Special Report

Jobs With the Highest Divorce Rates

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Have you ever considered your job as a threat to your marriage? In some occupations, divorce rates can be astonishingly high.

A recent report shows working in some occupations may wreak havoc on one’s love life. Nathan Yau, creator of personal database FlowingData, retrieved data from the Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey to calculate the rates of divorce in a wide variety of occupations, from actors to actuaries.

Occupations with high divorce rates often have at least one of two things in common: Low annual income, and irregular or unconventional working hours. Bartenders, for example, work late evenings, weekends, and holidays, which leaves minimal free time to spend with their loved ones. This is especially the case if the spouse works a typical 9-to-5 job. Additionally, a bartender’s median annual salary is about $20,000, well below the median for all jobs of approximately $37,000.

Read on to see if your job is likely to put your marriage in danger.

Click here to see the jobs with the highest divorce rates.
Click here to read our detailed findings and methodology.

Source: Ksu Shachmeister / Shutterstock.com

30. Crane and tower operators
> Divorce rate: 45.2%
> Total employment: 45,020
> Median annual salary: $52,170
> Majority gender representation: Male, 98.4%

Crane and tower operators may have the lowest divorce rate on this list, but they still have an above 45% divorce rate. This could be, in part, due to the travelling aspect of the job. Crane operators have to be ready to relocate on any given assignment, meaning they can live away from home for significant periods of time.


Source: Thinkstock

29. Bill and account collectors
> Divorce rate: 45.3%
> Total employment: 298,960
> Median annual salary: $35,350
> Majority gender representation: Female, 67.1%

Bill and account collectors certainly don’t have the happiest job in the world. It’s a collector’s duty to inform people of their overdue bills and then try to negotiate a payment plan to resolve the issue. Having to confront people about their debts can be both frustrating and uncomfortable. Additionally, collectors usually have goals they must meet based on calls per hour and success rates, which can be stressful depending on who their clients are in a given day.

Source: Tyler Olson / Shutterstock.com

28. Phlebotomists
> Divorce rate: 45.4%
> Total employment: 120,970
> Median annual salary: $32,710
> Majority gender representation: Female, 87.1%

In case you have never heard of a phlebotomist, this profession involves drawing blood for donation, specific tests, research, and transfusions. Reassuring nervous patients reluctant to receive a needle is stressful aspect of the job. Phlebotomists may be expected to work nights, weekends, and holidays, placing stress on relationships.

Source: Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com

27. Security guards and gaming surveillance officers
> Divorce rate: 45.5%
> Total employment: 1,113,580
> Median annual salary: $25,840
> Majority gender representation: Male, 78.0%

Jobs that pay higher salaries tend to have lower divorce rates than jobs that pay lower salaries. Security guards and gaming surveillance officers make well below the annual median salary for all jobs of $37,040. Not to mention security is required 24/7, so guards and surveillance officers can be called in to work during day or night. It’s not surprising that working irregular hours for little reward can add stress and interfere with home life and relationships.


Source: Thinkstock

26. First-line supervisors of protective service workers, all other
> Divorce rate: 45.6%
> Total employment: 72,880
> Median annual salary: $47,820
> Majority gender representation: Male, 77.3%

This category includes workers employed in investigation and security services, rail transportation, the gambling industry, and spectator sports. Workers in these jobs can potentially come into conflict with someone with criminal intent, or in the case of spectator sports, confronting people exhibiting bad behavior. These are also jobs that require irregular hours or involve travel.

Source: Nomad_Soul / Shutterstock.com

25. Entertainers and performers, sports and related workers, all other
> Divorce rate: 45.7%
> Total employment: 13,150
> Median annual salary: n/a
> Majority gender representation: Male, 65.3%

Entertainers, performers, and athletes lead exciting lives — who wouldn’t want to spend their days on stage, court, or field amusing people? Typically, people in these professions travel frequently since their gig or game can take place all over the country, let alone the world. Athletes in particular also work irregular hours, especially during their season. This may entail working well over 40 hours per week and in the evenings, weekends, and on holidays.


