Paralegals Outrank Lawyers on Best Jobs List

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Much is made of the fact that federal judges must make substantial financial sacrifices when they leave private law practice.

But the editors of a new best jobs list believe it’s better to be a federal judge, and better still to be a paralegal assistant. Lawyers were ranked 82nd on the list of best jobs by the new job site Federal judges were 69th on the list and paralegal assistants 17th, just below meteorologists and medical laboratory technicians.

Lawyers and stockbrokers, ranked 84th, both did poorly, and the reason is stress, the editors say. “Attorneys and stockbrokers may earn considerably more than bookbinders or telephone repair technicians [ranked 83rd and 81st respectively], but these high-powered careers are hurt by anxiety, as both rank among the 20 most stressful jobs on our list.”

The list puts annual income at $109, 207 for lawyers, at $152,027 for federal judges and at $46,155 for paralegals. The figures were derived by combining midlevel income with income growth potential. Besides income and stress, the rankings considered job environment, employment outlook and physical demands, according to a Wall Street Journal story profiling the list’s top job: mathematician.

The top 10 jobs on the list are:

  1. Mathematician
  2. Actuary
  3. Statistician
  4. Biologist
  5. Software engineer
  6. Computer systems analyst
  7. Historian
  8. Sociologist
  9. Industrial designer
  10. Accountant

The worst job on the list is lumberjack.

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