Scientists Slip to Second Place in 2012 Coffee Drinking Survey

Scientists Slip to Second Place in 2012 Coffee Drinking Survey

For the third year in a row, Dunkin Donuts and Careerbuilder.com have commissioned a survey that ranks the top coffee drinking professions in the United States, and each year the results kick up a bit of a dust storm among professionals who think their job should be higher on the list — or represented on the list at all. For the third year in a row, scientists appear on the list of top ten coffee-drinking professions.

Other professions that have made the top coffee drinkers list for a third year include marketing and public relations professionals, food prep workers and teachers, but for the third year in a row, the positions of the various professions on the coffee lovers list has done some substantial shifting.

Take a look at the results for the last three years:

2012 Coffee Survey (Harris Interactive Polls)

  1. Food Preparation/Service Workers
  2. Scientists
  3. Sales Representatives
  4. Marketing/Public Relations Professionals
  5. Nurses (Nurse, Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant)
  6. Editors/Writers/Media Workers
  7. Business Executives
  8. Teachers/ Instructors (K-12)
  9. Engineering Technicians/Support
  10. IT Managers/Network Administrators

2011 Coffee Survey

1.  Scientist or lab technician
2.   Marketing or public relations professional
3.   Education administrator
4.   Editor or writer
5.   Health care administrator
6.   Physician
7.   Food preparer
8.   Professor
9.   Social worker
10.   Financial professional

2010 Coffee Survey


  1. Nurses
  2. Physicians
  3. Hotel workers
  4. Designers/architects
  5. Financial/Insurance sales representatives
  6. Food prepares
  7. Engineers
  8. Teachers
  9. Marketing/Public relations professionals
  10. Scientists

The coffee survey was undertaken by Harris Interactive. It also uncovered a number of other interesting tidbits of information about coffee in the workplace. In 2010, workers in the 18 to 24 age group, 40 percent said they were less productive without their coffee. By 2012, that number was up to 62 percent. And among workers age 25 to 34, the number of workers who said their productivity suffers without coffee jumped from 43 percent to 58 percent.

Overall, 63 percent of workers say that they drink at least two cups of coffee a day and 28 percent drink three cups or more. Nearly one of every four workers under the age of 34 say they’ll buy a cup of coffee as a reward when they complete a job well. And, the survey found, the easy availability of coffee may make a difference in on-the-job coffee drinking habits. About 75 percent of workers travel less than a quarter of a mile to get their cup of joe.

There’s also a difference in the way men and women rank the importance of coffee to their daily functioning, with 47 percent of women saying they’re less productive without their caffeine fix as opposed to 40 percent of males who feel the same way.

Finally, where you live also seems to make a difference in how much coffee you drink on the job. Midwesterners and West Coasters rank last in the number of people who drink at least one cup of coffee a day — a surprising note when you consider that some of the most popular coffee chains originated on the West Coast. Southern workers ranked slightly higher on the scale, with about 54 percent of workers saying that they drank at least one cup of coffee a day at work as compared to 51 percent of those who live in the Midwest or the West.

Workers in the Northeast have a huge jump on all other parts of the country in on-the-job coffee consumption, with a full 64 percent saying they drink at least one cup of coffee a day.

The poll has been released each year in the last week of September to coincide with National Coffee Day, September 29, when many coffee shops and coffee chains will be giving away a free cup of coffee to patrons.