People looking for jobs that bring satisfaction and happiness should concentrate on professions that focus primarily on serving other people, according to a new report from the University of Chicago, which found clergy to be the happiest and most satisfied of American workers.

Researcher Tom W. Smith says, “The most satisfying jobs are mostly professions, especially those involving caring for, teaching, and protecting others and creative pursuits.”

Smith directed the General Social Survey (GSS), which asked people how satisfied they were with their jobs. The interviewers also asked them about their general level of happiness and Smith correlated those general happiness findings with the jobs people held, because people’s feelings about their work usually have a significant impact on their happiness.

Across all occupations, on average, 47% of people said they were very satisfied with their jobs and 33% said they were very happy. The top three jobs for satisfaction were clergy (87% reporting being very satisfied), firefighters (80%) and physical therapists (78%). Other top jobs, in which more than 60% of the respondents said they were very satisfied, were education administrators, painters and sculptors, teachers, authors, psychologists, special education teachers, operating engineers, office supervisors and security and financial services salespersons. Smith says, “The least satisfying dozen jobs are mostly low-skill, manual and service occupations, especially involving customer service and food/beverage preparation and serving.” The least satisfying jobs were held by roofers, with only 25% of them saying they found their job satisfying.

What makes us happiest is learning about some important?and hidden? secrets.

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