Gone are the days of working in one job for your entire career. If you’ve experienced an unfulfilling job, you might be considering choosing a new career path that will guarantee job satisfaction. We’ve put together this guide on the happiest careers to help you in your pursuit of happiness.
The best part is you may not need a degree to get your dream career. Read on to find out the factors that contribute to the happiest careers, some examples of satisfying jobs, and how to find one that suits you.
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What Careers Make People Happy and Why?
Career bliss is more than just a high annual salary. In fact, studies show that income only marginally contributes to job satisfaction. Above a certain income, salary no longer contributes to life satisfaction.
According to a 2019 study by Glassdoor, the work culture, company values, opportunities for career growth, and the quality of senior leadership are the main contributors to job satisfaction. By contrast, work-life balance and compensation were found to be less important in terms of happiness at work.
When looking for a fulfilling career, keep in mind that the key predictors of happiness at work are company culture, your colleagues, and the potential to move up within the company. While aiming for a good annual salary is important, keep in mind it’s not the only factor that will determine your job satisfaction.
Top 10 Happiest Careers You Should Consider in 2022
Some careers may not offer so much in terms of pay but bring high levels of job satisfaction and meaning. The first thing that should be on your mind during a job search is your happiness and welfare. Read on to find out some of the happiest careers to consider in 2022.
- Salary: $117,670
- Job Growth: 45%
- Education Needed: Masters of Science in Nursing, National APRN Certification
Also referred to as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), nursing practitioners, nurse-midwives, or nurse anesthetists are high-paying jobs. Nursing practitioners coordinate patient care and may also provide primary and specialty healthcare. However, the scope of a nursing practitioner’s duties varies from state to state.
Primarily, nursing practitioners supervise and coordinate the activities of other registered nurses. If you’re a nurturing person and are keen to help people, you can derive much meaning and satisfaction from this role, while earning a significant income.
Information Security Analyst
- Salary: $103,590
- Job Growth: 33%
- Education Needed: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or related field
If you love computers and solving problems, then opt for a career as an information analyst. Information analysts provide organizations with solutions to prevent any cyber attack. These professionals are heavily involved in creating disaster recovery plans for their organizations.
A career as an information security analyst exposes you to the tech world. Aside from the amazing salary, IT security analysts are allowed to work remotely. For more on how to become an information analyst read this guide.
- Salary: $73,560
- Job Growth: 7%
- Education Needed: Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting
With a job outlook of 7 percent as projected by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you can rest assured that you will have plenty of employment opportunities if you choose to become an accountant.
Primarily, accountants prepare and examine financial records and point out possible areas of opportunities and risk. They have to make sure that the financial records of their organization are accurate.
If you have a flair for numbers and superb attention to detail, becoming an accountant could be for you. With excellent job security and areas for career specialization and growth, you’re sure to find satisfaction in this job. Above all, as an accountant, you’ll have time for other things in life.
Human Resources Manager
- Salary: $121,220
- Job Growth: 9%
- Education Needed: Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources
Human resources managers are involved in creating and nurturing the company culture and play a critical part in recruitment and firing decisions. As a human resources manager, your job primarily entails directing the recruitment and training of company employees.
If you have excellent interpersonal skills and love working with different people, you could be highly fulfilled in this role. You would have the opportunity to positively influence the company, creating a meaningful experience for you and your colleagues. As the job requires constantly interacting with people, you will have a strong sense of belonging to a community.
- Salary: $110,140
- Job Growth: 22%
- Education Needed: Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, or related field
With tech becoming central to the operations of most companies, the services of software engineers are in high demand. Software engineers are responsible for developing and implementing plans to create computer applications.
If you’re great with computers and enjoy building something from scratch, this job could be for you. In addition to high salaries, software engineers often have a flexible work schedule. Working as a software engineer could also provide a lot of travel and remote work opportunities.
- Salary: $141,490
- Job Growth: 10%
- Education Needed: Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing or related field
As a marketing manager, your job entails promoting your company’s products or services to its target audience. The job involves a lot of creativity and opportunities for career growth as consumer trends in this industry are constantly evolving.
