Some website that seems to exist only to make lists of jobs has once again made a list of the “top 200 jobs” in the U.S. Librarian somehow made the list yet again, at #88. Here’s the profile:
Selects and organizes materials to make information available to the public.
Overall Score: 571.00
Work Environment: 49.000
Hiring Outlook: 3.58
It’s not that I’m ever surprised that Librarian makes lists like this. I’m always more surprised by how low Librarian ranks, and what ranks above it. For example, Sewage Plant Operator is the 87th job on the list, with a supposedly higher scoring work environment, but about $30,000 less in income. The only thing that makes sense is that the “hiring outlook” is a lot better, but how could that possibly make it a better job?
Paralegal assistant is at #41. Could being a paralegal assistant be twice as good as being a librarian? That’s crazy!
Hair Stylist makes the list at 83. How could that be a better job than Librarian? Also, given how much my stylist charges, how could they make just $23,000 a year? Baffling.
It’s not baffling why university professor ranks so high at 14. Based on what I can tell, there are only about 14 actual university professors left in the country now that they’ve all been replaced with adjuncts. So the exclusivity alone is enough to get the ranking.
But then Historian, Astronomer, Anthropologist, Sociologist and some other ists are on the list. I know there are such people who aren’t university professors, but what if you’re an Anthropologist (at #92) and a University Professor? This list is probably going to cause you a lot of grief trying to figure out how its sophisticated methodology puts you at two different places at the same time. People will lose sleep over an important list like this.
At least there are some jobs worse than Librarian, so we can engage in some schadenfreude. Attorney and Ironworker – #117 and #118 respectively – are worse. Economist at #120, definitely worse, unless the economist is a university professor and then we just can’t know. Academic economists would probably take the mean and say they were #56, tying them with Archeologist. That’s a much cooler field, anyway. After all, have they ever made an action movie about an economist?
The worst job on the list is Newspaper Reporter. That’s probably because of the Negative 10 hiring outlook. Even Lumberjack is better than Reporter, but that’s probably because they get to dress up in flannel and sing songs about their dear mama.
You might think, as I did at first, that they’re not ranking the jobs as such and saying one is better than another. One is just topper than another in some sense. But according to the website,
From the outset, the Jobs Rated report has generated a lot of attention primarily because most Americans spend more time on the job than they do on anything else, and knowing how their job ranks against other jobs is compelling information.
So we’re supposed to look at this list and think, oh, if only I could become an Actuary (#1, #1, #1!) or a Dental Hygienist (#6), then I would have a job that ranks much higher than mine based on some arbitrary standard. And wouldn’t that be lovely. What else might it mean to rank your job against other jobs.
And if that’s what we’re supposed to do, what difference would hiring outlook make, which is what seems to make Sewage Plant Operator a better job than Librarian? Once I have a job, what do I care what the hiring outlook is for something in a completely different field?
The other baffling news is that “The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates the average employee spends more than two-thirds of his or her day at work or on work-related activities. That’s more time than we spend sleeping or raising our children.”
Does that mean two-thirds of a 24-hour day, as in 16 hours? Or is it two-thirds of the 16-18 hours most of us are awake? Regardless, it’s still way too much time. If you’re spending up to 12 hours a day working, you should probably find another job.