If you want professional pride, get out of the office, avoid customers and start producing something with your hands. At least, those are the findings of a new study by Stormline into professional pride across the UK’s largest industries.

The study, of just over 1,000 UK adults found that:

  • 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.

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.

Focus Farmer Andrew Freemantle

Focus Farmer Andrew Freemantle

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.

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.

“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.”