Is your job turning you to drink?

detail of a bartender drawing a ...

Miners and builders are the most likely to head straight to the pub after a hard week's work, while teachers and doctors go home for a nice cup of tea and quiet contemplation. The findings come from the US government, which has released a list of the professions most and least likely to be drinking too much.

Miners were most at risk - with 17.5% of them admitting they drank heavily (classed as five or more drinks on the same occasion on five or more days in the month). This was followed by construction workers - where 16.5% of people admitted to heavy drinking. This may be because hard physical jobs often develop a drinking culture after work, or because these industries are dominated by men - who statistically drink more than women.
These professions were followed by the accommodation and food industry, where 11.8% admitted to heavy drinking. It adds some weight to the old cliche of pub owners drinking their profits away.

In fourth place was the group that perhaps most people associate with drink: arts and entertainment. While the papers seem stuffed full of photos of stars falling out of nightclubs in the early hours, only 11.5% of people in this industry said they drank heavily.

In fifth place were people who work in utilities, where 10.3% reported heavy drinking. This may well be due to the predominance of men working in the sector, although few people can have a job as stressful as someone working the customer services lines at a utilities company.

Worryingly, it's worth bearing in mind that these figures come from the US, where there is far less of a drinking culture than there is in the UK - so there's a good chance that similar UK figures would look even more alarming.


At the other end of the spectrum, health workers were in last place, with only 4.4% of people saying they drank heavily. There will be those who are not surprised, after-all the medical profession know only too well the dangers of drink. However, anyone who has seen a group of medics at the bar will wonder whether there is also an element of under-reporting.

Likewise, in second place are those who work in education, where just 4.7% said they drank heavily. This seems to be setting an excellent example for their students, although again there's the question of whether those with a responsibility to act as role models may be tempted to under-report.

Third place went to those in finance and insurance (7.4%), and fourth to those in real estate (8.5%). It's got to be a great day for both industries to find themselves at the right end of a league table.

The government also revealed the industries where employees were most likely to take drugs. This was topped by those in the accommodation and food industries, followed by those in arts and entertainment, and those in management roles. The bottom of the list was taken by those in public administration and education, followed by miners and those working in healthcare.

But what do you think? Do these figures come as a surprise? Let us know in the comments.

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