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Build Your Career Get the Job

The 8 Most Overrated (and Underrated) Jobs

The 8 Most Overrated (and Underrated) Jobs
Credit: Ismagilov/Shutterstock

Despite how they may look from the outside, many jobs aren't all they're cracked up to be. That includes highly sought-after professions like positions as advertising executives, authors and broadcasters, which top this year's rankings from CareerCast of the most overrated jobs.

While they might seem glamorous, the jobs named most overrated this year were chosen because they are often stressful, involve long hours and have high turnover rates.

Kyle Kensing, online content editor for CareerCast, said the overrated jobs are careers that generate high interest and offer a certain level of prestige, but that all rank in the bottom half of CareerCast's annual "Jobs Rated" report. The annual report ranks 200 jobs based on their environments (emotional, physical and hours worked), income (growth potential and salary), outlook (employment growth, income-growth potential and unemployment) and stress.

"Some [of the overrated jobs] have a high number of college students either graduating from or enrolled in degree programs, hence the favorable 'rating' that [our] Jobs Rated scores suggest might be overvalued," Kensing told Business News Daily.

For the second year in a row, advertising executive tops this year's list of the most overrated jobs. Kensing said the idea of working in advertising and schmoozing clients over bourbon and steaks seems exciting, but that image is a far cry from reality. [See Related Story: The Hottest Jobs of 2016]

"It's important a job seeker know the challenges that go into such a field, like the stress levels and lack of downtime," he said.

Broadcaster also ranked in the top five for the second consecutive year.

"For broadcasters, the attraction of appearing on television might bring some into the field initially, but the poor outlook, increasingly competitive marketplace and demands weed out many," Kensing said.

Here are the eight jobs CareerCast said are most overrated, along with the annual median salary and growth outlook for those positions in 2016:

  1. Advertising account executive: $124,850/9 percent
  2. Author: $60,520/2 percent
  3. Broadcaster: $37,720/-9 percent
  4. Corporate executive: $102,690/6 percent
  5. Event coordinator: $46,840/10 percent
  6. Photographer: $31,170/3 percent
  7. Public relations executive: $104,140/7 percent
  8. Stockbroker: $71,550/10 percent

Kensing said those job seekers who are considering going into these fields shouldn't necessarily change their career paths just because the job is considered overrated.

"It's less about rethinking your career path and more [about] making the most informed choices possible," he said. "Because one of these jobs landed on our overrated list doesn't mean the right candidates won't love the field."

On the opposite end of the spectrum are jobs that don't get much attention but are highly ranked on CareerCast's Jobs Rated list. Many of the jobs on this year's underrated list have good outlooks, low stress and stable work environments.

Here are CareerCast's eight most underrated jobs, and their annual median salary and growth outlooks for this year:

  1. Computer systems analyst: $85,800/21 percent
  2. Diagnostic medical sonographer: $63,630/24 percent
  3. Dietician: $57,910/16 percent
  4. Environmental engineer: $84,560/12 percent
  5. Financial analyst: $80,310/12 percent
  6. Human resources manager: $104,440/9 percent
  7. Medical technologist: $50,550/16 percent
  8. Physical therapist: $84,020/34 percent
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.