You could have a well-paid job, but other factors, like the work itself and the stress, could make it unsatisfying. What makes a job satisfying? Which careers offer the highest levels of satisfaction?
What Can Impact Your Satisfaction in a Career?
Keeping in mind that what’s satisfying to you now may not be the case 10 years from now is important. As your job and work environment change, so do your personal wants and needs. When you have children, a career with a tougher work-life balance may no longer be the best option for you.
In spite of that, some careers do tend to have a higher satisfaction rate than average. Here are just a few factors to consider:
1. Passion for the Position
An individual must first consider their passion for the job and the industry in general. Statisticians are considered to be one of the most satisfying careers, but if you hate math, it won’t be for you. There is no doubt that passion, abilities, and interests play a role in satisfaction rates.
2. Low Stress
Our mental and physical health can be seriously affected by stress. A workplace that is too stressful can lead to anxiety, depression, and burnout – and, in some cases, substance abuse. Before they reach burnout, many people don’t even realize how it’s affecting them.
Every job will have stressful moments, but jobs with lower stress levels or resources for high workload periods tend to be more satisfying.
3. Meaningful Work
Whether or not a job is satisfying depends on your passions and interests. Meaning can vary from person to person. Despite this, healthcare professions tend to be higher on the list due to their social impact!
4. Positive Working Environment
Career satisfaction could very well be sucked out by a negative work environment. Depending on the industry and the institution, work environments may differ, and positive work environments are, of course, satisfying places to work. In contrast, negative workplaces can lead to unnecessary stress, extra workloads, and other problems.
5. Work-Life Balance
Regardless of where you are in life, you should have a job that considers your life. Employees who work nearly every waking hour tend to be less satisfied in their careers. Likewise, work-life balance needs can change over time.
6. Good Pay
While pay doesn’t make or break a job, it does play an important role in job satisfaction. The most meaningful job in the world, one you’re passionate about, might not satisfy you if you’re paid peanuts – barely enough to live on.
7. Room for Career Growth
It is also important for workers to have career opportunities beyond the entry level. Companies or organizations that offer upward mobility tend to have happier and more satisfied employees than those without it. Employers can even go a step further and provide their employees with a plan. To get this promotion, you must meet a set of criteria in a set period of time.
What are the Careers with the Highest Satisfaction?
After learning what makes a job “satisfying,” let’s examine some of the careers that are highly rated:
1. Physician Assistant
Unlike doctors, physician assistants provide healthcare services under the supervision of physicians. In most cases, they can perform the same duties as licensed doctors, including physicals, counseling, and prescribing medication.
Physiatrist assistants tend to be satisfied with their position since it allows them to attend school for less time, earn a good income, and do meaningful work.
- Salary median: $121,530
- Growth forecast (2018-2028): 31%
- A Master’s Degree is required
- Physician assistant is a popular major
The role of statisticians is to collect, interpret, organize, and report data. In order to help others make decisions, they’ll present the information given to them to businesses, organizations, agencies, and other entities. Statisticians can work in a wide range of fields, solve real-life problems, and follow their passions.
- $95,570 is the median salary
- Growth (2018-2028): 30%
- Most have a bachelor’s or master’s degree
- Mathematics and statistics are popular majors
3. Software Developer
Developers work on applications that help individuals, companies, and other organizations with problems or needs. Freelancers or teams can work together. The work you’re doing will impact someone’s life and/or career, so it can be a very satisfying career.
- The median salary is $120,730
- Growth (2018-2028): 25%
- An undergraduate degree or certification is required
- Computer science is a popular major
There is no doubt that everyone knows what a firefighter does! They can also provide emergency medical assistance, hazardous material response, disaster assistance, and more. You can see the direct impact your work can have on the community and individuals through this field, which is highly rewarding and satisfying.
- Salary: $50,700 on average
- Growth (2018-2028): 5%
- Education Level: The level of education required varies by location. Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees are required in some areas, but not in others.
- Fire Science is a popular major
Anesthesiologists ensure that anesthetics are handled and administered properly to patients. Additionally, they can help manage pain before, during, and after surgery. Their work directly impacts the well-being of individuals.
- Salary median: $408,000
- Growth (2018-2028): 4%
- A doctorate is required
- Pharmacy is a popular major
6. Information Systems Manager
IT professionals’ experience can vary greatly depending on the organization they work for. If you find the right field and employer, working as an information systems manager can be highly satisfying. Managers, IT specialists, and computer programmers are responsible for managing their teams.
- $159,010 is the median salary
- Growth expected from 2018 to 2028: 11%
- It is recommended that you have a bachelor’s degree
- Computer Science, Computer and Information Sciences are popular majors
7. Mechanical Engineer
For organizations and agencies, mechanical engineers install, maintain, and design equipment. Problem-solving is a common activity in this field, which can be both engaging and satisfying. Additionally, you can work in a variety of fields.
- The median salary is $95,300
- Growth (2018-2028): 4%
- Education: Bachelor’s degree
- Majors in Mechanical Engineering are popular
8. Speech and Language Pathologist
A speech and language pathologist assists others with language, voice, fluency, and other speech disorders. They may work with stroke victims, people with head injuries, or people with other ailments, or they may work with children. They can share in the milestones and successes achieved by their patients as a direct result of their work.
- The median salary is $79,060
- Growth (2018-2028): 27 %
- Education: Master’s degree
- Majors in Speech-Language Pathology are popular
There are hundreds of other rewarding and satisfying jobs out there! Don’t just look at the pay when choosing a career. Consider your interests, research the career, and consider your strengths and weaknesses. Your career satisfaction will be higher if you do this!
Are you unsure of your major? Can’t find a career field that interests you but will also be satisfying? What is the satisfaction rate of your dream job? Find out what you need to know using our Major Search tool and Career Finder! The overview includes career options, median salaries, projected job growth, and expectations.