The 20 Most Boring Jobs in the World (According to Science)

Did your job make the list?

Reviewed by Chris Leitch

Most Boring Job

In some lines of work, like working as a doctor, a firefighter or a flight attendant, no two days on duty are the same. You put on your work clothes, get to where you need to be, and wait for the day to take you where it may — exciting, for certain, but not always pleasantly so.

For other professions, each workday differs little to the one before and the one after it. While some might find that dreadfully boring, others can view the predictability of it all as something reassuring.

Those are the types of jobs we’re going to talk about: the ones that bore thrill-seekers to tears, yet soothe the ones that find comfort in a stable routine. Let’s talk about the most “boring” jobs in the world!

“Boring” jobs — explained

Whether we’re talking about movies, books or jobs, different things may bore different individuals; where one person sees data analysis as a mind-numbing way to earn a living, someone else gets a kick out of analyzing and interpreting data.

As the concept of dullness can be understood and experienced differently between people, therefore, we’re deciding to go ahead and cite the dictionary (boring!) to clear up how we picked the professions below: we’re taking “boring” to be synonymous with “monotonous”, “repetitive” and “uneventful”, three terms that can be used a little more objectively!

The 20 most “boring” jobs

An article published on Sage Journals’ Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin talks about “stereotypically boring individuals” and the career paths they most commonly pursue. Let’s look at 20 of them:

1. Data entry worker

Data Entry Worker

Boring rating: 5.13

Average annual salary: $38,710

A data entry worker is someone who is paid to input, verify and edit electronic data. For example, a company with client information forms that have been filled in by hand might need a data entry clerk to manually transfer that information onto a digital database.

As such, data entry workers experience little to no variety in their work lives, each day being required to carry out the same task as the day before.

2. Accountant


Boring rating: 5.03

Average annual salary: $78,000

Accounting often gets a bad rap for being a boring profession. Though an accountant’s duties might be more varied than, say, a data entry worker’s, a lot of those responsibilities still revolve around data entry and paperwork.

At the very least, accountants tend to be rewarded handsomely for their work, which can make up for the lack of excitement in their day to day.

3. Tax consultant

Tax Consultant

Boring rating: 5.02

Average annual salary: $95,390

A tax consultant is a type of personal financial advisor who meets with clients and provides guidance where their taxable income is concerned. More specifically, they identify any deductions that their client might be entitled to, prepare their tax returns, and provide insights into the tax implications of major life events, such as inheritance and divorce.

Though tax consultants can earn a hefty salary that’s twice the national average, that’s the only exciting thing about their profession in the eyes of many people.

4. Cleaner


Boring rating: 4.84

Average annual salary: $31,990

Cleaners and janitors have an important job: they keep our surroundings sanitary, neat and in order. They typically work indoors, but some of their duties might involve keeping outdoor spaces, such as building entrances and walkways, clear of leaves, litter and snow.

Much like the other entries on this list, cleaners have a largely repetitive routine, with days and weeks that can seem identical to one another.

5. Bank teller

Bank Teller

Boring rating: 4.78

Average annual salary: $36,380

Though automated teller machines and online banking apps have reduced the need for human interaction, tellers are still needed for handling deposits, withdrawals and transfers, as well as walking clients through the various services that are available to them.

Given the repetitive nature of their job, bank tellers are believed to have one of the most boring professions out there.

6. File clerk

File Clerk

Boring rating: 4.70

Average annual salary: $38,040

File clerks are responsible for organizing documents and records, such as correspondence, receipts and invoices, in a particular order (for example, alphabetical or numerical). Their work is needed in a variety of settings, but the majority of file clerks are employed in government offices, legal services, employment services and hospitals.

Given how little each workday deviates from the norm, file clerks are also thought to have one of the most boring jobs out there.

7. Office worker

Office Worker

Boring rating: 4.69

Average annual salary: $38,040

Office workers, also referred to as office clerks, typically work in corporate settings and perform a range of standard (and often general) tasks. These include making copies, filing documents, imputing data, and answering emails and phone calls — all of which help ensure that the business operates smoothly, yet get repetitive quite fast.

Regardless of the industry they find employment in, they’re required to rely primarily on their time-management, communication, and organizational abilities.

8. Cashier


Boring rating: 4.51

Average annual salary: $28,240

For the most part, cashiers spend their workdays sitting or standing behind the register greeting customers, scanning product barcodes and processing transactions. Much like with bank tellers, self-checkout machines and online shopping have replaced some of these workers, although their work is still very much needed and sought after.

Given the monotonous, repetitive tasks and low pay (not to mention the rude customers, because there are plenty of those), cashiers suffer high burnout rates like the rest of their colleagues in retail.

9. Mathematician


Boring rating: 4.42

Average annual salary: $99,960

In simple terms, mathematicians and statisticians analyze data to arrive at solutions for various problems. The majority work for the federal government, or in research centers and universities.

In a little more detail, they interpret questions and problems to identify what sort of data is needed to arrive at a solution, design surveys and experiments to gather the data, and use software to analyze the information they have.

If you don’t like math, you’re probably already yawning.

