In 2022, 72 per cent of Australians reported that they were unhappy at work, and 43 per said they have had higher expectations of their workplaces since the pandemic began.

This phenomenon has been dubbed ‘The Great Resignation’, and with 2 million Australians ready to quit their jobs, it’s expected to have a huge impact in the coming years.

Let’s explore the importance of job satisfaction in Australia and take a look at what makes certain professions rewarding jobs.

What is job satisfaction?

The job satisfaction definition is simple: how content a person is at work. While contentment is often a deeply personal matter, being content in a professional setting usually comes down to how motivated, happy and healthy people are.

It’s not just employees that benefit from strong job satisfaction; employers also reap the rewards of an optimistic and robust workforce. Happy co-workers are less likely to call in sick, are more productive and more likely to stay with a company for the long run. Unhappy employees, on the other hand, are more likely to leave their jobs or fields, leaving gaps within companies and contributing to the broader Australian skills shortage.

What influences job satisfaction?

Many factors inform how satisfied people are at work. These factors include:

  • Career stability.
  • Salary.
  • Work-life balance.
  • Workplace culture.
  • Support from management.
  • Opportunities for promotion or a pay rise.
  • Company policies.
  • Working hours.
  • Autonomy.

7 of the best jobs in Australia

So, what are the best careers in Australia? While the concept of dream jobs will differ depending on a person’s own interests, data has shown a common thread across certain roles and industries.

In general, the jobs with the highest satisfaction are in the consulting, technology and business industries.

When it comes to the top positions for job satisfaction, directors and executives reported strong levels of happiness. Individuals at this leadership level were twice as likely to report being happy in their work than junior employees.

1. Analyst

Data analysis is one of the most satisfying jobs in Australia. The term ‘analyst’ can refer to many roles, including a testing analyst, systems analyst or business analyst. Analysts look at processes and technology to determine what changes the organisation must make to ensure the best outcomes.

Analyst roles have very high job satisfaction. They have autonomy and get to use their expertise to make a tangible difference in their industry.

Analysts are among one of the fastest growing industries in Australia. Testing analysts are in particularly high demand, with Seek predicting a 43.7 per cent growth in the next five years.

The typical analyst’s salary ranges from $105,000 to $125,000 per year.

2. Managing director

A managing director uses strong leadership skills to drive a business towards success.

Managing directors tend to have high levels of job satisfaction due to their ability to instigate change and make a difference within an organisation.

Job openings for managing directors are set to increase by 4.6 per cent in the next five years.

The typical salary for a managing director is between $250,000 to $270,000 per year.

3. Project manager

A project manager oversees the end-to-end delivery of a project, from planning to development through to execution.

Project managers can feel a great sense of achievement in their role as their hard work is visible and rewarded at the end of a project.

The projected job growth for project managers is 9.2 per cent in the next five years.

The typical salary for a project manager sits within the range of $130,000 to $150,000 per year.

4. Operations manager

Operations managers ensure companies run smoothly, training their incisive gaze on day-to-day improvements, quality assurance, budgeting and costs, health and safety, hiring and recruitment, plus essentials like change management and long-term process analysis.

Every organisation needs an operations manager, accounting for the predicted 9.6 per cent rise in job growth into 2026.

Operations managers can expect to earn $105,000 to $125,000 per year on average.

5. Marketing manager

A marketing manager powers the engine room of a company’s image, defining, executing and reporting on multi-layered strategies across a variety of online (content, organic, social and paid marketing)  and offline avenues (print, TV, direct mail and radio). Marketing managers love a challenge, using their creative brains and business savvy to deliver campaigns that capture hearts and steal brain-space.

Marketing managers are in demand, as job growth will scale to 4.4 per cent into 2026.

The average salary for a marketing manager spans from $100,000 to $120,000 per year.

6. Chief financial officer

A chief financial officer (CFO) manages a company’s financial health, keeping a detailed eye on things like profit and loss reporting, budget use and distribution, forecasting and potential risks to the business. Although their role may change from organisation to organisation (the needs of a large corporation will differ from a marketing agency or restaurant chain), a good CFO uses their communication acumen to create comfort and confidence at all levels of the business.

Careful financial management is indispensable in today’s market, as market trends around CFOs are set to grow 7.9 per cent over the next five years.

The average salary of a CFO runs between $215,000 to $235,000 per year.

7. Chief technology officer

A chief technology officer (CTO) drives technological alignment, systems and resourcing in a company, channeling their skills into managing the IT department, increasing revenue through the refinement or creation of services and/or products, and collaborating with third party suppliers to solve problems within the productivity chain. They also have a keen sense for people, leading enhancement and hiring within the IT department.

CTO roles are expected to boom over the next five years, with projected growth sitting at 17.7 per cent.

The average salary of a CTO sits between $190,000 to $210,000 per year.

Make your dream job a reality

Job satisfaction is a priority for Australian workers. Employees who aren’t happy in their workplaces are more likely to quit or make career changes than to continue working in unhappy environments.

As the statistics show, this is particularly true for gen Z, millennials, mid-career workers and managers:

  • 50 per cent of gen Z and over 39 per cent of millennials would choose unemployment over being unhappy in their jobs.
  • 50 per cent of employees would leave a workplace that doesn’t offer a good work-life balance.
  • 53 per cent of managers report they’re burned out.
  • 46 per cent of employees are planning to change careers.

A postgraduate degree can help you make the career change you’re looking for

Studying an online postgraduate degree such as an MBA is a fantastic way to make a career change without sacrificing your current work or personal life.

By choosing this path, you can:

  • Make a career transition at any age
  • Keep progressing in your current career while working towards a new one
  • Maintain work-life balance
  • Work towards your new career at your own pace
  • Enter your new career with qualifications, experience and connections

Step into some of the best jobs in Australia with an MBA

Job satisfaction is extremely important for employees. Given most Australians spend the majority of their waking hours at work, it’s vital that they feel safe, respected and happy while on the clock.

An MBA can help you get started in some of the best jobs in Australia. Speak to a Student Enrolment Advisor today.

Speak to a Student Enrolment Advisor

Whether you’re ready to enrol, or just have a quick question, simply fill out the enquiry form below to speak directly to the university’s enrolment team. They will be able to guide you through:

Course eligibility and recognition of prior learning

Course structure and what you will study

Next intakes and how to apply

Fees and time commitments