Happy, Healthy Jobs: Occupations that Boost Well-Being

Aug 1, 2013

From coast to coast, millions of Americans are spending their lives commuting to jobs that fail to satisfy them personally or professionally, working for companies that do not provide them with adequate job security or satisfactory compensation. On the bright side, the majority of them are not forced to work under conditions that put their lives, limbs, or any other cherished body parts in danger. They also tend to have positive relationships with their co-workers, although it’s unclear whether that’s the result of common objectives or a common foe.

However, some career fields produce happy, engaged employees who love their jobs, rather than loathe them. Studies have indicated which occupation types allow workers to utilize their strengths and develop productive partnerships with their supervisors, as well as those that have the lowest rates of obesity and smoking, increasing their overall health. These occupation types foster positive work environments, resulting in greater employee well-being and a favorable work-life balance. It might sound too good to be true, but the numbers (and verifiable sources) can back it up.

On the flip side, companies can reap a number of benefits from a happy and engaged workforce, including greater productivity and increased sales. Satisfied workers are generally more committed to their companies, resulting in reduced burnout and turnover, which is a win-win for both employers and employees.  Examining which occupation types produce the greatest well-being can help prospective students decide on a career path that could ultimately lead to job satisfaction. In an ideal world, each American worker’s biggest complaint should stem from the morning commute, rather than the destination.


U.S. Workers Least Happy With Their Work Stress and Pay,” Gallup Poll, November 2012

For a complete list of sources, please view the infographic.

Happy, Healthy Jobs: Occupations that Boost Well-Being

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