Top Careers in New York City to Avoid

Careers in NYC to Avoid

Whether it’s due to oversaturation of the job market, low job growth, or low pay, there are many careers that may seem reasonable to pursue in NYC, but should actually be avoided. Some careers in NYC to avoid may make sense as a holdover until you grab the job you really want, but there are always alternatives offering fewer hours, better pay, and upward growth.

We’ve put together a list of the top careers in NYC to avoid, with alternative career choices that will provide you with better opportunities.

Careers to Avoid #4: Reporter

Annual Salary for Reports:

$37,090 (median salary)

Expected Growth for Reporters:


Why You Should Avoid it:

While many people would love to be a hot shot New York City reporter in print news, inspired by films like Zodiac and All The President’s Men, in 2014, it’s not a great career move. With low growth rate and low pay in a city that’s becoming more expensive, a Newspaper Reporter is a career in NYC to avoid.

Alternate Career to Pursue: Technical Writer

Annual Salary for Technical Writers:

  • $65,500 (national median salary)
  • $71,750 (median salary in NYC)

Expected Growth by 2020:


Number of Technical Writers in NYC:


Why You Should Pursue it:

If you enjoy writing, consider instead the path of a technical writer. You may not have the glory of working on the beat, but you’ll use your technical skills to proofread and write for major corporations, earning a reasonable pay.

>> Learn how to become a technical writer

Careers to Avoid #3: Music Singer

Pay for Music Singers:

  • $23.50 (national hourly wage)
  • $36.28 (hourly wage in NYC)

Expected Growth by 2020:


Number of Singers in NYC:


Why You Should Avoid it:

While many people dream of moving to NYC to become the next big Broadway hit, it’s a challenging road to the top. If you’re not passionate and willing to give up everything to realize your dream, singing is a career in NYC to avoid. With a low growth rate and major competition, being a famous singer in NYC is a very difficult career to pursue.

Alternative Career to Pursue: Multimedia Artist

Annual Salary for Multimedia Artists

  • $61,370 (national median salary)
  • $68,570 (median salary in NYC)

Expected Growth by 2020:


Number of Multimedia Artists in NYC:


Why You Should Pursue it:

If your passion is in music, consider the role of Audio or Multimedia Producer, where you’ll handle the technical side of the audio and/or video on major motion pictures, Broadway, and television. At the very least, consider this a career while you pursue your dream of being a singer.

>> Learn how to become a multimedia artist

Careers to Avoid #2: Waiter/Waitress

Annual Salary for Waiters/Waitresses:

  • $18,088 (national median salary)
  • $19,110 (median salary in NYC)

Expected Growth by 2020:


Number of Waiters and Waitresses in NYC:


Why to You Should Avoid It:

Becoming a Waiter or Waitress is the first step for many aspiring actors, writers, and musicians who’ve moved to the city to chase their dreams. While this is historically the part-time career of passionate people, it’s one of the biggest careers in NYC to avoid. Low pay and low growth means you’ll be working long hours for a short check, and the competition for job openings is fierce.

Alternate Career to Pursue: Executive Assistant

Annual Salary for Executive Administrative Assistants:

  • $47,500 (national median salary)
  • $66,240 (median salary in NYC)

Expected Growth by 2020:


Number of Executive Administrative Assistants in NYC:


Why You Should Pursue it:

Instead of joining the wait staff at a busy restaurant, consider becoming an Executive Administrative Assistant. There’s no minimum education required, you’ll work shorter hours, and earn twice the pay. It may not sound as Hollywood as busing tables while waiting for your big break, but you’ll live a more comfortable life and garner valuable experience that will open opportunities for better positions and pay.

 >> Learn how to become an administrative assistant

Top Career to Avoid: Broadcast News Analyst

Annual Salary for News Analysts:

  • $55,380 (national median)
  • $80,750 (median salary in NYC)

Expected Growth by 2020:


Number of Broadcast News Analysts in NYC:


Why You Should Avoid it:

It can be easy to look at the salary of a News Analyst and think that its a great career to get into, but there is more to this story. After majoring in communications, many people look to NYC to provide an entry point into their Broadcasting career. Unfortunately, thousands of people have had the same thought, leading to an ultra-competitive position that is declining. If you’re considering becoming a Broadcaster, this is a career in NYC to avoid, so look outside the city for opportunities.

Alternate Career to Pursue: Broadcast Technician/Engineer

Annual Salary for Broadcast Engineers:

  • $37,880 (national median salary)
  • $52,440 (median salary in NYC)

Expected Growth by 2020:


Number of Broadcast Technicians in NYC:


Why You Should Pursue it:

If you want to work in television but want to stay in the city, the position of Broadcasting Engineer should be on your radar. Although the pay isn’t quite as high as a news analyst the position is growing and in-demand. There are plenty of opportunities for advancement and less competition, providing a more stable and dependable career.


If you’re interested in heading back to school to pursue your education in New York or anywhere else, take a look at our Careers Page, where you’ll find essential information like educational requirements, salaries, and the best locations in the country to earn a position in your chosen field.

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