Are you proud of your job?

Farmer Andrew Freemantle and his family.
Farmer Andrew Freemantle and his family.

We're constantly being told to take pride in our work, but that's often easier said than done.

Some workers - cold-calling salespeople, for example, we're looking at you - should by rights be writhing with shame every time they clock on for the day.

Others may find it harder to be proud of their job because of the prejudices of others. Traffic wardens are patently necessary, but they've never exactly been popular.

So which professions do have the proudest workers?

Unfortunately, in a country that's moving steadily away from manufacturing and towards the services industries, it turns out that it's actually making something that gives people the greatest source of pride. Innovation and helping others are important too.

A survey from fishing waterproofs brand Stormline found that farming, education and pharmaceuticals were the proudest industries, with retail, real estate and food and tobacco industries at the bottom of the list.

And apparently-unglamorous jobs such as agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining and quarrying produced some of the proudest workers in the UK.

People working in education, health and social care and personal services all also rated highly for professional pride and said 'making a difference' and 'helping others' were the biggest reasons for this.

The least proud workers were estate agents, food and beverage workers and people working in the tobacco industry.

"It really comes as no surprise that farmers would have the greatest level of professional pride. There is pride in how we care about the animals that we breed on the farm and it is of utmost importance to us that while they are in our care they have the best life possible and we use the highest standards to care for them," says Andrew Freemantle, who has been farming pigs near Exeter for more than 20 years.

"And then there is the pride in supplying quality, safe and nutritious food for your consumers. When someone tells us how much they enjoyed one of our products, whether it was a pork roast on a local pub carvery or a sausage bap - you can feel pride in what you have provided."

Farming, like most of the jobs with the proudest workers, involves producing something rather more tangible than a new financial product or a marketing tweet. And overall, it was this tangibility that was the top reason for professional pride, cited by 34%, followed by innovation at 31% and helping others at 15%.

"The UK's farmers should deservedly feel proud of their industry and our study bears this out. The overwhelming majority of them feel proud of what they do. They can go home at the end of the day knowing they've played their part in producing something," says Regan McMillan, director of Stormline.

"This isn't to do down the pride that teachers, health professionals and those at the cutting edge of software development should feel - they are rightly very proud of their professions too - but there is something uniquely satisfying about producing something that you can one day hold in your hands."

Unfortunately, such jobs are becoming thinner and thinner on the ground. According to figures released earlier this month by the Office for National Statistics, industrial production – covering manufacturing, mining and quarrying, North Sea oil and gas, water supply and the supply of electricity and gas – is 10% lower than it was when the UK entered recession in early 2008.

But the good news is that many of the jobs on the Stormline list are likely to be in demand in the future. While experts are predicting that careers such as telemarketing and bookkeeping are likely to be vulnerable to automation, that's not the case with more tangible jobs.

Teachers, foresters, farm managers and engineers all feature in the list of the 100 safest jobs produced by the Oxford Martin Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology.

"Obviously we need all sorts of skills to keep the economy ticking over, but if our research encourages anyone to consider a career in one of the less glamorous industries in our study, such as farming, forestry, fishing or even shipbuilding, then that's a good thing in our book," says McMillan.

The proudest industries, and their reasons
Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing Mining & Quarrying (81%): Producing something tangible
Education (80%): Making a difference to the world
Pharmaceuticals (79%): Innovation
Community, Social and Personal services (78%): Helping others
Health & Social Care (75%): Helping others
Research & Development (71%): Innovation
Aerospace (69%): Innovation
Business Services (69%): Innovation
ICT & Precision Instruments (67%): Innovation
Shipbuilding (62%) Producing something tangible
Digital, Creative & Information Services/Financial Services (61%): Producing something tangible
Construction (57%): Producing something tangible
Other Manufacturing (56%) Producing something tangible
Machinery, Electrical & Transport Equipment (55%): Producing something tangible
Automotive (53%): Producing something tangible
Metal, plastic and non-metal mineral products (51%): Producing something tangible
Chemicals (48%): Innovation
Communications (41%): Innovation
Transport, Storage & Distribution (41%): Innovation
Public Admin & Defence (40%): Making a difference to the world
Administrative & Support Services (36%): Solving problems
Hotels & Restaurants (34%): Helping others
Utilities (32%): Solving problems
Real Estate (31%): Making a difference to the world
Retail (28%): Helping others
Food, Beverages & Tobacco (21%): Producing something tangible

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