10. Health care and social assistance. Overall, 83.8 percent of workers across all sectors get paid time off, but when it comes to health care and social assistance, 87.1 percent do. In addition, the share of workers with health insurance is 78.0 percent, and about 45 percent are eligible for some form of tuition assistance or reimbursement, compared with just 36 percent of all private sector workers. The share of workers in this field with no major benefits is just 7.7 percent; average annual salaries run to $47,956.
9. Transportation and warehousing. In this industry, 23.8 percent of workers are union members, well above the 10.7 percent national unionization share. That’s won 87.4 percent of them paid holidays, vacation or sick leave; in addition, 67.0 percent have retirement plans with employers contributions, compared with the national private sector average for these benefits of 83.8 percent and 60.7 percent, respectively. They also make an average annual salary of $50,459. Only 9.1 percent do without benefits altogether.
hrough 2030, the time spent using advanced technological skills will increase by 50 percent in the United States. (photo: Shutterstock)
7. Wholesale trade. This sector is composed chiefly of occupations dealing in wholesale of agricultural produce, mined materials, manufactured goods and published materials, and its workers tend to do very well with regard to benefits. While the average annual salary is $73,710, a whopping 90.6 percent of workers get paid time off and 87.1 percent get health insurance. Only 5.3 percent do without major benefits.
6. Mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction. This field has low union representation—just 4.4 percent of mining and extraction workers are union members, compared with 10.7 percent of all workers—but they do pretty well nonetheless, with an average annual salary of $102,988, 89.3 percent getting paid time off, and 88.8 percent getting health coverage. Meanwhile, 6.5 percent don’t get any major benefits.


thanks to the skills gap, five out of 10 skilled worker positions in U.S. manufacturing are vacant; skills are specific, require training and unique skill sets and can take months to fill.
4. Finance and insurance. Unionization isn’t an issue in this industry, but employees can benefit by educating themselves since that will also benefit their employers; 63.1 percent of workers in the finance industry get some form of tuition assistance or reimbursement, compared with 36.2 percent of all private sector workers. Then there’s the high average annual pay, at $101,210; the 92 percent of workers who get paid time off; and the 89.1 percent who get health benefits. Just 5.2 percent go without benefits.
3. Information. From film, publishing and software to telecommunications and data processing, workers in this industry are among the most likely in the private sector to report comprehensive benefit coverage. Average annual pay runs to $98,458, while 92.1 percent get paid time off and 91.1 percent get health coverage. Only 5.7 percent are left out of the benefits bonanza.
After the deal closes, Athenahealth will be combined with Virence Health, Veritas’s health-care services company. (Photo: Shutterstock)
1. Utilities. The utilities sector, including power generation and distribution, provides the most widespread benefits coverage of any major industry; employees have the highest or second highest recipiency rates in four of the five major benefit categories of profit sharing and retirement plan contribution, as well as tuition assistance, paid holidays and health insurance. Not only can 73.4 percent of workers take advantage of tuition assistance, but 87.9 percent have access to a retirement program with employer matching, compared with private sector shares of 36.2 percent and 60.7 percent, respectively.


In a hot job market, with employers still reluctant to loosen the purse strings on cold hard cash, one of the lures to woo or retain the best workers is the benefits package—particularly in industries requiring highly specialized skills, or sectors in high demand.

As reported by King5, 24/7 Wall Street evaluated the benefits offered in a slew of different industries and put them in order of desirability. Not every worker will be lured by benefits—or can be, if they lack the skills—but for anyone contemplating a change in career paths, it might be worth having a look at the 10 industries listed above to see whether a move in one of those directions might be worth the effort.

Related: 8 ways to make your benefits stand out from the pack

After all, when you consider the total value of a good benefits package—health coverage, paid vacation and sick time, a pension or other retirement plan, tuition assistance, profit sharing and perhaps other perks as well—it can go a long way toward making workers happy enough to stay where they are (or unhappy enough to go looking for such a package elsewhere if they don’t already have one).

In fact, the cost of benefits helped to give rise to labor unions—and some of the best benefits packages are still available in industries with strong union representation, since collective bargaining power helped to convince employers that workers should be offered such benefits. But of course that’s not a hard-and-fast rule, since the construction industry has a high rate of unionization but is at the bottom of the scale when it comes to good benefits—although it does have a higher-than-typical average annual wage.

Ironically, while the annual average income across all private sector jobs is $53,515, each of the five industries with the highest benefit coverage rates has a higher average income than that. (Ironic, since those paid least are the ones who could probably derive the most good from a solid benefits package.) In utilities, for example—the industry with the most widespread benefit coverage—the average private sector worker earns $102,868 a year.