The fun part is that you meet a lot of people. Marketing consultants for international-based organizations also get to travel often. The opportunities for growth and the sense of accomplishment when marketing campaigns are successful make this one of the happiest careers.
- Salary: $83,660
- Job Growth: 6%
- Education Needed: Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management, Economics, Mathematics, or Statistics
As a financial advisor, your job is to help businesses and individuals make decisions regarding how to manage their finances and invest. Top financial advisors pay close attention to economic stats, business research, and the news.
Interestingly, top financial advisors earn up to six figures. Modern financial advisors often don’t have to set up a physical meeting with their clients. A video call can pass the same message. Meanwhile, like some careers highlighted here, financial advisors can work remotely.
- Salary: $74,650
- Job Growth: 12%
- Education Needed: Bachelor’s Degree in English
Technical writers are responsible for writing journals, manuals, and how-to guides. As a technical writer, your responsibility is to simplify complex and technical information. Technical writers don’t need an office to do their job. What’s more, technical writing is an amazing remote career that allows you to set your work hours.
High School Teacher
- Salary: $62,870
- Job Growth: 8%
- Education Needed: Bachelor’s Degree in Education, Mathematics, or Science
High school teachers cover core subjects like math, English, biology, and geography and are responsible for preparing students for life after graduation. If you love the idea of having a positive impact on the next generation, you could derive an incredible sense of meaning from becoming a high school teacher.
If you have a positive attitude, love imparting knowledge, and want to help students develop critical thinking skills, then a high school teaching career could be for you. Also, high school teachers have a lot of time off work during the summer holidays and enjoy a decent salary.
- Salary: $126,930
- Job Growth: 9%
- Education Needed: Bachelor’s Degree in Law
A lawyer, also referred to as an attorney or legal practitioner, offers legal advice to clients and advocates on their behalf. Lawyers also represent their clients in criminal and civil trials. Although it takes a lot of work to become a lawyer, the rewards in terms of a sense of purpose make it worth it. The annual salary of a lawyer is rewarding and they are highly respected members of society.
10 Happiest Careers That Don’t Require a Degree
No degree, no problem. The idea that you must have a bachelor’s degree to earn huge sums or be happy with a job is outdated. Even without a bachelor’s degree, you can find a happy career to switch to. The only difference is that most jobs that don’t require degrees are skill-based.
The good news is that you can often acquire the skills you need for these careers within a few months through online courses or bootcamps. Check out these happiest careers that don’t require a degree below.
"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"
Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot
- Salary: $89,190
- Job Growth: -10%
Computer programmers write and test code to build applications and ensure software programs function properly. In the past, computer programmers needed a degree to work but that’s no longer the case. These days, you can learn programming languages from the top coding bootcamps.
In less than one year, you can complete your bootcamp and become a computer programmer. Despite the estimated job decline, more than 9,700 jobs for computer programmers will be available yearly from 2020 to 2030 according to BLS.
- Salary: 21.88 per hour
- Job Growth: 32%
Acting is the art of expressing ideas and portraying characters in plays, films, and television. Your role as an actor is to interpret the writer’s script to entertain and inform the audience. Acting made this list because actors have the potential to grow to a peak in a couple of years if they know their trade. If you love performing and can accurately mimic someone’s character, acting can be one of the happiest careers. In addition, the job growth is very high.
- Salary: $75,810
- Job Growth: 0%
Fashion designers create original clothing and accessories for their clients. Most fashion designers sketch designs and choose fabric and patterns for their clothing. They can also create costumes. Many fashion designers are self-employed which means they get to choose their work schedule. If their work gets noticed by celebrities, they can earn six figures for their designs.
- Salary: $52,500
- Job Growth: 8%
Responding to fire emergencies is the primary duty of a firefighter. Sometimes, firefighters are engaged in other emergencies when the need arises. Unknown to most people, you don’t necessarily need a bachelor’s degree to become a firefighter in most states in the US. You can start as a volunteer firefighter and gradually learn the ropes. Firefighters go through a physical fitness examination and have to pass a written test.
