If you start working a full-time job at the age of 21 and wrap up your career at 65, you’ll have spent an average of 91,520 hours on the job! That’s a lot of hours toiling away at any career, even if it’s the dream gig you imagined you’d have when you were a kid. Wide-eyed youngsters can have their eyes on serious cash when exploring the job market, but those who’ve been in the work force over a decade know that you need more than a big paycheck at the end of the day. Here’s a look at the happiest occupations in the world, most of which prove, you get what you give when it comes being satisfied with your job.
Perhaps it’s because their careers serve a higher calling, members of the clergy and other religions careers are among the happiest occupations on the planet.
1. Priests. It takes a lot of time and personal investment to become a priest, which may be why it’s one of the most rewarding careers out there. Obviously the desire to become a priest comes from within, so it isn’t a path for everyone, but for those who complete the journey, it consistently proves to be a happy occupation no matter where you are in the world.
2. Nuns. There are many phases to becoming a nun and the women who make it through all of them, usually find a very rewarding career once they’ve become nuns. While the reason behind being a nun remains the same, the lifestyle of nuns has changed in some ways thanks to the Internet where nuns congregate and participate in lively religious discussions.
3. Monks. Maybe this one isn’t fair since monks are professionals when it comes to finding the positive side of everything, but monks are among the happiest in their careers. It’s a job that takes serious commitment and for those who can live the lifestyle, it puts them in a very happy place.
Public service positions don’t always pay the big bucks, but they do provide plenty of satisfaction to those who help protect the public.
4. Police officer. Many police officers interact with citizens daily. It’s for this reason that they feel job satisfaction, since their line of work often includes immediate gratification for helping those in need.
5. Firefighters. This one’s self-explanatory. Firefighters go beyond rescuing people from burning buildings (though they do that too). They’re often the first to arrive during an emergency situation and can help people when they’re off-duty. Over half of firefighters describe themselves as “very happy.”
6. EMS workers. EMS workers can reach out and help those in need even when they aren’t on the clock. Outside of that, they deal with emergency situations when on the job and see their skills put to use on a daily basis.
7. Teachers. Despite being severely underpaid as a whole, teachers rank at the top for happiest occupations. This job isn’t for everyone, but for those who want to make a difference in the lives of kids and teenagers, it is very rewarding.
8. Social workers. This is another moderate paying job that keeps employees happy despite the heavy workload and long hours. Social workers are happy with their careers because they are helping those in need who may not be able to help themselves.
Perhaps getting your hands dirty is the key to being happy with your job. These positions require folks who enjoy manual work.
9. Butler. There are different types of butlers, but in most cases, a butler is hired and stays with a family for a very long time after. Most of the time a butler retires only after his or her boss has passed away. Waking up with a clear idea of what to do each day and being needed may be the reasons behind a butler’s happiness with their career.
10. Maid. This goes for maids who are live-in or work for the same clients regularly. Maids who are sought out randomly through a temp agency or other service are not as happy with their positions. Feeling needed and having an emotional connection with a long term employer make this job a happy one.
11. Construction management. Overseeing a design and watching it go up are rewarding events for a construction manager. Most construction managers have moved up the ranks, which makes them more appreciative of their position.
12. Construction. Even those who work basic construction jobs are happy with their positions. It could be the teamwork, responsibility and know-how involved to help construct a building or road.
13. Mechanics. Due to the special skills needed to be a mechanic, the vast majority are very happy with their jobs. With being a mechanic comes the ability to help people out in a time of need which could also account for the job satisfaction.
14. Plumbers. Plumbers are happy with their jobs, especially if they are self-employed. While this job isn’t seen as glamorous or sought after by graduates, it pays well and has instant gratification when it comes to helping people out when they’re in a pinch.
15. Farmers. This labor intensive job is also rewarding. Farmers often work on land that has belonged to their family for several generations, offering a sense of pride in the work. The trend of eating local and organic has also given farmers back more power than when working with a conglomerate.
The healthcare industry is full of people who are happy with their jobs thanks to the ability to help people when they need it most.
16. Physicians. Physicians know they’re a valuable asset to society, which causes them to be satisfied with their jobs. General family practitioners rank among the happiest physicians because they usually stay in one location for the vast duration of their careers.
17. Surgeons. Surgeons are happy. Considering they save people’s lives in many cases, they should be. Surgeons are among the wide variety of people with specialized skills that are very happy with their daily work duties.
18. Nurses. Registered nurses are happy with their careers. In many cases, a RN has much leeway on where they practice, how long they stay there and what positions they can move on to. There are many options within being a nurse which may account for happiness.
19. Psychologists.Count psychologists as happy. This is probably because they lend an ear to patients in need and often treat the same patients for many years, allowing them to see their work help someone and improve his or her lifestyle.
20. Dental assistants. While their bosses have the highest suicide rate of any profession, dental assistants are pretty happy in their jobs. Dental assistants put in a couple of years for training and make excellent pay and have several responsibilities, which could account for their level of happiness.
Entertainment and Designers
Most who work in entertainment make excellent money and are naturals at what they do. It’s no wonder they’re walking around so darn happy.
21. Professional athletes. What’s not to be happy about? Millions of dollars, endorsement deals and “playing” for a living makes professional athletes among the “very happy” when it comes to describing their job.
22. Actors and actresses. Again, it’s the money, fame and glam lifestyle that makes actors and actresses among the happiest folks on the planet. Still, even those who are aspiring to make millions are still quite happy with their positions.
