Survey: Warehouse Pickers Say Their Job "Makes The World A Worse Place"

A recent major job satisfaction survey by Payscale.com showed that warehouse pickers were only behind fast food workers for jobs that consider what they do a negative for society.

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Payscale.com, a crowdsourced salary database, on Wednesday released the results of a major study it did in surveying 2.7 million people between June 11, 2013 and June 11, 2015.

The numbers show that warehouse pickers who took the survey apparently consider their job a detriment to society.

Along with surveying respondents on what level of meaning and satisfaction there is for more than 500 job titles, the survey asked "Does Your Job Make the World a Better Place?" And of those hundreds of job titles, pickers were the job title that responded to the question by selecting the option "My Job Makes the World a Worse Place" second most, only to fast food workers. Salary.com told ID that more than 300,000 people responded to the survey question.

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The survey showed 21 percent of pickers responding to the question said their job makes the world a worse place, while fast food workers had the same response 25 percent of the time. Table games floor supervisors were third-most at 20 percent, followed by an 18 percent 3-way tie between merchandise planning managers, search engine marketing strategists, and valets. Pickers who took the survey had a median yearly salary of $24,800.

The top 10 job titles who most often chose that same response are shown in the table below.

Salary.com survey: Jobs that Make the World a Worse Place
Rank Job Title

% Who Answered
"My job makes the
world a worse place"

Median Salary
1 Fast Food Worker 25% $16,700
2 Picker 21% $24,800
3 Table Games Floor Supervisor 20% $50,900
4 (tie) Merchandise Planning Manager 18% $94,400
4 (tie) Search Engine Marketing Strategist 18% $52,300
4 (tie) Valet 18% $21,900
7 Paralegal or Legal Assistant 16% $40,000
8 (tie) Laundry Attendant 14% $18,600
8 (tie) Garbage Truck Driver 14% $36,600
9 (tie) Photographer, Commercial 13% $45,200
9 (tie) Cash Posting Clerk 13% $31,300
9 (tie) Financial Sales Consultant 13% $31,600

"We were surprised to find that pickers placed second on our list of "Jobs That Make the World Worse," one Payscale.com representative told ID. "We don’t know why Warehouse Pickers feel so negatively about the impact of their job on society as a whole, but I’d sure be curious to find out."

The "Jobs that Make the World a Worse Place" was one of three lists that resulted from survey, titled, "The Most and Least Meaningful Jobs," aimed to find out how workers from over 500 jobs rate their job meaning and how those figures compare to salary. The two other lists were the "Most Meaningful Jobs" and "Least Meaningful Jobs," in which the results also were dependent on the "Does Your Job Make the World a Better Place?" question.

The "Most Meaningful Jobs" list were the jobs where the highest percentage of workers answered "Very much so" or "Yes," while the Least Meaningful Jobs list where the jobs where the lowest percentage of workers answered "Very much so" or "Yes."

Based on the survey, the Top 5 Most Meaningful job titles are: Clergy (98 percent high meaning), English Language and Literary Teachers - Postsecondary (96), Surgeons (96 percent), Directors (Religious Activities and Education (96), and Education Administrators, Elementary and Secondary School (95).

The Top 5 Least Meaningful job titles are: Parking Lot Attendants (5 percent high meaning), Gaming Supervisors (20), Prepress Technicians and Workers (25), Title Examiners, Abstractors, and Searchers (25 percent), and Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers (25).

The job categories with the highest job meaning were Military (88 percent); Community and Social Service (85); and Education, Training and Library (80). The least meaningful job categories are Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media (42 percent); Food Preparation and Serving (39) and Sales (39).

Overall, 55 percent of all respondents said that their job is highly meaningful.

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