Via NPR Science Friday a ranking of best jobs you can have. The criteria considered? Stress, Work Environment, Physical Demands, Income and Outlook. No intangibles like the feeling you get after finding that prized fossil after a week long search in 100 deg heat.
Science jobs score high in this list. Several in the top ten. Mathematicians get the highest ranking. Geologists are ranked 30th. That is low in my admittedly biased opinion. But physical demands is one the criteria used, so that may have bumped geology to a lower ranking than many fields. In terms of salary /outlook geology compares well with fields ranked much higher.
The worst jobs are lumberjack and dairy farmer. And I thought all those French farmers making cheese looked quite happy on Discovery channel!
Well, what about those mathematicians? The list finds them to be the most satisfied with their career. And they do also have a high opinion of themselves.
Source: xkcd comics
But actuaries are second best?! That is actually quite close to a mathematics career. But still it's really hard for a geologist to accept that!