Being a Lumberjack is No Fun

March 27, 2009 ( - Even though an unforgiving economy may not allow much career choice, if the hardest labor you care to do is changing your mind and you don't like the great outdoors, you probably shouldn't join America's two worst professions.

After ranking 200 different job categories on five critera such as stress, physical demands and income, the Web site now says the worst job categories – lumber jack and dariy farmer – involve lots of physical labor and extended time out in the weather.

W hat makes being a lumberjack so unappealing? The Web site said loggers “perform backbreaking physical labor in an unpleasant environment” while dairy farmers have to “rise with the dawn and work hard for a minimum of 50 hours every week.”

In exchange for the tough environment, the Web site points out, both pay less than the salary earned by an entry-level bookkeeper. In fact, most of the worst-rated professions have an average salary of less than $40,000.

The other bad jobs are “saddled with other glaring deficiencies” the Web site claims.


  • Taxi drivers deal with crime and the stress of traffic all day;
  • A seaman is away from home for most of the year while dealing with storms and pirates; and
  • Roustabouts, who maintain oil rigs and pipelines, shoulder intense physical demands in a dangerous environment.

About garbage collectors, the Web site offers: “the disadvantages of being a garbage collector are pretty self-explanatory.”

The full career ranking is available here . The study methodology is available here .

The Ten Worst Jobs

(ranked in order)

1. Lumberjack

Fells, cuts, and transports timber to be processed into lumber, paper, and other wood products.

2. Dairy Farmer

Directs and takes part in activities involved in the raising of cattle for milk production.

3. Taxi Driver

Operates a taxi cab over the streets and roads of a municipality, picking up and dropping off passengers by request.

4. Seaman

May perform any number of tasks involved in the operation of ships, boats, barges, or dredges.

5. Emergency Medical Technician

Attends to situations which demand immediate medical attention, such as automobile accidents, heart attacks, and gunshot wounds.

6. Roofer

Installs roofs on new buildings, performs repairs on old roofs, and re-roofs old buildings.

7. Garbage Collector

Collects refuse on a designated municipal route, and transports trash to disposal plants or landfill areas.

8. Welder

Joins or repairs metal surfaces through the application of heat.

9. Roustabout

Performs routine physical labor and maintenance on oil rigs and pipelines, both on and off shore.

10. Ironworker

Raises the steel framework of buildings, bridges, and other structures.