You’re most likely to be single at 40 if you have one of these jobs

Sometimes work becomes so hectic that people can block out everything else in their life—including love—in hopes of making a successful career for themselves.

You’re most likely to be single at 40 if you have one of these jobs
[Photo: Valentin B. Kremer/Unsplash]

People can be workaholics.


Sometimes work becomes so hectic that people can block out everything else in their life—including love—in hopes of making a successful career for themselves.

There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, being single longer is a trending topic in today’s society. There are plenty of benefits of staying single and marrying later in life.

Being financially independent, creating a successful career for yourself, and building a strong network of friends and coworkers are just a few of the things one can focus on if they’re not wrapped up in a committed relationship.


That’s not to say those things are impossible if someone is married, either. There’s just a lot of time that tends to be invested in those serious relationships that could be used for other things by single people.

Still, the thought of one being single later into their life made us wonder—what types of work are these people in that has them so wrapped up? We looked through some census data to see which jobs are most common for single people at age 40.

Top 10 jobs where you’re most likely to be single at 40

  • Bartenders: 74%
  • Tile installers: 73%
  • Food servers, nonrestaurant: 69%
  • Tour and travel guides: 65%
  • Parts salespersons: 64%
  • Personal-care workers: 63%
  • Flight attendants: 61%
  • Veterinary assistants: 61%
  • Postal-service mail workers: 60%
  • Food batch makers: 60%

Many of these professions seem to fall within industries with the highest turnover. A possible explanation for this could be that workers are so concentrated on their craft and making their careers as stable as possible that they cannot fit a serious relationship into their personal life schedule.


A lot of these positions also offer the opportunity to travel for work, too, so people may believe that they’re better off traveling solo than bringing a partner along.

Finally, a fair amount of the jobs listed have a commission aspect to them. There may be incentive to work longer hours with the opportunity to be paid more, again decreasing the opportunity workers have to enter a serious relationship.

A logical reason why so many bartenders tend to remain single is that the majority of their income comes from their patrons’ tips—which can be increased with a little friendly flirtation. That’s definitely not a bad thing. Bartenders in some of the bigger cities are raking in six figures annually.


Chief executives, dentists, and other high-paying jobs tend to have low divorce rates, so there are fewer single workers in those fields.

Changing times

As the millennial marriage rate continues to decline and the number of Americans who will always remain single and never marry continues to rise, the percentage of single workers in the workplace can be expected to rise too.

A study by the Pew Research Center displayed that women most want job stability in a potential partner. However, as participation in the labor force among men has fallen in recent decades, that’s becoming less likely.


How we did it

Analyzing data from the 2012-2016 American Community Survey PUMS dataset, we looked at all full-time workers aged 40 and ranked their professions by the percentage of workers who were single.

We then separated the study into men and women and ran the same calculations to see what are the most popular jobs for 40-year-olds by gender.

Jobs where you’re least likely to be single at 40

Just for kicks and gigs, we wanted to see which jobs are most likely to be in relationships by 40.

  1. Sales engineers
  2. Clergy
  3. Dentists
  4. Biomedical/agricultural engineers
  5. Optometrists
  6. Engineering managers
  7. Actuaries
  8. Directors of education
  9. Pilots
  10. Mechanical engineers

What we learned

  • Men and women share six positions on the list of most common jobs for single 40-year-olds.
  • Single 40-year-old men share the same two most common positions as the general single population—bartenders and tile installers.
  • Postal service clerks (74%) and veterinary assistants (73%) rank as the most common two professions for single 40-year-old women.
  • Taxi driver ranked as the least common job for single men, with just below 7% of males in the field being single.
  • For women, chiropractors are most likely to be in a relationship at 40 years old, with just above 14% of women being single.
  • Engineering professions account for 10 of the top 32 spots that are least likely to be single.
  • Sales engineer specifically is the job where you’re most likely to be in a relationship at 40—only 10% of sales engineers are single at the age.
  • Morticians and undertakers surprisingly rank high on least likely to be unwed—only 19% of those in the occupation are single at 40. Side note: We would love to see how those dinner conversations go.
  • Most of the positions on this list are fairly lucrative, but we’re positive the relationships are based on love and love alone.

A version of this article originally appeared on Zippia and is reprinted with permission.