Recruiting, Talent

The Happiest Jobs in America

A recent survey finds that job satisfaction depends, at least in part, on the work you do. It also depends on where in the country you live and work.

Source: PeopleImages / Digital Vision / Getty


The survey, conducted by career discovery platform Sokanu, includes input from 150,000 U.S. workers across 599 career paths.

Whistle While You Work

Creativity is a big factor when it comes to the happiest jobs. The top four jobs all involve a great deal of creativity.
The jobs with the greatest job satisfaction are:

  • Video game producer
  • Film director
  • Music producer
  • Comedian
  • Neurosurgeon

Take This Job and …

Service-based location-dependent jobs, on the other hand, offer less job satisfaction.
The jobs with the lowest job satisfaction are:

  • Stock clerk
  • Cashier
  • Janitor
  • Machine feeder
  • Telemarketer

“The results from this year’s survey [2017] show a dramatic shift to passion-based careers where one has control over their work and a license to use their creativity in a way that allows them to make a living from their interests. The unhappiest jobs are those in the service industry where there is a lack of autonomy or variety in the work,” said Spencer Thompson, CEO of Sokanu.

Happy to Work Here

The states with the highest levels of job satisfaction are:

  • Hawaii
  • Alaska
  • Wyoming
  • New Mexico
  • West Virginia
  • Maine
  • Nevada
  • South Dakota
  • Louisiana
  • Montana

Not So Happy Here

Four states and the District of Columbia are at the bottom of the list:

  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Pennsylvania
  • Massachusetts
  • District of Columbia

Happy or Not

For recruiters and hiring managers, as well as HR professionals, survey findings should prove interesting—and may prove helpful.