30 Happiest Careers That Pay Well

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“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

It’s the perennial question that adults ask to determine the job or career envisioned by their child and how ambitious they are. It’s a yardstick for evaluating the potential of a child for future success. 

Adults, on the other hand, ask themselves, “Am I happy in this field I chose?”

Your employment can be your source of happiness! You spend hours at work which, in turn, eats up a huge chunk of your life. But happiness is relative and is person-specific when it comes to the workplace.

Aside from work factors, the employee’s personality traits, age, gender, marital status, emotional intelligence, interests, and aspirations also play significant roles in the overall determination of happiness. 

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The Workplace Happiness Index by CNBC and SurveyMonkey scored the overall US work environment 72 out of 100. The survey also showed a correlation between diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and workforce happiness, demonstrating that a happy employee dramatically contributes to the company’s success.

Businesses that keep their employees happy outperform their competitors by 20%. Happy employees care more about their job and their employers, driving them to perform better and become more productive by 12%. Happy workers don’t call in sick as often as unhappy ones, partly due to their enthusiasm and high commitment to their work. Unhappy employees often result in more employee turnover and added costs to the company. 

The following are the different factors that determine and affect one’s happiness in their career:

Job Satisfaction

Under the blanket of job satisfaction lies other subfactors. On top of the list which primarily determines an employee’s job satisfaction level is security and stability. If an employee sees opportunities for career growth rather than occupying the same position until retirement, it boosts their job satisfaction. Job satisfaction statistics in the US show that 65% of the employee participants declared that they are fully satisfied with their current jobs. 


Job and workplaces that present opportunities for employees to utilize their skills and abilities are more likely to keep their employees happy than those with monotonous daily tasks. In a survey, 33% of the participants said that boredom had caused their dissatisfaction with their job. A little complexity and diversity contribute to employees’ happiness. It gives workers a sense of purpose and competence and makes them look forward to something new when working. 

Fair Compensation

Contrary to popular belief, a high salary does not always equate to happiness. Some are earning several folds compared to others, but they are miserable in their job. According to various studies and research, once the ideal salary threshold is met, any excess thereof no longer significantly affects the employee’s happiness. However, it does not mean that money or salary is not contributing to happiness or job satisfaction. It is still the first consideration when one is applying for a job along with other work benefits. One must feel that their time and effort, as well as outputs, are justly compensated. Employees must be well-paid and financially stable so that they can afford their needs and their wants. 

High Workplace Morale

Employees’ work relationship with their employers and colleagues alike greatly affects their happiness in the workplace. One of the surveys conducted by Statista reveals that 60% of employees named their coworkers as a significant contributor to their happiness in the workplace. Employers and coworkers who have a positive attitude, supportive, and reliable, and recognize and acknowledge an employee’s contribution to the company or business improve that employee’s level of happiness. It motivates them and makes them feel confident in what they do.

Work-Life Balance

They say it is best to leave one’s personal life at home before going to work. It works the other way around when, at times, we take our work into our homes. That is why work-life balance is essential and significantly affects one’s happiness in life in general. It has been found as necessary by 37% of Americans. A boundary must be set between the two or have them co-exist in harmony. Problem load, anxiety, feeling pressured, and stress are indicators of an unhappy disposition at work. If these are brought into one’s personal life, the unhappiness is also carried over. Remember that happiness is contagious, and it must be present in all aspects of one’s life. That way, employees don’t always have to hurry to Friday or a vacation to escape work. 

It’s not only the type of employment but also unemployment itself that affects a person’s happiness. In a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research, it was found that “unemployment was consistently associated with high rates of depression among adults.” Some report leaving their jobs because they were unhappy in the first place or are experiencing personal problems.

For some, re-entering the workforce has been difficult due to several events comparable to the great depression and other economic turmoil. Now that the whole world is facing a pandemic, the unemployment rate in the US reached 14.7% last year during its height. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics also determined that the unemployment rate in the country is at 5.2%, declining by 0.2% as of August 2021. 

Everyone wants to be happy, not just at the end of a workday but throughout the day, even while at the workplace and while doing our jobs. Although happiness is subjective, we developed a list of careers that may bring happiness to the majority who will pursue them based on the factors enumerated above. Here are the 30 happiest careers in the US one who is looking for a job or contemplating making a career shift may want to consider:

Happiest Careers That Pay Well

Physical Therapist

Job Growth: 15% (2022 to 2032)
Average Yearly Pay: $97,720

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Physical therapists help patients who are injured, have chronic medical conditions, or suffer from mobility issues. They first determine the patient’s functions and range of movement before developing a tailored hands-on treatment plan. Physical therapists work in various setups, such as home health agencies, hospitals, offices, sports facilities, and inpatient rehabilitation centers. 

