Never again Mr. Onion

10 unhappiest jobs in America

What do database administrators and engineers have in common? They both really love their jobs.

CareerBliss studied 25,000 reviews that employees posted about their employers and their duties on the job-hunting website. Then they rated the 10 happiest and unhappiest jobs in America.

Intrigued, we here at cross-referenced the happiest and unhappiest jobs with salary data from and found — not surprisingly — that the happy jobs usually pay more. The average happiest job pays $62,800, whereas the average unhappiest job pays $44,900…

What the Most Joyous and Depressing American Jobs Pay
Happiest Jobs Salary Unhappiest Jobs Salary
Database Administrator $66,000 Security Officer $23,000
QA Engineer $86,000 Bank Branch Manager $43,000
Executive Recruiter $80,000 Accountant $57,000
Underwriter $43,000 Customer Service Rep $33,000
Executive Assistant $40,000 General Manager $45,000
Software Developer $91,000 Sales Executive $60,000
Designer $59,000 Technical Support Rep $51,000
Program Manager $47,000 Marketing Manager $67,000
Engineer $86,000 Sales Manager $45,000
Administrative Assistant $30,000 Machine Operator $25,000

As you can see in the chart, there are exceptions — administrative assistants seem to love their jobs, despite their low salaries. Marketing managers hate their jobs despite a healthy salary, and maybe this is why: The CareerBliss study reveals the major reasons people hate their jobs are the lack of “support they receive from their managers, the lack of compensation, and ability to grow their career.”

In a separate survey from LinkedIn, 7,530 of its members in the United States, Australia, Canada, India, and the United Kingdom were surveyed to find out what would make them leave their jobs. The number one reason was compensation. That was followed closely by better work/life balance, then room for promotion.

It’s safe to say that when employees are unhappy, they leave. The survey found that 85 percent are actively looking for another job, even though they are currently employed.

The same survey by LinkedIn found that 10.3 percent of employee turnover in the U.S. is “voluntary and preventable,” which just means employees quit because they didn’t like their employer.

If more money means happiness in your job, try these tips from Forbes on how to negotiate a pay raise at work:

  • Talk about the future, not the past. Even if you think your past work means you earned a raise, don’t focus on that. The money is coming in the future (hopefully), so you should focus on what you plan to do in the future to earn it. Talk about big plans you have going forward.
  • Don’t blindside the boss. Schedule a meeting and tell your boss what you plan to discuss. You don’t like going into a meeting unprepared, so what makes you think they would?
  • Don’t threaten to quit. Ask for money based on what you plan to earn in the future. Forbes says it best: “Show your employer that you’re reasonable and understand what the company offers you as a whole, and that salary is one consideration.”

If that doesn’t work, business journal Upstart offers some useful tips on making your time at work a little happier. The tips are for employers, but a few of them work just as well for employees:

  • “Break bread with co-workers” – Enjoy a meal with your co-workers to build relationships. Work is much more enjoyable when you like the people around you.
  • “Take a walk” – If you have a break, take a 10 minute lap around the office or outside. This can “elevate your mood and improve your productivity.”
  • “Transform your workplace with music” – Background music while you work can lift up your mood and help keep you productive and enjoy what you’re doing a little more.
  • “Focus on five of the most important tasks of your day” – Make a list of five tasks you need to accomplish each day. Work hard at finishing those tasks, then stop worrying for the day.
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