When it comes to dream jobs, tens of thousands of people worldwide want to spend their days in the air.
According to a study of online searches by Jobseeker, pilot and flight attendant are the most searched dream jobs in the world ahead of roles like model, psychologist and influencer.
Doctor, teacher, lawyer and firefighter complete the top 10.
“How to become a pilot” was searched 50,000 times as of January 2024, and it topped the list of most searched dream jobs in 55 countries, with Ireland and the UK included in 25 European countries.
Flight attendant was a distant second with 29,000 searches while modelling (25,000) was the most searched in 25 European countries, including France, Germany, Italy and Sweden.
Jobseeker drew the figures from global search volumes for the term “How to become X,” and Jobseeker also drew on US and UK salary data to assess whether the values, skillset, opportunities and experience a dream job provides outpaces the requirement for financial gain.
The company created a seed list of 35 jobs most commonly associated with a dream career that it then narrowed down to 10 on the basis of total global search volume using the search analysis tool Ahrefs.
When data for certain regions wasn’t available through Ahrefs, Google Keyword Planner was used as the deciding factor. Some regions have been omitted from the results for lack of data when assessed against both platforms.
“Our dream jobs campaign has been incredibly exciting to develop, revealing key patterns and differences between what we view as a dream job,” a Jobseeker spokesperson said.
“While the prospect of becoming a pilot is a strong theme across the study, the sheer variety of career paths on show indicates there is no one-size-fits-all approach to career satisfaction and fulfilment. We’re uplifted to see more modern pathways such as influencers and YouTubers make the list.
“Who knows what people’s dream jobs will be as professions evolve in the next 10, 20 and 50 years?”
“Each country around the world has a unique viewpoint on what a dream career means. Jobseekers consider a myriad of factors, contemplating their passions, interests, values and motivations alongside their skillsets and personalities to find a path that’s right for them.
“To secure their dream job, job seekers should learn everything they can about the role, understand the pathway to get there and start building a professional network. It’s important job seekers refine their skill set for their chosen career path, showcasing this in their CVs and applications to get a foot in the door.”
Approximately a quarter of people are currently working in the job they dreamed of doing in school, meaning the vast majority are stuck in a job they don’t ultimately want to do or don’t have a dream job.
For those who are unsure of what their ideal career is, it is important to consider the following factors.
- Passion and interest Often, dream jobs are those which enable you to do something you love and feel genuinely passionate about.
- Skills alignment A dream job could tap into your existing strengths, enabling you to utilise your unique skill set.
- Personal and professional growth Your dream job may allow you to continually learn, grow, and progress in your career.
- Challenge If your primary motivation is to be challenged, your dream job may be intellectually demanding and force you out of your comfort zone.
- Freedom and flexibility You may consider a dream job something that affords a healthy work-life balance, allowing you to pursue non-work interests and passions.
- The ability to make a difference If you’re someone who desires to make a positive impact, your dream job may provide an opportunity to help others in some way.
- Security and stability For some people, a dream job may simply be one they see themselves doing for years to come.
- Pay and benefits Your salary and benefits may be the most important criteria in your dream job, allowing you to live in relative financial comfort.
Tips for making it in one of the top 10 dream jobs
Pilot (average salary of £43,000 in UK or $105,960 in the US)
According to jobted.ie, in Ireland “the average salary for a Pilot is €147,050 gross per year (€12,250 gross per month), which is 233% higher than the national average salary in Ireland. An Airline Pilot can expect an average starting salary of €65,162. The highest salaries can exceed €200,000. “
- Obtain the necessary education and training, starting with a Private Pilot Licence (PPL) and progressing to a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL).
- Build flying hours, as most commercial airlines require a significant amount of flight experience.
- Maintain high physical and mental health standards, as regular medical examinations are mandatory for pilots to ensure they are fit to fly.
Flight attendant (£26,500 or $85,102)
- Develop strong customer service skills and experience (airlines often look for candidates with a background in customer service, hospitality, or tourism).
- Complete a certified flight attendant training program, which covers emergency procedures, first aid, conflict resolution, and other relevant skills.
- Consider learning additional languages, which can be an advantage in this globally diverse profession.
Model (£44,500 or $55,800)
- Develop a strong portfolio showcasing your versatility (include a range of professional photographs highlighting your strengths and different styles).
- Research and approach reputable modelling agencies, ensuring you clearly understand their terms and conditions before signing any contracts.
- Be persistent and resilient, as the modelling industry is highly competitive and often involves facing rejection.
Psychologist (£40,000 or £105,500)
- Obtain a relevant undergraduate degree, typically in psychology or a related field.
- Pursue postgraduate education, such as a Master’s degree and a Doctorate in Psychology (PhD or PsyD).
- Gain practical experience through internships or supervised placements (this is crucial for developing clinical skills and is often a requirement for licensure).
Influencer (£33,300 or $55,300)
- Identify your niche (influencers are often involved in areas such as fashion, health, beauty, tech, or career coaching).
- Develop a content strategy that focuses on high-quality, relevant social media content aimed at a specific target audience.
- Actively engage with your audience, and look for opportunities to grow your network by establishing relationships with fellow influencers.
Doctor (£72,000 or $229,300)
- Get the relevant training and qualifications (a doctor will typically spend around five years at medical school before doing two years of foundation training).
- Identify the area of medicine you want to specialise in (you’ll normally need to decide this in the third or fourth year of your training).
- Gain experience by volunteering in education, charity or social care settings.
Teacher (£34,000 or $66,000)
- Obtain the necessary education and qualifications (usually a bachelor’s degree in education or a specific subject area, followed by a teaching certification).
- Choose your preferred teaching level (secondary, special education, etc.) and subject specialism, such as maths, science, or humanities.
- Gain practical experience through student teaching, internships, or volunteering in educational settings.
Lawyer (£68,500 or $135,000)
- Complete a qualifying law degree or a non-law degree followed by a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL).
- Undertake the Legal Practice Course (LPC) for solicitors or the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) for barristers.
- Gain experience through a training contract (for solicitors) or pupillage (for barristers), which involves working under the supervision of experienced lawyers.
Firefighter (£28,700 or $53,000)
- Acquire relevant qualifications or experience, such as a Level 2 Certificate in Fire and Rescue Services Operations in the Community.
- Gain experience in a role involving teamwork, discipline, and physical activity.
- Apply to a Fire and Rescue Service; the selection process involves physical and written tests, an interview, and a medical examination.
- Identify a market need and develop a unique business idea or innovation, focusing on areas you’re passionate about or have expertise in.
- Create a comprehensive business plan that outlines your vision, strategy, market analysis, financial projections, and operational structure.
- Network extensively and seek mentorship (building relationships with other entrepreneurs, industry professionals, and potential investors).