The 10 Happiest Jobs In America

Happiest recently surveyed 200,000 independent employees from 70,000 jobs all over the country to determine which ranked the highest in nine key areas that affect employee happiness: the employee's relationship with their boss and co-workers, their work environment, job resources, compensation, growth opportunities, company culture, company reputation, daily tasks and the amount of control the employee has over the work that they do. The results may surprise you.

For one thing, employee happiness is not dependent on how much they make, but rather the quality of their relationships and the amount of control they have. According to Heidi Golledge, CEO of CareerBliss, although "salary is always an important component of every job ...the research shows that money is not enough to keep good employees happy. From the employer's perspective, realizing salary is not one of the key drivers of workplace happiness can help employers focus on the areas which will drive job satisfaction to create a happier environment for all." These key drivers break down into three main criteria:

  1. The specific tasks their job entails on a day-to-day basis
  2. How much control they have over his or her daily tasks
  3. Their relationships with co-workers and customers, including supervisors and colleagues

Based on these criteria, here are the top 10 happiest careers in the country:

10. Legal

What They Do: Lawyers may represent a party in criminal and civil trials by presenting evidence and arguing in court to support their client or counsel their clients about their legal rights and obligations and suggest particular courses of action in business and personal matters.

What They Make: Legal Assistants $35,101 | Corporate Attorneys $101,198

Job Outlook: About as fast as the average employment growth is projected, but job competition is expected to be keen. *

9. Health Care

What They Do: The health care industry diagnoses, treats, and administers care around the clock, responding to the needs of millions of people-from newborns to the terminally ill.

What They Make: Certified Nurse Assistants $23,138 | Orthopedic Surgeons $250,142

Job Outlook: Healthcare will generate 3.2 million new wage and salary jobs between 2008 and 2018, more than any other industry, largely in response to rapid growth in the elderly population. *

8. Nonprofit-Social Services

What They Do: Social workers assist people by helping them cope with and solve issues in their everyday lives, such as family and personal problems and dealing with relationships.

What They Make: Case Manager $32,312 | Social Services Director $44,306

Job Outlook: Employment for social workers is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2018. Job prospects are expected to be favorable, particularly for social workers who specialize in the aging population or work in rural areas.*

7. Finance

What They Do: Financial managers oversee the preparation of financial reports, direct investment activities, and implement cash management strategies.

What They Make: Customer Service Representative $31,910 | Chief Investment Officer (CIO) $211,881

Job Outlook: Employment growth for financial managers is expected is to be as fast as the average*

6. Accounting

What They Do: Accountants and auditors help to ensure that firms are run efficiently, public records kept accurately, and taxes paid properly and on time.

What They Make: Accounting Clerk $31,406 | Chief Financial Officer (CFO) $130,143

Job Outlook: Accountants and auditors are expected to experience much faster than average employment growth from 2008-18.*

5. Purchasing-Procurement

What They Do: Procurement clerks compile requests for materials, prepare purchase orders, keep track of purchases and supplies, and handle inquiries about orders.

What They Make: Purchasing Assistant $31,924 | Purchasing Manager $64,978

Job Outlook: Employment is expected to grow more slowly than the average.*

4. Admin-Clerical

What They Do: Administrative assistants perform and coordinate an office's administrative activities and storing, retrieving, and integrating information for dissemination to staff and clients.

What They Make: Clerical Assistant $25,823| Office Manager $36,859

Job Outlook: Employment is projected to grow about as fast as the average. *

3. Education

What They Do: The educational services industry includes a variety of institutions that offer academic education, career and technical instruction, and other education and training to millions of students each year.

What They Make: Elementary School Teacher $40,697| Professor, Postsecondary $82,093

Job Outlook: Greater numbers of children and adults enrolled in all types of schools will generate employment growth in this industry. A large number of retirements will add additional job openings and create good job prospects for many of those seeking work in educational services.*

2. Customer Service

What They Do: Customer service representatives provide a valuable link between customers and the companies who produce the products they buy and the services they use.

What They Make: Customer Service Representative (CSR) $29,151
| Customer Service Manager $46,652

Job Outlook: Customer service representatives are expected to experience faster than average growth. Furthermore, job prospects should be good as many workers who leave this very large occupation will need to be replaced.*

1. Biotechnology

According to Careerbliss, Biotech is the happiest job in America. "In biotech, the people that they work with, and more specifically the person that they work for, tends to rank higher in terms of importance, and employees are overwhelmingly happy with those conditions," says Golledge.

What They Do: Biological scientists study living organisms and their relationship to the environment.

What They Make: Research Technician $38,843| Research Scientist $14,675

Job Outlook: Employment of biological scientists is expected to increase much faster than the average.*

Next:Top 10 Companies Hiring This Week

* According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
** All salary data courtesy of ( listed in terms of median annual salary)

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