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British Study Shows Architects to be Among Least Happy Professionals

The 2005 Happiness Index compiled by City & Guilds, the British-based body established in 1878 to encourage education and training in and for the workplace has revealed some surprising statistics regarding architects.

Only two percent of architects enjoy their jobs, just one percent below civil servants, while hairdressers top the happiness league with 40 percent claiming to be extremely happy in their work.


City & Guilds works with industry, government and training organisation to identify the skills needed to support the UK economy, and makes awards for vocational learning. Hot off the heels of hairdressers in the index are chefs (23 percent), beauticians (22 percent) and plumbers (20 percent). Hairdressers find their job satisfying because of fast results and a personal touch.

Whether architects are more likely to be unhappy in their work due to the risks of the profession, its arduous slowness, or feeling undervalued, is unclear. Chris Humphries, director general of City & Guilds comments: “Nowadays true job satisfaction and happiness is about fulfilling your full potential, tapping into your own creativity and feeling that you make a difference.”

Lucy Bullivant