Most people work multiple jobs over the course of their lives. If you’re lucky, you found a vocation you like, you’re good at, and that pays enough to support your family. The truly fortunate find a calling, a career they’re passionate about.
Many factors contribute to the end of a marriage. There’s rarely a single cause, but something major often tips the scale. Adultery, money woes, irreconcilable differences, all these can destroy a union. Jobs and employment status also frequently play a big part in divorce.
But what jobs have the highest divorce rates? And which jobs have the lowest divorce rates?
Physical and emotional tolls vary from career to career, for both individuals and families. Some occupations are demanding and ask a great deal of the people in these fields. Others simply don’t pay enough. So it makes a certain amount of sense that specific jobs have higher or lower divorce rates than others.
Statistician Nathan Yau from FlowingData took a look at the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Out of those people who had been married at least once, he calculated the percentage of individuals who were divorced. Looking at 474 specific careers, he ranked the jobs with the highest divorce rate as well as the jobs with the lowest divorce rates.
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Jobs With The Highest Divorce Rates
- Gaming Managers: 52.9%
- Bartenders: 52.7%
- Flight Attendants: 50.5%
- Gaming Service Workers: 50.3%
- Rolling Machine Setters: 50.1%
- Switchboard Operators: 49.7%
- Extruding Drawing Machine Operators: 49.6%
- Telemarketers: 49.2%
- Textile Knitting and Weaving Machine Operators: 48.9%
- Extruding, Forming, Pressing, and Compacting Machine Setters: 48.8%
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Jobs With The Lowest Divorce Rates
- Actuaries: 17%
- Physical Scientists: 18.9%
- Medical and Life Scientists: 19.6%
- Clergy: 19.8%
- Software developers: 20.3%
- Physical Therapists: 20.7%
- Optometrists: 20.8%
- Chemical Engineers: 21.1%
- Directors, Religious Activities, and Education: 21.3%
- Physicians and Surgeons: 21.8%
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Behind the Numbers
Looking at these lists, you see a wide range of careers. Some entail years of intense education and training, while others involve little in the way of preexisting skills.
Each occupation, however, comes with specific requirements and knowledge. A few are physically draining, while others come with an emotional cost.
Some of the jobs with the highest divorce rates make sense. Bartenders and gaming professionals often work unusual, inconsistent hours compared to most people. This often puts strain on a relationship, especially when spouses keep drastically different schedules.
Others may physically wear a person down or be monotonous and draining in different ways. For flight attendants, it must be difficult to travel frequently and not see family for days at a time. Particular careers may put too much pressure on some relationships.
On the other side, the jobs with the lowest divorce rates also make a degree of sense. Clergy seems obvious, as many religions frown on divorce. Many of the others are often secure, routine careers that tend to pay well. Steady, regular hours and a sense of financial security can benefit marital stability.
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Learning From These Numbers
What can we learn from these numbers? What can they tell us?
Basically, it illustrates there are jobs with higher and lower divorce rates than others. That’s not all that shocking.
What this doesn’t mean is that certain occupations necessarily cause divorce. This probably says more about the combination of personalities and careers in a marriage than it does about the actual work.
Some people are simply better suited for certain jobs than others. The temperament required to become a skilled surgeon differs from what it takes to be a lawyer. Carpenters need different traits than podiatrists. Many people thrive in one field while they flounder in others.
“Just because your specific career has the highest divorce rate, doesn’t mean your marriage is doomed.”
Jobs impact relationships and divorce in many ways. Low wages can create additional tension over money. Long, strange hours may lead to feelings of abandonment by one spouse. Excessive pressure and expectations at work often affect your home life.
But in reality, jobs are usually just one part of the larger divorce picture. They may contribute to the decay of a relationship, but they’re rarely the sole cause.
Certain individuals, as well as certain relationships, can withstand the pressures of a specific job. There are bartenders who live happily married lives. Just like there are actuaries who can’t divorce fast enough.
How much a job impacts the end of a marriage depends more on the spouses than anything else. In the end, it revolves around the ability to deal with the pressures and also make the situation work in your favor.
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