Some note job satisfaction as probably the biggest consideration when choosing a career or a life-long profession, because you'll do it for 40+ years.
Unfortunately, job satisfaction isn’t closely tied to earning power. In most cases the opposite holds true, the lower the job satisfaction and higher the stress of a profession, the higher the salary. Jobs that have high “burnout” rates like: doctors, dentists and people in the financial industry make impressively high salaries, but have equally high burnout rates (and more worrying suicide rates). That basically means terrible job satisfaction!
But, if you still feel that good money equals great job satisfaction then this list might come as a bit of a surprise to you, because although all the jobs on this list have high levels of happiness and job satisfaction, they generally don’t come with high salaries. Here are some jobs with the happiest employees.
The quintessential hero’s job, Firefighting follows the pattern that jobs with a high level of satisfaction generally involve teaching, caring or protecting others. Not only are firefighters tasked with protecting people’s lives and property, but the job also offers on-the-job training, the potential of promotion with years of service and camaraderie amongst co-workers. Much like other jobs that deal with public safety, these jobs are often a generational profession, if your father/mother was a firefighter you will probably be one too. This imbibes the job with an extra sense of duty and service.
Although job satisfaction is high, the profession can be extremely dangerous, stressful and emotionally taxing. Firefighters must deal with death, loss of the most personal of property; one’s home, and crime. Firefighters not only assist during fires but can be called on during any states of emergency. Ultimately though the job isn’t for someone that doesn’t hold public and community service high, that acts as a counterbalance to the disadvantages that come with the job. To become a firefighter, you, of course, need a clean criminal record, kind of. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act allows individuals that have been convicted but have not offended since (and served less than 2,5 years) can apply to the fire service. Also, there are physical requirements due to the physical nature of the profession. For more information regarding becoming a firefighter follow this link. 80% of firefighters report high levels of job satisfaction.
Clergy of all religions report the highest level of job satisfaction in the world. This is probably due to the inherent sense of purpose and calling of the job. Of course, beyond the theological and spiritual component, the job of a clergy-person can be extremely rewarding as it often deals with charity, emotional consultation, education and community outreach. A clergy person is also often engaged in global missions against poverty, low quality of life and inequality in areas around the world.
Clergy work can be incredibly satisfying as it not only an indispensable social function in certain areas in the world, it is also considered a spiritual calling. Each religion has different requirements to become a clergy person, but it usually requires many years of study and dedication. Beyond that, any university degree can be beneficial, because as mentioned above it can assist during community outreach or global outreach programs. Generally, philosophy or theology are the degrees most preferred by individuals interested in becoming clergy people. An active engagement with both the community and your areas local religious organisation are necessary.
Physical therapy is part of health care industry, and it aims to help individuals improve physical movement, before and after injury or surgery. Physical Therapists also help with pain reduction and management. This “healers” function, makes the profession immensely satisfying and rewarding. They help their patients regain their independence, confidence and lifestyle after grievous personal injury or surgery. Of course, few jobs offer such a significant and observable effect on their “clients “ quality of life as Physical therapy. Physical therapists also work with their patients to manage chronic conditions, to avoid both pain and re-injury. Although many physical therapists work with a healthcare provider, they can also be self-employed working out of their own physical therapy clinic, although this requires large amounts of capital to purchase purpose-built equipment and facilities.
Becoming a physical therapist requires a degree in Physical Therapy and also practitioners to complete an accreditation program. You may also take a “fast track” two-year Master’s degree program in Physical Therapy if you already have an undergraduate degree in a related field (such as kinesiology, human anatomy etc.). Beyond the base requirements for entering University in any degree, you will also need A Levels in subjects such as biological sciences and Physical Education.
Special Education Teachers
Special education teachers usually work with children and adults that have learning difficulties due to mental, physiological or physical disabilities. A special education teacher not only teaches these individuals but assesses their needs and develops individual teaching plans to achieve their students’ academic goals. Within their school, they might also be used as consultants and mentors to other teachers that teach children that need special educational and physical provisions in the classroom. They will often draft curriculum not only for their classrooms but the entire school with special considerations for individuals with physical disabilities and mental and learning disorders.
Jobs in education are considered extremely rewarding due to their social impact, but special education is even more rewarding due to its work with individuals with disabilities. These educators help their students express themselves more effectively, develop life skills that can be difficult to acquire due to their disabilities and assist students to assimilate information in a way that is most effective for them.
The cliché of the “starving” artist is still alive and well, although artists may find financial difficulties throughout their career it is reported that they still have high levels of job satisfaction. This once again comes to prove that financial compensation and happiness are not necessarily interconnected. Artists often pursue art out of passion and love of the profession and not necessarily for the monetary compensation which they may never realise during their career. Add to that the competitive and extremely political world of art and it can be an incredibly thankless career choice.
This comes to reinforce the old axiom “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”, people that pursue their passions are often compensated in non-physical items such as emotional satisfaction, societal recognition and admiration. Another profession that frequently suffers from low salaries yet is always high on the list of professions that have high levels of job satisfaction are educators at all levels, from pre-school to the University level. This is again due to the non-tangible rewards of the profession and a passionate investment in their work. These non-tangible rewards are consistent with most jobs on this list and frequently function within the realms of helping, protecting or rescuing people and society as a whole. Although they can be taxing, even the best of jobs with the highest levels of job satisfaction come with caveats, ultimately all the professionals on this list can feel that they have positively affected or contributed to society.
Do you work in one of these fields? Do you feel that the reports are accurate? Let us know in the comment section below.