How much time do you spend hating your job?
Wouldn't you be more productive - and more content - in a job you love?
Turns out that having a job you enjoy can make a huge difference in your quality of life.
According to recent research by economists at the University of Aberdeen, job satisfaction is the single most critical factor in determining life satisfaction and well-being.
So how can you get a job that pays off in happiness - and salary? Keep reading to find out.
Job #1 - Paralegal
If the idea of being an important part of a team sounds like something you would love, consider becoming a paralegal. The U.S. Department of Labor expects employment of paralegals to grow 28 percent from 2008-2018.
What's to love: As a paralegal, attorneys will rely on you for everything from interviewing witnesses to investigating facts. You'll be a vital part of the legal team - and in a position to really make a difference in the lives of people in need of legal help. What's not to love about that?
What it takes: Prepare for this rewarding career by earning your associate's degree in paralegal studies. If you already have a bachelor's degree, a paralegal certificate program can give you the edge you need to get started in this career.
What it pays: The average annual salary for paralegals is $50,080.
Job #2 - Graphic Designer
Graphic designers create the eye-catching logos for the businesses we visit and the products we buy. Some even design the title sequences for movies and TV shows.
What's to love: Imagine creating something that millions of people might see. If you've got a passion for visual design, you'll love being able to utilize it in this fulfilling career.
What it takes: Get a bachelor's degree in graphic design to qualify for entry-level positions. Another option is to earn an associate's degree or certificate in graphic design. While in school, keep track of your class projects for your portfolio; this will be an important tool as you begin looking for work.
What it pays: Graphic designers have an average salary of $47,820.
Job #3 - Police Officer
Police officers respond to calls from individuals, investigate suspicious activity, and pursue and apprehend criminals - all in the name of keeping communities safe.
What's to love: This is not your typical 9-to-5 job. While paperwork is common in police work, your job might also involve out-of-the-office work chasing criminals, providing court testimony, and administering first aid.
What it takes: If you've got the courage and determination to be a police officer, make sure you have the training you'll need to be a qualified candidate. Get physically fit enough for the job and consider earning a bachelor's degree in criminal justice.
What it pays: The average annual salary for police officers is $55,180.
Job #4 - Chef
Chefs direct cooks, deal with food-related concerns, and use their culinary expertise to create the recipes that keep customers coming back for more.
What's to love: If you take pride in your work, you might love the challenges and rewards that come with being a chef. A big part of your job as a chef might include planning menus and overseeing the preparation and presentation of food.
What it takes: Start by earning your culinary certificate or associate's degree. While in school, take advantage of any internship or apprenticeship opportunities. If you plan to start your own restaurant, look into hospitality and business programs too.
What it pays: Chefs and head cooks have an average salary of $44,240.
Job #5 - Massage Therapist
Massage therapists use their skills to help people relax or recover from injury. As a massage therapist, you could work in a variety of settings, including spas, studios, hospitals, fitness centers, and shopping malls.
What's to love: If you draw your job satisfaction from doing rewarding work, you might really enjoy this job. Some massage therapists even have the freedom to schedule appointments that fit with their lifestyle and earn a healthy income while doing it.
What it takes: States that regulate massage therapy generally require practicing massage therapists to complete a formal training program and pass an exam. Look into full- and part-time certificate programs.
What it pays: What you earn depends a lot on your schedule and how many clients you see. Massage therapists have a mean hourly wage of $19.13.
Job #6 - Kindergarten Teacher
Kindergarten teachers help their students develop socially and academically.
What's to love: You get to play a pivotal role in helping your young students develop during a critical time in their lives. As a teacher, you're also likely to enjoy summers off and great pay.
What it takes: You'll need to complete a bachelor's degree and an approved teacher education program. To teach kindergarten in a public school, you'll also need a teaching license.
What it pays: Kindergarten teachers have an average salary of $50,380.
*All salary information is provided by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2009.
How much time do you spend hating your job?