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100 least popular jobs in America

Spend enough time watching the Discovery Channel and you’ll eventually run into Mike Rowe doing one stomach-churning task after the other on the hit TV show “Dirty Jobs.” The Baltimore-born host is also known for his CNN series “Somebody’s Gotta Do It,” whose title underscores the fact that even the most menial and unsavory jobs serve important functions that need to be carried out by a small workforce.

The reasons a certain field might not contain very many many professionals vary widely. Certain positions are only held by a small number due to their unpleasant nature. The jobs on this list are individually held by about 7,500 people or less, for reasons including jobs limited to particular geographic locations, requiring extensive education, or revolving around a niche and specialized craft.

Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics from May 2020 (released March 30, 2021), Stacker ranked the 100 least popular jobs in America by total employment. Only detailed job categories were included in the dataset. Every position’s number of total workers in the United States is listed alongside its average annual wage and average hourly wage, where each of those figures is available.

Read on to see if you hold one of the least popular jobs in the nation.

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#100. Parking Enforcement Workers

- Number employed: 7,560

- Annual mean wage: $44,870 (20.3% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $20.23

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#99. Epidemiologists

- Number employed: 7,500

- Annual mean wage: $83,620 (48.5% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $35.84

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#98. Gambling and Sports Book Writers and Runners

- Number employed: 7,500

- Annual mean wage: $27,130 (51.8% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $12.13

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#97. Ship Engineers

- Number employed: 7,480

- Annual mean wage: $81,110 (44.0% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $36.53

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#96. Traffic Technicians

- Number employed: 7,430

- Annual mean wage: $53,140 (5.6% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $22.98

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#95. Shoe and Leather Workers and Repairers

- Number employed: 7,380

- Annual mean wage: $31,480 (44.1% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $14.69

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#94. Dancers

- Number employed: 7,370

- Annual mean wage: -$04 (100.0% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $18.58

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#93. Exercise Physiologists

- Number employed: 7,330

- Annual mean wage: $54,020 (4.1% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $24.17

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#92. Woodworkers, All Other

- Number employed: 7,300

- Annual mean wage: $35,710 (36.6% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $16.17

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#91. Textile Bleaching and Dyeing Machine Operators and Tenders

- Number employed: 7,260

- Annual mean wage: $31,600 (43.9% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $14.55

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#90. Signal and Track Switch Repairers

- Number employed: 7,250

- Annual mean wage: $75,970 (34.9% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $36.64

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#89. Fish and Game Wardens

- Number employed: 7,230

- Annual mean wage: $57,810 (2.7% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $27.90

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#88. Artists and Related Workers, All Other

- Number employed: 7,220

- Annual mean wage: $69,650 (23.7% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $31.63

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#87. Pourers and Casters, Metal

- Number employed: 7,200

- Annual mean wage: $42,440 (24.6% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $19.31

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#86. Anthropologists and Archeologists

- Number employed: 7,180

- Annual mean wage: $69,960 (24.2% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $31.79

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#85. Nurse Midwives

- Number employed: 7,120

- Annual mean wage: $115,540 (105.2% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $53.43

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#84. Desktop Publishers

- Number employed: 7,090

- Annual mean wage: $50,600 (10.1% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $22.86

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#83. Musical Instrument Repairers and Tuners

- Number employed: 7,070

- Annual mean wage: $39,770 (29.4% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $17.70

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#82. Materials Scientists

- Number employed: 6,930

- Annual mean wage: $104,450 (85.5% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $47.82

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#81. Architecture Teachers, Postsecondary

- Number employed: 6,910

- Annual mean wage: $100,820 (79.0% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: -$4.00

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#80. Proofreaders and Copy Markers

- Number employed: 6,610

- Annual mean wage: $44,670 (20.7% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $19.78

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#79. Archivists

- Number employed: 6,550

- Annual mean wage: $61,210 (8.7% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $27.29

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#78. Life Scientists, All Other

- Number employed: 6,540

- Annual mean wage: $92,170 (63.7% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $39.42

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#77. Forest and Conservation Workers

- Number employed: 6,490

- Annual mean wage: $33,520 (40.5% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $14.73

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#76. Agricultural Workers, All Other

- Number employed: 6,460

- Annual mean wage: $34,330 (39.0% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $14.49

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#75. Mining and Geological Engineers, Including Mining Safety Engineers

- Number employed: 6,270

- Annual mean wage: $100,140 (77.8% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $45.10

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#74. Hydrologists

- Number employed: 6,170

- Annual mean wage: $90,150 (60.1% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $40.41

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#73. Nuclear Technicians

- Number employed: 6,160

- Annual mean wage: $83,810 (48.8% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $40.48

