15 Jobs That Make People Happy Across Industries

By Elsie Boskamp - Apr. 16, 2021

Find a Job You Really Want In

There’s nothing worse than being stuck in an unhappy job. If negative emotions and feelings of unhappiness are creeping up on you at work, it might be time to change careers and find a job that fosters kindness, mindfulness, and employee’s overall well-being and happiness.

Being happy at work may sometimes seem like it’s too good to be true, but there are so many jobs and professional industries that promote positive emotions and prioritize joy and happiness.

Whether you’re looking to work outside or at home, part-time or a full 40-hour workweek, in the healthcare industry or in academia, there are dozens of jobs that can help you increase your levels of happiness.

There’s no point in being miserable in your occupation when there are so many career paths that can improve your levels of happiness and make you feel fulfilled and valued by employers. Your professional pursuit of happiness can also be a great way to pursue positive career development and push your negative thoughts away for good.

As the saying goes: if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. In fact, finding a job you love is the key to happiness.

Research suggests that happiness in life is very closely tied to happiness and contentment at work. Overall happiness, both at work and at home, is so important to reaching your personal and professional goals and leading a fulfilling life.

  1. Human Resources Manager Jobs (Overview)

  2. Engineer Jobs (Overview)

  3. Physical Therapist Jobs (Overview)

  4. Construction Manager Jobs (Overview)

  5. Finance Manager Jobs (Overview)

  6. Internship Jobs (Overview)

  7. Teaching Assistant Jobs (Overview)

  8. Marketing Specialist Jobs (Overview)

  9. Athletic Trainer Jobs (Overview)

  10. Nurse Jobs (Overview)

  11. Realtor Jobs (Overview)

  12. Information Technology Consultant Jobs (Overview)

  13. Virtual Assistant Jobs (Overview)

  14. Writer Jobs (Overview)

  15. Web Developer Jobs (Overview)

Best-Paying Jobs That Make People Happy

Having a job that makes you happy doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your paycheck. There are plenty of high-paying jobs that also promote happiness, positive self-esteem, and an optimistic career and life outlook.

Money alone probably won’t make you satisfied. In fact, it’s scientifically proven that while workers are happy with money, once they start earning between $60,000 to $75,000 a year, their emotional well-being doesn’t increase because of a higher salary. It turns out that middle-class employees are actually happier than the millionaires living in Silicon Valley.

But, of course, in some aspects, a well-paying job can contribute to overall happiness.

People tend to be happiest when they have enough money to support themselves and their families. That’s where the money comes into play in the pursuit of happiness.

There are many high-paying jobs that also offer work-life balance, opportunities for career growth, and high employee satisfaction levels. Here are a few of the best-paying jobs that have been shown to improve happiness:

  1. Human Resources Manager
    Average Annual Salary: $80,000

    Human resource managers are in high demand in almost all professional industries. No matter the line of work, companies need employees who can handle all administrative functions when it comes to recruiting, interviewing, and retaining employees.

    Human resource managers play a big role in molding a company’s work environment, so it’s no surprise that they rank among America’s happiest employees.

    A positive and comfortable work environment, good job security, and an average annual salary of more than $115,000 make human resource management positions one of the most desired jobs in the country.

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  2. Engineer
    Average Annual Salary: $78,000

    Engineers working in a variety of specialties and professional disciplines routinely rank among the country’s happiest employees. According to a few studies, people working in engineering roles are actually the happiest people in the world.

    Engineers use state-of-the-art technology to develop designs and offer practical solutions to problems facing numerous industries. Network engineers, software engineers, and environmental engineers, in particular, have even higher than average work satisfaction levels.

    In addition to increased happiness, engineers earn, on average, more than $90,000 each year.

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  3. Physical Therapist
    Average Annual Salary: $69,000

    Working as a successful physical therapist is not only extremely rewarding, it also comes with a real opportunity to earn the big bucks. According to labor statistics, physical therapists make an average of nearly $90,000 per year. This makes physical therapy one of the best industries for happiness and high salaries.

    Across the country, physical therapists are in high demand. The industry is growing much faster than average, especially in Indiana, where it’s high on the list of the ten fastest-growing jobs in the state.

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  4. Construction Manager
    Average Annual Salary: $81,000

    If you’re looking for happiness, having a job that allows you to work outside might be the best option for you. Believe it or not, construction managers, contractors, and construction workers have some of the highest levels of joy and happiness.

    Labor statistics show that construction managers make an average of more than $95,000 per year. Some of the best perks of working as a construction manager are spending time in the fresh air and the satisfaction of seeing the physical results of building something from scratch.

