In an annual career survey, an online job bank ranked one of the nation’s toughest, proudest and most critical occupations as the third-worst job to have: soldier.
In fact, the CareerCast.com survey didn’t appear to appear to distinguish between the services; the category was named “enlisted military soldier.” Only lumberjack (first place) and dairy farmer (runner-up) edged out enlisted as the worst-of-the-worst. (To be sure, newspaper reporter was not far behind at fifth-worst.)
The survey, aimed at those considering different careers, arrived at these results by ranking each occupation across five categories, which seemed to be a mix of government statistics and subjective values. Behind the rating for enlisted troops was relatively low income (on average $36,000), high stress and physical demands, and lowered hiring prospects — likely referring to the coming drawdown, which centers on the Army and Marine Corps.
The list offers some curious comparisons. Attorney and vending machine repairman are ranked side by side as the 88th- and 89th-best jobs, respectively. Admiral (well, “Military General”) ranked 141st, besting garbage collector, but not bus driver (130th) or dental laboratory technician (135th). And plumber (75th) left all these in the dust.
“People looking for a safe, comfortable job in an air-conditioned office with a soft chair do not go into the military, where yes, the work environment varies, the physical demands are considerable and the stress can go all the way to extreme,” one reader commented below the enlisted ranking. “But did this study take into consideration any parameters like purpose, reward[s]other than financial, or concepts like duty and honor?”
So what do you think? Did they get it wrong?