What are the worst jobs for millennials — and why does it matter?
U.S. News & World Report, a news organization that annually compiles a variety of lists including rankings of colleges, surveyed more than 1,000 millennials — age 20-34 — to find out what was most important to them when looking for a job and, based on that, came up with the 10 worst -- the jobs they would like the least.
The analysis turned up some low-paying and irregular jobs that you might expect — construction worker, bartender, restaurant cook — and some jobs that you might not have thought were all that bad — actor, paramedic and choreographer.
Rounding out the list: community health worker, nursing aide, sales representative and steelworker.
The U.S. News survey found that millennials cared most about how much money they would make, followed by work-life balance, how much stress the work involved, upward mobility, future job prospects and how many people in that field were employed.
"Most of these jobs are relatively low paid," said U.S. News staff writer Rebecca Koenig, who reported on the data. "Something like an actor is a glamorous job, but it has pretty bad work-life balance because you are going to auditions all the time and it's really stressful because the field is so competitive."
The same, she said, would be true of a choreographer, and a paramedic often gets injured.
Experts said that the worst jobs list, like most lists, is subjective, and what may seem like a bad job to one person, may turn out to be a good one for another.
What matters, they added, is that millennials face different challenges and hold different attitudes about work than previous generations: Technology is eliminating traditional jobs, there is less security and millennials want to do work that is personally fulfilling.
Those born after 1983, but before the mid-1990's, are now the largest generation in the U.S. labor force, with more than 53 million workers, more than both Gen-Xers — age 35-54 — and Baby Boomers — age 55-71 — according to census data.
"Millennials are going to be facing more challenges down the road than people working for a while," said Wesley Lawton, a career adviser at the Oakland University career center. "The idea of starting in a career and holding on to it until you retire is old news."
As a result, he said, millennials should expect to have multiple careers.
"One concept to help millennials to prepare for that is to really think of themselves as their own employers, and think about how they are branding themselves as a product," he added. "They need to be flexible and know what they have to offer."
Last month, U.S. News also published its list of 10 best millennial jobs, which were: web developer, dental hygienist, software developer, computer systems analyst, mechanical engineer, interpreter and translator, radiation therapist, insurance sales agent, cartographer and massage therapist.
Kristen Tolbert, a career coach with a practice in Miami, said many millennials are still trying to figure out what they "really want to do," but what they are seeking most in a job is work that they consider rewarding and meaningful.
Koenig, who at 27 is a millennial, acknowledged she works in an industry that doesn't pay the best and can be unstable. Journalism doesn't offer the best work-life balance and it can be very stressful. But, she said, she loves her job.
"I feel very lucky to have the job that I have," she added. "I love journalism and I love writing."
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Best and worst jobs
Worst jobs, median salary
1. Construction worker, $31,910
2. Actor, $39,236
3. Bartender, $19,530
4. Choreographer, $45,940
5. Community health worker, $36,300
6. Restaurant cook, $23,100
7. Paramedic, $31,980
8. Nursing aide, $25,710
9. Sales representative, $55,730
10. Structural iron and steelworker, $50,490
Best jobs, median salary
1. Web developer, $64,970
2. Dental hygienist, $72,330
3. Software developer, $98,260
4. Computer systems analyst, $85,800
5. Mechanical engineer, $83,590
6. Interpreter and translator, $44,190
7. Radiation therapist, $80,220
8. Insurance sales agent, $48,200
9. Cartographer, $61,880
10. Massage therapist, $38,040