No. 7: Flight attendant
Flying the friendly skies comes with some serious stress, a competitive job market, an erratic work schedule and a salary that pales in comparison to that of other positions. The BLS reports that the industry is shrinking by 7 percent each year and that the median salary for flight attendants is $37,240 annually. That's for veterans and newbies alike. The bottom 10 percent earn $27,240 per year or less. The stress is also sizable. Flight attendants deal with erratic work schedules, jet lag, rude passengers, air sickness, luggage issues, turbulence, changing safety protocols and issues associated with working in an industry that's perpetually cutting costs.
But it's not all bad. If finances are less of a consideration, there are some significant perks. Most major airlines, including Southwest, Delta, United and American, offer seasoned flight attendants free or heavily discounted travel for themselves and often for family members. Most full-time flight attendants also receive health care benefits, along with hotel accommodations and a meal allowance while working away from their home base, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.