It's possible to be miserable at a high-paying job. In fact, salary and benefits are only pieces of a complex puzzle. Work environment, management, coworkers, and many other factors contribute to job satisfaction. The jobs with the highest satisfaction, according to data from Glassdoor's Best Jobs in America for 2019 report, offer a balance of all of those things.

"The good news for job seekers is that jobs with high levels of satisfaction can be found in a wide variety of industries and seniority levels. As a result, these roles are well-suited for many different types of people," said Glassdoor economic research analyst Amanda Stansell in a blog post.

Two women are excited as they look at a laptop.

It's important to actually like your job. Image source: Getty Images.

These jobs have the highest satisfaction

The good news for job seekers looking to find a satisfying career is that they don't have to sacrifice money. "We've found that job satisfaction doesn't have to come at a financial cost -- the majority of these positions pay well above the U.S. median base pay," Stansell added.

The other piece of good news is that the list is very diverse. Executive chef and law clerk, for example, have very little in common, but they rate pretty close to each other on the list. Here's the top 20 in reverse order:

  • 20. Sales Engineer
    Median base salary: $90,000

  • 19. Law Clerk
    Median base salary: $45,456

  • 18. Product Engineer
    Median base salary: $77,500

  • 17. Executive Chef
    Median base salary: $65,000

  • 16. Enterprise Account Executive
    Median base salary: $100,000

  • 15. Financial Consultant
    Median base salary: $55,000

  • 14. Software Development Manager
    Median base salary: $140,000

  • 13. Marketing Manager
    Median base salary: $82,000

  • 12. Communications Manager
    Median base salary: $80,000

  • 11. HR Manager
    Median base salary: $85,000

  • 10. HR Coordinator
    Median base salary: $42,550

  • 9. Customer Success Manager
    Median base salary: $65,000

  • 8. Data Scientist
    Median base salary: $108,000

  • 7. Brand Manager
    Median base salary: $85,000

  • 6. Construction Manager
    Median base salary: $75,000

  • 5. Marketing Assistant
    Median base salary: $34,000

  • 4. Product Designer
    Median base salary: $100,000

  • 3. Sales Operations Manager
    Median base salary: $93,000

  • 2. Dental Hygienist
    Median base salary: $67,250

  • 1. Recruiting Manager
    Median base salary: $70,000

Are you satisfied?

It's important to consider satisfaction when you're looking for a job. That sounds like something people would always do, but it's not, because money can often blind people to other factors.

There are times in your life when a big difference in salary is worth being less happy. If, for example, you have student loans to pay off, taking a higher-paying job and using that extra cash to pay off the loans is an investment in your future.

In most cases, though, it's important to consider more than just salary. You spend 40 hours or more at work each week. That means you're wasting a lot of time if you're doing something you don't find satisfying, surrounded by people you may not like.

Money plays a role; so do benefits and other perks. Great coffee, free lunch, even better health insurance won't make up for dedicating your time to something you don't find satisfying. Look beyond the surface when you pick a career or a job and make sure there's a reasonable chance that you will enjoy more than just the paycheck.