Firefighters, the clergy
and others with professional jobs that involve helping or serving people
are more satisfied with their work and overall are happier than those in
other professions, according to results from a national survey.
"The most satisfying jobs are mostly professions, especially those
involving caring for, teaching and protecting others and creative
pursuits," said Tom Smith, director of the General Social Survey (GSS) at
the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.
In the current study, interviewers asked more than 27,000 people
questions about job satisfaction and general happiness. Individuals' level
of contentment affects their overall sense of happiness, Smith said.
"Work occupies a large part of each worker's day; is one's main source
of social standing and helps to define who a person is and affects one's
health both physically and mentally," Smith states in a published report
on the study. "Because of work's central role in many people's lives,
satisfaction with one's job is an important component in overall
Across all occupations, on average 47 percent of those surveyed said
they were satisfied with their jobs and 33 percent reported being very
Here are the Top 10 most gratifying jobs and the percentage of subjects
who said they were very satisfied with the job:
Painters and sculptors-67 percent
Security and financial services
Operating engineers-64 percent
A few common jobs in which about 50 percent of participants reported
high satisfaction included: police and detectives, registered nurses,
accountants, and editors and reporters.
"The least satisfying dozen jobs are mostly low-skill, manual and
service occupations, especially involving customer service and
food/beverage preparation and serving," Smith said.