Do jobs that are more fun usually pay less money?

What makes a job fun anyway?
Simple things can mean the most in terms of keeping employees happy.
Simple things can mean the most in terms of keeping employees happy.
Christopher Robbins/Digital Vision/Thinkstock

The happiest professionals are not necessarily those making the most money or doing jobs that always bring to mind the word "fun."

Database administrators, said to be happiest in their jobs in 2014, earn $79,000 on average. Executive and administrative assistants, who provide research and clerical support to others, both make the list with average salaries between $33,500 and $50,000. Insurance underwriters happily earn $69,000 on average. Even executive recruiters, the types that find good jobs for others, rank among the happiest and can earn between $50,000 and $104,000 [source: Adams].

If it's not the title or the salary that matter, what exactly makes a job fun? It's the little things, according to psychologists Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer. For instance, people who feel good about what they're doing, who like their coworkers, and who feel they have a say are more upbeat and creative than others. They're more likely to be having fun at work.

Having fun at work may not always lead to higher pay for employees, but it does pay off for employers. The question of what makes a workplace fun seems to matter more to companies than ever before. Because happy employees are said to be more loyal and productive, fun has become a corporate culture movement.

Zappos is led by a CEO who is also a CHO (Chief Happiness Officer), while Google employs someone with the official title of Jolly Good Fellow [source: Kovensky]. Searches on job sites and yield positions for Fun Officers and Chief Fun Officers, and employees at eyeglass retailer Warby Parker are asked each week to rate their level of happiness [source: Burkeman]. Having fun, it seems, is a lot of work.

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