8 Awesome Careers with the Highest Satisfaction

Job satisfaction isn’t all about pay – you could have a high paying job, but other factors, like the work itself and the stress, could make it an unsatisfying position. So what does make for a satisfying job? And what are some careers that have the highest satisfaction?

What Can Impact Your Satisfaction in a Career?

It’s important to remember that what’s satisfying to you now may not be the case 10 years from now, and that’s okay. Jobs and job environments change with time, as do your personal wants and needs. A career with a tougher work-life balance might be okay for you straight out of college, but when you have kids, it may no longer be the best option.

That said, there are a few careers out there that do tend to have higher than average satisfaction rates. These are just a few different aspects that come into play:

1. Passion for the Position

First and foremost, the individual has to consider their passion for the position and the field as a whole. Even though being a statistician is considered one of the most satisfying careers, if you hate math, it’s not going to be satisfying to you. Passion, abilities, and interests definitely plays a role in satisfaction rates.

2. Low Stress

Stress can take a serious toll on our health, both mental and physical. Workplace related stress can lead to anxiety, depression, and burnout – and, for some, substance abuse. Many people don’t even realize how it’s affecting them until they reach the burnout phrase.

Just about every job is going to be stressful at one time or another, but jobs with lower stress levels or resources for those high workload periods tend to be more satisfying.

3. Meaningful Work

Just like your passions and interests, meaningful work plays a role in whether or not a job is satisfying. And what is meaningful for you can vary from the next person. Healthcare professions do tend to be higher on the list though because of their impact on the individual’s community!

4. Positive Working Environment

A negative working environment could very well suck any satisfaction out of a career. Workplace environments can vary from industry to industry as well as institution to institution, and positive environments will, of course, be a satisfying place to work. Negative workplaces on the other hand can bring unneeded stress, extra workloads, and other issues.

5. Work-Life Balance

No matter where you are in life, you should have a job that takes your life into account. Employees who feel forced to work nearly every waking hour do tend to have less satisfaction in their career. As mentioned previously, too, work-life balance needs can change with time.

6. Good Pay

Pay, although it isn’t everything in a job, does have a large impact on job satisfaction. You could have the most meaningful job in the world, one you’re passionate about, but if you’re being paid peanuts – barely enough to live on – it could be difficult to be satisfied!

7. Room for Career Growth

Career opportunities beyond entry level are also important for workers. And those that know there is opportunity for upward movement within a company or organization tend to be happier and more satisfied than those without. Employers can even take it a step further and provide a plan for their employees. This is when they clearly outline what you need to accomplish in a set period of time to get that promotion.

What are the Careers with the Highest Satisfaction?

Now that you know what goes into making a job “satisfying,” let’s take a look at some of the careers that come with the highest satisfaction rates:

1. Physician Assistant

best universities

Flickr user DMA Hawaii Forward Center

Physician assistants are individuals who provide healthcare services similar to a doctor, but under the supervision of a physician. They can usually perform the same roles a licensed doctor can which includes conducting physicals, counseling patients, and, in some cases, prescribing medication.

Physician assistants tend to be satisfied with their position due to the fact that they can go to school for less time, earn a good income, and do meaningful work.

  • Median Salary: $121,530
  • Expected Growth (2018 to 2028): 31%
  • Level of Education: Master’s Degree is required
  • Popular Majors: Physician Assistant

2. Statistician

Statisticians collect, interpret, organize, and report on data. They’ll take the information given to them and present it to businesses, organizations, agencies, and other entities to help others make decisions. This is a particularly rewarding field because statisticians can work in any number of fields, solve real life problems, and follow their passions.

  • Median Salary: $95,570
  • Expected Growth (2018 to 2028): 30%
  • Level of Education: Most have either a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree
  • Popular Majors: Mathematics, Statistics

3. Software Developer

A software developer working at her computerSoftware developers work on applications, both on development and maintenance, that help individuals, companies, and other organizations with problems or needs. They can work as a freelancer or with a team. It can be a highly satisfying career due to the fact it is highly engaging and the work you’re doing will impact someone’s life and/or work.

  • Median Salary: $120,730
  • Expected Growth (2018 to 2028): 25%
  • Level of Education: Bachelor’s Degree or certifications
  • Popular Majors: Computer Science

4. Firefighter

Working a government or nonprofit job, like a firefighter, is one way to qualify for student loan forgiveness

Flickr user clarkmaxwell

Everyone knows what a firefighter does! In addition to fire services, they can also offer emergency medical assistance, hazardous material response, disaster assistance, and more. This field can be highly rewarding and satisfying as you see the direct impact your work can have on the community and individual people.

  • Median Salary: $50,700
  • Expected Growth (2018 to 2028): 5%
  • Level of Education: The required level of education depends on the locale. Some areas require an Associate’s or Bachelor’s, while others don’t.
  • Popular Majors: Fire Science 

5. Anesthesiologist

Anesthesiologists work with patients to ensure anesthetics are properly handled and administered. They can also assist with pain management before, during, and after surgery. Individuals in this field can see the direct impact they’re having on individuals and their well-being.

  • Median Salary: $408,000
  • Expected Growth (2018 to 2028): 4%
  • Level of Education: A Doctorate is required
  • Popular Majors: Pharmacy

 6. Information Systems Manager

Education is closely tied with technology now.

Flickr user Ester Vargas

The experience for those in IT can vary quite a bit depending on the organization they work for. However, working as an information systems manager can be highly satisfying if you find the right field and employer. These individuals are responsible for managing their teams, solving IT problems, computer programming, and more.

7. Mechanical Engineer

engineering college majors

Flickr user Juhan Sonin

Mechanical engineers maintain, install, and design equipment for organizations and agencies. Individuals in this field can face a lot of tasks that require problem solving, which can be very engaging as well as satisfying. You can also work in a number of different fields.

  • Median Salary: $95,300
  • Expected Growth (2018 to 2028): 4%
  • Level of Education: Bachelor’s Degree
  • Popular Majors: Mechanical Engineering

8. Speech and Language Pathologist

Speech and language pathologists assist others with language, voice, fluency, and other speech disorders. They can work with adults who have suffered strokes, head injuries, or other ailments, or may work with developing children. Speech and language pathologists see the direct impact their work has on their patients and can share in those milestones and successes.

  • Median Salary: $79,060
  • Expected Growth (2018 to 2028): 27%
  • Level of Education: Master’s Degree
  • Popular Majors: Speech-Language Pathology

These are only some of the most rewarding and satisfying jobs out there; there are hundreds more! When deciding whether or not a career is right for you, look beyond the pay. Think about your interests, look up what others are saying about the career, and keep your strengths and weaknesses in mind. This will help you find careers with highest satisfaction for you!

Not sure what you’d like to major in? Or can’t think of a career field that interests you but will be satisfying at the same time? Want to know more about your dream job and satisfaction rates? Our Major Search tool and Career Finder can help you gather the information you need! They outline career options, median salaries, projected job growth, expectations, and more.