23. Directors. Directors are happy with their careers because they see their vision come to life on the big screen. Whether they’re directing blockbuster hits or D-list movies that go straight to DVD, directors are happy.
24. Entertainment managers. Perhaps it’s the ability to watch a talent blossom into a household name, but those who work in management in the entertainment sect are among the happiest in the biz.
25. Advertising. Those who work in advertising in the entertaining sector are happier than those who work advertising products. Like PR, promoting a movie or album seems to bring more joy than pushing a car model or food product.
26. Authors. Many authors work on their own watch, which is probably quite satisfying (and easier to handle than a 9-5 job). They also get to see their work published and sometimes see directors and script writers adapt their stories for television or the big screen.
27. Graphic designers. Graphic designers sometimes work freelance which could account for their happiness. In addition to this, they start a project for a client and see the design come to fruition which is rewarding.
28. Visual artists. Visual artists create and see their work come to life and enjoyed by the public. Not to mention they often win praise from critics and local publications for expressing themselves.
29. Musicians. Musicians, whether they’re A-list or toiling away working local gigs are happy with their careers. It’s probably because they have the ability to create and give people a good time when they perform.
30. PR specialists. Working in public relations is tough, but those who work in a specialty department such as film or fashion tend to be happier with performing their job.
Working on the business end of things makes people happy for different reasons. The responsibilities, the leadership and the reward of seeing a business thrive allow these jobs to rank among the happiest occupations.
31. Economists. It’s not an easy job to get, but once you have it, you’re sitting pretty. Economists are among the happiest people in any business and rank head and shoulders above the rest in their immediate industry.
32. Accountants. Where would we be without accountants? They know we’d be lost which is likely why they’re so happy in their positions. Accountants are well-paid and put their specialized skills to use daily.
33. Auditors. Again, this is a job that serves a specific purpose. While the rest of us may not be so fond of auditors, they’re happy with their occupation whether they’re working for an agency or a private firm.
34. Financial service sales. Selling someone something they need seems to bring happiness to those who work in financial services. Whether this is helping someone plan for retirement or managing their stock portfolio, those selling get instant gratification when making a deal.
35. Property managers. The responsibility and daily interaction with tenant makes property managers happy. From major problems to the small hiccup that strikes, property managers know they’re needed and that makes them smile.
36. Clerical work. Perhaps it’s the ease of the job, but clerical workers are happy with their occupation. Some work for large companies and other for small local businesses, but either way they’re happy with what they do.
37. Human resources. Those who work in HR for major corporations are happy in their careers because they feel they’re helping the company run efficiently. Creating a happy work environment is also the job of some HR reps, giving their position the satisfaction of seeing others enjoy the work place.
Here’s a collection of jobs that require varying degrees of skill, but one thing they all have in common is they make for happy employment.
38. Repair jobs. Whether they’re a handyman or specialize in airplane maintenance, anyone who makes a living repairing things are happy with their career. It’s rewarding to fix something for any of us, much less being paid for it and having happy customers.
39. Engineers.Engineers are very happy workers. The majority of engineers undergo significant schooling and training to get their jobs and all of that pays off. Engineers also have high earning power making it a career that’s seemingly rewarding in every way .
40. Pilots. Pilots are happy with their careers. While the industry is less in demand than it used to be, those who have snagged jobs often stay at them for a decades and work schedules that are different than most, but still allow for ample family time.
41. Science technicians. This includes those who work in the research field. Science techs love their jobs. It may go back to the same reason clergy members enjoy their gigs – feeling as if what you do is a small part of a big picture.
42. Special education teachers. Special education teachers deal with children with physical or mental disabilities and find their jobs rewarding because of it. Even among teachers (most of whom are happy with their job), special education teachers rank the highest in terms of job satisfaction.
43. Architects. Like engineering, practicing architecture requires serious time and study. Architects are employed by many entities including the government and private companies and overall they’re happy with their careers.
44. Ticket agents. They may not make mad dough, but they do issue you tickets for fun events. Ticket agents are very satisfied with their jobs. Maybe it’s the excited customers they deal with? Whatever the answer is, it’s a job worth exploring if you aren’t too concerned with salary.
45. Secretaries. This one surprised us too. Perhaps it’s the secretary from the days of yore, where working for the same employer meant decades of work in the same office, cultivating relationships and becoming a right-hand woman. Secretaries love their jobs and over half describe themselves as being “very happy” on the job.
46. Bus drivers. Overall, bus drivers are happy with their jobs. Transporting people from one place to the next (especially folks who may not be able to get there otherwise) is rewarding, primarily in cities where public transit is a way of life.
47. Education administrators. We aren’t just talking about the elementary school principal, but also the dean of a university. Education administrators feel the same pride as someone working management, only with a sense of educating students which adds more dimension to the reward.
48. Lawyers. Maybe you don’t love a lawyer, but lawyers love what they do. It’s still an industry that almost guarantees employment, as long as you aren’t picky about where you work. Maybe lawyers are happy to help people or maybe they just love the paycheck, but either way, they come home with a smile.
49. Dispatchers. Telephone dispatchers who send the police or fire department to emergency situations are satisfied in their job choice. It is a great way to help people without intensive training, since most dispatcher positions are entry level.
50. Personal assistants. Like secretaries, personal assistants often stay with the same client for years on in. This means a more personal relationship with the client that can be fulfilling in terms of sharing lives due to traveling and working together several weeks a year.