Job satisfaction is critical to employers and workers. Employers receive better performance from satisfied employees. Satisfied workers are happier, less stressed and likely to remain on the job. In his 1988 "Journal of Business and Psychology" publication "How job dissatisfaction leads to employee turnover," Thomas W. Lee points out that employees unhappy in their job follow a sequential thinking pattern that ultimately leads them to quit. Certain careers typically offer greater job satisfaction for workers.
Not surprisingly, Amelia Gray starts her MSN Careers "Top 10 careers for happy workers" with clergy. Gray cites a 2007 University of Chicago report in stating that about 87 per cent of cross-denominational clergy report being happy with their job. Clergy perform work related to what they believe is a higher calling, or purpose in life. Their genuine pursuit of this purpose and the performance of their work on a daily basis drives high intrinsic rewards.
Andrew Strieber of Career Cast, along with Gray, rank physical therapists as the second most satisfied workers. In his article "Whistling while you work: The 10 most satisfying careers you can find," Strieber points out that physical therapists assist others with treatment to improve function with injury or disease. The helpful nature of the work, moderate stress, a reasonable work week (37.5 hours per week), and decent pay -- £21,338 to £27,901 yearly salary -- contribute to the satisfaction of a career in physiotherapy.
Gray and Strieber also agree that teachers are among the most satisfied workers. Gray notes the University of Chicago study showed 69 per cent of teachers expressed job satisfaction. Teaching pay is modest with an average of just more than £34,450 per year. However, teachers are often considered some of the most influential people in the development of young people, outside of parents. Teachers that enter the profession with the goal of impacting lives often feel satisfied if they achieve success in doing so.
Despite operating in what many would consider a high-stress environment, psychologists are included on both Gray and Strieber's satisfying job lists. The University of Chicago study showed a 67 per cent satisfaction rate for psychologists. Psychologists work as clinicians, counsellors and in schools and help patients with mental health conditions achieve rehabilitation through counselling and medicine. Average income is more than £32,000, but licensed psychologists must earn a doctoral degree to practice, according to Gray.