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  5. Finance Manager
    Average Annual Salary: $105,000

    Finance managers create reports, manage investments, and develop financial plans for organizations and individuals. Although the job can sometimes be stressful, it’s very rewarding, and workers report high levels of joy, positivity, and happiness.

    If you’re good with numbers, then a job as a finance manager can help you realize your biggest career goals and help you in your pursuit of happiness. On average, finance managers can expect to earn just under $130,000 a year.

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Entry-Level Jobs That Make People Happy

For people looking for an entry-level job right out of college, starting a career in an industry that you’re passionate about and that prioritizes happiness at work is a great way to realize your career goals and be truly happy in your job and your life.

Finding an entry-level job that fosters employee satisfaction at work and promotes kindness and happiness is a great option for young people, graduates looking for their first job, professionals looking to change careers, or people who want to gain on-the-job experience.

Here are the top entry-level jobs that are both meaningful and fulfilling and lead to increased happiness:

  1. Internship
    Average Annual Salary: $31,000

    Getting an internship in an industry you’re interested in is a great way to gain work experience and break into your dream career. Compensation is typically low for interns across various occupational fields, and sometimes the positions are unpaid or for school credit.

    Nevertheless, working as an intern is proven to boost happiness, as the role allows young people and entry-level applicants to learn new things, gain hands-on experience, and figure out the best career path for them.

    Working as an intern is a great opportunity for students and young adults. The work environment is structured like a professional position while also fostering learning, making it a good gig for college grads or a great first job for 14- and 15-year-olds.

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  2. Teaching Assistant
    Average Annual Salary: $32,000

    Time and time again, teaching assistants rank as one of the happiest jobs in America. It’s not the highest-paying job, but the work is rewarding, and some entry-level positions only require a high school diploma, although a college degree with coursework in child development could open more doors.

    Working as a teaching assistant is also a great way to gain experience while completing education requirements to have your own classroom. Working as a full-time teacher is meaningful work where you can help others and increase happiness.

    Labor statistics show that elementary and middle school teachers rank among some of the most common jobs in Wisconsin. You can bet that there are lots of teachers living in the ten happiest places in Wisconsin, where commutes to work are short, marriage rates are high, and affordable housing is plentiful.

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  3. Marketing Specialist
    Average Annual Salary: $52,000

    Not only is a career as a marketing specialist fulfilling, but it also allows employees to think freely, implement new ideas, and work in a creative and artistic environment. Even better, marketing specialists are some of the happiest people in the country.

    When browsing a job targeted for a rewarding role as a marketing specialist, it might be a good idea to take location into consideration.

    Landing such a creative job in a city that appreciates spectacular arts and culture will bring your happiness to new levels. Sioux Falls, for example, is one of the happiest cities in America and puts a high value on creativity.

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  4. Athletic Trainer
    Average Annual Salary: $42,000

    Chances are you’ve never seen an unhappy athletic trainer. That’s probably because the health and fitness connoisseurs have an extremely high state of happiness and life satisfaction.

    Exercising is scientifically proven to release endorphins and make people happy, so it makes sense that athletic trainers are so happy at work. A career in athletic training requires a passion for fitness and nutrition and a desire to help others reach their personal health goals.

    After obtaining a bachelor’s degree and required state athletic trainer certifications and licenses, finding an entry-level position as an athletic trainer can help job-seekers live a happy life.

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  5. Nurse
    Average Annual Salary: $59,000

    Nursing is among the top three happiest professions in the world. Helping people and working to make a real positive impact in the lives of patients directly contributes to the high job satisfaction rates nurses routinely report.

    In addition to rewarding work, nurses have good job security and earn, on average, more than $73,000 per year. You’ll need a bachelor’s and associate’s degree in nursing, a diploma from an approved nursing program, and/or a nursing license to land an entry-level role as a nurse.

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Work-From-Home Jobs That Make People Happy

People who are truly happy at work have positions that allow them to work from home and have flexible workday schedules.

Here are a few of the top work-from-home jobs that make people happy:

  1. Realtor
    Average Annual Salary: $36,000

    Real estate brokers and sales agents lead happy lives, thanks to an extremely flexible work schedule that allows for the ability to work from home or in a real estate office. Most realtors are also self-employed, so they have a great work-life balance and a high employee satisfaction rate.

    To work from home as a real estate broker or a real estate sales agent and earn an average of more than $50,000 per year, you’ll need a high school diploma and a real estate license.

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  2. Information Technology Consultant
    Average Annual Salary: $73,000

    Computer and information technology occupations are in high demand, and they come with lots of employee perks. One of which is the ability to work from almost anywhere in the world, all you usually need is a working computer and a good WiFi connection.

