See how you could get into a fun career with great earning potential.
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.
Keep reading to discover some career paths that could lead to happiness and great earning potential
Career #1 - Paralegal
If the idea of being an important part of a team sounds like something you would love, consider pursuing a paralegal career. 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 would likely rely on you for everything from interviewing witnesses to investigating facts. You could also 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 usually takes: Earning an associate's degree in paralegal studies can be great career preparation. 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 could pay: The average annual salary for paralegals is $50,080, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Career #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 could love being able to utilize it in this fulfilling career.
What it usually takes: A bachelor's degree in graphic design is generally required, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. 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 could pay: Graphic designers have an average salary of $47,820, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Career #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 gig might also involve out-of-the-office work chasing criminals, providing court testimony, and administering first aid.
What it usually takes: If you've got the courage and determination it takes for this career, get physically fit enough for the job and consider earning a bachelor's degree in criminal justice.
What it could pay: The average annual salary for police officers is $55,180, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Career #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 position as a chef might include planning menus and overseeing the preparation and presentation of food.
What it usually takes: Earning a culinary certificate or associate's degree could be a good starting point. While in school, take advantage of any internship or apprenticeship opportunities. If you plan to start your own restaurant, consider looking into hospitality and business programs too.
What it could pay: Chefs and head cooks have an average salary of $44,240, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Career #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.
What it usually takes: States that regulate massage therapy generally require practicing massage therapists to complete a formal education program and pass an exam, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Look into full- and part-time certificate programs.
What it could pay: Earning potential could depend a lot on your schedule and how many clients you see. Massage therapists have a mean hourly wage of $19.13, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Career #6 - Kindergarten Teacher
Kindergarten teachers help their students develop socially and academically.
What's to love: You could 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.
What it usually 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 could pay: Kindergarten teachers have an average salary of $50,380, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
*All salary information is provided by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2009.