PayScale Releases 2015 Most and Least Meaningful Jobs Report

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Surgeons have best combination of high earnings and high job meaning; Fast Food Workers actually believe their job makes the world a worse place

PayScale, Inc., the world's leading provider of on-demand compensation data and software, today announced its 2015 Most and Least Meaningful Jobs Report.

The PayScale 2015 Most and Least Meaningful Jobs Report provides the percentage of workers reporting high job meaning, national median pay, and percentage of workers reporting high job satisfaction for both detailed and major job groupings (O*NET). In addition, PayScale compiled a list of the jobs where workers most often believe their job makes the world worse.

This report includes the following Top 10 lists:

  • Most Meaningful Jobs: The jobs where the highest percentage of workers answered "Very much so" or "Yes" to the question, "Does your job make the world a better place?"
  • Least Meaningful Jobs: The jobs where the lowest percentage of workers answered "Very much so" or "Yes" to the question, "Does your job make the world a better place?"
  • Jobs That Make the World a Worse Place: The jobs where the highest percentage of workers answered "My job makes the world a worse place" to the question, "Does your job make the world a better place?"

“This data is coming straight from people working in these jobs who are either finding great meaning in their day-to-day work or who, alternatively, believe that their job has a negative impact on the world,” said Lydia Frank, Senior Editorial Director, PayScale. “Millennials, especially, are placing greater emphasis on finding work that has purpose, and we hope this list is a good starting point for some career exploration and research.”

The full report can be found here: http://www.payscale.com/data-packages/most-and-least-meaningful-jobs

Highlights from PayScale’s 2015 Most and Least Meaningful Jobs Report include:

1. While 55 percent of all respondents say that their job is highly meaningful, Clergy members (any religious affiliation) had the highest overall job meaning of any individual job title -- 98 percent said that their job makes the world a better place. The job categories with the highest job meaning were Military jobs (88 percent); Community and Social Service jobs (85 percent); and Education, Training and Library jobs (80 percent).

2. Surgeons have the best combination of high job meaning (96 percent) and typical median salary ($304,000).

3. The least meaningful overall job categories are Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media (42 percent); Food Preparation and Serving (39 percent) and Sales (39 percent). Only 5 percent of parking lot attendants say that their job makes the world a better place, giving them the lowest percentage of workers reporting high job meaning. Other job titles at the bottom of the rankings are Gaming Supervisors (20 percent); Prepress Technicians and Workers (25 percent); Title Examiners, Abstractors, and Searchers (25 percent).

4. Fast Food Workers are most likely to say that their job actually makes the world a WORSE place - 25 percent chose that answer when they took the PayScale Survey. Other job titles that made the top of the "Jobs That Make the World a Worse Place" list include: Picker (Warehouse) at 21 percent and Table Games Floor Supervisor at 20 percent.

5. The majority of the highest-paying job titles (over $100,000 per year) see job meaning rates of 75 percent or above. However, there are some notable exceptions, especially in tech. Computer Software Engineers (Applications) (median salary of $103,000); Computer and Information Scientists, Research (median salary $101,000); and Computer and Information Systems Managers ($103,000) all report below-average job meaning numbers (29 percent, 45 percent and 49 percent, respectively).

“Employers would be wise to take a close look at these findings as well,” said Katie Bardaro, VP of Data Analytics, PayScale. “If workers aren’t finding meaning and purpose in their work, they’re more likely to feel disengaged which can lead to high turnover and low productivity, both of which can impact the bottom line.”

About PayScale

Cloud software, crowdsourced data and unique algorithms power the world’s largest real-time database of rich salary profiles giving PayScale the unique ability to provide employees and employers alike immediate visibility into the right pay for any position. PayScale’s cloud compensation software is used by more than 3,000 customers including Bloomberg BNA, Cummins, Warby Parker, Clemson University and Signature HealthCARE.

For more information, please visit: http://www.payscale.com or follow PayScale on Twitter: http://twitter.com/payscale.

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Steven Gottlieb
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