There are some surprises in the ten happiest jobs, as reported a General Social Survey by the National Organization for Research at the University of Chicago. (I am indebted to Lew Perelman in drawing my attention to the Christian Science Monitor article.)
1. Clergy: The least worldly are reported to be the happiest of all
2. Firefighters: Eighty percent of firefighters are “very satisfied” with their jobs, which involve helping people.
3. Physical therapists: Social interaction and helping people apparently make this job one of the happiest.
4. Authors: For most authors, the pay is ridiculously low or non-existent, but the autonomy of writing down the contents of your own mind apparently leads to happiness.
5. Special education teachers: If you don’t care about money, a job as special education teacher might be a happy profession. The annual salary averages just under $50,000.
6. Teachers: Teachers in general report being happy with their jobs, despite the current issues with education funding and classroom conditions. The profession continues to attract young idealists, although fifty percent of new teachers are gone within five years.
7. Artists: Sculptors and painters report high job satisfaction, despite the great difficulty in making a living from it.
8. Psychologists: Psychologists may or may not be able to solve other people’s problems, but it seems that they have managed to solve their own.
9. Financial services sales agents: Sixty-five percent of financial services sales agents are reported to be happy with their jobs. That could be because some of them are clearing more than $90,000 dollars a year on average for a 40-hour work week in a comfortable office environment.
10. Operating engineers: Playing with giant toys like bulldozers, front-end loaders, backhoes, scrapers, motor graders, shovels, derricks, large pumps, and air compressors can be fun. With more jobs for operating engineers than qualified applicants, operating engineers report being happy.