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When it comes to being happy at work, IT professionals are a miserable bunch.

Only 14 per cent of IT workers are very happy in their job, compared to 40 per cent of care assistants. While a third of IT workers feel that they are appreciated, half find their work unrewarding.

According to the City & Guilds "Happiness Index" - compiled to track the satisfaction of the country’s workforce - one in ten IT workers is unhappy in his job.

Instead, the research found that vocational workers - such as chefs, florists and plumbers - are the most content with their jobs.

Those who have practical jobs appear to be much happier than those sat behind a desk and chained to a computer.

Said Chris Humphries of the City & Guilds: "It's a misconception that white-collar professionals have the best jobs and are therefore the happiest. As our research proves, it’s often people in vocational careers that are the most content and fulfilled.

"There is an increasing trend for people to swap careers to do something more hands-on.

"A lot of employees are starting to realise that job satisfaction is more important than any other consideration, including money. You spend such a lot of time at work, it’s vital to enjoy what you do," he said.

Care assistants, hairdressers and plumbers topped the list of the happiest workers, while IT staff made it to mid-table. Those in the media are among the most unhappy at work.

Pity those poor sods who are journalists and write about IT. ®

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