CARLSBAD - Newspaper reporter, a job that traditionally has attracted many aspiring writers, been romanticized in movies and helped bring down corrupt presidents, has been named the worst job in the US, according to a new report.
The new 2013 CareerCast Jobs Rated Report has ranked the best and worst US jobs for 25 years.
Almost 350 daily newspapers have either folded or become online-only publications in the past 25 years, and the prospects for many of the remaining papers aren't good, limiting job opportunities for reporters.
Ranked at job number 126 when the first Jobs Rated Report was published in 1988, newspaper reporters have fared poorly in the report for years due to the job's high stress and tight deadlines, low pay and requirement to work in all conditions to get the story.
Ever-shrinking newsrooms, dwindling budgets and competition from Internet businesses have created a very difficult environment, finally driving the position to dead last on this year's Jobs Rated Report.
Ad revenues are 60 per cent of what they were a decade ago and papers have continued to reduce traditional newsroom staff, which has declined about 30 per cent since its peak in 2000, says a new report from the Pew Research Center. But journalism is not a dying art, nor is reporting a profession without prospects. Rethinking the industry has made reporters adapt.
"People who love to write can consider working for online publications or make the transition to a job in advertising or public relations," says Tony Lee, publisher, CareerCast.
"There are many jobs in communications that offer better hours, greater stability, a work/life balance and a healthier hiring outlook than being a newspaper reporter."
Technological advancements hurt other professions ranked among the worst jobs of 2013, including meter reader, which is more often done digitally than in person.
The job of mail carrier also landed near the bottom of the list, due to post office closures and snail mail being replaced by email and text messaging. The BLS reports that the number of mail carrier jobs will fall by 26 per cent in the coming years.
High pay, low stress, a robust hiring outlook, a healthy work environment and minimal physical exertion combine to make actuary the top job for 2013.
An actuary assesses risk probabilities, often for insurance purposes, using statistical data, environmental impacts and situational trends. Biomedical engineer, software engineer, audiologist and financial planner round out the top five.
"The best jobs offer the ultimate career goal -- personal fulfillment," says Lee. "They also offer a bright outlook and abundant job opportunities for years to come."