Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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May 4, 2013

The best and worst jobs in the current economy

With rapid changes in the economy, some jobs are valued more than others, meaning if you can land one, there's usually higher pay and more perks.

Meanwhile, other jobs that have traditionally been considered desirable have slipped toward the bottom of the heap.

With growing concern that the U.S. labor force is deficient in workers with science and technology skills, education now emphasizes what is known as STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Students are encouraged to choose a STEM field of study and the job market is currently rewarding those who do.

A recent Wall Street Journal report found that petroleum engineers can earn $93,500 a year as a starting salary. Computer engineers can start at $71,700. For chemical engineers, the starting pay can be as high as $67,600.

Compare that to new hires in educational services. In that industry starting employees earn an average of just under $40,000 a year.

The best to the worst

CareerCast.com recently released its list of the best and worst jobs in America, taking into account not only pay and benefits but working conditions as well. Topping the list is actuary, a numbers cruncher who measures the financial impact of risk and uncertainty – two things very prevalent in today's economy.

Want to be an actuary? The Society of Actuaries and Casualty Actuarial Society has an informative website that tells you not only what actuaries do but provides quite a bit of useful information for those seeking to enter this rather esoteric line of work.

The list also includes biomedical engineer, software engineer, audiologist, financial planner, dental hygienist, occupational therapist, optometrist, and computer systems analyst.

The worst job in America? According to the list, it's newspaper reporter, a profession once glamorized by movies, books and the Watergate scandal.

The job of newspaper reporter has been on the decline in the CareerCast list for a number of years, because of relatively low pay, tight deadlines and poor working conditions. With shrinking newsrooms, reporters now have to worry about losing this least-valued job.

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    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 18, 2014

  • Smartphone kill switches are coming

    Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!

    April 18, 2014

  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 18, 2014

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    In the absence of a palette of watercolors and a sketchpad, these three apps can fill in as your art supplies of choice.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

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    A new paper from demographers at the University of Minnesota found that the age-standardized divorce rate has actually risen by an astonishing 40 percent since 1980.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

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    The young woman who says she was driven by satanic spirts to commit a cross-country murder spree over the last six years says authorities are not taking her claims seriously and that she tried to lured other central Pennslyvania men into her death snare with online companionship ads but they didn't show up.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • firefighters.jpg VIDEO: Firefighters sing song from 'Frozen' to calm girl stuck in elevator

    Firefighters in Reading, Mass., sing the Disney power ballad known by children everywhere -- "Let It Go" -- to calm a 4-year-old stuck in an elevator.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • dog-sunglasses.jpg Do animals have a sense of humor?

    Right now, in a high-security research lab at Northwestern University's Falk Center for Molecular Therapeutics, scientists are tickling rats. Their goal? To develop a pharmaceutical-grade happiness pill. But their efforts might also produce some of the best evidence yet that humor isn't something experienced exclusively by human beings.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Put teens to work by laying off minimum wage rhetoric

    Idle teen workers may be a national problem, but frugal private employers aren't the reason for it. Minimum wage hikes - like the one championed by President Obama - squeeze these marginal jobs out of the economy.
     

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 2.40.34 PM.png VIDEO: Would-be carjacker stymied by stick shift

    A man ordered a mother and her son out of their SUV at gunpoint in an Omaha neighborhood, but was forced to flee on foot, police said, because he didn’t know how to drive a stick shift.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo

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