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Employee Job Satisfaction Statistics


Are you satisfied with your job?  Do you ever wonder who is?  According to employee job satisfaction statistics reported on, those in the clergy, firefighters and other folks in helping professions are the most satisfied. These were the results of national job satisfaction studies conducted by the General Social Survey (GSS) at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.

This report of employee job satisfaction statistics was based on interviews with 27,000 Americans. In the study, researchers asked about job satisfaction and general happiness. According to Tom Smith, director of the GSS, “Work occupies a large part of each worker’s day, is one’s main source of social standing, helps to define who a person is and affects one’s health both physically and mentally.”

Does your salary reflect your happiness?  Find out with our full salary survey.

Rated Top 10 in Job Satisfaction

According to the report, 47 percent of those questioned by the General Social Survey said that they were "satisfied" with their careers. Here are the 10 most gratifying jobs and the percentage of those who said they were very satisfied:

Do You Know What You're Worth?

This is not a list of which job you should pursue to be satisfied. There is a lot of self-selection in these ratings; these jobs are only satisfying to very particular personality types.

For example, most people would find the solitude, rejection, and poverty of being an author depressing. The vast majority of books don’t make significant money for their authors. My grandfather was an author of dozens of books, but he made more money in real estate than he ever did as an author.

I also wonder about the high satisfaction rating of psychologists. Given that the job is to make other people satisfied with their lives, I doubt psychologists could afford the marketing hit if they admitted to being dissatisfied themselves. 🙂

Job Field Happiness Survey

Other jobs in which 50 percent reported "high satisfaction" included: police and detectives, registered nurses, accountants, editors and reporters. Apparently, the perceived prestige (as opposed to actual salary) of a profession had an effect on job satisfaction and general happiness.

Top Ten Worst Jobs in the USA?

However, not all prestigious professions included high job satisfaction; these would include doctors and lawyers. The report suggested that the high stress and responsibility brought down the smiley quotient. 🙁

These are not the only folks who are not happy; here are the ten least gratifying jobs, with the lowest percentages of satisfaction:

Looking at the typical pay of this list vs. the most satisfying jobs, the pay of these jobs is much lower. While doctors and lawyers may whine, for the rest of us, it is all about the money 🙂

Are you satisfied with your salary? Could you be happier? The PayScale Salary Calculator is a quick and easy way to compare positions. When you want powerful salary data and comparisons customized for your exact position, be sure to build a complete profile by taking PayScale’s full salary survey.


Dr. Al Lee

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