“America's Biggest Ego Workers: Professional Confidence Explored” PayScale Releases New Report

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Forty-three percent of U.S. workers believe they are the top performer in their job; A higher salary generally coincides with a greater level of confidence; Millennials report the lowest generational self-assessment of performance level

PayScale, Inc., the world's leading provider of on-demand compensation data and software today announced a new report “America's Biggest Ego Workers: Professional Confidence Explored.” The report utilizes data collected by PayScale, examining which workers have the healthiest egos, when it comes to their job performance, comparing differences across education levels, gender, generations, and income.

“Beyond simply being curious as to which workers are the most confident in their professional ability—which we tied to ego—we also wanted to see whether there was a tie to salary and confidence,” said Sean Leslie, Sr. Content Strategist at PayScale. “And in general, it turns out there is.”

The survey identified a general trend that as pay rises, so does confidence; while only 37 percent of workers making under $25,000 a year reported being the top performer at their company for jobs similar to theirs—the lowest of any salary group surveyed—56 percent of workers making more than $200,000 a year—the highest salary group surveyed—reported the same.

“This might indicate that a higher salary breeds confidence, or it might indicate that more confident workers can negotiate and command a higher salary,” said Leslie. “It pays to be confident.”

Highlights from PayScale’s “America's Biggest Ego Workers: Professional Confidence Explored” report include:

  • Overall, 43 percent of respondents strongly agreed that they are the top performer at their company for jobs similar to theirs.
  • The top three most confident job titles (in order): Private Household Cooks (74 percent), Chief Executives (72 percent) and Art Directors (65 percent).
  • "Private Household Cooks," and "Chefs and Head Cooks" appeared at number two and number eight on the list, respectively, making "Cooks" the only occupation to appear twice in the top 10.
  • Only 39 percent of medical doctors (MDs) reported being the top performer at their organization for jobs similar to theirs.
  • There is virtually no difference between men and women reporting being the top performer at their company for jobs similar to theirs, 44 percent to 43 percent, respectively.
  • Only 39 percent of Anesthesiologists strongly agreed that they are the top performer at their company for jobs similar to theirs, but they hold the job title that has the highest median salary on our list at $241,300 annually.
  • Only 15 percent of Graduate Teaching Assistants strongly agreed that they are the top performer at their org for jobs similar to theirs, the lowest of any job title surveyed. Graduate Teaching Assistant is also the lowest paid job title on our list, earning a median salary of $15,600 annually.
  • 48 percent of Baby Boomers reported being the top performer at their company for jobs similar to theirs, the highest of any generation surveyed, while 40 percent of Millennials reported being the top performer at their company for jobs similar to theirs, the lowest of any generation surveyed.

PayScale collected data from 383,028 workers between 6/19/2014 and 6/19/2016 to create this report.

Workers were asked how much they agree with the following statement:

“I am the top performer at my company for jobs similar to mine."

Response choices were:
5 - Strongly Agree
4.
3.
2.
1 - Strongly Disagree

PayScale classified those who chose “Strongly Agree” – the top answer – as big ego employees, reflecting either a high level of professional confidence, an inflated sense of self, or both.

“What we do know is that it’s not possible for 43 percent of workers to be the top performer at their workplace unless the definition of ‘top performer’ varies greatly worker to worker,” said Katie Bardaro, VP of Data Analytics and Lead Economist, PayScale. “We don’t know which of these workers are justified in their high level of confidence and which are not.”

PayScale analyzed differences in responses overall and by:

  • Job titles
  • Gender
  • Generation
  • Pay ranges
  • Company size
  • Education

For more information about “America's Biggest Ego Workers: Professional Confidence Explored,” please visit: http://www.payscale.com/data-packages/big-ego-jobs

About PayScale

PayScale powers compensation solutions in the cloud to provide immediate visibility into the right pay for any position. Creator of the world’s largest database of rich salary profiles, PayScale offers modern compensation software and real-time, data driven insights for employees and employers alike. More than 5,000 customers, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, use PayScale Benchmark™, PayScale Insight™ and MarketPay. These include Bloomberg BNA, Cummins, Intercom, Time Warner, 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
PayScale
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