Monthly Archives: March 2014

Job satisfaction after income

I was intrigued by an article on a report from the Cabinet Office that ranked Clergy and Chief Executive as numbers 1 and 2 on a list of the most satisfying jobs in the UK.  Isn’t it likely that they are driven by different things?

I downloaded the data and fitted a quick-and-dirty regression model between income and life satisfaction, and then ranked the jobs according to the residuals from the model.  This is roughly the average satisfaction that is not explained by income.  The top 20 most satisfying jobs, after accounting for income, are below, with the original ranking in brackets:

(1) Clergy
(4) Company secretaries
(15) Fitness instructors
(3) Managers and proprietors in agriculture and horticulture
(17) School secretaries
(8) Farmers
(21) Dental nurses
(6) Health care practice managers
(23) Farm workers
(12) Physiotherapists
(13) Primary and nursery education teaching professionals
(22) Musicians
(50) Teaching assistants
(51) Childminders and related occupations
(9) Hotel and accommodation managers and proprietors
(33) Travel agents
(5) Quality assurance and regulatory professionals
(10) Skilled metal, electrical and electronic trades supervisors
(78) Playworkers
(41) Records clerks and assistants


And the bottom 20 are:


(266) Bar staff
(258) Parking and civil enforcement occupations
(253) Roofers, roof tilers and slaters
(252) Bus and coach drivers
(108) Legal professionals
(248) Mobile machine drivers and operatives
(262) Fishing and other elementary agriculture occupations
(257) Fork-lift truck drivers
(234) Quantity surveyors
(267) Care escorts
(261) Construction operatives
(263) Security guards and related occupations
(265) Plastics process operatives
(268) Sports and leisure assistants
(264) Ambulance staff (excluding paramedics)
(269) Telephone salespersons
(271) Industrial cleaning process occupations
(272) Debt, rent and other cash collectors
(270) Floorers and wall tilers
(273) Elementary construction occupations
(274) Publicans and managers of licensed premises


With Chief Executive languishing somewhere in the end at number 242.

In fact, the variation at the top of the unadjusted ranking (the ranking in the article) is quite large, while at the bottom end of the scale the variation is much smaller.  This can be seen in this graph below, with the original rank on the X axis and the adjusted rank on the Y axis (click to enlarge):



The red dot is Chief Executive -the least satisfied at the upper end of the overall scale.  This suggests that income is more strongly linked at the bottom end of the scale than at the top, which makes sense.

Whatever way you look at it, clergy (say they) are pretty happy!


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