Men at work – do you have a ‘manly’ job?

If you work in an office you’re not much of a man, or at least your career isn’t very manly.

Even if you’ve no less than five days’ worth of stubble on your face at all times, bath in Acqua Di Parma, and swill your mouth with single malt every morning, office work just isn’t man’s work..

That is unless you happen to work as an intelligence analyst, in which case you’ll be considered quite manly, but even then you’ll be nowhere near as manly as a marine engineer, which is the most manly job there is. Apparently.

Confused? Read on…

 The ‘manly’ job index

A survey commissioned by Stormline, makers of ‘foul weather gear’ – we’re not just talking outdoor clothing here, or even clothing for bad weather, actual foul weather, the worst there is – has found marine engineer to be the most manly job in Britain. And there’s probably no more manly worker than a marine engineer plying his trade in some foul weather gear.

The poll of over 1,000 UK adults found that most people consider low-tech and physically intensive jobs to be the most masculine.

Top of the shop were marine engineers – with its inherent dangers, bad weather conditions and solitude leading 92% of respondents to rate it either “very manly” or “extremely manly”.

And engineers, marine or otherwise, were considered to have the manliest of jobs with 88% agreeing engineering is “very manly” or “extremely manly”.

The survey suggests that most people still associate male work with hard, manual labour, and some problem solving, and half of the top ten jobs were based outdoors.

Manly or not, I’d sooner be stuck in an office than in the ‘great’ outdoors in the height of winter.

The 10 manliest jobs

  • Engineer
  • Infantry soldier
  • Blacksmith
  • Motor mechanic
  • Chef
  • Butcher
  • Private security contractor (eg door supervisor)
  • Arboriculturist (tree surgeon, lumberjack)
  • Surgeon
  • Intelligence analyist

The 10 manliest industries

  • Marine and fishing
  • Military and defence
  • Conservation
  • Construction
  • Intelligence
  • Security
  • Aviation
  • Agriculture
  • Brewing
  • Medicine

What makes a job manly?

So what exactly makes a job manly? Over a third (34%) of those surveyed suggested problem solving was the most manly quality of a job, with harsh working conditions and specialist uniforms following behind. The results on this section of the poll broke down like this:

  • 34% – Problem solving
  • 22% – Harsh working conditions
  • 21% – Specialist uniforms or workwear
  • 14% – High danger levels
  • 9% – High salary

It all means absolutely nothing, of course, and is just a bit of fun – any  complaints that it’s in any way sexist would probably be met with a gruff “man up” (whatever that means) – but it did reveal one relatively positive statistic, and that’s fewer than than 1 in 10 people measured a job’s manliness by salary.

It’s good to know we’re not all judged on earning potential at least.

Updated Friday, March 31, 2017


  1. Beomin said:

    How the hell is a Chef considered more manly than a freak’n LUMBERJACK?!? WTF, also how is an Engineer more manly than a soldier or a blacksmith? Nothing is manlier than a true warrior, and that is what a soldier is. Engineers don’t see battle (except combat engineers), they don’t have bullets whizzing by them or mines blowing them to hell. Soldiers should always be at the top of this list. Anything else is disrespectful to their sacrifice, bravery, and hard work. and to the millions who have been slaughtered while defending their countries and their families!

    September 25, 2020
    • Boitumelo said:

      😂 Right?! Kitchen duties were well known to be for women. And I don’t know much about cooking and stuff, but I’ve noticed that most chefs are actually male. I guess times are changing. There are no longer gender roles. Anyone can do pretty much anything.

      January 9, 2021

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *