What jobs aren’t people doing? Private chefs, clock adjusters, temporary farm work recruiters, fake teeth makers and more.
I recently got into a useless debate with a friend — as I always do — about the most common job in the U.S. I believed it was waiter/waitress. He thought it was teacher. Eventually, we agreed to disagree. Then I went home and secretly took it to the Internet where I found the Bureau of Labor Statistics website with the answer. We were both wrong — it’s retail salespeople. (Waiter/waitress came in sixth overall. “Teacher” is split up into primary/secondary/special ed but still adds up to slightly less than retail sales. So I guess he was more right than me, but still wrong — which equals wrong.)
But popular jobs aren’t any fun. I flipped the table around to find the least popular jobs instead.
So these are the least popular jobs in the U.S. “Popularity” in this case means the total number of people employed in the job, not how much they like the job. And, with apologies to Norm MacDonald, neither crack whore nor assistant crack whore made the list.
11 | Radio operators
This is not someone who sits by the radio all day who makes a living by being the 14th caller and winning tickets to see Rihanna. That would be a totally sweet job. It also doesn’t exist. Radio operators are guys (I know I should keep it gender neutral, but this job sounds as lonely as lighthouse operator, which also seems strictly male) who run the broadcasting towers for TV and radio stations.
10 | Wood modelmakers
This is another one that sounds like it could be a dream job — perhaps getting paid to glue together balsa wood airplanes to be displayed in hobby shops and VFW halls? — but it’s not. Wood modelmakers are guys (I know I should keep it gender neutral, but this job sounds as husky as whittler, which also seems strictly male) who make precisely scaled wood models of products.
9 | Math scientists and assorted technicians
This isn’t particularly popular because, if I’m to understand the state of math in 2013 correctly, ambitious math geniuses have flocked either to (1) sports teams’ Sabermetrics departments (2) creating models to beat Vegas or online poker or (3) trying to predict presidential elections for notoriety and profit. Math scientists and technicians are guys (I know I should keep it gender neutral, but this job sounds as poindexterous as mathemagician, which also seems strictly male) who handle the math problems that far exceed what we learned in AP Calculus AB. MAYBE even AP Calculus BC.
8 | Clock adjusters (non-watch)
They have to specify “non-watch” because those guys fall into the much more artisan-sounding field of watchmaking. Clock adjusters are guys (I know I should keep it gender neutral, but this job sounds as minutiae-obsessed as a NFL combine 40 timer) who calibrate non-watches to make sure they’re completely precise.
7 | Industrial/organizational psychologists
Women might actually do this one.
6 | Temporary farm worker recruiters
This job is listed as “farm labor contractors,” which I initially interpreted as “contractors who do farm labor.” That’s not it. It’s actually “people who find contractors for farm labor” which comes of far, far more niche. It probably involves going to lots of job fairs and really learning to extol the virtues of the exciting and fast-paced world of soybeans.
5 | Wood patternmakers
With two items on the list, it’s apparently not a boom time in the ol’ woodworking industry. Wood is definitely a “don’t buy” on Mad Money right now.
4 | Fabric menders (non-garment)
Much like the clock adjusters were non-watch, here we’ve got fabric menders who are non-garment. Got a hole in your sweater? Perhaps a rip in the knee of your pants? Don’t you dare go to these folks. But if you’ve got a hole in your tarp, some cat scratch curtains or your fumigation tent seems to have sprouted a leak that’s killing a small radius of shrubbery — they’re all over that.
3 | Fishers
There are only 570 of these, so it can’t be referring to the guys out there doing hardcore fish harvesting. The Liberal Media wouldn’t be freaking out over 570 people overfishing; plus it would take a hell of a lot more than 570 guys to fill America’s voracious appetite for sushi and Red Lobster shrimpfest. No, these are the smaller, private fishermen who “use nets, rods, traps, or other equipment to catch and gather fish.”
2 | Private chefs
There are only 540 private chefs in the U.S. But that’s not their fault. It’s rich people’s fault for going out to eat so much. Once again, curses to the irresistible siren’s song of Red Lobster shrimpfest. How many jobs must you destroy?
1 | Prosthodontists
With only 310 people employed, prosthodontistry is the least popular job in the U.S. Of course, the fact that no one’s ever heard of this job isn’t helping its numbers. Prosthodontists are the people who make prosthetic devices for the mouth, like replacement teeth or jaws. In other words — you probably have to spend a lot of time in school and then a lot more time inside of people’s mouths. Pass.