After earning a bachelor of science degree, one must take a Doctor of Physical Therapy course under a Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE)-an accredited program and a one-year residency to become a physical therapist. To practice as a PT, one must first pass the National Physical Therapy Examination prepared by the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy, subject to further requirements by individual states where one intends to practice. 

Being a physical therapist provides a great sense of fulfillment, especially when they witness how the lives of their patients have significantly improved with their help. The interaction between the PT and the patient also creates an atmosphere that allows cordial relationships. 

Job Trivia: Before they were called physical therapists, they were initially referred to as reconstruction aides and were composed of the US Army female civilian employees. 

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Human Resource Manager

Job Growth: 5% (2022 to 2032)
Average Yearly Pay: $130,000

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Management of a company’s administrative functions is the primary duty of a human resource manager. They serve as the channel between the employees and the management, handle disputes, salary and benefit distribution, recruitment, job supervision, planning, and coordination for the workflow in the company. 

A master’s plus years of experience may be required in addition to a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business management, or any other related course for higher positions. They must be adept at human resources software, compensation and benefit plans, as well as employment laws. To climb the career ladder, one may opt to acquire certification programs offered by different associations such as the HRCI, SHRM, and WorldatWork.

A career as a human resource manager offers a lot of opportunities for professional growth. HR managers generally feel happy being valuable to the company’s success. They feel responsible for keeping professional relationships in the workplace harmonious. It is the meaningfulness of the job that keeps them more than content. 

Job Trivia: The first 90 seconds of an interview are crucial as one-third of HR managers reported that it only takes that long for them to decide whether to hire an applicant or not. 

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Software Developer

Job Growth: 25% (2022 to 2032) 
Average Yearly Pay: $124,200

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Computer and mobile applications, upgrades, coding, maintenance, and testing are all performed by a software developer. They are responsible for the whole process, from conception to designing and building the actual software. They either work for a company or take clients of their own. Software developers may choose to focus their work on specific types of applications only or work with a multitude of programs

A bachelor’s in Computer Science, Information Technology, Software Engineering, or Mathematics is required. Acquiring computer programming training is a plus for employers. They must also keep themselves up to date with the latest updates and changes in computers and programming. 

The autonomy experienced by software developers and the great pay that comes with the work account for the job satisfaction and happiness they experience. Who wouldn’t want to develop an excellent app or program that will be downloaded and installed by users worldwide? They are also in great demand, which means that employers compete to attract software developers to their companies. 

Job Trivia: The world’s first programmer most famous for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine is a woman named Ada Lovelace

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Medical and Health Services Manager

Job Growth: 28% (2022 to 2032)
Average Yearly Pay: $104,830

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Sometimes referred to as healthcare executives or administrators, medical and health services managers are responsible for planning, directing, overseeing, and coordinating all medical services in a facility. This includes training staff, regulation compliance, finance, budget management, scheduling work, and representing the facility. They work closely with physicians to ensure the quality and efficiency of the services being rendered. 

Be a medical and health services manager by completing healthcare-related, public policy, or social services-related courses. Most employers prefer those who have finished graduate programs and have experienced supervised administrative experience in a similar setting. It is part of their duty to be adaptive to emergencies, state-of-the-art technology, and any changes in healthcare law

The position of a medical and health service manager enjoys job security as healthcare services and facilities never go out of demand. The duties performed are very meaningful, especially for those who have a passion for healthcare as they make positive changes in the system. 

Job Trivia: There are a total of 6,090 hospitals in the country, and these all require a medical and health services manager. 

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Speech-Language Pathologist

Job Growth: 19% (2022 to 2032)
Average Yearly Pay: $84,140 

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Speech-Language Pathologists or SLPs diagnose, treat, and prevent speech and language-related, social and cognitive-communication, swallowing disorders, and provide rehabilitation for those hard of hearing. They offer an individualized treatment plan and alternative communication systems for effective interaction with the people around them. They may choose to work with a specific age group or focus on a particular disorder group. 

Since they work in the medical field, they must be holders of a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) and a subspecialty certificate. One must first take a master’s degree in any healthcare-related field. It must also be earned from a Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA)-)-approved program with a supervised clinical experience.

The positive differences and improvements SLPs contribute to their patients’ lives are rewarding. They also work with a patient and their family to help build rapport between them. The flexibility in the work schedule allows SLPs to have greater control of their time. These factors greatly contribute to their overall happiness level. 

