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Worst jobs in the UK 2018: what defines a bad job?

Discover what defines a job job/career and find out the best and the worst jobs in the UK


Worst jobs in the UK 2018: what defines a bad job?

Is work stressing you out? Are your colleagues unpleasant or do you have the boss from hell? Are you looking for a new job in the New Year? Well rest-assured, that there are an abundance of jobs that are probably worse than yours!

Maybe you are sick of your morning commute and always seem to have a smelly armpit in your face? Well imagine doing that full-time, that’s right; there is a job role as an armpit sniffer. An armpit sniffer, also referred to as an odour tester, is employed by skincare companies to smell and determine the effectiveness of deodorants. Eww!

Bad jobs can be defined by a variety of contributing factors, such as: 

  • You feel that you don't get any job satisfaction
  • You feel underappreciated
  • There isn't enough opportunity to grow
  • You get paid poorly
  • You have stressful working conditions
  • Or you feel that you have a poor work-life balance


The average UK salary for 2018 is £29,588 according to Office for National Statistics. The best and worst paying jobs in 2018 are:

Worst paying jobs

Average salary

1. Retail Assistant


2. Catering Assistant


3. Bar Staff


4. Cleaner


5. Waiter/Waitress


Best paying jobs

Average salary

1. Chief Executive


2. Air Traffic Controller


3. Pilot Engineer


4. Marketing Director


5. GP











A number of factors can contribute to how stressful you consider your working conditions. For example, your work may be stressful because you have to travel a lot or because your boss expects too much from you.

A 2017 study, conducted by the UK’s Health and Safety Executive, revealed the most and least stressful job:

Least stressful job roles:

1. Medical Sonographer

2. Compliance Officer

3. Hair Stylist

4. Audiologist

5. University Professor

Most stressful job roles:

1. Nursing and Midwifery

2. Teaching

3. Welfare

4. Legal

5. Business Research/Admin












Work-life balance

Work-life balance is very important especially in the digital era where accessing your work emails is all too easy. Nobody wants all work and no play, so check out which jobs are the best and worst for work-life balance:

Worst careers for a work-life balance

1. Data Scientist

2. Graphic Designer

3. Social Media Manager

4. Teacher

5. Software Developer

Best careers for a work-life balance

1. Surgeon

2. Lawyer

3. Registered Nurse

4. Journalist

5. Aircraft Pilot












Still not convinced that people have it worse than you and still want to seek other employment options? Twin offer a variety of employment programmes, as well as help and support in finding a job that is right for you, check out our Twin Employment and Training website and contact our team today.