According to CareerCast.com, a three-year-old job-hunting and career-management Web site based in California, surgeons ranked second and physicians third among the most overrated jobs.
An “overrated” career did not indicate that the job was unimportant, according to CareerCast.com, but rather are those with multiple negative influences such as stress, higher than average physical demands or environmental dangers and a weak hiring and employment outlook.
Each year, CareerCast releases a list of America’s 10 best and 10 worst jobs after evaluating 200 professions using five core criteria: pay, hiring outlook, work environment, stress and physical demands. CareerCast’s data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Census Bureau, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and several private compensation surveys, trade association studies and state statistics. This year, CareerCast decided to rework the data and produce a list of the most overrated jobs.
To generate the list, Tony Lee, CareerCast’s publisher, and his team first looked at compensation levels and then factored in other important criteria, like stress, physical demands and employment outlook. To evaluate environmental influences, for example, the researchers ranked aspects of workers’ physical condition—including the necessary energy component, physical demands (crawling, stooping bending, etc), work conditions (toxic fumes, noise, etc), stamina required—as well as the emotional conditions—degree of competitiveness and personal hazards faced. They added and adjusted the raw scores to reflect average work-hours per week. In the overall ranking, the team assumed that all of the five main criteria were equally important.
The analysis revealed that although surgeons earn a healthy annual salary, they also face the intense stress of being responsible for others’ lives, long hours and intense physical demands of time-consuming operations. Physicians also encounter stressful issues, including increased regulation and the need to stay abreast of medical developments to diagnose conditions and prescribe appropriate treatment.
Although Mr. Lee and his team tried to rate jobs using empirical findings over a long period of time, the overrated list is sure to be controversial.
For more information on the survey and its results, visit www.CareerCast.com.
*** I think this article had good intentions, however its use of terminology will be the reason for its controversy. The term “overrated” is misused to describe these careers. Based on the criteria they used in arriving at their conclusions a term such as ”over-embellished” or the like would have been more suitable. Being a surgeon is definitely not unimportant, but perhaps the perception of the profession is far better for those who are not in the field because they are not aware of the negative influences mentioned above which affects surgeons day-to-day. That being said, in my opinion a healthy income does not hold as much influence in job satisfaction as others may think. The satisfaction that comes from the opportunity to save lives and positively influence others is more than enough to compensate for the negative influences such as stress, higher than average physical demands or environmental dangers. You can’t put a dollar amount on that. ***
- The Most Overrated Jobs (forbes.com)
- The 10 Most Stressful Careers (livescience.com)
- America’s Most Stressful Jobs of 2012 (mint.com)