Forget what Money Magazine and Salary.com have to say about software engineers and college professors - the Wall Street Journal's CareerJournal.com reports that the best careers in America are 1) curriculum and instructional coordinators, 2) high school special ed teachers, and 3) hospital and clinic managers. Their list is based on a survey of some of the happiest workers in America.
CareerJournal hired Harris Interactive to administer an online survey of full time adult workers to find out who's satisfied with their jobs and what qualities describe their jobs. Among the people most satisfied with their jobs the top four qualities were
- Good intellectual stimulation;
- Strong job security;
- High level of control and freedom in what to do; and
- Extensive direct contact with customers/clients.
Then they looked at the Department of Labor's Occupational Information Network (O*NET) to identify jobs that utilize those four qualities a great deal. Rounding out the CareerJournal top eight based on those factors are
- Management consultants and analysts
- Medical researchers
- Physical therapists
- Sales, marketing and advertising managers
- Social workers, counselors and related managers
Worth noting on this survey is that a striking 44% of respondents reported they were "totally satisfied" or "very satisfied" with their current jobs. This compares to 14% of Americans who reported they were "very satisfied" with their jobs on a Conference Board survey last year.
Did CareerJournal's online survey generate an unrepresentative sample of happy people? Are people who choose to take online surveys particularly compliant? I'd be interested to see a survey - and not the online sort - of people who work in these eight jobs to find out just how satisfied they really are.