The best and worst jobs of 2010, and why Americans hate their jobs

dirty jobMore Americans are dissatisfied with their jobs, which shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who has a job.

The problem with working is that it's "work" and not "play."

The best route to job satisfaction? Find a job that's interesting. Easier said than done. In a recession with 10% national unemployment, when few companies are hiring, it's much more difficult to leave a boring job and find one you enjoy.

A recent survey by The Conference Board research group found that less than half -- 45% -- of Americans are satisfied with their work -- the lowest level of job satisfaction recorded by the group in more than 22 years of studying the issue, according to the Associated Press. In 2008, 48% reported job satisfaction.

So if job satisfaction is at a low, what hope does that offer anyone looking for a better job that will hold their interest? Not much, at least until the economy turns around.

Analysts who took the survey, however, see it as more than a business cycle or a grumpy generation. It's something that can eat into America's appetite for innovation and ultimately hurt its competitiveness and productivity.

The survey found another low -- 51% find their jobs interesting. I understand how wages not keeping pace with inflation and higher health insurance premiums can lead to job dissatisfaction, but having an interest in your job goes beyond pay.

The Wall Street Journal compiled a list of the 200 best and worst jobs of 2010 based on environment, income, employment outlook, physical demands and stress, and the best job of actuary pays well and sounds like an interesting enough job, but the worst job on the list -- roustabout -- at least has a nice ring to it, although the pay is poor.

There's probably not much glory, or pay, in being an unskilled laborer on an oil rig or at a circus. But at least a circus roustabout gets to see the circus for free.
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