Source: Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

24. Bus drivers
> Divorce rate: 45.9%
> Total employment: 684,690
> Median annual salary: $31,920
> Majority gender representation: Male, 54.1%

Ralph Kramden might have been a lovable bus driver on the old sitcom “The Honeymooners,’’ but he is also remembered as a stressed-out working stiff always looking to get rich quickly.  Bus drivers, especially transit and intercity bus drivers, had a higher rate of work-related injuries and illnesses in 2014 than the national average. Dealing with sometimes surly riders can’t be fun either.

Source: ALPA PROD / Shutterstock.com

23. Millwrights
> Divorce rate: 46.0%
> Total employment: 39,670
> Median annual salary: $52,440
> Majority gender representation: Male, 100.0%

Millwrights install, dismantle, or move machinery and heavy equipment according to layout plans, blueprints, or other drawings. Unlike most occupations with relatively high divorce rates, median salary for millwrights is more than $15,000 above the national median. They certainly earn it. Working with heavy machinery is dangerous. Industrial machinery mechanics and machinery maintenance workers have higher rates of injuries and illnesses than the national average.

Source: Thinkstock

22. Interviewers, except eligibility and loan
> Divorce rate: 46.0%
> Total employment: 186,030
> Median annual salary: $32,150
> Majority gender representation: Female, 88.2%

This job is all about critical thinking, listening, and comprehension. An interviewer can be anyone from a person calling consumers for market research to the admissions clerk at a college interviewing prospective students. This profession entails analyzing people’s responses to questions in surveys and applications. Perhaps the fact that the median salary is below the national average and the occupation’s unemployment rate is more than 5 percentage points above the U.S. average are factors as to why the divorce rate for this job is high.


Source: davidsansegundo / Shutterstock.com

21. Court, municipal, and license clerks
> Divorce rate: 46.0%
> Total employment: 128,620
> Median annual salary: $36,670
> Majority gender representation: Female, 71.3%

Court, municipal, and license clerks perform clerical duties for courts of law, municipalities, or governmental licensing agencies and bureaus. The unemployment rate among these workers is about 3 percentage points below the national jobless rate. However, it’s mostly a thankless job. Clerks are at the frontlines of the government’s public service and can sometimes be exposed to the public at its worst. Not the kind of stress you want to bring home to your spouse.

Source: Photographee.eu / Shutterstock.com

20. Small engine mechanics
> Divorce rate: 46.2%
> Total employment: 69,280
> Median annual salary: $35,280
> Majority gender representation: Male, 96.1%

Most small engine mechanics work full time. However, even this niche profession has its popular seasons. Specifically, the spring and summer is when these mechanics can expect to have a heightened workload. Why? Because that’s when motorcycles, motorboats, and motorized outdoor equipment such as lawn mowers are actively used and more often breaking down. During the fall and winter months, when these types of vehicles and machines are used sparingly, if at all, work isn’t as frequent. The seasonal work slowdown associated with this profession may cause stress in a marriage.


Source: Thinkstock

19. Personal care aides
> Divorce rate: 46.2%
> Total employment: 1,492,250
> Median annual salary: $21,920
> Majority gender representation: Female, 84.9%

Personal care aides help clients with self care and everyday tasks. About 43% of such aides work with the elderly and people with disabilities. The job can be physically demanding, and it can take an emotional toll. The median pay is about $15,000 below the national median, and only three out of five aides work full time. The demands of the job may require working irregular schedules.

