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10 Careers With the Happiest Workers

There are plenty of stories driven by bad news these days, so I was relieved to find the University of Chicago's study, "Job Satisfaction in the United States." The study summed up the careers where workers are reportedly happiest overall, and found that these jobs involve helping others, technical and scientific expertise, or creativity. Here are the 10 occupations where the study found workers to have the greatest job satisfaction and overall happiness. Are you surprised at any of the jobs on the list?

10 Careers With the Happiest Workers

  1. Airline pilots and navigators
  2. Industrial engineers
  3. Miscellaneous mechanical and repairing occupations
  4. Science technicians
  5. Actors and directors

See the five happiest careers when you


  1. Special education teachers
  2. Architects
  3. Transportation, ticket, and reservation agents such as travel agents
  4. Firefighters
  5. Clergy


Join The Conversation
jessr1214 jessr1214 8 years
I'm a science technician and I love it...julieulie i do think the PhDs have it harder in some ways because of all the pressure for publishing and grant money. i guess it depends on where you work too, it is such a broad field.
sldc sldc 8 years
I call bullsh*t on the airline pilots being so happy. From my experience in the aviation field, only weekend warrior aviators or those who work for themselves have fun flying. Airline pilots are glorified truck drivers and the industry's stability has been iffy for a while. Many are ex-military guys, so maybe their expectations for happiness are just lower in general.
Monique-612 Monique-612 8 years
I can believe travel agent. I think it would be fun to help people plan their vacations. Something we all could use more of! I hear alot of people say they hate their jobs where I work, but I am VERY happy to have my job. It has provided so much for my family and I through the years. Our home, the kids schooling, and many trips which we will always treasure the memories from :)
356UIK 356UIK 8 years
Haha I like how they're all #1. :P
oliveoyle625 oliveoyle625 8 years
I would think there would be more people from the fashion world or entertainment world included on this list.
rickimc rickimc 8 years
Wow, my job (director) made the list! I guess it is stressful but fun.
LoveSarah LoveSarah 8 years
LOL. I work in travel, well more hospitality, and I hate my job.
julieulie julieulie 8 years
Is a scientist TECHNICIAN specifying only just the techs without Ph.D's? I guess it is, since it does say tech, and not just scientist. Because I'm a scientist (but not a tech), and god knows I am miserable.
chow chow 8 years
i totally understand the scientist / engineer type jobs.. you have to like it otherwise you wouldn't be there.
Berlin Berlin 8 years
I believe the pilot being #1...I know a few and not only do they love their jobs, they just love their lives!
sfbutterfly24 sfbutterfly24 8 years
Ok I am a res agent and i am NOT the happiest!but i do like my job.
chiefdishwasher chiefdishwasher 8 years
Special Ed teacher is a surprise. That is such a touch job. Everyone loves firefighters though!
verily verily 8 years
Pilot surprises me. The pilots I've known were always very stressed out.
gabiushka gabiushka 8 years
Yes us architects can find a lot of satisfaction on the job.
Lianna Lianna 8 years
hahaha. I don't agree with it being a travel agent
runningesq runningesq 8 years
Hmm lawyers aren't on it but I love my job :P
lovelipgloss lovelipgloss 8 years
Special Education surprises me. I've been told in several (education) classes that Special Ed teachers have a high turnover and it can be a very stressful job.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
really - Transportation, ticket, and reservation agents such as travel agents are #3? that doesn't seem to be right to me seeing as how every time you talk to them on the phone about reservations or see them at the airport or whatever - they don't look like they are happy. travel agents maybe since they are helping people do what they love and take trips -but the ticket folks i don't buy.
supercoolnat supercoolnat 8 years
I'm surprised by the pilots. I know a couple people who are pilots, and it sounds stressful (at least compared to what I do). With the schedules and constant traveling, it's hard to find personal time. And with the airline industry the way it is, job instability can add to your stress. Then again, I guess I can understand how the job itself is satisfying.
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