Survey Says Clergy Have Highest Job Satisfaction

Article excerpt

If you want to be rich, get an MBA. If you want to be happy, go for an M.Div.

Members of the clergy rank highest in job satisfaction, according to a report released April 17 by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. More than 87 percent of clergy said they were satisfied with their jobs, followed by firefighters (80 percent) and physical therapists (78 percent).

Cynthia Lindner, directory of ministry studies at the university's divinity school, said that in her opinion the findings rang true. People come to the ministerial field with no expectation of getting rich and every expectation of being able to make some difference in the world, she said.

"People are not going into the profession out of some sense of 'I want a lot of power and prestige,'" she said. "Most of all my students would say, 'We want to help heal the world.'"

Because work plays such an important role in people's lives, workers who are more satisfied also tend to be happier. So clergy also topped the list as happiest, with 67 percent of them describing themselves as generally happy.

Tom W. Smith, director of the General Social Survey at the research center, said he was surprised that clergy led the list. …

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