Would I be happier as a teacher or a carpenter?, Clues in survey data on happiness and occupation

Joyce van Leeuwen and Ruut Veenhoven
Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands, Erasmus Happiness Economics Research Organization EHERO, EHERO working paper 2019-4

Most people are looking for ways to make their life as happy as possible. Since we work a great part of our life time, it is worth knowing which occupations will bring us the most happiness and which will bring the least. This requires information on how happy people are in different occupations and in particular, what kinds of people are the happiest in what kinds of occupation. We sought answerers to these questions using data taken from the WageIndicator for 2006 to 2014 for the Netherlands. The large dataset of 160.806 respondents made it possible to assess differences in happiness levels in 130 occupations and to split the results across 4 personal characteristics. The occupation in the Netherlands with the highest life satisfaction was ship, aircraft controller and technician working in this field. The occupation in the Netherlands with the lowest life satisfaction was forestry and related work. The occupation giving the most life satisfaction for women was creative and performing artist, for men it was keyboard operator.

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