One of the Happiest Jobs in the United States

Ask five people to define “success” and you are most likely to get five different answers. Some value a big paycheck while others say recognition is what they want. Even others want job flexibility, professional development, or advancement. Though money, fame, or the corner office seem to be the keys to success and happiness, they often are not.

According to the University of Chicago study “Job Satisfaction in the United States”, the ten happiest jobs lack some, if not all, of these ideals. And yet, the majority of people in these careers reported that they were “very happy” with their work. So who are these “very happy” people? Many you would suspect like teachers, firefighters, and actors. But, also included on the list of the happiest jobs are industrial engineers.

What Creates Job Happiness

Although the survey is broad and based on gross numbers, there are several traits that seem to be consistent throughout the list. All allow for interaction with others on a regular basis, need specialized skills, and create a sense of pride for a job well done. These are all characteristics that describe industrial engineering.

Industrial engineering has long been known as the “people person’s” engineering. Industrial engineers work in and out of the office while they interact with the people and processes they want to improve. Like teachers, firefighters, and the clergy, they get to interact with the people they serve. Their unique set of skills allows them to develop more efficient processes and reduce costs, delays, and waste. Industrial engineers see the direct results of their efforts, adding to their job satisfaction.

What are the 10 Happiest Jobs?

Thanks to, the jobs are listed here with the median annual salary for each.

  1. Clergy ($44,102)
  2. Firefighters ($45,553)
  3. Travel Agents ($14.23/hr)
  4. Mechanics and Repairmen ($15.26/hr)
  5. Architects ($54,079)
  6. Special Education Teachers ($42,202)
  7. Actors and Directors (varies greatly)
  8. Scientific Researchers ($72,435)
  9. Industrial Engineers ($61,729)
  10. Airline Pilots and navigators ($63/hr)