- Salary: $59,050
- Job Growth: 30%
Cabin crews, also known as flight attendants, provide services to airline passengers to make sure they are well catered for. They are also responsible for demonstrating emergency procedures before every flight. If you want to travel the world while getting paid, then becoming a cabin crew could be your dream job. Cabin crew members often get huge tips from the passengers.
- Salary: $35,850
- Job Growth: 18%
The role of a medical assistant may vary in different states. Their main responsibility is to complete clinical tasks and administrative functions like recording patient information, measuring vital signs, and scheduling appointments.
Surprisingly, you don’t need a bachelor’s degree to become a medical assistant. However, in some states, you may need to complete a medical assistant program, which usually lasts one year. This career will be suitable if you have a passion for healthcare but are not interested in becoming a physician or a licensed nurse.
Manicurist and Pedicurist
- Salary: $27,870
- Job Growth: 33%
Manicurists and pedicurists specialize in cleaning, shaping, and beautifying fingernails and toes. Removing nail polish and buffing nails is part of the job. Manicurists and pedicurists may also offer advice about how to moisturize hands and toes. No degree is required to be a manicurist or pedicurist, but you may need to take a test to get your license.
Interpreter and Translator
- Salary: $52,330
- Job Growth: 24%
The responsibility of interpreters and translators is to convert information from one language to another. As an interpreter, your job will entail using spoken or sign language. Translators, on the other hand, do their job in writing.
This career doesn’t necessarily require a bachelor’s degree. The basic requirement to work as an interpreter or translator is fluency in two or more languages. You can also work remotely as an interpreter or translator for big companies as a customer support agent.
Food Service Manager
- Salary: $56,590
- Job Growth: 15%
A food service manager oversees the daily operations of a restaurant or any other establishment that serves food and beverages. Most food service managers start off as waiters or some other role that gives them exposure to catering.
This career will suit someone who loves cooking and catering. If you ever decide to open your own restaurant or become an executive chef, starting up as a food service manager is not a bad idea.
- Salary: $53,380
- Job Growth: 3%
Graphic designers create visual concepts and designs using software programs like CorelDRAW and Adobe Photoshop. A graphic designer may work on handbills, brochures, and magazine ads. To become a graphic designer, you can take a graphic design course or enroll in a reputable bootcamp.
How to Find a Happy Career
Finding the happiest careers requires some effort. Remember that what works for a friend may not be suitable for you. To help you find a career that’s right for you, follow the tips we have listed below:
The key to finding the right career is knowing yourself. Before you settle on a job, ask yourself what you want to achieve in the next few years and where your interests lie. You should also ask yourself if the career you have in mind will provide what you need in terms of salary and work-life balance.
If you have a hobby that you really enjoy, do some research to find out if you can make a career out of it. If your hobby becomes your job, you are guaranteed to enjoy your career and be highly satisfied.
A career that allows employees a flexible work schedule is always better. At some point in your life, raising a family may become a priority. If you are too busy at work, you may not have time to spend with your family. People who are happy in their careers always have time for family.
When choosing a career, do some research to find out if that job will still be around in the future. Technological advances such as automation are making many careers obsolete and this is something that should factor in your decision. Choose careers that will last you a lifetime.
Why Finding a Happy Career Is Important?
Working at a job that makes you happy is good for your mental health and your overall wellbeing. When deciding what career to pursue, take your time to evaluate your needs and goals. After all, this is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. If you are short on ideas, make sure to consider some of the jobs listed in this article.
Happiest Careers FAQ
A fun job is a career that makes you happy as well as provides for your basic needs. Also, other factors that make a job fun are a flexible schedule and travel opportunities. For most people, a job is fun if they derive joy from doing it.
The happiest jobs that pay well include software engineers, high school teachers, nurses, medical assistants, and graphic designers. Most of these jobs pay an annual salary of more than $50,000.
Jobs that are suitable for introverts require less social interaction. The best jobs for introverts are technical writing, software engineering, and computer programming. These jobs can be done remotely without having to meet with too many people in person.
Proper self-assessment will help you choose a new career path. Talking to a professional recruiter will be helpful too. Focus on a career path that you have some experience in.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.