Participation in formal education during adulthood (ages 25 to 54) is a key part of lifelong learning. Employing unique longitudinal data for Australia, we highlight the prevalence of such study, the varied reasons for undertaking it (consumption, career development, job and home disruption), and investigate whether it is socially valuable. Our more detailed estimates of the labour market return to adult education (wage rates, employment, hours of work and occupational status) confirm previous studies that generally found such returns to be small and isolated. We contribute to this literature by also estimating the effect of adult education on job satisfaction and satisfaction with employment opportunities. Increases in satisfaction help rationalise the education enrolment decisions of these adults.