The world's most boring jobs revealed

The world's most boring jobs

No job is a thrill-a-minute every day. Even when we love what we do, we can hit the odd slump where we'd pay good money for the opportunity to watch paint dry instead. For those people who have found a job they like, these moments are few and far between. However, for those in the world's most boring jobs, it's the norm. So what are the dullest jobs in the world?

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A study by salary benchmarking site identified the most boring jobs. At the top of the list was 'legal jobs', where 81% of people say they are bored at work. The researchers said the repetitive work faced by many junior lawyers researching cases and rulings may be partly to blame.

They are followed by project managers - 78% of whom are bored. Support functions like assistants and office managers don't fare much better either, because 71% of them say work is boring.

The top ten most boring jobs
Legal jobs 81%
Project management 78%
Support functions 71%
Finance control 68%
Consulting and accounting 67%
Financial services and banking 67%
Engineering 64%
Sales 61%
Marketing and communications 60%
IT 56%

For those who assume that climbing the greasy pole at work will lead to a more thrilling life, the researchers had more bad news. While 66% of entry level staff are bored, so are 65% of junior managers and CEOs.

However, you can console yourself with the fact that things could be worse, because the UK is only mid-table when it comes to boredom at work - with 64% of people saying they are bored. This compares to 83% in the UAE and Italy, 74% in the US and 70% in Singapore.

What can you really do?

In some cases, boredom was always going to be part of the equation. Some people are willing to take on work that's dull by its very nature, in return for good wages. Certainly the researchers found that UAE workers on high salaries were prepared to tolerate a higher level of boredom, because they didn't want to lose their inflated salaries.

Alternatively, boredom may be a sign you are stuck in a role you really ought to have moved on from. The researchers suggest that this may be the case in Italy, where uncertainty in the economy has encouraged people to hang onto jobs they have outgrown for fear they may not get another one.

If this is the case, it's worth talking to your manager before you make a move, and asking whether there are opportunities within the role. A new project or opportunity may pique your interest. If there's no flexibility within your job at the moment, it might be time to dust off your CV and look for a more exciting role elsewhere.

Changing your job may simply be a case of moving with the industry to find something that's more rewarding, or a company with a more interesting culture. In some cases, however, boredom may be the result of being in the wrong job altogether.

It's never easy to admit you have made a mistake, and make a change. In some instances it will mean going back into training, or accepting a far lower salary. However, if you feel you are bored at work because you're in completely the wrong place, you have to ask yourself whether you are prepared to take a hit in the short term for a chance at happiness at work - or sign up to decades of dullness.

Britain's most dangerous jobs
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Britain's most dangerous jobs

By far the most dangerous job across most of the world is fishing. Apparently 103 in every 100,000 fishermen will die at sea - most of them by drowning, and according to Oxford University, those who work at sea are an incredible 50 times more likely to die at work than anyone else.

How well they are rewarded for risking their lives depends on where they fit in the pecking order. At the very top, with your own boat and crew, in a good year, you could bring home more than £100,000. At the bottom of the heap as a trainee deckhand you would be lucky to get more than £10,000 a year.

In the army, these experts have the nickname Felix - because they need every one of the nine lives. We all make mistakes at work and in this role mistakes will kill or maim you. 

In return for taking up such a dangerous role, you'll be paid £32,000 a year, which is made to look even more paltry by the fact that many of these experts end up drawing a disability pension before very long.

The risks of working with highly volatile and explosive materials in impossibly difficult natural environments is bad enough. Add in the risks of working in politically charged environments where you may well be a target for terrorists, and you can see why this is a dangerous job. In fact it has a fatality rate of around 32 per 100,000, and around 100 people a year die in the industry- around twice the average for all UK workers.

This risk, however, is reasonably rewarded - partly because of the fact it can be hard to attract workers to the places where oil and gas needs to be extracted. It's not uncommon for those with experience to be making £75,000 a year.

Put people up high, give them something heavy and awkward to carry, then get them to do it in the rain. It's not surprising this is a dangerous job. What is perhaps surprising is that over the past five years 30% of all work-related deaths in the UK have been in this industry. The riskiest construction jobs are those where heights are part of the every-day business of work - with scaffolders, steeplejacks ad roofers facing the most danger at work.

The pay starts around £20,000 for skilled workers, rising to around £50,000 for site managers.

Around 54,000 road accidents involving professional drivers take place on British roads every year - which is around 250 a day. Meanwhile, one in four of all road deaths involve a driver who is at work at the time. Despite stringent rules about how long they are allowed to drive for, and in-cab telematics to make sure they don't bend the rules, tiredness is the main cause. 

In return for the danger, plus the long hours and the anti-social lifestyle, these workers can expect to earn around £25,000 a year.

The risks are perhaps unsurprising, given that drowning accounts for the majority of fatalities. However there are also problems from high gas consumption and mental health problems, often due to having to spend inordinate times decompressing in a confined space with another individual.

However, given the risks, the inhospitable locations and the skills required, the role can earn you £100,000 a year or more.

These are often ex-military personnel employed to protect wealthy or powerful individuals. The role is unsurprisingly highly dangerous, with the constant threat of terrorist attacks, enemy fire or booby traps.

There really is danger money associated with this job, which is another role than can earn the right individual 6 figures a year.

Around 15 police officers lose their lives at work every year. However, surprisingly, the biggest risk is from involvement in a road accident, which causes 70% of the deaths. Around half of these are officers getting to and from work. Meanwhile no more than one or two are killed by criminals in an average year. Fatalities, however, are only a small proportion of the massive number of injuries a policeman can pick up - with roughly one police officer injured every hour.

In return they can expect to earn around £40,000, rising to £55,000 for senior officers.

Again there aren't a huge number of deaths in the line of duty. However, every fire is potentially fatal, and every job carries the risk of injury. Injures are very common, although burns account for only 5% of them, the rest tend to be due to things like training and carrying equipment.

The pay has been subject to a number of arguments and even strikes but is currently around £30,000.

Perhaps it's surprising that this doesn't come higher up the list. Since 2001 over 350 have lost their lives fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. The front line is clearly just about the most dangerous environment possible, and has to be up there with the place that most people would least like to work.

In return for putting their lives on the line in the service of their county, army personnel can expect to be paid £14,000 when they start out - rising to up to £100,000 for the most senior officers.


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