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Dear future workforce … don’t be a newspaper reporter

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Being a newspaper reporter sucks.

That’s according to the best and worst jobs of 2015 as reported by the job search website CareerCast. Of 200 jobs, newspaper reporter falls at dead last.

It knocked out lumberjack for the bottom-ranked seat based on a combination of factors including work environment, stress level and hiring prospect.

Newspaper reporters make an average of just over $36,000 a year with poorly reported work environments, high stress levels and terrible hiring prospects.

Newspaper reporter bottomed the list in hiring with a less than negative 13 score in that subset.

To put how bad it must be to be a news reporter, here are some of the jobs that beat it on the list. Cashier, bartender, forklift operator, maid, dishwasher, security guard, retail sales, waitress and garbage collector are all better-ranked jobs.

But reporters at the Tampa Bay Times and Tampa Tribune, who are in perpetual fear of layoffs and furloughs, aren’t the only ones in the media field to be working in less than desirable jobs. Coming in at 195 and 196 are photojournalist and broadcaster.

Both of those jobs carry median-level work environments and stress levels, but also have poor hiring prospects. Photojournalists have just about a one point job prospect rating while broadcasters fall at less than negative one.

Topping the list this year is actuary. In case you don’t know what the heck that is, an actuary is responsible for interpreting statistics to determine probabilities of accidents, sickness, and death, and loss of property from theft and natural disasters.

The study notes that most of the year’s top-ranked jobs are in math-heavy fields. These jobs currently carry some of the most competitive salaries, great work environments, low stress and jobs are easy to find.

“Jobs in mathematics rank among the nation’s best because they are financially lucrative, offer abundant opportunities for advancement and provide the opportunity to do great work in a supportive environment,” wrote Tony Lee, publisher of

Also rounding out some of the top-ranked fields are healthcare and IT jobs.

The highest paid job on the list is a surgeon with an average salary of just under $350,000. But money may not necessarily buy happiness. That career comes in at number 98 on the list. It has a relatively low stress level – surprising considering they could literally kill someone, but a terrible work environment.

Jobs in the top 10 had mid-range salaries between $71,000 and $102,000. Jobs in the bottom 10 ranged in average salary from $23,000 to $55,000.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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