Using recent data from job site CareerBliss, which calculated factors such as workplace culture, management, environment and rewards to determine a happiness score, we round up the happiest and unhappiest jobs in North America and what they pay. [All pay data is in American dollars so people overseas can understand things more easily.]
10. Chief operating officer – ‘bliss rating’ of 3.521
Starting off the countdown to the happiest job is a COO. A high-pressured job, which involves reporting directly to the CEO of a company, can’t be easy, but the six-figure salary probably has something to do with happiness levels. The average COO earns around $150,000 a year.
9. Software quality assurance engineer: 3.527
Software QA engineers are responsible for making sure all software products function as well as they can. And with that comes a pretty nice salary too. Software QA engineers earn an average salary of $65,779 a year.
8. Lead developer: 3.533
Also responsible for the programming of software is a lead developer, who researches new technologies, sets the technical direction of the development team and has the final say on matters. That level of responsibility doesn’t pay so badly either. The average salary for lead developers is $84,296.
7. Engineer: 3.534
The seventh happiest professionals are lead engineers. Why? According to research, engineers enjoy the challenge of finding solutions to difficult problems. They also earn a great salary for doing so. Engineers get an average salary of around $92,538 a year.
6. Chief technology officer: 3.542
In charge of helping companies improve their information systems, the role of a CTO is primarily leadership, but it also requires excellent knowledge of modern IT. These happy folks earn a hefty $121,691 a year.
5. Android developer: 3.552
With a $56,120 salary, Android developers don’t do so badly when it comes to pay day. And as research shows, the people who create apps for android are pretty happy generally too.
4. Senior Java developer: 3.590
A senior Java developer is responsible for creating and testing computer programs using the programming language of Java. Due to its technical nature, senior Java developers earn around $98,814 and, naturally, they’re very happy about it
3. Research assistant: 3.619
Not interested in working in tech? Why not become a research assistant instead? CareerBliss’s survey shows those who work in research really enjoy their job. And it’s not just because of the money either. The average salary for a research assistant is $31,624, which is actually 68% less than the national average for all those working in North America.
2. Full stack developer: 3.660
The final developer on this list (yes, there really are more) is a full stack developer. And what do they do, you ask? They are basically the kings and queens of developers; they have familiarity with all software technology and know-how to work with anything from user experience to issues with the server and network. And with such knowledge comes decent money: professionals in this role have an average salary of $72,856 a year.
1. Recruiter: 3.673 – the happiest job
Contrary to previous evidence, the happiest job in America isn’t in tech, it’s in recruitment. Yes, really. Who would’ve thought it? Recruiters earn an average salary of $56,715.
And what are the unhappiest jobs?
Now let’s count down America’s unhappiest employees…
10. Service technician
Sometimes referred to as motor vehicle mechanics, service technicians inspect, repair and diagnose automotive problems. The average salary for a service technician is $36,000.
9. Machine operator: 2.604
Responsible for preparing machines for operation or running and monitoring machines, there are elements to this job that can clearly be somewhat robotic for some. The average machine operator is paid around $30,000 a year.
8. Sales representatives: 2.587
Earning $41,000, which is 39% less than the national average for all working North Americans, sales representatives may have the gift of the gab, but they don’t necessarily have the gift of a happy career.
7. Guard: 2.554
Protecting people for a living isn’t easy, and it can be very physically grueling. That’s why it’s probably not much of a surprise that professionals in this field are among the unhappiest. The average salary for a security guard stands at $24,000 – 87% less than the average wage of all working North Americans.
6. Maintenance manager: 2.548
Maintenance managers make sure all machinery, industrial equipment and buildings are in good shape. But despite the average $70,000 salary for this role, it is still considered to be the sixth unhappiest job.
5. Driver: 2.505
Long hours on the road and lack of sleep could be a contributing factor to the reason so many drivers are unhappy with their work. Another reason is the amount of paperwork and problems in crossing the border with the United States. The average salary for drivers is $30,000 annually.
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4. Cashier: 2.492
With an average salary of $18,500 a year, cashiers work hard, with hours spanning across evening and weekends, and many don’t get the salary to match.
3. Merchandiser: 2.402
Working in fashion might seem like the dream to most, but it seems not for merchandisers. Professionals working this role are responsible for the presentation of goods in a retail store, working to maximize sales of a product line. The average salary for this role stands at $28,000 – 74% less than the national average.
2. Security officer: 2.359
Security officers (AKA security guards) are responsible for protecting company property from crimes such as vandalism, but there can also be periods where there is barely anything for them to do but watch, which could be one of the reasons happiness levels are so low. Another is the pay; average salaries hover around $26,000 a year, which is 80% less than the average worker.
1. Sales account manager: 2.343 – the unhappiest job
Proving money can’t buy happiness, sales account managers earn on average a not too shabby $56,000 a year, plus commission, yet it is the unhappiest job to work in, according to the CareerBliss data.