Psychologist’s Dr Kevin Dutton’s “Great British Psychopath Survey” conducted in December 2013 recorded people with psychopathic tendencies and their job categories to create the list of top ten jobs for psychopaths.

The excellent Psychblog ( and Dutton’s own reported the top ten jobs for psychopaths as:

  1. CEO
  2. Lawyer
  3. Media (TV/Radio)
  4. Salesperson
  5. Surgeon
  6. Journalist
  7. Police Officer
  8. Clergyperson
  9. Chef
  10. Civil Servant

I’m certain I don’t want to know that list the next time I’m in the operating theatre, where I could come face to face with a psychopath with a knife (#5 surgeon) or similarly whilst sitting in my local restaurant waiting patently for my steak diane(#9).

Like many people I tend to think of psychopaths as unstable and dangerous and indeed about 20 % of people in prison are psychopaths.

However many people with psychopathic tendencies are not criminals and are ordinary people who just happen to work in occupations and professions where their traits can be very useful.

Some of the traits of psychopaths are:

  • Self-confident
  • Cold-hearted
  • Manipulative
  • Fearless
  • Charming
  • Cool under pressure
  • Egocentric
  • Carefree

I should add hastily that this doesn’t mean that every or even many CEO’s or lawyers are psychopaths; rather there is an overlap between psychopathic personality traits and the types of people who go into these jobs listed above.

As a contrast here are the professions with the least number of psychopaths:

  1. Care Aide
  2. Nurse
  3. Therapist
  4. Craftsperson
  5. Beautician/Stylist
  6. Charity Worker
  7. Teacher
  8. Creative Artist
  9. Doctor
  10. Accountant

Paul Lyons is an experienced chief executive, leadership coach and mental toughness professional and you can reach him via or via his website at

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