Careers That Could Make You Happy


Find out which careers have high average earning potential.

By Chris Kyle

Would a career with high average earning potential make you happy?

Two Princeton professors believe it would.

A recent study from Princeton economist Angus Deaton and psychologist Daniel Kahneman found that a person's day-to-day happiness rises, along with their income, until hitting the $75,000 threshold.

But beyond that level, people's day-to-day emotional state showed no noticeable improvement, according to the study.

Want to know what careers have an average earning potential close to or above this magic number?

Keep reading to learn more!

Career #1 - Portfolio Manager

Think excitement and happiness can't be found at work? Think again. Portfolio managers manage other peoples' money by allocating funds and choosing and monitoring investments. Because of ever-changing market conditions, this career often involves making split-second financial decisions…sounds pretty exciting to us.

Education Options: A degree in economics or finance is common for portfolio managers. Some also have an MBA.

Average Income: $72,200*

[Search for online and local Business schools now!]

Career #2 - Systems Analyst

Systems analysts use computers and other IT tools to help their companies succeed. They recommend what kinds of computers to buy, and they also work to make sure existing ones function well together.

Education Options: If this type of career interests you,studying a technology-related topic in school could be helpful. Systems analysts often have a bachelor's degree according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Average Income: $75,700*

[Search for IT degree programs]

Career #3 - Nursing Home Director

Nursing home directors handle day-to-day operations that involve personnel decisions, finances, and admissions, while also providing care to residents. Friendly, detail-oriented professionals who enjoy caring for others can potentially thrive in this profession.

Education Options: If you want to work towards a nursing home director position, studying health care administration is a great start..

Average Income: $71,000*

[Find a Health Care or Business degree program now]

Career #4 - Management Consultant

Management consultants find ways to improve a company's performance and increase profits. They can work independently or for large consulting companies that operate globally. Analyzing data is a common responsibility of this career, as are presentation skills.

Education Options: An undergraduate degree in business administration, along with an MBA, is common, but sometimes work experience can trump a graduate degree. Specialized degrees in IT or health care could help, depending on the industry you are targeting.

Average Income: $75,100*

[Find Business programs now]

Career #5 - Actuary

Actuaries assess risk on behalf of insurance companies and businesses by analyzing reams of data. While a background in mathematics is important, the position could be more creative than you might think, since actuaries are constantly proposing creative solutions to minimize risk.

Education Options: Finance, business administration, and mathematics are all great subjects to study in school.

Average Income: $76,900*

[Search for Business and Finance degree programs now]

*All average info comes from PayScale using data gathered in September 2010.

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