Job Trivia: There are currently one million individuals in the US who have aphasia and would enormously benefit from the services of an SLP. 

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Job Growth: 4% (2022 to 2032)
Average Yearly Pay: $159,530

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The mouth, specifically the teeth and the gums, is the organ dentists work with. They remove cavities, repair damaged teeth, read X-rays, make denture measurements, perform surgery, administer anesthetics, and give proper dental hygiene advice to patients. They usually supervise and work with dental hygienists and assistants. 

Only Doctors of Medicine in Dentistry or Dental Surgery who have passed the National Board of Dental Examinations may engage in the practice of dentistry. Specialties require an additional 2 to 4-year training under a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)-accredited program and is equivalent to a master’s degree. For those who are planning to teach or conduct research full-time, a postdoctoral program is necessary. 

The dental profession allows for a work-life balance. Given the nature of their job, dentists can never take their work at home. That is why work remains at the clinic, and when it’s time to go home, they can focus on their family or do non-work-related activities. Dentists are happy with this setup and do not find their work too demanding. 

Job Trivia: The most expensive tooth belongs to John Lennon. It was sold at an auction for $36,857. 

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Financial Manager

Job Growth: 16% (2022 to 2032)
Average Yearly Pay: $139,790

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Financial managers take care of the business’s financial health. Their work involves data analysis, proposing profit-maximizing ideas, submitting financial statements, directing investments, and making long-term financial goals. They work closely with the company’s senior managers and top executives, giving them advice about their financial status. 

A bachelor’s degree and extensive experience in other financial occupations like an accountant, financial analyst, or securities sales agent are required before becoming a financial manager. There are certifications, such as the Certified Government Financial ManagerChartered Financial Analyst, and Certified Treasury Professional, that help one further their career as a financial manager. They must also be very knowledgeable of tax laws and regulatory requirements applicable to the organization they work for. 

The nature of the work of a financial manager is complex, and there are always new challenges to face. This removes the monotony that causes other employees to get bored with their jobs. In a survey, 77% reported being satisfied, while 47% found their job meaningful. 

Job Trivia:  The financial industry is predominated by men. Women only comprise 38.5% out of all the 266,014 finance managers in the country.  

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Registered Nurses

Job Growth: 6% (2022 to 2032)
Average Yearly Pay: $81,220

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Registered nurses are primarily responsible for patient care, including administering medications, collaborating with physicians, performing diagnostic tests, and other similar tasks. Their job is not only limited to providing medical services but emotional support as well. They provide advice and educate patients, families, and the general public about specific medical conditions. 

Passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and obtaining a license are the basic requirements before any individual can practice as a nurse. There are various options for attaining a nursing education.

One may pursue a bachelor’s degree, an associate’s degree, or a diploma from an approved program. To be hired in a higher position such as a clinical nurse specialist, earning a master’s degree or a doctoral degree is necessary. 

According to Medscape’s annual Nurse Career Satisfaction Report 2022, over 70% of nurses are glad to choose this career. Participants have also reported that they find helping other people and making a difference in other’s lives the most rewarding part of the job. 

Job Trivia: In a 12-hour shift, nurses can walk up to a total of five miles.  

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Voice Actor

Job Growth: 3% (2019 to 2029)
Average Yearly Pay: $106,171

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One can hear voice actors everywhere, from films, commercials, animations, and cartoons to radio. They give life to anime and cartoon characters, deliver translated lines for foreign films, bring the latest hits as a disc jockey, record audiobooks, or converse with personalities as a talk show host. Some voice actors book projects through a talent agency, while others work freelance. 

One does not need to receive a formal education to become a voice actor. While some have the innate talent of having a versatile voice quality, others take workshops and training to further hone their skills for voice acting. Working on and mastering one’s craft is a lifelong task. Sending out pre-recorded audio files to different companies and labels is the usual way of auditioning and getting hired for projects. 

Voice acting is fun work. It allows one to express oneself creatively through their voice. They get to explore different characters and give them their unique personality through the voice they associate with them. 

Job Trivia: Some voice actors don’t use words but only sound as simple as one’s breathing.

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Job Growth: 4% (2022 to 2032)
Average Yearly Pay: $51,680

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From the job name itself, a firefighter must put out a fire. Aside from that, they also get called to respond to emergencies involving a person’s life, property, and other circumstances that may threaten the public’s safety. Driving a firetruck, operating water equipment, and getting geared up quickly are the basic assignments of a firefighter.

