Proof at last, if any were needed, that money does not necessarily buy happiness. And vindication indeed for the religious among us who say that instead, it comes from Him up there.
Research by the Cabinet Office places vicars top in a league of job satisfaction, not far ahead of farmers and agricultural proprietors, at eighth and third respectively. And secretaries – earning £18,176 – come in fourth.
They are clear ahead of dentists, medics, accountants and lawyers, all of whom are given as earning at least double the farmers’ average of £24,000. Even farm workers, a notoriously tough job with some of the lowest pay rates around, rank 23rd of the 274 listed.
The title of least satisfying job goes to pub landlords – recognition perhaps of the unsociable hours and the eternal gloom that seems to hang over the industry, regardless of beer duty cuts. But aside from labourers and construction trades, there is some karma at the bottom of the list – debt and rent collectors are just two above publicans at 272.
However, it appears that six-figure salaries are sufficient, with chief executives earning an average £117,700 coming second to the clergy. “Quality assurance and regulatory professionals” come in fifth, with hotel managers and owners coming in ninth, just ahead of skilled trades supervisors.
The list is intended to let those choosing a career consider the relative merits of a job other than simply the pay, something David Cameron set out on his list of priorities six months after taking office. He told the country how there was a need to “take practical steps to make sure government is properly focused on our quality of life as well as economic growth”.
The prime minister wanted a “reappraisal of what matters” that would “lead to government policy that is more focused not just on the bottom line, but on all those things that make life worthwhile”.
Using the figures to produce a list of satisfaction per pound earned sends teaching professionals top, with lollipop ladies and men at number one. But more bad news for publicans. They’re still last.