Monday, January 19, 2009

Are Geologists Unhappier Than Actuaries?

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!


  1. Given that this was a poll with all kinds of mathematical models and treatments, shouldn't we suspect that mathematicians gamed the results so they would look good?

  2. with some help from Actuaries who assessed the risk of being found out :-)

  3. I don't think the fact that we have physical activity should hinder our result.

    Who would rather sit at a desk all day than go outside and hike around?