Baristas are below average when it comes to happiness.

At CareerExplorer, we conduct an ongoing survey with millions of people and ask them how satisfied they are with their careers. As it turns out, baristas rate their career happiness 2.9 out of 5 stars which puts them in the bottom 25% of careers.

To put this into perspective, we compared how happy baristas are to similar careers in the industry. Take a look at the results below:

Salaries and satisfaction ratings in similar careers

Career Satisfaction Avg Salary
Bartender
3.0
$26k
Amusement attendant
3.0
$24k
Travel agent
3.0
$44k
Landscaper
3.0
$49k
Culinary chef
2.9
$50k
Barista
2.9
$25k
Caterer
2.9
$28k
Street vendor
2.9
$29k
Concierge
2.8
$35k
Printing worker
2.8
$38k

So what does it mean to be happy in your career? Let’s break it down into different dimensions:

  • Salary: Are baristas happy with their salary?
  • Meaning: Do baristas find their jobs meaningful?
  • Personality fit: How well suited are people’s personalities to their everyday tasks as baristas?
  • Work environment: How enjoyable are barista’s work environments?
  • Skills utilization: Are baristas making the best use of their abilities?

Are baristas happy with their salary?

Baristas rated their satisfaction with their salaries 2.6/5. Baristas tend to be quite unhappy with their salary, with very few reporting satisfaction with their pay.

We asked baristas how fairly compensated they are for their work.
Their response was:

2.6 out of 5 stars

4847 baristas

5 Star
5%

5% of baristas rated their compensation 5 stars

4 Star
17%

17% of baristas rated their compensation 4 stars

3 Star
27%

27% of baristas rated their compensation 3 stars

2 Star
28%

28% of baristas rated their compensation 2 stars

1 Star
22%

22% of baristas rated their compensation 1 stars

Do baristas find their jobs meaningful?

On average, baristas rate the meaningfulness of their work a 2.1/5. The majority of baristas struggle to find any sort of meaning in their work, likely resulting in less satisfaction with the career overall.

We asked baristas how meaningful they found their work.
Their response was:

2.1 out of 5 stars

4857 baristas

5 Star
4%

4% of baristas rated how meaningful they found their career 5 stars

4 Star
9%

9% of baristas rated how meaningful they found their career 4 stars

3 Star
19%

19% of baristas rated how meaningful they found their career 3 stars

2 Star
30%

30% of baristas rated how meaningful they found their career 2 stars

1 Star
38%

38% of baristas rated how meaningful they found their career 1 stars

How well are people’s personalities suited to everyday tasks as baristas?

Baristas rated their personality fit with their work an average of 3.8/5. The majority of baristas find their personalities quite well suited to their work, with relatively few having complaints about their fit.

We asked baristas how well their personalities fit into their careers.
Their response was:

3.8 out of 5 stars

5163 baristas

5 Star
33%

33% of baristas rated their career fit 5 stars

4 Star
35%

35% of baristas rated their career fit 4 stars

3 Star
19%

19% of baristas rated their career fit 3 stars

2 Star
8%

8% of baristas rated their career fit 2 stars

1 Star
5%

5% of baristas rated their career fit 1 stars

How enjoyable is a barista’s work environment?

As a whole, baristas rated their enjoyment of their work environment 3.4/5. Most of them tend to enjoy, or at least not be actively bothered by, their work environment.

We asked baristas how much they enjoyed their work environment.
Their response was:

3.4 out of 5 stars

5163 baristas

5 Star
18%

18% of baristas rated their work environment 5 stars

4 Star
31%

31% of baristas rated their work environment 4 stars

3 Star
26%

26% of baristas rated their work environment 3 stars

2 Star
17%

17% of baristas rated their work environment 2 stars

1 Star
8%

8% of baristas rated their work environment 1 stars

Are baristas making the best use of their abilities?

Former baristas on CareerExplorer have rated their skills utilization 2.4/5. Most feel that their skills are being underutilized in the career, probably leading to more general dissatisfaction with being a barista.

We asked baristas how well their abilities were used in their careers.
Their response was:

2.4 out of 5 stars

5169 baristas

5 Star
8%

8% of baristas rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 5 stars

4 Star
11%

11% of baristas rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 4 stars

3 Star
20%

20% of baristas rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 3 stars

2 Star
30%

30% of baristas rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 2 stars

1 Star
31%

31% of baristas rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 1 stars