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242. 243. 244. 245. 246. 247. 248. 249. 250. ) 98% Sheet metal worker 96% Carpenter 99% Drill-press operator n/a Mail carrier 68% Dishwasher 82% Garbage collector 93% Meter reader 88% Dairy farmer n/a Boilermaker 100% Firefighter 97% Butcher 73% Welder n/a Dancer 20% Roustabout (oil field laborer) 100% Stevedore (loads ships) 93% Roofer 99% Farmer n/a Construction worker (laborer) 97% Taxi driver 88% Seaman 82% Ironworker 100% Cowboy n/a Fisherman 90% Lumberjack 98% Average 92% Male One good piece of news for women from the Almanac’s worst-job list: We often hear that women are segregated into lower-paying jobs.

A traditional woman’s role in the home was to run in effect a small business—and practically speaking, with her husband away at work, she ran it her way. She did not need to present monthly spreadsheets to someone who had been chosen by someone else to supervise her (who in turn would be fired if he didn’t fire her should she fail to produce the numbers). In contrast, her husband was chosen more by her; since divorce was stigmatized until recently, he did not have the leverage a boss did. Thus when we look in the home, women were CEOs without stockholders or boards of directors able to fire them.

If we’re going to play the field, let’s start with some playing. Pretend you are a finalist competing to be on Jeopardy. The first finalist to do the following perfectly wins: Rank these six professions according to which pays the most—aircraft pilot, chemical engineer, college teacher, financial manager, pharmacist, physician. Hint: Watch out for pharmacist. Check your ranking against Table 1. I warned you about pharmacist, didn’t I? Who would have thought they earn more than physicians? ” And the pharmacist has better hours and lower malpractice insurance to boot.

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