The worst jobs in the world for 2021

The best jobs to have tend to be high paying, low stress, and are performed in relatively safe working environments. These are not those jobs.

The team at CareerCast has released their annual ranking of the best and worst jobs in the world, and there are new professions falling towards the bottom of the list. This is because formerly safe and non-stressful roles have taken on a new level of risk and anxiety because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other roles have the problems of putting workers at risk of injury or strain to their bodies for the nature of the labour or the working conditions, high levels of stress, and/or low wages for the demands of the job.

Here are the lowest ranked positions for 2021


    There have been fewer and fewer jobs available in journalism going back to the latter-half of the 2000s, as newsrooms have consolidated and local newspapers folded. The role now also comes with the added risk of COVID exposure.

    Logging worker

    The physical danger, relatively low pay and declining opportunities for people who cut down trees make being a lumberjack a contender for worst job nearly every year.

    Retail salesperson

    Retail workers have faced declining hours and opportunities as many businesses closed or only offered limited opening hours during the pandemic. On top of that, workers now face the added risk of dealing with the public in a time when social interactions carry the risk of being exposed to COVID.

    Masonry worker

    The outdoor working conditions expose these professionals to the elements and the risk of on-the-job injuries. The pay is relatively low for the potential dangers involved.

    Corrections officer

    Never the most cheerful role to have, corrections officers face added stress this year because of the risk of COVID in contained communities where physical distancing is not always possible.


    Professionals in broadcasting face the high stress of intense competition for comparatively few roles. The outlook for jobs in this sector has been trending downward for years as networks increasingly cut back on original content in favour of syndicated programming.


    Low pay for demanding physical work in often harsh conditions make being a dockworker and unenviable position to have, according to the team at CareerCast.

    Advertising salesperson

    The competition for advertising dollars has become fierce, and more and more of the spend has been directed towards online marketing. Hence the stress and limited outlook for advertising salespeople, particularly since a large part of their income is commission based.


    Painters run the risks of inhaling or ingesting certain chemicals that can cause health problems, and the work itself can cause repetitive stress injuries.


    Toiling on rooftops, exposed to the elements make for frequently unpleasant and even dangerous working conditions for roofers.

Diminishing employment opportunities, relatively low pay and routine exposure to potentially dangerous working conditions — including possible exposure to COVID-19 – Are why these ten roles ranked as among the worst jobs to have in 2021.

View the study methodology over at CareerCast.

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