Source: Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

18. Ambulance drivers and attendants, except emergency medical technicians
> Divorce rate: 46.3%
> Total employment: 17,300
> Median annual salary: $23,850
> Majority gender representation: Male, 73.7%

Jobs in transportation are likely to bring about tension in a partnership, particularly because workers in this field tend to work irregular hours. Ambulance drivers and attendants must be ready to assist those who call 9-1-1 get to the emergency room at any given time of the day. This high speed environment induces stress, especially because the drivers are the ones responsible for retrieving the patients and taking them to the hospital as quickly and safely as possible.

Source: Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock.com

17. Dispatchers
> Divorce rate: 46.6%
> Total employment: 293,090
> Median annual salary: $38,260
> Majority gender representation: Female, 55.8%

This is a broad category that includes police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers, as well as dispatchers involved in the conveyance of materials, freight, or passengers. Duties may include using radio, telephone, or computer to transmit reports on ongoing work assignments. Police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers are dealing with life and death situations that are sometimes difficult to leave at work.


Source: Nomad_Soul / Shutterstock.com

16. Dancers and choreographers
> Divorce rate: 46.8%
> Total employment: 15,220
> Median annual salary: $35,060
> Majority gender representation: Female, 70.6%

This profession is no joke. Dancers spend years training to perform in big productions, and nearly all choreographers start out as dancers. Relentless training and booking gigs in and out of one’s home state can certainly challenge a marriage. This industry is also incredibly competitive, with many more dancers than job openings.

Source: Thinkstock

15. First-line supervisors of correctional officers
> Divorce rate: 46.9%
> Total employment: 43,230
> Median annual salary: $60,560
> Majority gender representation: Male, 65.6%

First-line supervisors of correctional officers work in extremely dangerous and stressful environments. They supervise workers who have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses, often as a result of confrontations with inmates. Because security must be provided 24 hours a day, supervisors work in shifts that cover all hours of the week, weekends and holidays. They are compensated above the national median average and the jobless rate for this occupation is extremely low. However, the demands of irregular hours often cut into family time for first-line supervisors of correctional officers.


Source: Thinkstock

14. Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses
> Divorce rate: 47.0%
> Total employment: 702,400
> Median annual salary: $44,090
> Majority gender representation: Female, 90.0%

Licensed practical and vocational nurses are like registered nurses in the sense that they, too, have to be alert and on their feet during those 12-hour shifts, but they get paid about $20,000 less than registered nurses who have more advanced education. Perhaps the lower pay supplemented by the long hours spent at work — sometimes in the middle of the night — may be factors that contribute to the high divorce rate. In 2014, one in five LPNs and LVNs worked part time.

Source: Nejron Photo / Shutterstock.com

13. Gaming cage workers
> Divorce rate: 47.3%
> Total employment: 18,810
> Median annual salary: $25,990
> Majority gender representation: Female, 83.3%

Gaming cage workers serve customers in gambling venues like casinos and racetracks. They tend slot machines, deal cards, take bets, or pay out winnings. Casinos are open 24 hours, and employees must work nights, weekends, and holidays. The median annual wage is about $10,000 less than the national median. And there are fewer and fewer jobs in the industry as witnessed by the closure of casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The job growth in this group is forecast to be just 1% from 2014 to 2024.

Source: Thinkstock

12. Massage therapists
> Divorce rate: 47.8%
> Total employment: 95,830
> Median annual salary: $39,860
> Majority gender representation: Female, 80.6%

A massage therapist’s work is fairly intimate — they spend their day touching people with their fingers, elbows, forearms, and hands to deeply massage muscle tissue. Massages can be used for leisure or for medical purposes such as improving circulation or healing an injury. Self-employed massage therapists often times have to wear several hats, from self-branding and managing clients to buying supplies and maintaining financial records, leaving minimal spare time.


Source: Thinkstock

11. Telephone operators
> Divorce rate: 47.8%
> Total employment: 8,860
> Median annual salary: $37,000
> Majority gender representation: Female, 82.9%

Yes, telephone operators are still out there, but the long-time prospects for this occupation are bleak. According to the BLS, this occupation is one of the fastest declining in the United States. The BLS forecasts a drop of 42.2% in telephone operator jobs to 7,500 from 13,100 between 2014 and 2024. That grim outlook might cast a pall over a telephone operator’s home life.

