systems analyst– Annual median salary: $82,710; Growth outlook: 21 percent
  9. Speech pathologist– Annual median salary: $71,550; Growth outlook: 21 percent
  10. Actuary– Annual median salary: $96,700; Growth outlook: 18 percent

The complete list of the 200 best and worst jobs and the full methodology can be found on the CareerCast website.

Chad  Brooks
Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.