A high school diploma is sufficient to enter the firefighter occupation. However, one must undergo training at a fire academy. An emergency medical technician (EMT) certification is likewise required. There are also written, physical, and medical exams, and drug tests as well as interviews. Firefighters need to comply with the continuing education requirement. Others tend to start volunteering as a firefighter to kickstart their career in the field. 

Despite being a dangerous job, firefighting has consistently ranked as one of the most satisfying jobs in the US. It is mainly about serving the community and helping people. Saving and seeing people surviving from catastrophes because of them is the most rewarding part of the job. 

Job Trivia: Firefighters’ complete gear weighs up to 30 kilograms and protects them from temperatures of about 2200 °F. 

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Physician Assistant

Job Growth: 27% (2022 to 2032)
Average Yearly Pay: $126,010

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Physician assistants work hand-in-hand with other healthcare professionals including but not limited to physicians and surgeons. They also have specializations and can order tests, diagnose, provide treatment, and prescribe medications as long as the supervision requirements are met. Some PAs serve as primary care providers in medically underserved rural areas. 

To become a physician assistant, one must finish a master’s degree from an ARC-PA-accredited program. Patient care work experience is required before one can be admitted to any program. The program includes classroom and laboratory instruction and clinical training.

After completing the program, one must take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) to be credentialed and certified. Continuing education requirements must be met after that every two years. 

Working as a physician assistant is a good-paying job. A significant number of participants in a survey have reported that they are fairly compensated for their services, and a high 95.9% are highly satisfied with their careers. 

Job Trivia: Physician assistants are celebrated during the National Physician Assistants Week every October 6 to 12. 

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Ethical Hacker

Job Growth: 32% (2022 to 2032)
Average Yearly Pay: $112,000

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Also known as white hat hackers, they fall under the broader category of information security analysts. With the system owner’s consent, an ethical hacker penetrates any computer, network, or application to determine its security vulnerabilities that can be easily attacked by hackers and avoid future exploitation of any information. Once the vulnerability is discovered, security enhancements and countermeasures can be made for all forms of cyberattacks and cybercrimes.

A bachelor’s degree and experience in any computer-related field are necessary for this position. Employers may also require additional certifications for penetration testing or to be a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). Companies prefer those with an MBA in information systems for higher positions. Ethical hackers often work with government agencies and manufacturers of computer systems. 

Aside from being a cool job, ethical hackers also enjoy the challenge of breaking into systems all with good conscience. The best thing is being paid to do it. Modern-day technology also brings high demand for ethical hackers. 

Job Trivia: The term ethical hacker was coined by former IBM executive John Patrick. 

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Job Growth: 8% (2022 to 2032)
Average Yearly Pay: $135,740

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Lawyers provide legal advice, represent clients before courts and administrative bodies, and advocate for their client’s causes. They can be generally categorized into litigation and transactional lawyers. They also tend to specialize in a particular niche or area of law, have their private practice, join a law firm, or work for a company. 

Individual states may require different licensing requirements before allowing a Juris Doctor graduate to practice within the state’s jurisdiction. One should also be of good moral character and should not possess any of the disqualifications provided by the Bar. Completing a law degree may take up to seven years, including one’s undergraduate degree. Excellent legal research and writing skills are also valuable in the profession. 

Navigating the legal profession as a newly admitted bar member may be difficult, but the longer one is in practice, the more one can set work and life boundaries. Lawyers generally have above-average job satisfaction that increases with time. 

Job Trivia: There are currently 1.33 million lawyers in the country. The ratio of a lawyer to people in the US is one to 240. 

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Construction Manager

Job Growth: 5% (2022 to 2032)
Average Yearly Pay: $101,480

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Construction managers are responsible for seeing construction projects from start to finish. Their tasks include preparing budgets, creating timetables, reviewing contracts, collaborating with construction specialists, coordinating with subcontractors, monitoring progress, preparing contingency plans, and ensuring compliance with laws and regulations. They are also referred to as general contractors or project managers. 

In the field of construction, experience weighs more and is given more credit by employers. After earning a high school diploma or a construction-related bachelor’s degree, individuals who want to be construction managers must undergo on-the-job training. Some states may require certifications to practice as a construction manager within the state, while some do not. Knowledge of building and safety codes is also necessary. 

Being a construction manager brings great potential for one’s career. Aside from the high income, construction managers don’t have to worry about job security as they will always be in demand. Building a structure, whether residential or commercial, will always require their expertise. There is always a new project to look forward to. 

