Think your job is bad? Canadian Business magazine has released its list of the top 10 worst jobs to have this year, as ranked according to the number of opportunities available and fluctuations in potential salary. Here are the career paths you don’t want to be on.

It turns out that pretty much any jobs involving lumber, paper, or harvesting have crummy pay and declining demand. Factory work is also declining as the lingering effects of the recession continue to take their toll. Textile production is nearly gone from North America as most of these jobs have shipped out to places like China, Bangladesh and Mexico. And film processing and development is doomed everywhere. Digital cameras killed it.

The top 10 worst jobs in Canada (and their median salaries): 

10. Plastics processing machine operator – $33,000

The decline in demand for plastics has meant that employment in this industry has been on a ten year decrease.

9. Printing machine operator – $37,500

New technologies continue to replace many of the people who used to work in this field.

8. Foundry worker – $43,700

Canadian Business calls this one of the “best of the worst jobs” because of the relatively high pay, but manufacturing jobs worldwide are on the decline because of the recession.

7. Labourer, wood, pulp and paper processing – $39,500

Not only does this job have declining opportunities and low pay, but it’s also physically demanding and quite dangerous. The job ranking site actually rated lumberjack as the worst job in the world last year. However, Canadian Business has found worse jobs to have in Canada. Read on.

6. Rubber processing machine operator – $38,500

Similar to the workers in plastic, demand for rubber products has gone down resulting in a surplus of workers and few opportunities.

5. General office clerk – $35,360

While there are still roles for specialized office workers, the general clerk is usually the first person let go when companies cut back. Most of their tasks are just foisted onto their remaining coworkers to absorb.

4. Harvesting labourer – $22,360

Harvesting is physically demanding hard work for very little pay. In fact this is such an undesirable job to have that many Canadians won’t do it. Farmers routinely bring in foreign workers for the harvest season.

3. Weaver or knitter – $29,000

Labour overseas is cheaper, and customers want low prices for textiles. The garment industry has been in steady decline in Canada for decades. There are very few opportunities left for people in this field.

2. Photographic and film processor – $23,000

Nobody develops film any more. Technology strikes again: digital cameras have, in a relatively short time, completely obliterated what was once a thriving industry.

1. Pulp mill operator – $56,000

Oddly, according to Canadian Business, the worst job to have in Canada this year is also the highest paying of the bad jobs. However, working in a pulp and paper mill is not a good career path to be on in 2013. The paper industry has been hit by the global economic downturn, a pine beetle infestation, increased costs, and an increasingly paperless world. Get out now.

Source: Canadian Business, “The top 10 worst jobs in Canada


Peter Harris

Peter Harris on Twitter