Divorce Rates by Career or Field of Work

Career is an oft-overlooked aspect of life that may impact – or at least correlate with – marital stability. Which industries have the highest number of divorces? The lowest divorce rates? Could this knowledge help married couples take proactive steps to lower their risk of divorce? 

Which industries have the highest divorce rates?

The U.S. divorce rate is nothing to sneeze at, and the professions with the highest rate of divorce filings include gaming managers (52.9%), bartenders (52.7%), flight attendants (50.5%), and gaming service workers (50.3%), according to Forbes.

But why do people in these professions experience more break-ups? The reasons can be multifaceted. For instance, bartenders and gaming managers often work in environments that promote social interaction, which might lead to more opportunities for infidelity. The irregular working hours associated with these professions could also strain marital relationships due to less quality time spent together.

Airline occupations like flight attendants also have high divorce rates. The nature of their job requires them to be away from home for extended periods, which can strain a marriage. This absence can lead to feelings of isolation, miscommunication, and a lack of mutual support, all of which are crucial elements in a healthy marriage.

Medical professionals, particularly nurse anesthetists, also show a high divorce rate of approximately 12%, as reported by Yahoo Finance. The stress associated with life-or-death situations, long hours, and the emotional toll of dealing with ill and dying patients can spill over into their personal lives, making it challenging to maintain a stable marriage.

It's important to recognize that while certain professions have higher divorce rates, this doesn't mean that married people in these professions are destined for divorce. Many factors contribute to the health of a marriage; occupation is just one aspect. But understanding these dynamics can help couples navigate potential challenges and work toward a stronger relationship.

Read: Divorce and Marital Status Discrimination: Your Workplace Rights

Which industries have the lowest divorce rates?

Statistical data reveals that actuaries, a profession in the insurance industry, boast the lowest divorce rate at 17%. Marriages end a lot less often for scientists and engineers, too; typically around 20%. Other professions with low divorce rates include clergy (19.8%) and optometrists (20.8%).

Actuaries are known for their analytical and problem-solving skills, a trait that might be beneficial in navigating the intricacies of a relationship. Their ability to predict and manage risk might extend to their personal lives, leading to more stable marriages. The financial stability associated with this profession could further contribute to lower divorce rates.

Scientists and engineers are typically characterized by logical thinking and systematic problem-solving abilities. These skills could be applied to their relationships, helping them address conflicts in a rational manner. These professions often require collaboration and teamwork, which may translate into effective communication and compromise in their personal relationships.

The clergy, who provide spiritual guidance and support to others, might be better equipped to navigate the challenges of marriage. Their profession necessitates empathy, understanding, and patience, traits that are vital for a successful marriage.

Optometrists work regular hours and usually have a stable income, which might reduce financial stress, a common trigger for marital discord.

However, it's essential to remember that a lower divorce rate doesn't necessarily equate to a happier or healthier marriage. Various factors contribute to the success of a relationship, and your occupation is just one piece of the puzzle. It's the skills, attitudes, and values you bring into your marriage that ultimately determine its strength and longevity.

Read: Communication as a Predictor of Marital Success

Income and divorce rate

The current overall divorce rate in the U.S. sits around 40%. The number of marriages that end seems to decrease the more the household earns, but only to a point. Once a household income reaches about $200,000, the divorce rate falls to around 30%. Over $600,000, and the divorce rate starts climbing again.

Why does income play such a pivotal role? Financial stress can put a significant strain on marriages. The inability to meet financial obligations, such as bills or mortgage payments, can lead to disagreements and discord. Couples with higher incomes may experience less financial stress, thereby reducing one potential source of marital conflict.

A higher-income status often implies a certain level of education and job stability, both of which can contribute to marital stability. Education tends to promote better communication and problem-solving skills, while job stability reduces the uncertainty and tension associated with unemployment and job changes.

However, while income can influence divorce rates, it's not the be-all and end-all. Money can't buy happiness, nor can it guarantee a successful marriage. It's the mutual respect, understanding, and love that truly make a marriage work. So, while keeping an eye on the balance sheet, don't forget to invest in your emotional bank account as well.

What about remarriage?

What about the marriage rates of divorced people? Around 40% of new marriages in the U.S. include at least one partner in their second marriage (or more). And about 20% consist of two people who have both been previously married.

Remarriage plays a role in divorce rates due to what's known as the "rebound effect." Some individuals rush into a subsequent marriage without fully healing from their previous relationship or understanding what went wrong. This can lead to a repeat of past mistakes and consequently, higher divorce rates. As you navigate the waves of divorce, remember: Slow and steady often wins the race, especially with tying the knot again.

Read: Guide to Remarriage after Divorce


Revealing Divorce Statistics in 2023.
Marriage and Divorce. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Divorce Content Specialist & Lawyer
Divorce Strategy, Divorce Process, Legal Insights

Bryan is a non-practicing lawyer, HR consultant, and legal content writer. With nearly 20 years of experience in the legal field, he has a deep understanding of family and employment laws. His goal is to provide readers with clear and accessible information about the law, and to help people succeed by providing them with the knowledge and tools they need to navigate the legal landscape. Bryan lives in Orlando, Florida.