Artists Are Happier at Their Jobs Than The Rest of Us

Many parents I know privately cringe when their children want to go to art school. And for good reasons: It's expensive and job prospects afterwards aren't exactly bright.

But there's one bright side to being starving artists: they're actually happier than the rest of us.

Researchers analyzed job data in Germany, which included information on how fulfilled people felt in their current positions. On a scale of 1 to 10, artists—those whose principal occupation involves performance or visual art—ranked their job satisfaction at 7.32 to 7.67 on average, while nonartists averaged 7.06. The root of this satisfaction remains unclear. More artists than nonartists reported being self-employed, which suggests that autonomy influences job satisfaction, but data linking fulfillment to other predicted variables—such as a wide diversity of available jobs and high levels of on-the-job learning—were statistically inconclusive.

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