The Career Welfare Index | Phoenix Health & Safety

The workforce wellbeing landscape has come a long way over the last three decades, with businesses taking stronger measures to support the health & safety of their employees. In more recent years, wellbeing has also become a central topic of discussion as we improve working conditions and mental health awareness.

To better understand which jobs provide the highest level of welfare, we’ve delved into the data to create our ‘Career Welfare Index’. This is designed to provide an outlook on which industries are the best for health & safety, mental health, and overall quality of life.

The index is based on five key data indicators*

  • Quality of work environment (116,000 respondents)
  • Percentage of people who love their job (116,000 respondents)
  • Percentage of people who hate their job(116,000 respondents)
  • No. of non-fatal injuries (Per capita of 100,000 in each industry)
  • Median annual earnings per industry

The Career Welfare Index* is based upon five key data indicators which are weighted into a points-based system and given an overall index ranking figure out of 60. The higher the score, the better the employee welfare in that industry. 

Those who work in media, marketing, advertising  and sales were found to have the highest career welfare over any other industry in the UK with a total of 57 out of 60 index points.

27% of people working in these creative-led industries stated that they love what they do and only 15% of people hope to see an improved working environment. People in these sectors also earn a median annual salary of £41,552 which is a substantial 33%1 above the national average, making life a little sweeter.

Following closely behind are jobs within IT & telecoms and legal, both tallying to 50 points on the index. With both sectors generating a low ratio of non-fatal injuries across the UK, these are also two of the safest industries in the country. 

When researching the riskiest jobs in the UK, we amalgamated the number of non-fatal injuries within each industry and cross-referenced it with the total number of people in each workforce to provide a  figure of non-fatal injuries per 100,000 people in each sector. 

Topping the risk list are roles in the transport and distribution sector, which has over 1.5 million people working within it. There is an average of 437 people per year injured in these jobs, but this comes with little surprise, as many of the roles require the operation of heavy machinery both within a warehouse and on the road. Those working within this sector should be taking the necessary health & safety training to ensure they aren’t exposing themselves to further unnecessary risk.

Unexpectedly, retail came in as the second riskiest industry with an average of 395 people being injured per capita. Often an overlooked, but important area for health & safety training, those who work in retail are particularly at risk from manual handling, and working at height. 

When 116,000 people in the UK were asked “How much do you love your job on a scale of hate to love” in a national survey*, we broke down their responses into industry categories to find which people are most passionate about their job.

It might be time to consider a job in legal because over 28% of people working in this sector claim to love their job. Additionally, people working within this sector earn an average of £43,508 annually, a significant 39%1 above the average salary in the UK. 

Interestingly only 4% of people in the estate agency sector said they loved their job and 12% claimed  to hate it. Although the average safety risk for this job was very low (average of 24 injuries per 100,000 capita, per year), 28% would still prefer a better working environment, placing them third-bottom of the overall rankings. 

When comparing the people that earn the most and love their job, the results were very interesting, with office-related roles taking the top 5 spots.






Insurance Services 




PR & sales


& telecoms 






& distribution




& health services 

People in Legal came out on top once again with 28% loving their job and also earning over 39% more than the average UK salary. Financial Insurance services also had a similar earning level, although loved their jobs 9% less (17%) than those in Legal.

Those who work in construction made it high at 6th on the list. With 21% of people in these roles claiming to love their job and benefiting from an average of 12% more in annual salary1 compared to the national average. 

Although many industries offer great benefits and safe working conditions, there is almost always room for improvement. The statistics below reveal the percentage of people who wished for a better working environment over anything else,  from the original 116,000 people surveyed.


% that
want a better working environment

Transportation & distribution






Medical & health services


Estate Agency 






Financial Insurance services


Hospitality and leisure


IT & telecoms






Media/ marketing/ advertising/ PR & sales/


Transport and distribution took the lead with 32% looking for more from their employer or workplace, and understandably,  with the rate of injury particularly high in this sector. People working in transport and distribution can earn 23% less1 than the average national salary which also contributes to it having the lowest score on our Career Welfare Index. 

Whatever industry you work in, employers and business owners need to have a competent understanding of how they can improve the safety and welfare of their workforce. It can be as simple as providing a safe working environment that people feel comfortable working in for many. 

If you’re a decision-maker or business owner and would like to know more about how you can improve your staff’s safety and wellbeing then please get in touch with us or visit our consultancy services

*Index sources

  1. Workforce size by industry 2022 – Office of National Statistics
  2. Non-fatal injuries 2021- Health & Safety Executive 
  3. Median annual salary per industry- Office of National Statistics 
  4. Quality of work environment 2022- ‘Yougov profiles GB audience survey taken March 2022’
  5. Percentage of people who love their job 2022 –  ‘Yougov profiles GB audience survey taken March 2022’
  6. Percentage of people who hate their job 2022 –  ‘Yougov profiles GB audience survey taken March 2022’


  1. Annual average salary per industry 2021 – Office of National Statistics

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