The clergy are the happiest and most satisfied workers in America, a large US survey finds.
87% of them reported being very satisfied with their work.
They are closely followed by physical therapists, 80% of whom were very satisfied with their work and firefighters, 78% of whom were very satisfied.
Dr Tom W. Smith, the study’s author, explained the common thread in these different jobs:
“The most satisfying jobs are mostly professions, especially those involving caring for, teaching, and protecting others and creative pursuits.”
Here is the full list of the top 12 most satisfying jobs:
2. Physical Therapists
4. Education Administrators
5. Painter, Sculptors, Related
9. Special Education Teachers
10. Operating Engineers
11. Office Supervisors
12. Security & Financial Services Salespersons
Rev. Cynthia Lindner, Director of Ministry Studies at the University of Chicago’s Divinity School, said:
“Persons engaged in ministry have great opportunity to live and work out of their deepest convictions, oftentimes in the midst of communities of faith who share their concern for meaning, compassion and justice.
This congruence of belief, values, and actions in one’s daily work can be immensely satisfying.”
Across all the occupations, 47% of people reported being very satisfied with their jobs and 33% said they were very happy with their lives in general.
Down at the bottom of the list, the 12 least satisfying jobs were:
3. Laborers, Except Construction
5. Hand Packers and Packagers
6. Freight, Stock, & Material Handlers
7. Apparel Clothing Salespersons
9. Food Preparers
11. Butchers & Meat Cutters
12. Furniture/Home Furnishing Salespersons
These jobs are generally low-paid and often involve manual labour.
Customer service and food/beverage preparation was also particularly unsatisfying, according to the survey.
Over 27,000 people were interviewed for the survey across a wide variety of social classes and occupations.
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago (Smith, 2007).