Photo: Johnny Silvercloud via Flickr
How much do our jobs really matter in the grand scheme of society? When pitting professions against each another, we may judge how much a job that informs and brightens someone’s day stacks up against a career that actually saves lives. When we are forced to choose, a new CreditLoan survey of over 1,000 Americans across ages found that we are more likely to value the societal contributions of the latter.
EMTs were most valued, bartenders were least valued
On a 1 to 5 scale, survey participants were asked to weigh and rank how 37 different careers contributed to the overall wellbeing of society, and from there, livelihoods received average scores. In general, participants recognized the value of medicine. When our bodies are in danger, we respect the people who answer the call. Emergency medical technicians and paramedics received the top score with an average of 4.6, and nurses and physicians came in second and third.
But participants were not sympathetic to the listening ear and cold drink that a good bartender can give the world. Out of all the professions that participants could rank, bartending was seen as the career with the least value to society. We also do not value the people nagging after us to collect and audit our income taxes. Tax collectors came in second-to-last. We respect the contributions of the people upholding our society’s basic infrastructures more than people in the corner office. Water treatment plant workers (#13) and trash collectors (#14) far eclipsed the value of CEOs (#30).
Ultimately, if you have one of the jobs in the bottom of this list, recognize that it does not matter how much other people judge the societal merit of your career when you’re the one living it. If you find personal meaning in the path you chose, ignore other people’s criticisms and do not let people define your career’s worth.
Here’s the full list:
- Emergency medical technicians and paramedics
- Police officers
- Social workers
- Water treatment plant workers
- Trash and recycling collectors
- Lawyers and judges
- Construction laborers
- Postal Service mail carriers
- Janitors and building cleaners
- Morticians, undertakers, and funeral directors
- Legislators/elected officials
- Web developers
- Customer service representatives
- Transportation security screeners
- Chief executives
- Waiters and waitresses
- Taxi drivers and chauffeurs
- Recreation and fitness workers
- Flight attendants
- Athletes, coaches, or umpires
- Tax collectors