Farming, teaching & pharma are UK’s proudest professions, new study reveals

Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, AKA The Black Farmer

People working in agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining and quarrying are among the proudest workers in the UK, according to a new study by waterproof waterproofs brand, Stormline.

Producing something tangible was the most commonly given reason for professional pride, more commonly cited than innovation and helping others.

Workers in education, health & social care and personal services all rated high for professional pride and said ‘making a difference’ or ‘helping others’ were the biggest reasons for this.

The real estate and food, beverage and tobacco industries have the fewest professionals who identify as either ‘very proud’ or ‘extremely proud’ of their industry.

A third of UK workers cited ‘innovation’ as their biggest source of pride. Innovation was the most given reason for professional pride among pharmaceutical, aerospace and chemicals professionals.

Customer service industries among the lowest for professional pride.

Getting out of the office could potentially elevate our professional pride. Only two of the 10 proudest industries (research & development and business services) were predominantly office-based. Six of the top 10 proudest industries involve producing or creating something tangible, whether it be food, medicine, software, aeroplanes or ships.

Strong customer service

The other 4 all involve interacting with people. Further down the list were industries with a strong customer service element, such as retail, hospitality (hotels & restaurants) and utilities.

Among the agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining and quarrying professionals, 81% said they were either ‘very’ or ‘extremely proud’ to work in their industry, that’s 50% above the national average.

Educational professionals weren’t far behind, with 80% registering a high degree of pride. The next three proudest industries – pharmaceuticals, community and social services, and health and social care – were linked in some way to health.

Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, AKA The Black Farmer was born in Jamaica and now runs a farm in Devon, supplying RSPCA-assured, gluten-free meat products to stores nationwide. His Black Farmer Scholarship, which aims to get ethnic minority people into farming and rural industries, was the subject of the Channel 4 documentary, Young Black Farmers.

“I am a passionate supporter of British food and farming. Our farmers are the backbone of this country and produce such a diverse range of food. However, I feel strongly that we need to reconnect farming with the urban consumer and bring people back into the food-making process in order that there is more understanding and appreciation of the work that farmers do and the food they produce. We need to re-engender pride in our great farming heritage.”

Regan McMillan, director of Stormline believes producing something real plays a big part in professional pride: “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.

Teachers and software developers

“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.

“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.”