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#72. Correspondence Clerks

- Number employed: 6,150

- Annual mean wage: $40,070 (28.8% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $18.46

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#71. Tool Grinders, Filers, and Sharpeners

- Number employed: 6,080

- Annual mean wage: $43,670 (22.4% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $19.74

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#70. Political Scientists

- Number employed: 6,010

- Annual mean wage: $124,100 (120.4% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $60.27

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#69. Environmental Science Teachers, Postsecondary

- Number employed: 5,860

- Annual mean wage: $94,520 (67.9% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: unavailable

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#68. Wind Turbine Service Technicians

- Number employed: 5,860

- Annual mean wage: $59,340 (5.4% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $27.03

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#67. Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators

- Number employed: 5,810

- Annual mean wage: $76,440 (35.7% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $31.79

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#66. Costume Attendants

- Number employed: 5,750

- Annual mean wage: $51,780 (8.0% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $20.63

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#65. Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers

- Number employed: 5,670

- Annual mean wage: $76,810 (36.4% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $32.73

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#64. Occupational Therapy Aides

- Number employed: 5,630

- Annual mean wage: $34,160 (39.3% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $14.51

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#63. Dentists, All Other Specialists

- Number employed: 5,610

- Annual mean wage: $194,930 (246.2% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $88.12

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#62. Anthropology and Archeology Teachers, Postsecondary

- Number employed: 5,590

- Annual mean wage: $98,740 (75.4% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: unavailable

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#61. Nuclear Power Reactor Operators

- Number employed: 5,310

- Annual mean wage: $104,470 (85.5% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $50.02

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#60. Floor Sanders and Finishers

- Number employed: 5,100

- Annual mean wage: $41,400 (26.5% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $18.68

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#59. Orthodontists

- Number employed: 5,040

- Annual mean wage: $237,990 (322.6% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: unavailable

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#58. Fallers

- Number employed: 4,820

- Annual mean wage: $49,520 (12.1% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $20.76

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#57. Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers

- Number employed: 4,670

- Annual mean wage: $57,880 (2.8% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $23.88

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#56. Rock Splitters, Quarry

- Number employed: 4,640

- Annual mean wage: $38,430 (31.8% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $17.85

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#55. Telephone Operators

- Number employed: 4,630

- Annual mean wage: $39,340 (30.1% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $18.13

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#54. Rail Yard Engineers, Dinkey Operators, and Hostlers

- Number employed: 4,580

- Annual mean wage: $55,200 (2.0% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $24.86

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#53. Hoist and Winch Operators

- Number employed: 4,460

- Annual mean wage: $62,730 (11.4% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $30.10

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#52. Library Science Teachers, Postsecondary

- Number employed: 4,230

- Annual mean wage: $77,560 (37.7% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: unavailable

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#51. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

- Number employed: 4,120

- Annual mean wage: $234,990 (317.3% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: unavailable

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#50. Craft Artists

- Number employed: 4,090

- Annual mean wage: $38,260 (32.1% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $16.92

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#49. Shoe Machine Operators and Tenders

- Number employed: 4,080

- Annual mean wage: $31,430 (44.2% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $14.72

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#48. Entertainment Attendants and Related Workers, All Other

- Number employed: 3,900

- Annual mean wage: $32,580 (42.1% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $13.09

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#47. Embalmers

- Number employed: 3,860

- Annual mean wage: $50,220 (10.8% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $22.90

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#46. Logging Workers, All Other

- Number employed: 3,850

- Annual mean wage: $41,830 (25.7% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $19.91

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#45. Pile Driver Operators

- Number employed: 3,820

- Annual mean wage: $71,880 (27.7% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $30.47

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#44. Transit and Railroad Police

- Number employed: 3,800

- Annual mean wage: $71,000 (26.1% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $34.89

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#43. Gas Compressor and Gas Pumping Station Operators

- Number employed: 3,800

- Annual mean wage: $63,770 (13.2% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $32.62

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#42. Geography Teachers, Postsecondary

- Number employed: 3,720

- Annual mean wage: $87,160 (54.8% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: unavailable

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#41. Choreographers

- Number employed: 3,580

- Annual mean wage: $52,000 (7.7% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $21.00

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#40. Loading and Moving Machine Operators, Underground Mining

- Number employed: 3,520

- Annual mean wage: $56,100 (0.4% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $27.23

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#39. Commercial Divers

- Number employed: 3,460

- Annual mean wage: $71,850 (27.6% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $26.35

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#38. Sewers, Hand

- Number employed: 3,410

- Annual mean wage: $30,790 (45.3% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $14.42

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#37. Model Makers, Metal and Plastic

- Number employed: 3,400

- Annual mean wage: $58,180 (3.3% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $26.33

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#36. Log Graders and Scalers