Job Trivia: The value of the construction industry is set at around $1.36 trillion

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Job Growth: 9% (2022 to 2032)
Average Yearly Pay: $125,590

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Diagnosis and treatment of vision problems, and eye injuries, management of diseases and disorders, and prescription of eyeglasses and contact lenses are the scope of an optometrist’s job. Some perform surgeries, try rehabilitation, prescribe medications, counsel patients about good practices to keep the eyes healthy and refer patients whose eye issues are due to underlying causes to other specialists.  

One has to be a Doctor of Optometry and must be licensed in the state where they intend to practice. Before joining a program, one must pass the Optometry Admission Test, complete a year-long residency program, and take the exams administered by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry. One may choose to be board-certified by the American Board of Optometry

Optometrists have different options for practice and can have flexible work schedules. They seldom receive emergency calls that result in low stress levels. The most rewarding part of their job is that patients can immediately experience the results. 

Job Trivia: The eyes are the second most complex organ, next to the brain. They also don’t change their size from the time one is born. 

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Chief Executive Officer

Job Growth: 1% (2022 to 2032)
Average Yearly Pay: $246,440

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Chief executive officers or CEOs are responsible for coordinating and directing the activities, strategies, and policies to be observed by companies to meet their goals successfully. They supervise and collaborate with other top executives of the organization. CEOs report progress and challenges as well as provide recommendations to the board of directors

The bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate required of a candidate depends on the industry or field in which one wants to serve as a CEO. Employers also look for relevant work experience or those who have been promoted in their line of work. Other specific qualifications may be required of candidates depending on the level of expertise needed for a particular department. 

CEOs are highly satisfied with their work, and it’s not just because of their high salary. They exercise significant control over different aspects of an organization and often take credit for its success. The nature of their work also allows them to form a vast network with top-tier individuals in the industry. 

Job Trivia: The highest-paid CEO is Alexander Karp of Palantir Technologies, worth $1,098,513,297. 

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Job Growth: 3% (2022 to 2032)
Average Yearly Pay: $83,720

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Chiropractors’ primary area of expertise is the neuromusculoskeletal system. They apply clinical interventions such as spinal adjustments to treat patients’ health concerns, including their bones, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and tendons. Their patients are mainly composed of individuals complaining about neck and back pain. A chiropractor must first assess and study the patient’s medical history and profile and order tests to determine the appropriate treatment.

Only licensed Doctors of Chiropractic can offer their services to the public legally. The program undergone by DC must be accredited by the Council of Chiropractic Education and accumulate 4,200 hours of internship. To obtain a license, DCs must pass the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners’ four-part exam. Individual states also have their requirements and require completion of continuing education. 

A chiropractor’s work can bring life-changing results for a patient. More and more people are seeking the help of chiropractors to help them deal with spinal issues, presenting job security. Decent work-life balance and job satisfaction are also associated with the job. 

Job Trivia: Chiropractic comes from the Grecian words cheir meaning hand and praktos meaning done. The combined meaning of which is done by hand. 

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Job Growth: 3% (2022 to 2032)
Average Yearly Pay: $299,300

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Surgeons operate on patients who may need broken bones fixed, cancerous tumors removed, deformities restored, and other procedures. They orient and inform patients pre-operation about the process and the corresponding risks associated with it. After or post-operation care and follow-up are also conducted to ensure that the operation was effective or that new medical concerns to tackled. 

Surgeons undergo years of rigorous education and training before they can perform their first surgery. The Medical College Admission Test or MCAT is the first exam an aspiring surgeon must take to enter medical school. Practical training then starts after one or two years of theoretical study.

Surgery may require additional years of residency and fellowship. Graduates must pass the US Medical Licensing Examination to be a step closer to becoming full-fledged physicians or surgeons. 

Most surgeons are highly satisfied with their careers. In a survey conducted by CareerExplorer, surgeons have rated their career happiness 4.3 out of 5, putting them in the top 2% of the happiest careers in the country. 

Job Trivia: The first-ever known plastic surgeon is Sushruta, dating back to 600 BC. 

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Personal Trainer

Job Growth: 14% (2022 to 2032)
Average Yearly Pay: $45,380

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People who have physical goals turn to personal or fitness trainers to help achieve them. Personal trainers develop an individualized workout plan or routine fitting for each client and provide instructions on proper execution. However, the most crucial part is motivating and inspiring their clients to persevere and never quit until they see their desired results and maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. 

A high school diploma is needed, but other fitness facilities prefer those with a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in the health or fitness area. A certification is a strict requirement before one can start taking clients. A written examination must also be taken to determine the trainer’s knowledge of the human body and exercise techniques at the minimum. 

