These Are The Jobs With The Longest And Shortest Work Weeks

McLeod Brown
by McLeod Brown
Study - 7 months ago
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Attention workaholics. Boy, do we have the job for you?!

Don’t worry those of you who like your free time. We have that data, too.

Ever wondered what jobs work the longest and shortest hours? Cool, because so did we.

We crunched the numbers from the latest American Community Survey PUMS dataset to find out what full-time jobs have the longest and shortest work weeks.

Longest work weeks

  1. Derrick operators – 62.8 hours
  2. Sailors and Marine Oilers – 59.3
  3. Boat Operators – 59
  4. Fishing and Hunting Workers – 57.1
  5. Miscellaneous Extraction Workers – 56.7

Shortest work weeks

  1. Dental Hygienists – 39.6 hours per week
  2. Dental Assistants – 39.7
  3. Teacher Assistants – 39.8
  4. Occupational Therapy Aides – 40
  5. Library Assistants – 40.1

Summary of findings

  • Females are sparse to find in the longest hours category, but compose the majority of each position within the shortest work week list
  • The most popular job for females on the list is physical therapist aides
  • Women only compose 0.8% of the entire earth driller occupation field
  • Three of the top four positions in the longest hours field involve the use of a watercraft
  • Derrick, rotary drill, and service unit operators, and roustabouts clock the longest weeks at nearly 63 working hours
  • Dental hygienists (39.56 hours per week) and dental assistants (39.70) have the shortest working weeks
  • Three separate military positions make an appearance on the most hours list


How we did it

We analyzed data from the American Community Survey’s PUMS 2012-2016 database to see what occupations average the longest and shortest working weeks.

For conciseness, we whittled the occupations down to the 14 positions with the longest weeks and 14 jobs with the shortest. Salary data was cross-referenced with Data USA to ensure accuracy.

More info


Physicians and surgeons make quite the pretty penny at $216,097. Of course, they’re working close to 2,900 hours per year saving lives so they’re worth the pay.

Fishers and hunting workers on the other hand aren’t exactly compensated the best at $41,000 for 57 hours per week. Same can be said for military tactical specialists, who make just above $26,000 for over 52 hours of work per week.

However, food preparation workers and servers, including fast food, check in with the lowest annual pay of just above $13,000. Granted, much of their income is supplemented from cash tips as well, which makes this figure a bit diluted. Second lowest are library assistants, making $16,336 per year.

For their work rate of just below 40 hours per week, dental hygienists are compensated fairly well at nearly $49,000.