Salary and Job Satisfaction Are Not Related

Dana Manciagli in The Memphis Business Journal writes that a study by Sokanu, “a career-discovery platform designed to help people find their ideal careers,” shows there is no correlation between salary and job satisfaction.  Other categories that play an important role in a person’s job satisfaction are, “[s]kill utilization, work environment, personality fit, interest, and overall fit.”

The data collected by Sokanu from their surveys of more than 35,000 people allowed Sokanu to create “a ranked list of nearly 300 careers with the highest and lowest levels of satisfaction.  The authors found that a higher salary did not correlate to job satisfaction.  “…careers that don’t necessarily promise wealth often end up making us happier.”

Here is the list of the 10 jobs with the highest “career satisfaction:

1. CEO
2. Film director
3. Author
4. Singer
5. Entrepreneur
6. Art director
7. Filmmaker
8. Career counsellor
9. Industrial designer
10. Musician

The common denominator between the careers that ranked highest seems to be creative expression and a high degree of control. By way of contrast, careers that ranked lowest were found primarily in service and clerical professions. Here is the list of 10 careers that ranked lowest (starting with lowest-ranked):

1. Janitor
2. Quality control inspector
3. House cleaner
4. Retail salesperson/ cashier
5. Delivery service driver/food delivery truck drive
6. Bank teller
7. Food server
8. Financial clerk
9. Shipping/receiving clerk
10. Barista”

What can be learned from this information?  As the president of Sokanu suggests, choosing a career means taking time to research many career paths, using many tools like the Internet and libraries to locate information.  Think about your career interests, but also think about other work factors such as “environment and personality fit.

“It’s important not just to research these differences, but to be honest with yourself about your personality strengths and weaknesses and the kind of environments you thrive in. The best career fit tends to come from a match of what interests you, what you are good at, and what the market needs.”

For more information and the list of “Satisfaction by Career”, see the entire article here


Source: Manciagli, D. (2017 January 17). Study shows there’s no correlation between salary and satisfaction. The Memphis Business Journal. Retrieved from


Comments Off on Salary and Job Satisfaction Are Not Related

Filed under All, Career Advice, Careers, JobLINC

Comments are closed.