The happiness of personal trainers cannot only be attributed to endorphins, a happy hormone produced by the body when engaging in physical activities. The impact of what they do to their client’s lives is the source of their happiness, resulting in high job satisfaction. 

Job Trivia: The National Personal Trainer Awareness Day is every January 2, right after the long holidays and feasting.

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Job Growth: 20% (2022 to 2032)
Average Yearly Pay: $103,260

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Veterinarians do not only care for animals. They also consider public health related to diseases transmitted through pets, livestock, and other animals. Like physicians, they also examine, diagnose, and treat animals for injuries and illnesses, administer vaccines, advise pet owners on proper care, and sometimes euthanize animals. Some focus on medical research and studying conditions and vaccinations. 

Veterinary medical colleges usually require a bachelor’s degree in biology, animal science, and agriculture. The North American Veterinary Licensing Examination is the national qualifying exam for Doctors of Veterinary Medicine. Additionally, passers must take the licensing exam of the state where they intend to practice. It is taken by those who have finished an accredited veterinary program and completed one year of clinical rotation. 

The diversity of cases being handled by veterinarians and the great number of opportunities contribute to overall job satisfaction. They have rated their happiness in their career as above average

Job Trivia: The most commonly treated animal by veterinarians is a dog. This is probably due to the fact Americans own about 73 million dogs

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Job Growth: 2% (2022 to 2032)
Average Yearly Pay: $83,700

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Engineers lay out the foundation of buildings and infrastructures. They conceptualize, design, build, and supervise the construction. Their tasks for the initial stages include risk analysis, regulation compliance, preparing the bill of materials, and permit applications. After completing the project, engineers have to assess its safety and maintain it according to plan. 

Entry-level positions typically do not require a license. For those who want to further their career as professional engineers, taking the licensure exam is necessary. It usually requires a degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program and relevant work experience. Engineers must also be knowledgeable about federal and state laws such as building codes.  

Engineers find satisfaction in their job upon completing their project and seeing that the clients and other people like the outcome. The structures they have built are permanent, and the satisfaction carries on every time they see what they have accomplished. 

Job Trivia: One of the greatest engineering wonders of the world is the Ferris Wheel designed and created by George W. Ferris in 1893. 

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Event Planner

Job Growth: 8% (2022 to 2032)
Average Yearly Pay: $52,560

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Clients usually hire event planners from different backgrounds and for various purposes. A meeting is set with a client to know the event’s purpose and to start the planning. Event planners are in charge of setting the venue and time, soliciting bids from providers and determining the final cost, arranging transportation, accommodation, and food, monitoring and organizing the event on the day itself, and arranging payments. 

A bachelor’s degree in event or hospitality management can help advance one in this career, but any degree will do as long as they have experience related to the field. There are available voluntary credentials and designations that one may obtain, such as being a Certified Meeting ProfessionalCertified Government Meeting Professional, and Certified in Exhibition Management. Although these are not voluntary, these would whose one’s expertise and knowledge on event planning.  

Event planners are generally happy because they love their job. Every event is a new and fresh project where they can exhibit their creativity. Their network also expands with every new client and other professionals in the industry.  

Job Trivia: The events industry outdoes the auto industry when it comes to contributing to its GDP.  

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Job Growth: 2% (2022 to 2032)
Average Yearly Pay: $60,180

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Clergies are known by different names like priest, minister, rabbi, pastor, or confessor. It depends on the religious faith or denomination on which they serve. They lead religious worship and perform other functions that may be required of them. They also must provide guidance, spiritually and morally, to their constituents. Educating their members is an integral part of the job, and they have to develop a program for such a purpose. 

A bachelor’s degree in any field is accepted for the position. There is also no work experience required. One only has to undergo on-the-job training that usually lasts between one to twelve months. They must be knowledgeable of the sacred texts of their faith as well. Clergies are expected to have excellent communication and active listening skills. 

According to a survey, one of the most meaningful jobs is being a clergy. 90% of the participants reported being satisfied, and 98% considered their job to be significant. For some, being clergy is a calling, and it makes them happy knowing that they are strengthening people’s faith and helping them spiritually. 

Job Trivia: Not all clergies are exempt from paying their taxes. Some are mandated by law to file them. 

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Video Game Designer

Job Growth: 16% (2022 to 2032)
Average Yearly Pay: $80,730

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Video game designers do not just design the game per se. Their job goes into the game’s core features, including the character biographies, storylines, and mechanics. They also conceptualize the missions, challenges, and goals of the game. They usually work closely with production staff for the final output or product. All the ideas that go into the game must be properly documented and maintained to avoid inconsistencies in future developments or franchises. 