10. Security guard

Security Guard

Boring rating: 4.32

Average annual salary: $34,770

In action and superhero movies, a security guard’s job might seem like the kind that’s packed with all sorts of thrills and always has your heart racing. In reality, though, this is one of those professions where, a lot of the time, nothing much happens — and that’s for the better.

Typically, security guards spend large chunks of their shifts alone, patrolling premises or monitoring surveillance systems. Night shifts can be especially challenging for this reason; not only are you required to push through the loneliness and tiredness, but you must also keep your mind engaged and your senses alert.

11. Receptionist


Boring rating: 4.31

Average annual salary: $33,960

Receptionists can work in a wide range of settings, from corporate office buildings to gyms, hotels and medical facilities. Though they, too, play an important role in their employer’s operations, their day to day isn’t all that exciting or eventful.

Depending on where they work, their duties typically include greeting clients, answering phone calls and emails, filing and organizing documents, and arranging meetings on behalf of their colleagues.

12. Clergy member

Clergy Member

Boring rating: 4.27

Average annual salary: $60,180

Though working in a church setting can be exciting and rewarding in that it connects you to individuals from all walks of life, clergy members still have stable, predictable routines — which is what qualifies their occupation for this list.

These religious leaders can have a number of responsibilities, with the most typical being delivering sermons, providing support and counseling to congregants, and performing rituals and ceremonies like weddings and baptisms.

13. Librarian


Boring rating: 4.14

Average annual salary: $61,660

We’re expecting loud protesting from book lovers for this entry — which only goes to show how subjective this list really is!

Though some would want nothing more than to be surrounded by books all day, others might find the librarian’s role a very dull one. Their duties include creating and maintaining databases of library materials, organizing the materials within the library so they’re easy to find, and (quietly) helping visitors find the books or resources they need.

14. Production worker

Production Worker

Boring rating: 4.12

Average annual salary: $38,860

Production workers are employed in warehouses and factories to operate machinery, assemble products, check products for defects, or package goods.

According to the BBC, between 2000 and 2019, 1.7 million manufacturing jobs were replaced by robots all around the world — but humans are still very much employed on production lines, carrying out extremely monotonous tasks day in and day out.

15. Postal service worker

Postal Service Worker

Boring rating: 4.05

Average annual salary: $53,680

Depending on the role they hold within the field, postal service workers may work indoors or outdoors. Those working in a post office sell postage, collect parcels from senders and facilitate parcel pickups. Mail carriers, on the other hand, are tasked with delivering mail to people’s doors.

Though working as a mail carrier may sound a little more exciting than sitting behind a post office desk all day, you’re still required to carry out monotonous work, and sometimes in unfavorable weather conditions.

16. Bus driver

Bus Driver

Boring rating: 4.03

Average annual salary: $44,440

Even if you love to drive, working as a bus driver can eventually make you dislike sitting behind the wheel, what with the repetitive routes, irregular hours and relatively low pay.

Having said that, there are different types of work you can pick up as a driver, and that can have an impact on how much fun you have on the job. Driving intercity buses or sightseeing tour buses, for example, might make life just a little more exciting than commanding a vehicle full of sweaty, loud teenagers at the end of a school day.

17. Telemarketer


Boring rating: 4.02

Average annual salary: $33,600

Not only are telemarketing jobs repetitive and monotonous, but they can also be quite disheartening. Cold-calling strangers to promote a product or service results in rejection a lot of the time — and that’s if you’re lucky enough not to get verbally abused or threatened by the person on the other end of the line.

Demonstrating resilience is, therefore, a must for anyone who lands a role within a call center — and so is having a high tolerance to unstimulating tasks.

18. Computer programmer

Computer Programmer

Boring rating: 3.73

Average annual salary: $97,800

Computer programmers may have one of the highest-paying professions on this list, but for many people, they also have one of the most tiresome ones.

In a nutshell, computer programmers write, edit and test code that allows software and applications to run smoothly. They work from the designs created by software developers and engineers, turning them into sequences that a computer can read.

19. Business manager

Business Manager

Boring rating: 3.60

Average annual salary: $131,200

The level of decision making involved in managerial roles can make them seem exciting in comparison to other entries on this list. However, holding the reins becomes stressful — and typically comprises smaller, more unexciting tasks.

These include attending meetings (lots of them), monitoring and analyzing performance metrics, translating strategies into actionable plans, and managing conflicts between coworkers, just to name a few.

20. Political scientist

Political Scientist

Boring rating: 3.50

Average annual salary: $128,020

The majority of political scientists work for the federal government. Their duties typically entail researching political subjects, like foreign relations; collecting and analyzing data, like public opinion stats; and developing political theories and assessing implemented ones for efficacy.

For people who love politics, this might sound like a dream career — but for (more or less) everyone else, this line of work can appear incredibly dull.

Final thoughts

As we’ve seen, some of the world’s most boring jobs pay handsomely; likewise, some adrenaline-pumping jobs, like working as a stunt performer, pay below the national average.

The truth is that whether you work as a vet or a compliance officer, there’s bound to be someone out there who thinks that the way you earn your living is boring. What really matters is that you enjoy your job or at the very least find some aspects of it rewarding!

Could you see yourself thriving in any of the professions listed in this article? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section.

Originally published on November 4, 2016.