- Number employed: 3,390

- Annual mean wage: $38,940 (30.8% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $17.74

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#35. Camera and Photographic Equipment Repairers

- Number employed: 3,320

- Annual mean wage: $42,740 (24.1% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $19.39

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#34. Gambling Managers

- Number employed: 3,240

- Annual mean wage: $85,440 (51.7% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $36.28

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#33. Bridge and Lock Tenders

- Number employed: 3,080

- Annual mean wage: $49,610 (11.9% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $25.16

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#32. Communications Equipment Operators, All Other

- Number employed: 3,070

- Annual mean wage: $49,260 (12.5% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $22.44

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#31. Terrazzo Workers and Finishers

- Number employed: 2,970

- Annual mean wage: $56,440 (0.2% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $24.73

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#30. Forest Fire Inspectors and Prevention Specialists

- Number employed: 2,900

- Annual mean wage: $52,130 (7.4% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $20.26

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#29. Manufactured Building and Mobile Home Installers

- Number employed: 2,900

- Annual mean wage: $36,360 (35.4% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $16.89

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#28. Paperhangers

- Number employed: 2,820

- Annual mean wage: $49,820 (11.5% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $20.94

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#27. Makeup Artists, Theatrical and Performance

- Number employed: 2,780

- Annual mean wage: $99,990 (77.6% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $51.40

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#26. Historians

- Number employed: 2,770

- Annual mean wage: $68,400 (21.5% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $30.33

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#25. Animal Scientists

- Number employed: 2,680

- Annual mean wage: $74,540 (32.4% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $30.52

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#24. Sociologists

- Number employed: 2,470

- Annual mean wage: $93,420 (65.9% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $41.40

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#23. Mathematicians

- Number employed: 2,460

- Annual mean wage: $112,530 (99.8% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $53.30

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#22. Watch and Clock Repairers

- Number employed: 2,430

- Annual mean wage: $48,560 (13.8% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $21.77

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#21. Patternmakers, Metal and Plastic

- Number employed: 2,400

- Annual mean wage: $49,570 (12.0% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $23.16

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#20. Motorboat Operators

- Number employed: 2,380

- Annual mean wage: $53,500 (5.0% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $26.88

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#19. Models

- Number employed: 2,350

- Annual mean wage: $54,050 (4.0% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $15.34

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#18. Genetic Counselors

- Number employed: 2,280

- Annual mean wage: $89,710 (59.3% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $41.20

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#17. Family and Consumer Sciences Teachers, Postsecondary

- Number employed: 2,270

- Annual mean wage: $81,580 (44.9% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: unavailable

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#16. Motion Picture Projectionists

- Number employed: 2,270

- Annual mean wage: $34,380 (38.9% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $13.22

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#15. Roof Bolters, Mining

- Number employed: 2,080

- Annual mean wage: $61,900 (9.9% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $29.42

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#14. Astronomers

- Number employed: 1,910

- Annual mean wage: $126,250 (124.2% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $57.56

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#13. Dredge Operators

- Number employed: 1,750

- Annual mean wage: $53,790 (4.5% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $23.66

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#12. Rail Transportation Workers, All Other

- Number employed: 1,540

- Annual mean wage: $54,670 (2.9% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $23.06

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#11. Forestry and Conservation Science Teachers, Postsecondary

- Number employed: 1,460

- Annual mean wage: $92,420 (64.1% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: unavailable

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#10. Geographers

- Number employed: 1,450

- Annual mean wage: $85,620 (52.1% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $41.07

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#9. Agricultural Engineers

- Number employed: 1,440

- Annual mean wage: $101,620 (80.5% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $40.58

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#8. Timing Device Assemblers and Adjusters

- Number employed: 1,000

- Annual mean wage: $39,430 (30.0% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $17.39

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#7. Animal Breeders

- Number employed: 920

- Annual mean wage: $43,930 (22.0% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $19.60

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#6. Model Makers, Wood

- Number employed: 800

- Annual mean wage: $62,600 (11.2% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $30.79

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#5. Industrial-Organizational Psychologists

- Number employed: 780

- Annual mean wage: $112,690 (100.1% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $46.28

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#4. Refractory Materials Repairers, Except Brickmasons

- Number employed: 760

- Annual mean wage: $55,080 (2.2% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $26.26

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#3. Prosthodontists

- Number employed: 530

- Annual mean wage: $214,870 (281.6% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: unavailable

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#2. Cooks, Private Household

- Number employed: 320

- Annual mean wage: $46,810 (16.9% below mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $15.69

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#1. Patternmakers, Wood

- Number employed: 190

- Annual mean wage: $60,750 (7.9% above mean for all occupations)

- Median hourly wage: $31.31

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