A video game designer must possess programming, technology skills, and knowledge of different types of software. A four-year bachelor’s degree and related experience that sharpens one’s work-related skills are required. 

A job as a video game designer allows one to explore their creativity and see it come to life in a game they have designed themselves. It is indeed one of the happiest careers in the country, with a rating of 4.2 out of 5 in CareerExplorer. 

Job Trivia: The first-ever video game, Tennis for Two, was created by a physicist named William Higinbotham in 1958. 

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Preschool Teacher

Job Growth: 3% (2022 to 2032)
Average Yearly Pay: $35,330

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Preschool teachers are responsible for educating children below five years of age. Day-to-day activities in preschool include simple tasks that help develop the child’s language, motor, and social skills. The teacher prepares lessons following a curriculum and involves colors, shapes, letters, and numbers. In addition to educating children, they also observe and report any signs of emotional or developmental problems. 

An associate’s degree is typically required for a preschool teacher position. Head Start Programs and public schools look for a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and experience in a related field. Passing the exam and being licensed to teach early childhood education is required. Being a credentialed Child Development Associate by the Council for Professional Regulation may help hasten the application process in some states. 

Who wouldn’t be happy being surrounded by children? Teaching them in fun ways brings joy not only to them but to the teacher as well. Preschool teachers have also reported that witnessing a child’s milestones is rewarding. 

Job Trivia: Children who receive a preschool education are less likely to have teenage pregnancies and commit crimes when they grow old. 

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Job Growth: 5% (2022 to 2032)
Average Yearly Pay: $68,090

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The land quality of forests and other similar forms of natural resources is the scope of a forester’s job. Foresters supervise all activities happening in the forestlands in the country. They are responsible for determining and preparing suitable sites for tree planting and monitoring their growth and overall forest regeneration. Forest fire suppression and finding ways to minimize environmental damage are also included in their line of duty. 

An undergraduate course in forestry or natural resources is a prerequisite for those interested in pursuing this career. One must also acquire practical skills to perform their duties effectively. A background in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and other computer modeling techniques are also required for foresters. Professional competency can be evidenced by obtaining a certification from the Society of American Foresters

A survey conducted by PayScale showed that 85% of forester participants are highly satisfied with their job. Indeed, spending time in nature has a positive effect on an individual. Another thing that contributes to the happiness of foresters is the fulfillment of their advocacy. 

Job Trivia: The country’s first professionally managed forest is the Biltmore Estate which was by a European forester named Gifford Pinchot.

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Occupational Therapists

Job Growth: 12% (2022 to 2032)
Average Yearly Pay: $93,180

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Occupational therapists aim to help patients cope and function in daily living and work. They provide treatment and rehabilitation for those suffering from injuries, illnesses, or disabilities with everyday activities as tools for therapy.

This includes simple tasks such as getting dressed, stretching, and the use of special equipment. Occupational therapists develop treatment plans tailored to meet each patient’s home circumstances, special needs, and goals. They also work in educational and work settings. 

A master’s degree in occupational therapy is the minimum requirement before one can practice as such. The program has to be accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association. Volunteer or work experience in an occupational therapy setting increases a candidate’s prospects for employment. One must also be licensed by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy to be an OTR officially. 

The job of an occupational therapist offers a flexible schedule and is a fulfilling one. Seeing their patients regaining independence, living life as normal as possible, and improving their quality of life is a reward in itself.

Job Trivia: There were only six attendees in the first occupational therapy meeting held in 1917. There were three women and three men. 

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Teacher Assistant

Job Growth: 0% (2022 to 2032)
Average Yearly Pay: $30,920

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Teacher assistants help licensed teachers with their load by giving students detailed instruction and more attention. Their duties include reinforcing lessons, orienting students with school regulations, checking attendance, calculating grades, preparing equipment, and supervising students outside the classroom.

They report to the licensed teacher they are working with regarding student progress or concerns, if any. Some teacher assistants work with specific groups only, like special education students or childcare center students. 

Two years of college coursework or an associate’s degree is needed depending on where one intends to work. A skills test may be administered by the educational institution, especially if working with special-needs students. A CPR and first aid certificate may also be useful in this job. 

Guiding students in their educational journey gives them a sense of satisfaction, especially when they thrive. A teacher assistant position provides an opportunity to build meaningful relationships with both colleagues and students. For those who want to help others achieve their goals, this job can be a great source of happiness. 

