By: Greg Scott Neuman
A new study by the University of Chicago shows that across all occupations, about 47% of people said they were very satisfied with their jobs, while 33% said they were, in general, very happy. However, some jobs tend to produce more content employees than others. For example, about 80% of firefighters said they are extremely satisfied with their positions, while 57% said they are very happy with their lives.
Tom W. Smith, director of the General Social Survey at the National Opinion Research Center at the university, said the most satisfying jobs tend to involve caring for, teaching and protecting others. Additionally, previous studies have shown that people’s job satisfaction rises with how well their jobs are respected by society. Therefore, based on these two factors, it makes sense that firefighters would experience such high levels of happiness with their positions.
In order to land a firefighting job and embark on what has been proven to be a satisfying career, professionals must have a high school diploma. However, as competition for positions intensifies, many firefighters are also seeking an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in fire science or fire engineering, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.
Once individuals have these credentials, they are typically given several weeks of entry–level training at fire academies. Additionally, they must complete federal training sponsored by the National Fire Academy.