The 10 best industries for job satisfaction
As part of the Monster•Kununu Workplace Happiness Index, we identified some of the most rewarding careers you can pursue—and where to find them. C’mon, get happy!
Whether you're new to the job market or bored to tears of your current role, choosing a career path can be daunting. You know there are a lot of jobs out there—hey, we have 5 million of ‘em by the way on Monster—you just don’t know where or how to start looking. Well, how about beginning with the industries that rank highest for job satisfaction? These careers will very likely bring a smile to your face.
To help you hunt down the most fulfilling jobs, Monster partnered with kununu, the employer review platform, to identify the industries with the most satisfied workers. Using kununu’s 18 key dimensions of workplace satisfaction, we identified the industries with the highest overall level of worker happiness and the factors that ranked the highest. Then, through an analysis of data from the CEB TalentNeuron tool we culled job market analysis and matched it with job listings on Monster.
Best industries for job satisfaction
1. Tax consulting/auditing
Tax consultants, accountants, and auditors are responsible for preparing and examining financial records to ensure taxes are paid properly and on time. A good work-life balance helps this industry nab the top job satisfaction spot—perhaps owed to the seasonality of the work. According to one H&R Block employee who left a review on kununu, “tax preparing work for six months leaves plenty of time for other things.” (No wonder that H&R Block is also a kununu top company for work-life balance.)
Reviewers in the field also heralded the fact that they’re trusted to work autonomously. One kununu reviewer lauded the ability to be “relaxed,” and having never “been chased for hours or orders” by management.
Top kununu workplace factors: autonomy, equality, work-life balance
Common job titles: tax auditor, tax preparer, auditor
Number of jobs on Monster now: 1,500
Growth predicted by BLS through 2024: 11%
2. Human resources/Staffing and recruiting
Being a people person will help you excel in human resources and staffing jobs. One kununu reviewer stated that working in HR is “very open, human, and caring.”
Many HR positions involve internal employee relations, compensation and benefits, and training; but staffing jobs are typically external positions, where employees oversee recruiting, interviewing, and placing workers for a specific company. Flexibility and a good work-life balance are factors that help this industry rank high. One kununu reviewer explains that meeting with candidates frequently needs to happen after hours, but can be “done remotely at home if necessary, and does not require one to stay late in the office.”
Top kununu workplace factors: teamwork, communication, career development
Common job titles: human resources manager, human resources specialist, recruiter
Number of jobs on Monster now: 427
Growth predicted by BLS through 2024: 9%
Consultants figure out ways to make organizations more efficient and advise managers with what one reviewer called “clear and precise” goals on how to make businesses more profitable through reduced costs and increased revenues. Although some consultants work for a specific company, most work for consulting firms that get hired on a contractual basis by different businesses.
Kununu reviewers also mentioned “flexible hours,” an “energetic workplace,” and a diverse group of clients as benefits.
Top workplace factors: teamwork, compensation and benefits, challenging work
Number of jobs on Monster now: 2,367
Growth predicted by BLS through 2024: 14%
Find consulting jobs on Monster.
4. Information technology/Network security
Good with computers? A job in information technology (IT) or network security may be the perfect fit. IT workers use computers, telecommunications equipment, and other devices to use, transmit, store, and access data; whereas network security analysts are tasked with protecting that very same data from digital threats, such as cyber attacks.
When confidential data and potential cyber attacks are part of your working day, you must thrive on what one kununu reviewer describes as a “challenging and fast paced work environment,” but one “that supports people doing great work.”
Top workplace factors: challenging work, diversity, teamwork
Common job titles: information security analyst, IT project manager
Number of jobs on Monster now: 1,177
Growth predicted by BLS through 2024: 18%
5. Research and development, sciences
Jobs in research and development (R&D) entail designing and leading research projects and analyzing results to improve services or products. Many research and development positions offer what one reviewer described as “challenging topics” in health care, pharmaceuticals, biosciences, and emerging technologies. Yet despite the high-level of knowledge required, working in R&D allows people to “maintain a normal schedule” while also experiencing “high professional growth.”
Top workplace factors: job safety, eco-consciousness, work-life balance
Common job titles: biological scientist, medical scientist,
Number of jobs on Monster now: 37
Growth predicted by BLS through 2024: 5%
6. Arts and entertainment
Creative types working in the arts, culture, and entertainment jobs include actors, musicians, writers, and painters. People in this industry are generally satisfied with their jobs because co-workers are passionate about what they do and “positive and willing to help their team.” As another reviewer noted, “This is one of the friendliest, most caring and inclusive environments.”
Top workplace factors: diversity, equality, teamwork
Common job titles: producer, actor, creative director
Number of jobs on Monster now: 1,675
Growth predicted by BLS through 2024: 6%
The information superhighway is paved with websites, which are also employers. This field includes many names you know (like Google and Facebook), plus tons of smaller sites you probably haven’t yet heard of. There are a lot of different roles at a web company, from product to marketing to finance. As one kununu reviewer commented on working at Amazon, “it’s all about teamwork” that makes working at an Internet company so satisfying.
Similarly, media and communications include a broad swath of jobs—from writing and editing to film production and broadcast news and beyond. And it should come as no surprise that communication ranked high for one Frontier Communications reviewer, who commented that management is “always willing to help when you need it.”
Top workplace factors: diversity, communication, teamwork, equality
Number of jobs on Monster now: 6,255
Growth predicted by BLS through 2024: 27%
Purchasing departments are tasked with maintaining a company’s buying policies and ensuring that all purchases adhere to them. Roles can vary depending on the size of the company but duties generally include budgeting and determining vendors and suppliers, reviewing inventory, tracking orders, and processing purchase orders and requisitions. One kununu reviewer succinctly described working in purchasing as “great,” and ranked teamwork as the highest workplace factor.
Top workplace factors: teamwork, job safety, equality, challenging work
Common job titles: purchasing manager, purchasing assistant
Number of jobs on Monster now: 1,247
Growth predicted by BLS through 2024: 1%
Find purchasing agent jobs on Monster.
9. Market Research
Market researchers collect consumer data in order to help companies decide how to develop, advertise, and market their products and services. They collect information on customer opinions, investments, or purchasing decisions by conducting surveys and then analyzing the data to help inform large-scale business decisions. A happy kununu reviewer called out the “high integrity and useful research” as important to their job satisfaction.
Working in market research requires strong analytical skills, as well as the ability to work well across departments and with consumers. Another reviewer singled out the “professional work environment” as being “good for career development.”
Top workplace factors: teamwork, equality, attitude toward colleagues 45+
Common job titles: market research analyst, survey researcher
Number of jobs on Monster now: 471
Growth predicted by BLS through 2024: 19%
Find market research jobs on Monster.
10. Primary and secondary education
Educators are responsible planning lessons, leading classes, grading students, and figuring out how to get pupils ready to move on to the next level. One kununu reviewer likes “the fact that I can enrich the lives of the students that I have.”
Some teachers choose to focus their work on a specialty, such as special education, sign language, or English as a second language. Educators enjoy teaching the next generation valuable skills and knowledge that will help them achieve success. And according to one reviewer that isn’t limited to the kids in the class. They rated working in education highly because their managers “want to see you grow as a person and in your career.”
Top workplace factors: equality, challenging work, attitude toward colleagues 45+
Number of jobs on Monster now: 2,410
Growth predicted by BLS through 2024: 6%
Find education jobs on Monster.
Do what you love
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Industry data provided by kununu and reflects August 2016 to July 2017. Reviews on kununu are broken down into 18 key dimensions of workplace satisfaction with each dimension assigned a star rating. Above information is the average of those ratings over a 12-month period.
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