When selecting what profession to enter into there are many elements we consider – what are our skills? What do we enjoy doing? How much will we get paid? What will a typical working day look like?
In our new research we have investigated which aspects of work impact most on your overall wellbeing, and which jobs are best for your overall health and happiness.
This accounts for practical benefits of the job, such as how much you will get paid – because let’s be honest money does make the world go round, but weighs this against factors which affect your overall health and wellbeing, such as stress levels, time spent outdoors and how sedentary the job is.
From business owners to retail workers, police officers to doctors, we compiled a list of some of the most popular professions and analysed key factors that affect the average worker’s wellbeing including annual salary, weekly working hours, workplace safety, the chance of the job becoming automated in the future and physical activity throughout the day.
Read on below to find out which job came out top.
Coming out in the top spot is teachers, with personal trainers and professional musicians very close behind.
It may come as a surprise that teachers ranked number 1 as the profession is often associated with being overworked, stressed and underpaid. However, the results are telling and show that although some of these may be true, there are plenty of factors that make being a teacher a worthwhile and rewarding job. They have an incredibly low chance of automation in the future at just 1%, one of the lowest on our list which shows that teachers have plenty of job security as the chance of robots replacing them is almost impossible. They also have low rates of workplace deaths and suicide rates meaning that although they may be stressed, they have relatively good mental health and their jobs aren’t as dangerous as others. Unlike other jobs, they also have a lot of freedom to make decisions, likely to plan their own lessons and determine daily tasks.
Coming in at second place is a profession distinctively different from a teacher, personal trainers. People who work as fitness professionals tend to have fairly low working hours and have enough freedom to determine when and where they work. As their job requires them to be incredibly active on a day to day basis and they have plenty of freedom on the job, they have low stress and keep fit while working which is a major challenge for office-based jobs which see people being sedentary all day – which is not good for our physical or mental health. Just like with teachers, personal trainers have a very low risk of their jobs becoming automated at just 9% meaning they have job security and need not worry about this in the future.
The top 10 professions with the best overall wellbeing are:
The highest paid job in the study – business owner – landed at 4th place, possibly hinting that being paid well lends itself to positive wellbeing in the workplace, so long as the other factors line up too. Business owners can expect an average annual salary of £97,708, almost 4x more than the average teacher. The job also has a very low chance of automation. It’s not all plane sailing for business owners though, they have a low score for time pressure with the majority of them claiming they feel pressured every day, while they find the consequences of their decisions to be extremely serious placing a lot of pressure on their everyday tasks.
The lowest ranking profession in our study is taxi drivers, scoring less than half of that of teachers in our index. Taxi drivers scored low across the board with only a high score for mental health. Throughout the week they work long hours with an average of 42 hours per week yet have one of the lowest salaries of all jobs at £21,167 per year. Due to the nature of their work they have very low safety lending to a high rate of workplace deaths. They spend little time outside in the fresh air and the job involves little to no physical activity. They say they have “limited freedom”, the consequences of their actions are “very serious” and they feel time-pressured “every day”, that’s a lot to deal with.
To create our Professional Wellbeing Index, we looked at the following factors:
Chance of Automation
Time Spent Outdoors
Consequence of Decisions
Freedom to Make Decisions
Using these categories, we established an overall Professional Wellbeing Index score by scoring each country out of 5 across the elements and totalling this together, allowing for the highest available total score of 55. Full dataset available on request.