Veterinarians know math, and they educate pet owners and clinic staff. But vets aren't mathematicians or tenured university professors – the top two occupations on CareerCast's 2014 Jobs Rated Report.
The annual rankings, released Tuesday, placed being a veterinarian at No. 51 out of 200 jobs, just behind a loan officer but ahead of a court reporter.
CareerCast, a Carlsbad, Calif., job search portal, weighed a number of factors in the calculations. A job's work environment, including emotional and physical demands, was considered along with income, stress and the future job market.
Compared with dentists, who placed 61st, veterinarians enjoy a slightly better work environment and less stress but face a worse hiring outlook and much less pay: a median of $84,460 versus $146,340.
Elsewhere in the medical world, optometrists came in at No. 14, orthodontists at No. 48, psychiatrists at No. 49 and general-practice physicians at No. 78.
Mathematicians have it good, said Tony Lee, CareerCast's publisher.
"In today's data-driven economy, math skills unlock a world of career opportunities," he said.
Veterinary technicians were not ranked, but animal care and service workers slumped to No. 150.
While being an animal care worker brings low pay and relatively high stress, the job is one of the best for introverts, according to CareerCast.
"Do you prefer the company of four-legged creatures more than their bipedal counterparts?" the report asks. "Spend your day working with horses, cats, dogs, birds?but limited interaction with people."
On the bright side for anyone in the veterinary industry, things could be much worse. Newspaper reporters and lumberjacks have the least desirable jobs, CareerCast stated, because of lousy work environments, high stress, low pay and a dismal hiring outlook.