Job Trivia: Teacher assistants are also called paraprofessionals or paraeducators

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Loan Officer

Job Growth: 3% (2022 to 2032)
Average Yearly Pay: $65,740

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Evaluating, authorizing, and recommending approval for a loan, either for personal or business, is the job of a loan officer. They call individuals and establishments and ask if they may assist them in obtaining a loan. They facilitate the entire process from explaining the type of loan to the client, obtaining and verifying financial information, and reviewing loan agreements. There are different types of loan officers such as commercial, consumer, mortgage, collection, and underwriters. 

On-the-job training and a bachelor’s degree are the main requirements to become a loan officer. They must be knowledgeable in business, finance, general business accounting, financial statements, and underwriting software. Extensive banking, customer service, or sales experience can substitute for a bachelor’s degree in some instances. Only mortgage loan officers need a Mortgage Loan Originator license to be able to practice. 

When asked how satisfied they are with their job, 74% of the survey participants said they were, and 53% found their job meaningful. They also said they believe they help other people’s lives become better by providing a fresh start. 

Job Trivia: The highest interest rate for a mortgage loan was in 1981. It reached an all-time high of 18.45% for a 30-year fixed-rate loan. Mark Zuckerberg now pays a 1.05% interest for his $6 million home. 

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Aircraft Mechanic

Job Growth: 4% (2022 to 2032)
Average Yearly Pay: $70,740

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Aircraft mechanics diagnose mechanical and electrical problems, repair aircraft components, replace defective parts, examine replacement parts, and test, and inspect the aircraft to ensure its safety and performance. Some mechanics work on different aircraft types, such as helicopters, piston-driven airplanes, and jets, while some concentrate on a specific component. 

Aircraft mechanics must be proficient with Federal Aviation Administration guidelines and regulations. To be one, they must undergo formal training at an FAA-approved aviation maintenance technician school, on-the-job training, or learn the practical skills needed in the military.

Different certifications are required for bodywork and engine work. Acquiring both or having A&P ratings are strongly preferred by employers. One must pass all the written, oral, and practical exams before becoming fully certified.  

Being an aircraft mechanic is an important job to fulfill, considering that the safety of those flying the aircraft relies on their expertise and workmanship. Aside from their competitive salary, they also get flight benefits. There are also ample opportunities for career advancement and work in different aviation sectors. 

Job Trivia: There were a total of 6.11 million aircraft departures performed by US air carriers in 2020 alone.  

Frequently Asked Questions

How important is it to be happy in your career?

It is very important to be happy in your career. When you are happy with your career, you tend to be more productive and successful, and you are more likely to enjoy your job and stay in it for the long term. Happiness in your career also helps to boost your self-esteem and make you more confident in your abilities.

What are some of the happiest jobs for men, women, teens, or retirees?

According to, these are the happiest jobs for:

  • Women: Database Administrator
  • Men: Software Developer
  • Teens: Fast Food Worker
  • Retirees: Retail Salesperson
If I’m in a “happy” career, do I have to sacrifice a higher salary?

No, of course not! You do not have to sacrifice a higher salary to be in a happy career. You can find many careers that will provide you with a good salary and job satisfaction. It is important to research the job market and find a career that is both rewarding and financially beneficial to you and your family.

If money is my idea of happiness, what career should I pursue to earn the most money?

Money isn’t everything; however, if your idea of happiness includes earning a lucrative living, check out these career options:

  • Investment Banking
  • Private Equity
  • Hedge Fund Management
  • Venture Capital
  • Real Estate Investment
  • Angel Investing
  • Stock Trading
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Technology Executive
  • Professional Sports
How do I begin to find a career I will love?

Here are a few suggestions to consider:

  • Make a list of what you enjoy doing: Take some time to consider what you enjoy doing and make a list. What activities do you find yourself drawn to? What topics do you find yourself exploring in your free time?
  • Research potential careers: Once you have a list of things you enjoy doing, research potential careers that involve those activities. Look into different roles within those industries, and read job descriptions to get a better sense of what each career entails.
  • Talk to professionals and do informational interviews: Reach out to professionals who are working in the fields you’re researching. Ask them about their experience, what they like and dislike about their job, and any advice they might have for someone looking to enter the field. This is an opportunity to learn more about a particular career, ask questions, and determine if it’s a good fit for you.
  • Take an online career assessment: Online career assessments can help you identify potential career paths that you may not have considered. These assessments are based on your interests and skills and can provide valuable insights into what your focus should be.

Malcolm Peralty
Chief Editor