Job satisfaction… and the UK’s (surprising?) top job

Well, we had happy words in a recent post, but what about happy jobs? A report commissioned by the UK government (the Cabinet Office, to be precise) lists 274 occupations in order of their “job satisfaction rating“. Some of the results I find a bit odd: farmers come in at number 8 and farm workers 23, while gardeners and landscape gardeners are down at 173. Why the gap, I wonder? Anyway, “Authors, writers and translators” are number 42 in the list, a result that I find gratifying for 3 reasons:

  1. Translators actually got a mention (I so often have to list my occupation as “other” in surveys and similar).
  2. 42 out of 274 is a none-too-shabby score.
  3. We’re grouped with authors and writers. This seems to me a pretty classy group to be in. And it makes sense, if you consider that translators need to have good writing skills if they’re to do their job properly.

And the UK’s top job is…

Another survey, from September 2013, ranks the Top 10 Best Jobs in the UK. The survey, conducted by Adzuna, a search engine for classified ads, ranks jobs on the basis of criteria such as earning potential, competitiveness, working conditions, unemployment rates and job security. Amazingly, this survey puts translators at Number 1. Now, I like my job and it gives me great satisfaction, and I know that lots of other translators feel the same way. But the top job in the UK? The survey also lists translation as one of the 5 least stressful jobs, stress level being calculated by ranking the inherent demands of the job against 15 different criteria, including deadlines, competitiveness, and physical and emotional risk. I’d have thought deadlines alone would be enough to take translation soaring off the stress chart…

Does money buy you happiness at work?

Both studies also list average income. According to The Economist, referring to the Cabinet Office study, “regression analysis on all the data suggests that pay and job satisfaction are pretty closely correlated“. That study put translators’ average pay at £26,207, while Adzuna’s gives an average salary of £39,900. So quite a discrepancy, although the two surveys are probably not comparing like with like. Adzuna’s use of “salary” suggests in-house positions, while the Cabinet Office grouping of “Authors, writers and translators” suggests that they’re looking at self-employment figures. I’ll be writing more posts on translator pay and job satisfaction in the next week or so but take a look at these surveys in the meantime – they provide plenty of food for thought.

Other posts you might like:

Translation as a career? It’s right up there!

Not love, not money. It’s translation that makes the world go round

The Gettysburg Address: lessons for writers (and translators!)

By Marian Dougan

Published by Marian Dougan

Marian is a translator and editor (specialising in web content) currently based in Glasgow, Scotland. Marian previously lived in Italy for over 20 years, working as a language teacher, translator and policy analyst with the British Embassy in Rome. A qualified member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and its Italian-language and ITI Scotnet networks, she is currently Scotnet's Convenor and Deputy Webmaster. From 2003 to 2006 Marian taught translation skills at the Italian Department of Glasgow University and now gives Master Classes as part of the new Masters in Translation Studies course. She also conducts web-writing and usability workshops to help people improve their websites and communicate more effectively with their readers, users and customers. In September 2014 Marian obtained User Experience Certification, with specialisation in Web Design, from the Nielsen Norman Group. She loves language, especially English, and is convinced that learning languages opens up people’s minds and horizons (and increases their brainpower!). To share her enthusiasm, she advises schools and educational authorities on language skills and enterprise. She gives talks to pupils on how to combine language studies with other subjects and so enhance their potential and increase their career options. Marian is an active member of organisations such as: Scottish Council Development and Industry (SCDI); Association of Scottish Businesswomen; Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Scotland. She also loves architecture, design, fashion (British Vogue!), cities and chocolate. She’s a great fan of Twitter and you can also find her on Linkedin.

Join the conversation

1 Comment

Leave a comment

Have your say!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: