Dreading Tuesday? Switch to a Satisfying Career


If you hate your job, consider switching to a career known for satisfaction.

By Chris Kyle   

With Labor Day just around the corner, many may spend their day off celebrating a break from a much hated position.

And they're not alone. According to a 2011 report by the Conference Board, 55 percent of Americans are unsatisfied with their work. That's the highest level ever recorded by the research group in more than 22 years.

So how can one pursue career happiness? According to a 2011 study by CareerBliss.com, your daily tasks, a sense of accomplishment, and office relationships are the three most important causes of career happiness.

Join us as we explore five careers linked to happiness...

Career #1 - Administrative Assistant

Think you have to be at the top of the ladder to find happiness? Think again. Administrative assistants, not their bosses, are one of CareerBliss's most happy professions.

In fact, feeling good about their daily tasks and the people they work with are two key reasons that administrative assistants have career happiness, says CareerBliss.

General responsibilities: As an administrative assistant, you might set-up meetings, organize files, manage projects, and conduct research.

Education: If you're interested in pursuing this happy career, the U.S. Department of Labor notes employers seek candidates with a college degree. Certificates and associate's degrees in office administration are often available at vocational schools and community colleges.

Average Annual Salary: $32,000*

Find an Administrative Support Program Now

Career #2 - Paralegal

Looking to find job satisfaction in the legal industry? You may want to target a career as a paralegal - not a lawyer.

In its rankings of the best and worst jobs of 2011, CareerCast.com ranked paralegal 13th and lawyer 82nd overall. According to the study, paralegals enjoy low stress and a good working environment.

General responsibilities: Paralegals often help lawyers prepare for trials, investigate facts of cases, and organize and track files, among other things.

Education: Most paralegals have an associate's degree in paralegal studies, or a bachelor's degree in another field and a certificate in paralegal studies, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Average Annual Salary: $49,640*

Find a Paralegal Program Now

Career #3 - Accountant

While money may not be able to buy happiness, it's possible that accounting can.

Accounting finished sixth in CareerBliss's ten most happy professions of 2011. In a career where numbers do matter, it certainly can't hurt that employment opportunities for accountants are expected to rise 22 percent between 2008 and 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

General responsibilities: This all-about-numbers career helps companies and individuals keep public records accurate and pay taxes properly and on time. They also do budget analysis and financial and investment planning.

Education: Most accounting positions require a bachelor's degree in accounting or a related field like business administration or finance, according to the Department of Labor.

Average Annual Salary: $68,960*

Find an Accounting Program Now

Career # 4 - Hospital Administrator

Hospital administrator made CNN Money/PayScale.com's 2010 list of "Best Jobs in America" largely because it's among the top ten most satisfying careers in America.

In fact, 87.5 percent of hospital administrators say their job is satisfying, according to their survey, and nearly 57 percent say their career makes the world a better place.

General responsibilities: Hospital administrators play a large part in the inner-workings of a hospital, often organizing, directing, and coordinating medical and health services, according to the Princeton Review.

Education: A master's of business administration (MBA) is the standard credential for health care administrators, who are sometimes called medical services managers, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In some cases, a bachelor's degree in health care management or business administration is enough to get started, the Department adds.

Average Annual Salary: $93,670*

Find a Health Care Administration Program Now

Career #5 - Financial Manager

Much has been said about the idea that money can't buy happiness - but having money doesn't exactly hurt either. Along those lines, financial managers typically made six figures in 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

And when it comes to job satisfaction, office relationships are key, according to CareerBliss, which ranked finance as one of its ten most happy professions.

General responsibilities: Financial managers usually work on a team, acting as business advisors to top management, according to the Department of Labor.

Education: Most financial managers need a bachelor's degree in an area like finance, and many have an MBA, according to the Department of Labor.

Average Annual Salary: $116,970*

Find a MBA Program Now

*All average salary info is from the U.S. Department of Labor, May 2010 statistics.

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