Source: Thinkstock

10. Extruding, forming, pressing, and compacting machine setters, operators, and tenders
> Divorce rate: 48.8%
> Total employment: 71,260
> Median annual salary: $32,510
> Majority gender representation: Male, 86.2%

Clocking in at number 10 is a mouthful. This profession has an array of duties, including setting up, operating, or tending machines that form anything from glassware, rubber, soap, brick, tile, cosmetics, and food just to name a few. Such a routine job, like many others, can become monotonous and perhaps affect one’s happiness, which can very well affect the contentment in a marriage.


Source: Guryanov Andrey / Shutterstock.com

9. Textile knitting and weaving machine operators
> Divorce rate: 48.9%
> Total employment: 21,550
> Median annual salary: $27,470
> Majority gender representation: Female, 92.3%

The textile industry in the United States has been in decline for decades, and this is another occupation where the longer-term employment outlook is dismal. The number of jobs of textile knitting and weaving machine operators is predicted to fall 26.2% from 27,900 in 2014 to 20,600 in 2024.

Source: Thinkstock

8. Telemarketers
> Divorce rate: 49.2%
> Total employment: 215,290
> Median annual salary: $24,300
> Majority gender representation: Female, 63.9%

On the cusp of 50%, telemarketers have one of the highest divorce rates at 49.2%. When telemarketers try to sell products or solicit donations, they are constantly brushed off by the people they call. This job can be terribly exhausting with all the negative responses and abuses telemarketers are subject to from the other end of the phone. According to a survey conducted by the Occupational Information Network, 81% of telemarketers said they deal with unpleasant or angry people every day. Imagine coming home day after day telling your loved one about the series of negative comments you received — sounds like a pretty gloomy dinner conversation.

Source: Albert Karimov / Shutterstock.com

7. Extruding and drawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic
> Divorce rate: 49.6%
> Total employment: 71,960
> Median annual salary: $33,870
> Majority gender representation: Male, 84.6%

These workers set up and operate machines that cut, shape, and form metal and plastic materials or pieces. However, not many Americans will be doing this in the near future. The BLS  forecasts a drop of 13%, or 133,000 jobs, from 2014 to 2024. Technology advances and cheaper foreign competition are eroding this blue-collar job stalwart, a depressing prospect for those hoping to survive the downturn.


Source: Pressmaster / Shutterstock.com

6. Switchboard operators, including answering service
> Divorce rate: 49.7%
> Total employment: 90,910
> Median annual salary: $28,030
> Majority gender representation: Female, 84.0%

Nearly 50% of switchboard operators, the team behind the scenes of incoming, outgoing, and interoffice calls, get divorced. Why? It’s hard to pinpoint a specific reason. The median salary is nearly $10,000 less than the annual median salary of all occupations at $37,040. That could be a reason for stress in a marriage, especially if there are children to support and a mortgage to pay. Another stressful factor might be that the switchboard operator is the fifth-fastest-declining job, according to BLS. The occupation number is forecast to fall 32.9% to 19,400 jobs in 2024, from 28,800 in 2014.

Source: Pavel L Photo and Video / Shutterstock.com

5. Rolling machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic
> Divorce rate: 50.1%
> Total employment: 29,060
> Median annual salary: $40,680
> Majority gender representation: Male, 76.9%

People employed in this field set up and operate presses and forging machines to taper, shape, or form metal. The main industries that employ these workers are iron and steel mills, steel product manufacturing from purchased steel, and plastic product makers. Most of these jobs are in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. This is another field under pressure due to technological changes and foreign competition. That factor, and the nature of this physically demanding work, may put severe strains on family life.


