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PayScale Announces Report Analyzing Most & Least Meaningful Jobs

Study examines Job Meaning and Median Pay data on 453 jobs; Community and Social Service workers report the highest average job meaning and Healthcare Practitioners have highest median pay

Seattle – June 24, 2014 – PayScale, Inc. today announced its report “Most & Least Meaningful Jobs” (based on how workers answer the question “Does your job make the world a better place?).  The report includes data on how Job Meaning and Median Pay compare for 453 jobs from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) (, as well as the following details:

  • % High Job Satisfaction
  • % High Job Stress
  • Typical Educational Level
  • Gender Breakdown
  • Job Level
  • Job Category
  • Example Job Titles

“When we look at broader job groupings, Community and Social Service workers report the highest average job meaning with an average of 84 percent saying their work is meaningful.  This grouping includes narrower job groups such as Marriage and Family Therapists, Clergy, and Directors of Religious Activities and Education,” said Katie Bardaro, Lead Economist, PayScale.  “The three broader job categories with the lowest average job meaning are Food Preparation and Service, Legal, and Sales, which all have an average job meaning under 45 percent.”

Some highlights from PayScale’s “Most & Least Meaningful” study include:

  • Surgeons have the best combination of median pay and job meaning with a national median pay of $299,600 and 94 percent reporting high job meaning. 
  • Fast Food Cooks have the worst combination of median pay and job meaning with a national median pay of $17,300 and only 22 percent of workers reporting high job meaning.
  • Clergy report the highest overall job meaning with 97 percent saying their work makes the world a better place.

The report also features a new interactive that allows users to compare statistics on meaning and salary for 22 broad job categories and 453 individual job titles.

Adds Bardaro:  “Meaningful work and a high salary aren’t mutually exclusive as we see in the case of surgeons, for example. Pay does not seem to influence meaning one way or the other.”

For more on the Most & Least Meaningful reports please go to: Most and Least Meaningful Jobs Data Package

About PayScale

Creator of the largest database of individual compensation profiles in the world containing more than 40 million salary profiles, PayScale, Inc. provides an immediate and precise snapshot of current market salaries to employees and employers through its online tools and software. PayScale’s products are powered by innovative search and query algorithms that dynamically acquire, analyze and aggregate compensation information for millions of individuals in real time. Publisher of the quarterly PayScale Index™, PayScale’s subscription software products for employers include PayScale MarketRate™ and PayScale Insight™. Among PayScale’s 3,000 corporate customers are organizations small and large across industries including Mozilla, Tully’s Coffee, Clemson University and the United States Postal Service. For more information, visit

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