The Wall Street Journal recently published their list of “Best and Worst Jobs of 2013“, ranked according to physical demands, work environment, income, stress, and hiring outlook and using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other government agencies.

This is our break up of who what and why.

#1 Actuaries

best and worst jobs

There’s honey in that money: actuaries get paid well and have high job satisfaction

Actuaries are calculators of financial risk and probability. Using incredibly complex formulas, they’re able to appraise the financial cost of everything from a hurricane to an economic meltdown. The road to becoming an actuary is so difficult that there are, as of January 2013, only 2,191 actuaries in Australia. Compare this to some 15, 000 lawyers in Australia and 82,895 doctors.

Yeah, they’re good at valuing things like insurance and disasters but you know what they’re really good at valuing? Their own pay packets. According to PayScale.com the average Australian actuary gets $102,933 a year. More than this, it’s a profession that’s booming and, judging from the regularity of natural disasters and sociopolitical unrest, it’s likely to be a profession that’ll continue to be in demand in the years to come.

#30 Geologist


Geologists: they just look at rocks, right? Wrong. Geologists actually study  the Earth’s crust, including everything on and under its surface. They study its composition and use specialised equipment to find hidden resources like minerals, precious metals, oil or water. They also work with engineers and architects to determine the suitability of building sites for structures and roads.

In terms of income, geologists can earn, on average, between $88,456- $137,050 a year, depending on how experienced you are and what industry you’re working in.

Dead last: #200 Newspaper journalists


Yep. We all knew it but now it’s official: professional journalism is dying. All you have to do is look at the stats to see it. According to JobOutlook.gov.au, in the past two years, the journalism industry has shrunk by 12.6%, compared to the national average of 3.9% growth. Nearly every month there’s a newspaper closing down or making significant cuts. It’s a tough industry to work in, no doubt. And the pay isn’t any better. On average, news journalists get paid $50,308.

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