Source: welcomia / Shutterstock.com

4. Gaming services workers
> Divorce rate: 50.3%
> Total employment: 118,170
> Median annual salary: $19,670
> Majority gender representation: Male, 52.2%

Being surrounded by a plethora of slot machines and other games with prizes may sound exhilarating, but when you have to supervise the vicinity at all hours of the day the fun may be stripped. Gaming services workers are often expected to work evenings, weekends, and holidays, which are all prime times to hit the casinos. Working irregular hours can limit free time spent with your spouse, which can hinder a marriage.

Source: CandyBox Images / Shutterstock.com

3. Flight attendants
> Divorce rate: 50.5%
> Total employment: 113,390
> Median annual salary: $48,500
> Majority gender representation: Female, 76.3%

Flight attendants perhaps spend the most time away from their loved ones, having to take overnight flights on a regular basis. Travelling several nights a week leaves minimal time at home. When flight attendants do have free time, it likely differs from the time their spouse has off.

Source: Thinkstock

2. Bartenders
> Divorce rate: 52.7%
> Total employment: 603,320
> Median annual salary: $20,800
> Majority gender representation: Female, 56.2%

As of May 2016, the median hourly wage of bartenders was $10, or $20,800 a year. The jobs with the lowest divorce rates tend to have higher salaries. Of course, this median annual salary excludes the tips, so the job can be more lucrative. Moreover, bartenders often work late evenings, weekends, and holidays, limiting the time they can see their spouse, especially one who works a 9-to-5 gig.


Source: welcomia / Shutterstock.com

1. Gaming managers
> Divorce rate: 52.9%
> Total employment: 4,280
> Median annual salary: $69,180
> Majority gender representation: Male, 75.0%

Easily the highest-paying job on the list, gaming managers work very long hours to manage workers in casinos. Their work environment puts them around alcohol, gambling, and a party atmosphere, all of which can put strains on a relationship. Another stressful factor is the industry is oversaturated in some parts of the country, and is retrenching in others, such as Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Detailed Findings and Methodology:

It’s not clear if the reason for high divorce rates among certain occupations is because of the particular characteristics of the job that impose pressure on a marriage or because of the kind of people who take those jobs.

According to the American Psychological Association, between 40 and 50 percent of married couples in the United States end up getting a divorce. So which professions have the highest rate of divorce? What we have found is that low wages and unconventional work hours can lead to extraordinary stress and ultimately cause conflict in a relationship.

Nearly all of the careers with the highest rates of divorce have an average median annual salary that falls below the median annual income of all occupations in the country of $37,040. In fact, only nine of the 30 jobs on this list have salary levels above that per-year figure.

Of course, the lower the income, the harder it is to invest in a house, support children, and even go on dates — all of which help a marriage thrive and give the other person a feeling of stability. Aside from salary, irregular work hours can also drive a wedge between a relationship.

Security guards and gaming surveillance officers, for example, make a median annual salary of $25,840 — nearly $12,000 less than the median annual salary of all occupations. Not to mention, the hours can be irregular, especially for gaming surveillance officers. Security is required at buildings and casinos during all hours of operation and, for some, that’s 24/7. Working unusual hours can most certainly interfere with time that’s spent with a spouse, and for little pay in return.

Dancers and choreographers are another prime example of a profession that has inconsistent hours. Dancers also tend to travel on a regular basis. Both dancers and choreographers can book gigs or coach others in theaters, dance companies, and movie studios all over the country, which likely make it very challenging to be present in a marriage.

To identify the jobs with the highest divorce rates, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the divorce rates for each occupation, as calculated by FlowingData. The data for each occupation came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey (ACS) and Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Nathan Yau calculated the percentage of people who were divorced out of those who have been married at least one time to determine the rate. A total of 474 professions were considered in this study, and 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 30 jobs with the highest divorce rates, each greater than 45%. Data on gender representation in each occupation is sourced from the Census Bureau’s 2016 Current Population Survey (CPS).

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