Consumer Comeback Blog

List Rates Most Overrated, Underrated Jobs on the Market

So, you picked a major and have your head and heart set on a career path with prestige and a respectable salary. You think you want to save lives, get behind the cockpit and fly the friendly skies, or plan the next event of the year. Not all dream jobs are what they’re cracked up to be. Some of the most popular professions fall short of expectations, while many overlooked jobs don’t get enough credit. compiled the list of the most overrated and underrated jobs of 2012. The ratings took into account median salary, industry growth, stress, work environment, turnover and a number of other factors which affect job satisfaction.

“Poor outlook for future growth, long hours, stress and a multitude of new candidates entering the industry make it especially challenging to break into many of our overrated careers,” Tony Lee, publisher of, said in a press release. “Overrated jobs seem attractive from the outside, but often sound better than they really are.”

Advertising executives, commercial airline pilot, stockbroker, surgeon, public relations manager and attorney top the list of overrated jobs where perceptions outweigh reality. On the other hand, less glamorous s jobs like computer systems analysts, civil engineers, veterinarians, biologists and market research analysts ranked among jobs with higher growth, lower stress, and more rewarding work.

The most overrated jobs and their median salaries include:

  • Advertising executive: $64,107
  • Senior corporate executive: $166,141
  • Commercial airline pilot: $103,158
  • Stockbroker: $70,474
  • Surgeon: $305,078
  • Attorney:$112,760
  • Public relations manager:$92,156
  • Flight attendant:$38,156
  • Photojournalist:$40,209
  • Architect: $73,139
  • Event Coordinator: $46,260
  • Psychologist: $69,179

The most underrated jobs and their median salaries include:

  • Computer systems analyst: $78,148
  • Civil Engineer:$78,133
  • Veterinarian:$82,190
  • Biologist: $73,285
  • Market Research Analyst: $61,236
  • Accountant: $62,172
  • Legal assistant:$47,159
  • Economist: $89,223
  • School principal: $87,122
  • Plumber:$47,186
  • Electrician:$48,179
  • Auto mechanic:$36,200