Career Testing
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Top 6 Careers With High Levels of Job Satisfaction

We all hope that once we figure out what we actually want to do with our lives, that dream job will come with lots of happiness. What’s the point of going to work every day if you don’t love what you do? The popular saying "love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life" definitely has some truth to it, although we all know that just because we enjoy our work that doesn’t mean that it won’t be difficult at times. But there are some professions that result in more happiness than others. Check out these careers with the highest levels of satisfaction.

See Also: Top 10 Ways to Love Your Job More

1. Author

This profession definitely deserves to be at the top of the list because writers are known for absolutely loving what they do every day. Any professional writer begins with a pen and a dream, you could say (or, okay, their MacBook). When you’re starting out, you’re struggling to pay the rent and are wondering how your love of words can possibly allow you to pay your bills and support yourself. But you know that you have a deep passion for the written word, so you keep going. So it’s no wonder that professional authors are extremely happy people. They followed their dreams, took a risk and it worked out. Working hard to attain a high level of success feels much more satisfying than simply being handed something, so being a successful author feels amazing when you know it took a lot of time and effort -and probably copious cups of coffee.

Another reason that full-time writers are so satisfied? They work for themselves, mainly. They do have to deal with the outside world -their literary agent, editor (or more than one), audience, fans, publicist, etc, but they experience a certain level of autonomy over their work and schedule, and that feels much better than knowing that you only have five minutes to finish off an important project before your boss asks to see you.

It makes sense, then, that many become successful authors and love their profession so much that they end up leaving their full-time jobs to write 5 days a week (or usually more -many writers tend to be workaholics where weekends are simply just two extra days in the week to get more words written down).

2. Doctor

Meredith and Christina

Considering how much doctors spend on medical school, it’s no wonder their job pays off in the satisfaction department. The happiest doctors, according to a survey, were dermatologists and psychiatrists. That could be the case since those are pretty low-stress specialties compared to, say, surgeons, who have to deal with low levels of job satisfaction more often.

The Medscape Physician Compensation Report 2014 explained that 67 percent of those who practice family medicine didn’t regret their career choices at all. That’s a relief, since the doctors that we see most often are our family doctors.

A likely factor for the high job satisfaction for doctors is that they truly care about what they’re doing and like making a difference in people’s lives. It’s hard to think of another profession that can change someone’s life quite so much -telling someone they’re cured of cancer, or that they can finally get pregnant, or that they can donate blood to a relative and save their life. And since doctors know so much about what it takes to live a truly healthy lifestyle, we can figure that the majority of doctors practice healthy habits, and we all know that health leads to short-term and long-term feelings of happiness.

3. Yoga Teacher

Yoga on the beach

You’re not just imagining it: the smiley teacher at the front of your yoga class really is that happy. According to CNN’s 2015 list of the 100 Best Jobs, those who have devoted their lives to teaching yoga are satisfied with what they’ve chosen as a profession. That’s because it’s a job that involves dealing with people and improving how they feel, similar to a doctor. Yoga has even more benefits, though, since it can help someone’s mental and emotional health as well as solve many physical issues.

Yoga teachers don’t often graduate from high school and decide that this is definitely what they’re going to do with their life. They often struggle through boring, demanding and stressful corporate jobs that don’t feed their souls, which forces them to turn to the mind/body practice of yoga. Soon, they fall in love with the practice and quit their full-time careers for their love of yoga.

4. Real Estate Agent

This group of employees is considered to have lots of job satisfaction, thanks to high salaries and the fact that the market is now up again after the recession. It’s definitely not a job without its daily stressors since it involves a lot of dealing with different people at once, fielding offers, negotiating on behalf of clients to both protect your sale and get them the best possible deal, and always needing to be on top of what the market is like and what is reasonable for potential clients to expect and desire. But no job is perfect, right? Real estate allows you to have lots of control since it’s all you -you’re showing houses and condos, you’re talking to clients, etc. You may have a boss but you’re home free if you have a good sales record and are committed.

5. Teacher


This is one profession that needs young dreamers who want to shape the minds of today’s youth and make a real difference in their lives, so it makes sense that teachers would be happy with their jobs. Teachers are said to be more satisfied with their jobs now than they were even a few years ago. This is all due to the number of decisions that are theirs alone to make regarding how classrooms are run, teaching methods, subject matter, etc.

It’s interesting and, of course, makes total sense that level of control is directly related to job satisfaction. Just think how unhappy you feel sitting at your desk when your boss is on your case and is making demands on your time. And all those holidays probably don’t hurt -teachers typically get two weeks off at Christmas and, of course, those long summers off. It’s a good profession for a work/life balance since that time off basically forces you to relax and recharge.

6. Small Business Owner

Those sky-high salaries may not bring happiness to high-rolling business executives and CEOs, but small-business owners are another group that experience satisfaction with their work lives. A 2014 survey discovered that these owners are feeling good again after the economic downturn. Reasons for this job satisfaction? Being able to spend time with family members, being in charge of everything including the choices that have to be made, and feeling a sense of "pride" were all reasons given in the survey. And of course, if you’re starting your own business, you’re most likely pretty passionate about whatever your business is and stands for, which would result in job satisfaction.

See Also: 5 Reasons Why Good Employees Quit

These careers have the highest levels of job satisfaction. They run the gamut of self-employed novelists to confident real estate agents to idealistic teachers, and each proves that while making big bucks may not necessarily result in happiness, having a career that you actually enjoy can definitely bring you a feeling of bliss and satisfaction.

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