Right-angel rule with sand or cement on a block wall

When debating potential career paths, for many of us, job satisfaction will often top the list of considerations to weigh up. 

Particularly in the wake of the pandemic, our attitudes towards work have now largely shifted, with more and more people deeming happiness just as important as other traditional elements such as earning potential and progression opportunities – although there are many factors that contribute to overall happiness, and this will vary from individual to individual.

Construction is a unique career path in that it combines a high level of job satisfaction with those still sought-after qualities like good pay, employment prospects and achievable progression routes. 

In fact, according to a study by Boundless, via Trade Stays, nearly three-quarters of tradespeople in the UK are satisfied with their jobs. More than 950 tradespeople were surveyed in the research, in which 72% of respondents described themselves as ‘happy’ or ‘very happy’ in their current position, while 70% said they would recommend their position to others. 

Which trades are the happiest?

Plumbers stood out as the happiest trade sector in that particular survey, with 55% saying they were ‘extremely happy’ in their lives. Of all the plumbers who responded, not a single one said that they were unhappy with their jobs. 

Outside of the day-to-day responsibilities, plumbers also reported high scores in terms of sleep quality and physical exercise. 

Also scoring high in the rankings were builders, with 38% saying they were ‘very happy’ in life.

Which factors contribute to happiness in the trades?

While recent research from Reboot Online didn’t specifically include construction as one of the 10 happiest industries, it does include a number of key contributors to job satisfaction that are largely associated with the industry.

One of these is having a positive impact on others, something which many tradespeople will tell you they achieve when completing jobs to a high quality for their customers. Another is salary, and with the annual UK construction salary currently at £42,500, this sits higher than the UK average of £31,772. Career progression is also listed as a standout factor, another area in which construction boasts a strong reputation, with clearly defined training and progression routes available, as well as the achievable prospect of launching your own business. 

While the construction industry isn’t without its challenges, it is clearly unique in that it can offer a rare and appealing combination of satisfaction, earning potential and work opportunities.