School districts and colleges hold the top spot in eight states. Hospitals and health care systems were the top employers in five states.

And that includes right here in Illinois. The Forbes list of the best employers in Illinois names Northwestern Medicine as number one.

In looking at the best employers in all 50 states, Forbes notes that Costco Wholesale and ConocoPhillips were the only companies taking the Number 1 spot in more than one state. FedEx shows up in the top 100 in 27 states, while the often-maligned Amazon hits the top 100 in 23 states.

In eight different states, colleges and school districts sit on top, and health-care systems and hospitals lead the way in 5 states.

As for the Land of Lincoln, here's who Forbes says are the top 20 best employers:

It would be interesting if Forbes or some other media outlet came out with a "Worst Employers" list, but since they'd probably find themselves sued out of existence for such a list, we probably won't see one anytime soon.

However, I ran a search for the World's Worst Jobs, and even though the title of worst job is a pretty subjective one, here are a few that I found that would be pretty hard to argue with (and all of them are real):

  • Manual Sewer Cleaner (pretty self-explanatory)
  • Animal Masturbator (they do what they do for animal fertility studies. I wonder how that looks on a business card)
  • Embalmer
  • Hazmat Diver
  • Forensic Entomologist (according to, the forensic entomologist has the glamorous task of studying rotting corpses and the insects found within them to ascertain the causes of death.)
  • Roadkill Collector (Shouldn't it be "gatherer?" Collector makes it sound like you're grabbing really gross knick-knacks)


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