The 12 Most Overrated Jobs In 2013

Man is busy answering lots of phone calls
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By Vivian Giang

Some jobs just get all the attention. Take event planner, for example: The idea of working alongside famous people and handling big money accounts may seem like an exciting job, but the reality is often a very different picture.

Job search site CareerCast used survey data that "weighed stress, physical demands, and both the current and future employment outlook" across occupations and data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to create a list of the most overrated jobs of 2013, released on Tuesday. The list also takes into account data from the company's Jobs Rated report, where a lower score signifies a higher rating, which includes the competitiveness and growth potential of specific fields.

Topping the list are advertising account executive, surgeon, stockbroker, and public relations manager, which all require long, stressful hours. Many of these professions also made last year's list of the most overrated jobs, except economists and computer programmers, which are new this year.

"People don't realize the baggage these jobs come with," Tony Lee, publisher at CareerCast, tells Business Insider. "The perception is cool; the reality is a dog-eat-dog world."

Consider surgeons. Although they make a median salary of $311,078, they deal with high stress levels daily and have a lot of pressure on their hands. "When you're a surgeon, your life is not your own," Lee says. "You cannot go anywhere without your phone. It's also very physical demanding because you stand on your feet all day."

High turnover is also a common theme for many of the professions on CareerCast's most overrated list.

The 12 Most Overrated Jobs In 2013
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The 12 Most Overrated Jobs In 2013

Median Salary: $67,650

Projected Growth: 22%

Why: "Psychologists tend to work with difficult clients, and the field’s median pay scale and hiring outlook are slightly below comparable positions in the health care industry. Aspiring psychologists also face a crowded market, as The Princeton Review says psychology is one of the top three current college majors by enrollment."

Source: CareerCast

Median Salary: $91,860

Projected Growth: 6%

Why: "Economist is great work – if you can get it. While the median salary is among the top 25 of all careers measured by the 2013 Jobs Rated report, the hiring outlook is low."

Source: CareerCast

Median Salary: $113,530

Projected Growth: 10%

Why: "Job prospects for breaking into the field grow increasingly dimmer. The Wall Street Journal reports hiring of recent law school graduates dwindled all the way down to 62% in 2012, a drop off from 85% a year ago."

Source: CareerCast

Median Salary: $114,200

Projected Growth: 11%

Why: "The rigors of being a commercial airline pilot make it one of the three most stressful jobs, according to our 2013 rankings. Add a stagnant job market, and the job’s inclusion on the list is undeniable."

Source: CareerCast

Median Salary: $73,090

Projected Growth: 24%

Why: "The burst of the housing bubble and stagnant growth across most sectors of construction have limited the opportunities for architects in recent years. The industry’s outlook is now positive per the BLS, but those who pursue this career must be ready for high levels of stress and a work environment that ranks poorly, according to our methodology."

Source: CareerCast

Median Salary: $45,810

Projected Growth: 44%

Why: "Event coordinators have many critics to win over with each project, namely the attendees. This lends itself to a difficult work environment — No. 6 among the most stressful jobs of 2012, in fact. The reward is not necessarily commensurate with the stress, either. The median pay is $45,810, lower than many of the positions in this list."

Source: CareerCast

Median Salary: $168,140

Projected Growth: 5%

Why: "Senior corporate executives are tasked with shaping policy that impacts almost every facet of a business. So many make-or-break choices results in a lot of scrutiny, and even more stress on those bearing this responsibility."

Source: CareerCast

Median Salary: $95,450

Projected Growth: 21%

Why: "Stress levels on public relations managers are among the highest of all careers because of demanding media, audience, and clients. The pursuit of jobs is also competitive. Public relations also is among the most common majors for recent college graduates, adding more competition into the candidate pool."

Source: CareerCast

Median Salary: $72,060

Projected Growth: 15%

Why: "Despite recent strength, up-and-down markets both domestically and internationally have upped the stress on stockbrokers, and market volatility makes failure in the eyes of their clients a more likely possibility for those in the industry."

Source: CareerCast

Median Salary: More than $166,400*

Projected Growth: 24%

Why: The high stress surgeons face on a daily basis surpasses that of most any other profession. Becoming a surgeon requires exhaustive training, first at the postgraduate level, followed by a residency.

* denotes BLS estimate covering a wide range over $166,400 annually

Source: CareerCast

Median Salary: $66,913

Projected Growth: 14%

Why: "Turnover resulting from the pressure of high expectations and the competitive nature of the industry makes advertising agency executive one of the most stressful jobs available. Hiring outlook for the field is also low."

Source: CareerCast

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