    IT consultants assist companies and individuals and work to resolve computer issues. They earn, on average, more than $85,000 annually and boost their overall happiness and wellbeing while on the job.

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  3. Virtual Assistant
    Average Annual Salary: $24,000

    A personal virtual assistant is a perfect work-from-home job for detail-oriented professionals. The gig requires job-seekers to perform routine administrative duties and have high-level interpersonal and computer skills.

    Personal virtual assistants are among some of the happiest employees in the country, thanks to a low-stress work environment and a highly flexible schedule. It’s also a great job for people whose highest level of education is a high school diploma since many entry-level positions are typically available.

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  4. Writer
    Average Annual Salary: $57,000

    If you have a knack for the written word, pursuing a career as a writer might be right up your alley. Today, companies and even individuals are always in the market for top-notch writing, whether it’s writing instruction manuals, technical guides, grants, blog posts, news articles, books, resumes, or online profiles.

    Chasing a career as a writer is a great way to turn your hobby into a career. Writers are among the happiest professionals on the market since they have the flexibility of setting their own hours and working from wherever they want. They’re also pretty well paid. In fact, profile ghostwriting was one of the best paying odd jobs in 2020.

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  5. Web Developer
    Average Annual Salary: $72,000

    A job as a web developer allows you to work from virtually anywhere, as it can usually be done entirely online. This high level of flexibility contributes to excellent employee satisfaction, a good work-life balance, and happier employees.

    Careers in the tech and information technology field are fast-growing and in high demand across the country. This is especially true in the ten happiest places to live in Washington state, where web developers, digital interface designers, and computer programs rank as some of the state’s highest paying careers.

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What to Look for in Jobs That Make People Happy

The first step in finding a career path that will leave you feeling happier both at work and at home is looking for companies that value life satisfaction and employee wellbeing while you’re on the job hunt. Switching careers is a great way to attain happiness, but you have to be selective and only apply to openings that will support a sense of contentment.

The happiest employees have high levels of job satisfaction.

In this sense, increased workplace happiness is very closely correlated to a positive work-life balance, good relationships with coworkers, a warm and welcoming work environment, attractive job resources and employee benefits, competitive compensation, opportunities for career growth, and constructive company culture.

Besides scouting out the best career perks when looking for a job that will be fulfilling and lead to increased happiness, it’s especially important to find work that you’re passionate about. In order to get happier, you have to do work that will make you feel truly happy. If you find a career you love, you’ll boost feelings of joy, reduce stress, and finally unlock the secret to happiness.

When making a career change or looking for a job that will both promote overall happiness and closely align with your talents, hobbies, and professional skills, it’s also essential that you consider what true happiness means to you. Thinking about what you value most in a job will help you find a new career and happy life.

The perfect job isn’t always one size fits all. For some job seekers, a fulfilling and happy career is one that pays well and has a good job outlook with ample professional opportunities and stable job security. For others, it may be less about salary and security and more about helping people, giving back to their community, or simply doing something they love.

Location can also be a key factor in finding a job that will make you happier. If you’re thinking about relocating, it’s important to consider the area before jumping to any final decisions. Being happy in the place you live will translate to being happier at work.

Looking for a job in one of the ten happiest states in America could help you land a great career and attain happiness even faster. Living and working in states where people are the happiest can have a major positive impact on your overall quality of life. Generally speaking, mid-sized towns beat out big booming cities for the happiest areas in each state.

Whatever specific job qualities it is you’re searching for, balance is essential in all of the top jobs that are linked to improved employee happiness. If you’re looking for the key to happiness, finding a job with a positive work-life balance is the first step to achieving authentic happiness.

While on the job search, always remember the end goal: to land your dream job and lead a happy life.

Final Thoughts

Say goodbye to the days of being unhappy at work and, instead, hit the job market to find a career path that improves your overall happiness and wellbeing. There are plenty of jobs in a variety of professional industries that can help you live a happy life without sacrificing a fulfilling occupation.

Using the tips outlined in this article and applying to the top-paying jobs, entry-level positions, or work-from-home roles proven to have the highest levels of employee happiness will help you find your dream job and leave you feeling happier at the end of your workday.

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Author

Elsie Boskamp

Elsie is an experienced writer, reporter, and content creator. As a leader in her field, Elsie is best known for her work as a Reporter for The Southampton Press, but she can also be credited with contributions to Long Island Pulse Magazine and Hamptons Online. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Stony Brook University and currently resides in Franklin, Tennessee.

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