Results also show wide gap in amount of overtime done by men and women.

They say the only certain things in life are death and taxes, but if you’re working in Japan, you can probably add a third thing to that list: overtime. For many jobs in Japan, it’s not a question of if you’ll have to work overtime, but how much.

To try to form an answer, Japanese employment website Doda surveyed 15,000 people working in 90 different job categories on who was doing the most and least overtime. The surveys were conducted between April and June of last year, coinciding with the first quarter of the business year at most Japanese companies.

The respondents, who ranged in age from 20 to 59, worked an average of 20.8 hours of overtime per month. While that averages out to just an hour a day (assuming a 20-day work month), one in five respondents (20.1 percent) said they did more than 40 hours of overtime, which would translate out to a full extra week of work for a 9-to-5 job. At the very top end, 5.5 percent of the participants were putting in 60 hours or more of overtime a month.

So if you’re looking to minimize your overtime, what are the best jobs? According to the data, the positions where respondents worked the least amount of overtime per month were:

1 (tie). Secretary/receptionist: 10.5 hours
1 (tie). Medical office assistant: 10.5 hours
3. Sales office assistant: 11.1 hours
4. Financial industry agency sales: 11.4 hours
5. General office assistant: 11.8 hours

▼ They’re smiling because they get to go home on time.

You’ll notice the word “assistant” on that list multiple times, and in fact, out of the 10 jobs with the least overtime, seven of them were assistant positions. Other honorable mentions on the low-overtime list were translator (14.4 hours) and cook/waitstaff, which tied at number 13, and cosmetologists (16.1 hours), including hairdressers and masseuses, at number 17.

Over on the other end of the rankings, the positions where people worked the most overtime were:

1. Off-site construction management: 38.3 hours
2. Publishing/advertising/web/video producer/director/planner: 32.5 hours
3. On-site construction management: 31.8 hours
4. Architectural design: 29.8 hours
5. Employment/staffing coordination: 29.2 hours

▼ If your job requires you to wear so many hats that it’s classified as producer/director/planner, then you’re probably working some very late nights.

In contrast to the low-overtime assistant positions, moving up to manager-class meant longer hours for the survey participants, as did working in creative and business-to-business fields. IT consultant (26.1 hours) and video game creator (25.8 hours) were also among the high-overtime jobs, coming in at numbers 16 and 17 on the most-overtime list.

Broken up into age groups, younger people worked less overtime than older participants, with overtime peaking in people’s 40s. This is likely a reflection of managers, who tend to be older, working more overtime than new hires.

Average overtime worked per month:
● Age 20-29: 16.8 hours
● Age 30-39: 21.7 hours
● Age 40-49: 22.2 hours
● Age 50-59: 20.8 hours

The larger number of male than female managers in Japanese workplaces may also have been a contributing factor to male survey participants working considerably more overtime than female respondents.

Average overtime worked per month:
● Men age 20-29: 18.4 hours
● Women age 20-29: 15.1 hours
● Men age 30-39: 24.3 hours
● Women age 30-39: 15.4 hours
● Men age 40-49: 24.7 hours
● Women age 40-49: 16 hours
● Men age 50-59: 22.3 hours
● Women age 50-59: 16 hours

On the brighter side of things, almost one in four respondents (24 percent) said they worked five or fewer hours of overtime a month, and the average among the 20 jobs with the least overtime worked out to 13.5 hours a month, down 1.1 from Doda’s survey with the same questions from one year earlier. So it is possible to find jobs in Japan that don’t come with backbreaking amounts of overtime, but it’s still a good idea to try and sound out the subject during your job interview, and also to find out if you’ll be compensated for any overtime you do end up having to do.

Source: Doda via Otakomu
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso (1, 2)
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