The 10 happiest jobs was something I ran across on Forbes.com. I found it amusing that my job was listed #6. I really did not need a list of the happiest jobs to know I enjoy my career, although it nice to hear! Why are these jobs the happiest?
Clergy – Ministers, Priests, Rabbis, etc are the happiest jobs. According to the National Organization for Research at the University of Chicago, social interaction drives job satisfaction. The clergy are happy because they want to help people and have a fair amount of authority within their church.
Firefighter – If they are not waiting hours for work, they are training for work. This is a profession that helps people. Firefighters and police officers are in a profession where they save lives and respected for that.
Physical Therapists – This profession combines social interaction and helping people. You can see the results of your work and that provides job satisfaction and happiness. This is a helping profession that treats individuals of all ages from newborns to the very oldest who have medical problems or health related conditions, illnesses or injuries that limit their abilities to move and perform basic activities.
Authors – This would be my dream job! You can do it anywhere and anytime. Certainly some authors earn more than others, but there is something to be said for expressing yourself. It is one of the few professions you can do by yourself. Not everyone can be J K Rowling or James Patterson, but there is opportunity to express you in a variety of venues.
Special Education Teachers – If you are looking for a helping profession with children, you cannot beat teaching. Special education is the education of students with special needs in a way that addresses the students’ individual differences and needs. Classes are usually smaller, but more demanding because of the student’s special needs.
Teachers – Another helping profession that does not pay very well, but makes it up in job satisfaction. Teachers are often enthusiastic about their material and will engage students in learning which leads to job satisfaction. A teacher usually enjoys their subject and sparks the excitement in the students which leads to job satisfaction and happiness.
Artists – Sculptors and painters fall into a stereotype of starving, but happy! Many report job satisfaction from the creative expression, although only some can sustain a living in the profession. An artist creates art, practices or demonstrates an art. Being an artist draws creative people who are willing to pursue career that may not sustain you.
Psychologists – This was a surprise to me as a happy profession! The thought of listening to other people’s problems all day as rewarding and happy escapes me. There are different kinds of psychologists which are either applied or research oriented. They like helping people with their problems which leads to job satisfaction and happiness.
Financial Services Sales Agents – Actually, this covers a vast group of people who sell and arrange a wide range of banking and financial services from loans to mutual funds. They contact prospective customers in order to present information and explain available services.
Operating Engineers – Although the construction industry is down, there is a shortage of qualified professionals for this job. They operate and maintain heavy construction equipment such as bulldozers, front-end loaders, backhoes, scrapers, motor graders, shovels, derricks, large pumps, and air compressors.
Many of these jobs are not well paid, but all are fulfilling and satisfying. Most of the people who enter these professions are performing meaningful jobs. Whether you are satisfying customers, parishioners, students or the public, it is job satisfaction or the value of your work that provides happiness. Last month , I wrote an article called “Can You Sum up your Career in Six Words” which asks the reader what are the characteristics of your career that you identify. These professions would use many positive and satisfying words. Are you happy with your job? If not, what are doing about it? Create an action plan and follow it. 10 happiest jobs are so much more satisfying and rewarding.
Photo by: Pink Sherbet Photography
I’m surprised too that psychologists would be in this list! Maybe psychologists without empathy…
I think they are grouping the full spectrum of psychologists in this category. I also think this field attracts the kind of person who enjoys helping people.
Roshawn Watson says
I am also shocked that psychologists are included. In the past, they and dentists would alternate with the job professions with the most suicides. If this reflects a change in the profession, that’s great. If there is sampling bias secondary poor stratification of types of psychologists, that brings up external validity issues.
Of course I am not privy to the details of the research, but it certainly is an interesting choice. It may be based on a survey of respondents which would be biased as well.
My job is on the list ,although it is more complicated that the description. It can be very challenging and frustrating, but than I haven’t tried anything else.
I like what I do, as package : -)
Do you care to share what it is and why it is complicated? There are no perfect jobs! I love my job or career (teaching) about 95% of the time. The 5% that I do not love are the elements I can not control.
This demonstrates that it’s not all about the money. Being fulfilled has a lot to do with helping others. Thanks for sharing.
I am convinced that if you find your passion, you will be successful! My children found their passion and enjoy their career and the money follows. Teaching has lead to blogging and who knows what may come next? It could be speaking engagements, books or writing.
Tiffany @ Imperial says
Its not all about the money however people tend to think they will like a job it if paid more. Fact is you wont like your job and you still may not like the pay. Find something that you will be happy with doing and in time the money may or may not come but at least you are happy.
I believe that if you do something you like to do, you will be good at it and the money will follow.
101 Centavos says
Good commentary, KC.
At first glance, all 10 occupations seem to be low-stress.
Less stress equals more happiness. Seems about right.
I will admit teaching is lower stress, but not stress free. Everyone deals with pressure differently.
I would have to agree that working with those with special needs is very rewarding. I started out in a camp for children of all disabilities then moved on to one-on-one therapy with a child with autism. You really feel like you are making a visible difference.
I think the link between job satisfaction and happiness is true.
Teaching can be so rewarding. I loved teaching 4th, 5th, and 6th grade kids. Every day was something new and it was truly fulfilling!
Buck Inspire says
Great list. Perhaps life is fair. Many of the happiest jobs are not well paid. If this isn’t concrete evidence that money can’t buy you happiness, I don’t know what is!
Lack of money can make you very unhappy though! You need a level of income that will allow you to have a decent life. I think it is somewhere around $60-70K for a single person.
i was a high school teacher and found it very rewarding. My new assignment is middle school, the jury is still out!
Darwin's Money says
My wife absolutely loved teaching. They didn’t list stay at home mom on there (that’s a job!), she loves that too for now. I don’t think teachers are terribly underpaid. With some tenure in a decent district in many states, a teacher can make 80K-110K. Much better benefits, pension accruals and other benefits make it like a $150K total comp profession. That’s not too shabby!
Full time mothers have a very important function. It probably is not included because it a normal compensated career. Teaching suffers from lack of respect from society, yet it is a very important career. I started teaching 10 years ago and only received one raise beside the normal ones due to longevity and salary points. Education is the first expense state budgets like to cut. Class size if over 40-50 students. How much learning is going on in these classes?
Disappointed that I do not have one of the top 10 happiest jobs… 🙁
Should I be switching jobs? Where does BLOGGING rank? 11th happiest?
I do not know, but I enjoy blogging too.
Mango Money says
This is a great post, although I am a little surprised by some of the jobs included… I know several teachers and even some special ed. teachers, and while they LOVE their kids and their jobs, more often than not, they are overwhelmed with the work that they have to do. They tell me that the job is great– it’s the administration and the pay that make them “unhappy.” But you said that your own job was number six, so, are you a teacher? Do you agree with their listing your job? I’m also kind of surprised that coaches, athletic trainers, yoga instructors, or dance teachers are not on here, too! Working out=endorphins=happy :o) Thanks again for the post.
I am a teacher and there are things I do not like about it, but that makes up less than 5%.
Jen @ Master the Art of Saving says
Author and Artist would be at the top of my list. I’ve always wanted to be a published (not self) author. Funny thing is I really lack the skills (right now) to be a good writer and I appear to have no artistic talent. I do plan to take some writing classes in the future.
The more I write, the better I get. Many of these skills are through practice and desire.
It’s a generalisation, but it seems safe to say the most rewarding and fulfilling jobs are usually not the most well paid.
That may be true on the surface! I find if you are happy in your career, other opportunities open up. In my case, writing/blogging was the first step and we will see where it goes from here.