10 Industries Where Workers Are Happiest

Author: Maurie Backman | May 20, 2019

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Bring on the happy

Whether you're new to the workforce or are established in a career but looking to make a change, the last thing you want to do is sign up for a job that makes you miserable. That's why it pays to get a sense of which industries have the happiest workers today. Of course, everyone's experience is unique, and one person's feelings about a given field or role might differ from another's. But if you want a solid starting point for satisfied workers, these industries are loaded with them, according to Monster.com.

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1. Tax consulting and auditing

You'd think tax consulting and auditing would be one of the least appealing industries out there, what with the deadline-driven nature of the work at hand. But actually, those employed in this industry are highly satisfied. Not only is the work interesting, but deadlines tend to be seasonal, which means that once those crunch periods wrap up, you may find it easier to take vacation or maintain a good work-life balance. Just as importantly, growth in the field is estimated at 11% through 2024, which means that if you go the number-cruncher/examiner route, you may have a fairly easy time finding a job. Just be aware that to work in this field, you'll likely need your CPA or other accounting certifications.

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2. Human resources, staffing, and recruiting

If you're a people person, this may be the right field for you. Working in human resources generally means helping employees navigate workplace issues and understand their benefits. Meanwhile, staffers and recruiters are tasked with filling open positions or helping job candidates find work. Not only is job growth in this field projected at 9% through 2024, but it's an extremely fulfilling industry to be in. And while you may need a degree in human resources management or a related field to get hired in HR, you can often break into recruiting based on your personality and knowledge base.

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3. Business consulting

Consultants are tasked with helping companies run more efficiently and improve their bottom line. Some consultants work on a permanent basis, while others are independent contractors. The latter can be instrumental in achieving a good work-life balance, since it'll often mean setting your own hours and possibly working remotely. And with job growth projected at 14% through 2024, it's a good role to consider. Most people who get hired as consultants don’t major in “consulting,” but rather, a relevant field, like finance or management. If you missed the boat during college, the right experience might take the place of a formal degree.

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4. Information technology

If you're the tech-savvy type, a role in IT might be a good fit. Not only will you get a chance to solve interesting problems, but IT often lends to remote work arrangements -- which is a good thing if that's the sort of setup you're looking for. And because pretty much all companies rely on computers and networks these days, it's a good field to be in for job security. In fact, growth is projected at 18% through 2024. A bachelor’s degree in computer science is often the ticket to getting hired in IT, but if you have real-world experience and a few certifications under your belt, your prospects will likely be good as well.

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5. Scientific research and development

It might sound like a pretty serious field, but apparently, those scientific R&D folks have their share of fun. For many, the thrill of solving challenges and spearheading breakthroughs is enough to keep the work interesting. Though growth in the field is only moderate (5% through 2024), once you break in, there's a good chance you'll enjoy a fair amount of stability. Keep in mind that you'll often need a master's to work in scientific R&D, and in some cases, a PhD.

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6. Arts and entertainment

If you're the creative type, this industry is for you. The benefit of being an actor, artist, musician, or writer is that you'll get a chance to share your ideas with the world without succumbing to the boredom so many workers face. Your ability to get hired in this field may be talent-based more so than anything else, though a bachelor's or master's degree in the arts might help. And job growth is projected at 6% through 2024, which means that while this isn't the most booming industry out there, it's still very much alive and kicking.

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7. Internet

At this point, it's pretty obvious that the internet is here to stay, and those who work on adding to it or making it better tend to be overwhelmingly satisfied. There are many ways you can work in the internet field. You can become a web developer, a designer, a content manager, or a user experience professional, to name a few. To get hired, a portfolio showcasing your talent will generally be a must, on top of relevant experience or certifications. And with job growth projected at 27% through 2024, it's certainly a good place to be, especially since internet companies are known for their laid-back, friendly atmospheres. 

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8. Purchasing

Those who work in purchasing are responsible for making sure all necessary supplies and equipment are well-stocked, and affordably so. If you're organized and into negotiating deals, this may be the right field for you, especially since folks who work in it presently are pretty content. To get hired in purchasing, you may need a degree or background in management, or you might work your way up to a purchasing role. The only thing to keep in mind that the job outlook isn't all that encouraging -- just 1% growth through 2024.

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9. Market research

Market researchers source, compile, analyze, and present data to help businesses make smart decisions. If you're good with numbers and statistics (and, ideally, have a bachelor's degree in stats, marketing, or economics), this may be a good field for you, especially if you enjoy diving into data, identifying trends, and making recommendations. And since job growth is estimated at 19% through 2024, it's certainly not a bad industry to break into.

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10. Education

Being a teacher is far from easy, but it's one of the most rewarding jobs you might do. If you enjoy interacting with children and relish the idea of really having an impact on young people's lives, then it might pay to pursue a career in education. To do so, you'll often need a master's, depending on the state you live in. And though job growth projections are moderate at best (6% through 2024), if you manage to secure tenure at a school, you'll enjoy the relative stability that comes with it.

 The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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