Careers that Lead to High Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction is an important factor to consider when choosing a career, and some jobs are known for providing higher levels of satisfaction than others.

By: Bailey Gerber & Jake Hreha

Job satisfaction is an important factor to consider when choosing a career, and some jobs are known for providing higher levels of satisfaction than others. A few important factors that play into finding jobs with the highest satisfaction rates are work life balance, meaningful work, and a positive working environment.

Finding meaningful work and having a strong sense of job satisfaction are important for the longevity of your career. The bureau of labor statistics reports that in January 2022, the median employee tenure for men was 4.3 years and for women was 3.8 years. While three or four years may not sound like a long time, it can feel like the days are crawling by if you don't have high job satisfaction.

The most satisfying jobs do not all require extensive years of experience or schooling. There are a variety of jobs available for associate degree, bachelor's degree or master's degree holders. One characteristic these jobs share is they generally offer a high median annual salary. A high median salary is something to consider for your career path, but making more money isn't the only thing to consider.

When looking for satisfying jobs it's important to consider what is most valuable to you. Does the job have the opportunity to work directly with people? Does the job allow for you to spend time with your family? Do the job responsibilities align with the type of work you enjoy doing? These and more are all good questions to ask when considering career paths.

If you’re trying to determine your next steps and aren’t sure what kind of job is the best option, consider one of these careers known for their high job satisfaction levels:

Human Resources Manager

If you enjoy working with people, human resources management might be just what you are looking for. Working in HR gives you the chance to build relationships with employees, advocate for their needs, and make positive changes at your company. According to Glassdoor, HR managers in 2022 ranked their job satisfaction at an average of 4.3 out of 5.

Human resources is a field that balances business practice with service and leadership, enabling you to creatively solve problems and encourage efficiency and high productivity from workers at your company. You can have a hand in setting and achieving organizational goals, which makes the career fulfilling at both a personal and professional level. If you want to learn more about careers in human resources, consider one of these educational pathways:

Financial Advisor

Are you good with numbers? A career in finance provides excellent salary opportunities – and it’s also very rewarding. One survey found that 81% of financial advisors say they like their job better than the average person, and job satisfaction increases with age and tenure. As a financial advisor or financial manager, you get to use your skills in mathematics and analysis to help people make the best decisions for their future.

Many financial advisors say the freedom of their job is one of the parts they like best. As long as you engage your clients well and keep them happy, you often have flexibility to set your own schedule, rather than having to punch a time clock every day. To start or advance your journey toward becoming a financial advisor, look into one of these programs:


Although being a nurse can often involve tense, high-stress situations, many registered nurses report a sense of fulfillment in serving people in needs. If you love taking care of people and want a career that will challenge you, nursing could be an excellent fit. Careers in health services and medical services are are always in demand and available almost anywhere. Some of the top benefits to becoming a nurse include:

  • Excellent job security, salary, and benefits
  • Flexible schedule, including 8-, 10-, or 12-hour shifts
  • Multiple advancement opportunities for executive positions

Are you ready to pursue or advance your career in nursing? IWU offers various degree programs for nurses, including an onsite bachelor’s degree at our Marion campus and online master’s and doctoral programs to take your career to the next level. Check out our full list of programs here.

Physical Therapist

If you’re interested in the medical field but aren’t sure about the high-intensity role of a nurse or physician, physical therapy might be more suitable for you. Physical therapists get the same fulfilling opportunities to engage with patients and develop long-term plans and goals for health, but they work in a rehabilitative capacity. Another similar career that shows high levels of job satisfaction is occupational therapist.

According to U.S. News, physical therapy is #10 best healthcare job in the U.S. One of the greatest draws to the profession is the chance to work with a wide variety of patients, including the elderly population, children, athletes, and more. If you’re interested in becoming a physical therapist, IWU can help you start that journey with a B.S. in Health Sciences.

Software Developer

Last but not least, if you love technology and web development, consider becoming a software developer. You’ll get to use your creative abilities to build user-friendly applications, and you’ll also be able to use your problem-solving skills to fix bugs and write new code.

U.S. News ranks software developers as #5 on its “100 Best Jobs” list, largely due to the high levels of satisfaction and high earning potential. Software development offers significant upward mobility opportunities and flexibility in scheduling. Because most software developers do most of their work online, most job openings are remote – meaning you can work from anywhere you choose and manage your own schedule. To get into a career in software development, consider one of these degree options.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to finding a rewarding career. Fulfillment often depends on your level of passion for your work – so if none of the above jobs sound appealing to you, don’t worry! You might be satisfied in one of thousands of other careers. To start dreaming about your next steps, take a look at some of the program options we offer at IWU.

Bailey Gerber

Content Creator, IWU-National and Global

Bailey Gerber is a vocabulary geek and grammar enthusiast at IWU-National and Global, so she spends most of her time writing and reviewing webpages, video scripts, flyers, and – of course – blog articles. She loves all things involving words, and in her spare time you’ll find her buried in a book (probably with a cup of coffee in hand).

Jake Hreha

SEO Copywriter, IWU

Jake Hreha is a graduate of Ball State University, where he majored in advertising with a concentration in media presentation and design. He is passionate about design, and in his free time he enjoys cycling, traveling, and reading.

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