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What are the top Quality-of-Life careers in the future?

  1. Jul 25, 2009 #1
    In terms of anything, however you want to define it.
    Personally, I'd definite "quality of life" as a job that has:
    1) great job security and provides for a stable life
    2) has a high income-to-work-hour ratio, similarly, decent working hours
    I think that all careers are equally fulfilling, since fulfillment is very subjective. Thus the two aspects I pointed out above are what interests the mosts, personally.

    Here are some suggestions (by no means limited to these):
    Actuary
    Software Engineer
    Electrical Engineer
    Chemical Engineer
    Doctor
    Lawyer
    Pharmacist/Biotech
    Financial Analyst
    Accountant

    And also, please do not respond by saying "politician". LOL.. we all know that
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 25, 2009 #2

    Choppy

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    I don't know if you can really assess this fairly. Quality of life is subjective. One person might be happy pulling 80 hour work weeks as an emergency physician, while another will be happy working part time as a university lecturer in physics while raising a family and writing novels.

    The way to figuring this out, in my opinion, is through experience. Take the time to pursue your interests and explore the things you're good at. I also don't think there's a case of a single maximum. You also have to factor in things like opportunity at the time. Maybe president of a small country is high quality of life career, but that opportunity doesn't come around too often.
     
  4. Jul 25, 2009 #3

    Pengwuino

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    What do you mean quality of life? Are you saying ones career defines what one's quality of life is?
     
  5. Jul 25, 2009 #4
    Here, I've fixed my original post, by adding a little direction as to how I would define "quality of life"... :)
     
  6. Jul 26, 2009 #5
    Drug dealing or gambling.
     
  7. Jul 27, 2009 #6
    I don't recommend medicine. There are a number of doctors in the family, and they are all smothered by paperwork and bureaucracy. It's a stressful occupation, and dealing with people who are sick and won't get better is really difficult.
     
  8. Jul 27, 2009 #7

    turbo

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    I also nix doctors. Even if you are in private practice, you're expected to provide coverage in the local hospital if you want access to their facilities. You could easily see patients all day at your practice, make rounds in the evening and provide weekend coverage on a rotating schedule. You might make a lot of money as a physician, but there is a LOT of responsibility. When I was an optician, there were two retinal surgeons in the practice and one of them had to be on call at all times to respond to retinal tears, detachments, and other damage. No other docs in that specialty for a radius of at least 50 miles, so when someone crashes into a utility pole at 1am and suffers a detached retina, the phone will ring. They could be up all night long and would still be expected to see and treat their normal patient-load the next day. No thanks!
     
  9. Jul 27, 2009 #8
    What about stress? All of those fields are fairly stressful. Well with the exception of pharmacist
     
  10. Jul 27, 2009 #9

    Pengwuino

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    Pharmacists are very much financially liable if they get a prescription wrong or mixed up and someone dies or has adverse side effects. I think this takes away from the income side of the pros/cons this threads thinking about.
     
  11. Jul 27, 2009 #10
    Pharmacy caries more stress than you may realise, especially for the owner/manager. Commercial pharmacies (where the money is at) trys to push as many scripts as possible. Some pharmacists have to drive a significant distance to different stores every week to get hours. I have not personally worked in a hospital pharmacy, but the pay is lower there.
     
  12. Jul 27, 2009 #11
  13. Jul 27, 2009 #12

    berkeman

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    Yes, please stop doing that. I don't have the energy to merge all of those threads!

    I'll give a little different answer than I'm seeing so far in this thread. I have some friends who are docs and are quite happy. Yes, there are some issues dealing with health insurance, malpractice insurance, paperwork, etc. But if treating patients is something that you enjoy, it can be a very fulfilling job. I'd definitely recommend that folks get at least an EMT cert first and work with patients some -- otherwise, you really don't know how you will react to all of the things you can see and have to deal with. I find patient contacts very interesting, fulfilling and rewarding (I'm a part-time EMT, outside of my regular EE work).

    Along similar lines, Paramedic Firefighter can be a very fulfilling career, with good pay and good retirement benefits. It's a *very* competitive field, however, so be prepared to work hard for those rewards.

    A career in Law Enforcement can be rewarding, if you have an inclination toward it. Again, you can get a Security Guard Card, and try it out. If you are young, you can join your local Police Explorers or Fire Explorers group, to get a taste for what is involved in those careers.

    Oh, and EE is a great way to go, if you're willing to work hard at it. :biggrin:
     
  14. Jul 27, 2009 #13
    I remember reading this http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123119236117055127.html" a while back, although you have to take those articles with a grain of salt.

    Being a professor really is a fantastic job. You have almost complete freedom on how you use your time and you only teach 2-3 hours a day. Of course you can always be busy with your research, grants, committee meetings, etc., but it's not really a day like sitting in some cubicle or office where your work is directed from 9-5. You get paid well, can always get extra money through grants, get to choose your work, have freedom in innovating in your class, can work at home, and you get winters and summers off with your kids. Being involved in education can be fulfilling as we ll.

    On the doctor issue, I think it depends on what kind of doctor. If you're a family practice doctor, it seems you'll be busy, but you don't really seem to take your work home with you. If you're a surgeon, I think it can be the other way. I met a neurosurgeon once. He came by to check on the patient around 8 or 9 pm, and was going home to review the file and then go to sleep. He was back up at the hospital the following day at 5 am and was wrangling his team to be ready for surgery by 6. He performed 3-6 surgeries a day, which was often unpredictable because of emergency surgeries. He also taught on some days and performed research. This man literally dedicated his life to his work, as he had no apparent outside life. If he did, I'd have no idea where it would fit. I could never live such a life.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  15. Jul 27, 2009 #14
    Eh from people I've spoken to it still doesn't seem too stressful. Just a typical 9-5 job. It's seems pretty reasonable to give people the right prescriptions without messing up.
     
  16. Jul 27, 2009 #15
    Medicine aint too bad. cardiologists, surgeons, orthopaedics...can earn up to 3-4 times the salary of the average engineer with a masters and extensive experience.
     
  17. Jul 27, 2009 #16

    Pengwuino

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    yah i didn't mean to equate it with stress. I mean't that the income is a little more complex than one might think.
     
  18. Jul 27, 2009 #17
    Up here in Alaska, you can earn a lot of money on the crab boats or oilfields with no real education. That doesn't make them jobs with a high quality of life.

    It totally depends on the medical profession. Oncologists and psychiatrists both have to deal with people who will not get better. It's an emotionally draining job.
     
  19. Jul 27, 2009 #18

    berkeman

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    I definitely disagree.

    I personally wouldn't pick those professions, but I absolutely know cancer patients in full remission with great prognoses because of the skills of their oncologists, and I know some psychologists who do great work and help people lead good, happy lives. Why do you say what you said? Probably unfortunate personal experiences...?
     
  20. Jul 27, 2009 #19
    ^ I never said that ALL patients won't get better. Obviously, many do and that is what can make any medical profession very rewarding. However, many cancer patients will end up being killed by their disease. It's a fact. Schizophrenia, bipolar, and other severe psychological disorders do not have cures. Dealing with very sick people who very well may not recover is hard. It takes strength to do it.

    Happy and sad anecdotes both abound. If you really need one, a family member is a psychiatrist. She is happy with her choice of profession and would do it all over again. That doesn't mean that it's the right job for anyone who reads this. There are many really sick people and it takes a special kind of person to tend to them when they may not recover.
     
  21. Jul 28, 2009 #20

    berkeman

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    Ah, I understand. Sorry that I misread what you said.
     
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