NASA Near Top of Happiest Workplace List

The logo of NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
The logo of NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. (Image credit: NASA)

NASA is the second happiest place to work in America, a new study finds.

Research by online career community CareerBliss revealed that pharmaceutical company Pfizer is the happiest place to work in the U.S., followed by NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Each year, CareerBliss assesses thousands of company reviews for the key factors that affect work happiness in order to determine the 50 happiest companies in America. Among the criteria the researchers evaluate are work-life balance, relationships with bosses and co-workers, work environment, job resources, compensation, growth opportunities, company culture, company reputation, daily tasks and job control over the work done on a daily basis.

"Being able to be truly happy at work is one of the keys to being happy in life," said Heidi Golledge, CEO and co-founder of CareerBliss.

Golledge believes this year's data highlights new shifts in the way employees and employers value happiness.

"We see [that] the way employees work has a great impact on their overall happiness," she said. "Unlike previous years, where companies like Google and Applereigned in the top 10 and top 20, [now] engineering, pharmaceutical and government ranked supreme in employee happiness."

Other employers ranked in CareerBliss's 50 Happiest Companies in America are:

  • KBR
  • Cisco Systems
  • Motorola
  • Avaya
  • General Electric
  • Qualcomm
  • Cognizant
  • Siemens
  • Capital One
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Hilton Worldwide
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Adecco
  • Ernst & Young
  • Google
  • SAIC
  • Intel
  • Allstate
  • General Motors
  • Walt Disney Parks & Resorts
  • Accenture
  • Phillips Electronics
  • 3M
  • Fidelity Investors
  • Prudential
  • JP Morgan Chase
  • Ricoh
  • Honda Motor
  • Nokia
  • Abbott Laboratories
  • Dell
  • Honeywell
  • Ford Motor
  • BAE Systems
  • American Red Cross
  • Bank of America
  • Boeing
  • AT&T
  • Apple
  • EMC
  • Oracle
  • CitiGroup
  • Microsoft
  • FedEx
  • CBS
  • Sprint
  • Morgan Stanley

Workplace psychologist Bradley Brummel said all of the employers in the top 50 received high scores on the type of work employees do and how they manage it.

“Employees in these companies have the freedom to use their knowledge, skills and abilities to solve interesting problems," Brummel said. "This type of problem solving can be intrinsically motivating and leads to a happy workplace."

Golledge said a number of companies earned high marks for the second year in a row, proving that a happy work environment can last year after year and provide continued success for both company and employees.

"For companies looking to improve morale and their and bottom line, the CareerBliss Happiest Companies Awards offer insight into what the top companies in America are doing right," Golledge said.

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