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DATA STUDY – The Happiest Jobs in America

When you picture the most cheerful jobs, you might not necessarily think that roles such as a law enforcement officer, carpenter or even an electrician would score highly. But, as it just so happens, it turns out that these are some of the best jobs in the country…and the happiest!

Here at Overnight Jobs, we have compiled a dataset to work out which Americans are the most happy in the jobs that they are doing. Below, you will find a list of both the top 5 happiest jobs in America (at the time of writing, that is), as well as a breakdown of the most unhappiest jobs in America right now, too. In order to create this comprehensive index, we have made sure to only take data from reputable sources. 

In order to ensure that you have a clear idea of what the happiest jobs in America are, the data we have carefully compiled covers all areas of interest, including average salaries, work-life balance, hours worked per week and much more. Let’s dive right in!

The Top 5 Happiest Jobs in America

1. Marketing Specialist – Index Score 1.00 (total score 4.61)

At the time of writing this, the happiest job in America is currently a Marketing Specialist. Besides scoring an impressive Index Score of 1.00 and an overall of 4.61 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those who work within the Marketing field as a specialist can expect to earn an average salary of $67,014 per year with an average of 37 hours worked per week. Not only that, but there’s plenty of room for growth with a potential salary earning of $80,000  and a great work/life balance of 3.8. Impressive or what?

2. Nurse – Index Score 0.99 (total score 4.57)

Next up, we have nursing. According to Glassdoor, the average annual salary for nurses is around $68,679, with a potential earning of upwards of $109,000. With an overall Index score of 4.57 as per the Bureau of National Statistics, nursing is the second highest scoring job in terms of happiness. According to theNational Bureau of Statistics, the work/life balance score for nursing comes in at 3.3, with a career progression and opportunities score of 3.6. As for compensation and benefits, the average score for this is 3.4.

3. Law Enforcement Officer – Index Score 0.97 (total score 4.47)

This next one might certainly come as a surprise, but third up on our list we have a law enforcement officer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall Index score is 4.47, which places it as third on this list. The work/life balance average score is 3, career opportunities is scored at 3.4, while the average hours worked per week is around 40 hours.

4. Electrician – Index Score 0.96 (total score 4.45)

The fourth happiest job in America? It’s being an electrician! Believe it or not, undertaking a career as an electrician Is another profession that scores very highly in terms of overall enjoyment. The average salary for electricians throughout the USA falls at around 64k per year according to Glassdoor, while the average overall Index score comes in at 4.45, which is higher than most. This job has a great work/life balance score of 3.3 and an even better career progression average score of 3.5 as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

5. Carpenter – Index Score 0.96 (total score 4.44)

The fifth happiest job in America is that of a carpenter. According to Glassdoor, the average annual salary for carpenters in America is $47,410 with a potential earning to be upwards of $77,000. The overall average score (as according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics) for carpenters’ work/life balance comes in at an impressive 3.5 and there is also a notable overall average career opportunities score of 3.4 which is relatively high.

The Top 5 Unhappiest Jobs in America

1. Retail Worker – Index Score 0.82 (total score 3.80)

Now that we’ve covered the top 5 happiest jobs, what about the unhappiest? First up, we have retail workers. According to Glassdoor, the average annual salary for retail workers is $34, 462 with a potential annual salary earning of $48,000. Plus, data taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics also scores retail work at an average work/life balance score of 3.4, with a career opportunity score of just 3.1.

2. Waiter/ Waitress – Index Score 0.83 (total score 3.82)

With an overall Index score of 3.82 as per data compiled from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the second job with the highest score for employee dissatisfaction is waiter and waitressing. The average annual salary is a little higher than that of retail workers, with a salary average of $35,569, and there is also a potential for further earnings with an average career opportunity score of 3.2. While this means that there is a potential average earning salary of $66,000, compensation is not so great at 3.1.

3. Bartender – Index Score 0.84 (total score 3.86)

With an average overall Index score of 3.86 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the third most satisfying job to work within America right now is bartending. The average annual salary earned for this role is $35,197 and the annual potential salary earnings fall at $70,000, so it is worth noting that there is potential to earn a lucrative income. Still, despite this, work/life balance comes in at an average score of 3.4, while career opportunities fall at the lower 3.2 mark. 

4. Delivery Driver – Index Score 0.85 (total score 3.91)

The fourth unhappiest job in America is delivery driving. Despite scoring a relatively low Index score of 3.91 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual average salary falls at around $43, 242, with a work/life balance score of 3.3. It’s also worth noting that the career opportunity score is also little on the lower side at just 3, which, in turn, bumps down the overall potential salary earnings. Due to this, the average for potential higher earnings is $61,000.

5. Laborer – Index Score 0.87 (total score 4.04)

The fifth most unhappy job in the USA is labor jobs. With an overall Index score of 4.04, the average annual salary for this position is around $33,675, which is significantly lower than the other jobs we have included. From data taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Index score for career progression is just 0.86. Due to this, the average potential salary earnings is much lower on average than other occupations, and comes in at $53,000.

Still, despite the lower career progression scores, according to FRED, the average hours of week per worked is around 39 hours which helps to explain the Bureau of Labor Statistics average index of 0.87 for work/life balance, which is relatively good.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have taken the time to read through all of the above, we hope that we have been able to give you a much clearer picture of what the happiest jobs in America are…as well as what some of the unhappiest jobs are, too!




Bureau of Labor Statistics

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