Job satisfaction more important than money

8th of August 2012 | by RateCity Staff

Two in three Australian workers are not engaged with their jobs, and salary is less important than job satisfaction among employees, research shows.

The survey of over five thousand workers by Right Management – division of the global staffing giant Manpower Group – found that the most effective driver for improving employee engagement was not money, but rather the ability to support the long term career goals of staff.

Still, you've got to pay the bills and many of us simply can't afford the luxury of a career change, particularly if you're saddled with debt, have a family to support or home loan repayments to meet!

If this sounds like you, then all is not lost.

The US National Opinion Research Centre has revealed the professions with the greatest levels of job satisfaction – and the least. Researchers found that some of the jobs offering workers the highest-satisfaction levels paid greater salaries than some of the least satisfying roles.

Ten most satisfying jobs

According to the study, the 10 professions with the highest levels of job satisfaction are, in order from most satisfying to least:

  • Clergy
  • Physical therapists
  • Firefighters
  • Education administrators
  • Painters and other visual artists
  • Teachers
  • Authors
  • Psychologists
  • Special education teachers
  • Operating engineers.

Ten least satisfying jobs

At the other end of the satisfaction scale were the following jobs:

  • Roofers
  • Waiters
  • Labourers
  • Bartenders
  • Pickers and packagers
  • Freight material handlers
  • Retail apparel salespeople
  • Cashiers
  • Food preparers
  • Project managers

The price of happiness

While joining the clergy is unlikely to bring you great material riches, trading a higher salary for a lower-paying job is not impossible, even if you have family or financial commitments to take into consideration.

The solution could be as simple as drawing up a budget and sticking to it. The federal government's MoneySmart website offers a comprehensive budgeting tool.

While websites such as RateCity offer a number of tools and calculators to help you save money and maximise your income.

For instance, if you have an average-sized home loan, comparing home loans and refinancing to a cheaper option could free up hundreds of dollars each month. Take a $300,000 home loan, for example, repaid over 25 years at a rate of 6.82 percent (the average of the big four bank's standard variable rates). If you refinance to one of the lowest available rates at 5.62 percent you could save $222 per month and more than $66,600 over the life of the loan.

So why not spend half an hour crunching the numbers and planning your finances, before considering a new career – it could be a pretty satisfying job!