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UK – Best and worst jobs revealed

17 September 2013

Miners and Couriers are the worst occupations in the UK, according to the latest research from job search engine Adzuna.co.uk. Translators and Web Developers were crowned as the best jobs of 2013. Doctors and Pilots suffer the most stress at work, while Travel Agents and Supermarket Cashiers have the worst outlook for 2014.

The study, conducted in September 2013, analysed over 2,000 job titles to highlight the best, worst, most stressful and most promising jobs in the UK. Each job title was scored based on 25 different criteria including earning potential, working conditions, competitiveness, unemployment rates and job security. These scores were then combined to produce an overall list of the top 10 best and worst jobs in the UK.

The Worst Jobs of 2013 - Miners and Couriers have the worst jobs in the UK the study has shown. High-pressure deadlines, the lowest income growth potential in the survey and long hours pushed these roles to the top of the “worst” list.  Sous chefs, Electricians and HGV Drivers round out the rest of the worst jobs.

The Best Jobs of 2013 - Taking the crown of best jobs on the market are Translators, Web Developers and Surgeons. These roles boasted the highest levels of job security in the study, some of the highest average salaries (exceeding £85,000 p.a.) and excellent income growth potential of up to eight times starting salary. Lack of competition, employer demand, rising wages and excellent working environments also resulted in Web Developers being voted one of the most stress free jobs in the UK today.

The Most Stressful Jobs - Pilots & Oil Riggers have the most stressful jobs in the UK, scoring top for emotional and physical stress. Journalists rank as the 4th most stressful career choice, primarily due to highest pressure working environments and a deadline driven culture. Low levels of competition, few deadlines and little physical work have resulted in Librarians and Translators being named the least stressful jobs on the market.

Outlook - The Most & Least Promising Jobs - Roles in the IT and Engineering sectors dominate the best outlook list thanks to average wages growing 3.2% since January 2013 and advertised jobs increasing 23% over the same time period. At the other end of the spectrum, technological advancements and cuts at big firms such as Thomas Cook & The Royal Mail have affected the UK’s job market.  Jobs like Travel Agents, Postmen, Supermarket Cashier and Factory Workers are becoming increasingly redundant in today’s employment market.

Flora Lowther, Head of Research at Adzuna, sayid: “Listing every available vacancy in the UK and studying the behavior of millions of monthly job seekers, gives us a unique insight into employee satisfaction levels and perceptions in today’s job market. Job seekers should be taking note of this research when thinking about their next career move.” 

Top 10 jobs in the UK

Rank Job Title

Avg. Salary

(per annum)

No.of Jobs Score 
1 Translator £39,900 7,363 41
2 Web Developer £34,600 13,081 41
3 Surgeon £63,300 1,037 40
4 Lawyer £56,300 2,909 39
5 Vet £42,100 2,371 34
6 Pilot £59,000 905 33
7 Actuary £56,000 219 32
8 Physiotherapist £65,000 1,547 31
9 Architect £64,000 4,321 27
10 Dentist £80,000 1,662 26

Worst 10 Jobs in the UK

Rank Job Title

Avg. Salary

(per annum)

No. of Jobs Score 
1 Miner £40,500 401 -36
2 Courier £30,200 1,403 -28
3 Builders Labourer £22,200 6,354 -28
4 Journalist £28,800 824 -27
5 Sous Chef £21,256 3,957 -26
6 Electrician £25,000 2,210 -23
7 HGV Driver £20,700 2,426 -23
8 Waiter £15,400 1,297 -20
9 Care Assistant £18,800 8,530 -20
10 Housekeeper £22,000 4,381 -8
Rank Most Stressful Jobs  Rank Least Stressful Jobs 
1 Oil Riggers 1 Receptionist
2 Doctor 2 Librarian
3 Pilot 3 Translator
4 Journalist 4 Secretary
5 Fireman 5 Charity Worker
Rank Most Promising  Rank Least Promising 
1 Web Developer 1 Receptionist
2 Dentist 2 Travel Agent
3 Doctor 3 Waiter
4 Surgeon 4 Courier
5 Mechanical Engineer 5 Tattoo Artist


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