These are the most satisfying UK industries to work in

E-commerce, construction and trade professionals are the most likely to be satisfied with their jobs, new research has found.

A study of workers found automotive, IT and food and drink industries all ranked well for job satisfaction, with those working in oil and gas among the least satisfied.

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The analysis of 1,500 employees by global job site Indeed compared results across 17 different industries and took factors such as salary, fulfilment, purpose, relationships with colleagues and experience of career setbacks and failures into account to discover what creates true satisfaction at work for UK staff.

The most popular UK industries in order of satisfaction

1. E-commerce – 69%2. Construction – 63%3. Trade – 64%4. Consumer goods – 61%5. Business services – 61%6. Healthcare, medical & pharmaceutical – 61%7. Automotive – 59%8. IT – 58%9. Food & drink – 55%10. Law – 52%11. Hospitality – 50%12. Transport & distribution – 49%13. Media & communications – 47%14. Retail – 46%15. Finance & banking – 43%16. Manufacturing – 43%17. Oil & gas – 27%

What do people want out of their jobs?

The research found stark differences across industries, with those working in media and communications least concerned about a job that helps others (43 per cent), compared to 98 per cent of people working in healthcare and medicine.

When it comes to pay that packs a punch, over half (52 per cent) of those in the automotive industry and 45 per cent of lawyers value having a higher salary than their friends. This is more than the national average of 38 per cent, and higher than those in hospitality (31 per cent).

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How do we define job satisfaction?

Finding your job fulfilling – 92%Overcoming challenges and adversity – 82%Working with people you get along with – 77%Working for a company that is committed to doing good – 70%Having an inspiring mentor / boss – 67%Working in a job that helps others – 65%Being able to work flexibly and remotely – 63%Getting additional perks and benefits – 63%Quick progression – 43%Working for a prestigious company – 40%Having a larger salary than your friends – 38%Working in a cool office space – 27%

How happy are you at work?

And it seems satisfaction comes later at work than in any other area of life, with the average Brit having to wait until middle age (45 years old) until they’re happy with their lot, compared to just 34 to be satisfied with their friendships, romantic relationships at 38 and home life at 44.

When it comes to satisfaction across industries, those working in e-commerce scored highly, with seven in 10 (69 per cent) feeling like they ‘love’ what they do. This was followed by the likes of construction (63 per cent), health-care (61 per cent) and IT (58 per cent), with just 27 per cent of oil and gas workers feeling the love when it comes to their careers.

It comes as over a quarter (29 per cent) of employees admit to updating their CV this month in the hope of finding a new job.

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Recognising that it’s the trials and tribulations of working life that can actually contribute to a successful and satisfying career, Indeed has launched a new podcast series, Some You Win, hosted by author and broadcaster, Emma Gannon.

Some You Win is a four-part series interviewing the likes of Elle editor-in-chief, Farrah Storr, musician/author, Akala, and S.A.S Who Dares Wins star, Jason Fox, delving into their personal and professional wins and losses, all of which have helped them get to where they are today.

To listen to the Some You Win podcast series, visit

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