Mo' money, mo' problems? Apparently the ideal salary isn't infinity, at least if you're trying to maximize your happiness.
Additionally, the trend data shows quickly diminishing returns on incremental salary as employees near the $200k mark. Across all industries, professionals reported being less happy the more money they made after $170,000 per year. Think about that: on average, professionals making $240,000 a year reported being slightly unhappier than those making $40,000.
So who is the prototypical happiest worker in the country? Drumroll please...our analysis shows that a city-dwelling techie, who works in the northeast during the spring months, and makes six figures (but under $200k) is the happiest employee in the country. Conversely, if you find yourself working a sales job in Sacramento, perhaps this research will persuade you to pack your bags and take a cross-country road trip this spring.
Of course, there are probably correlated factors that go along with higher salary that make people unhappy, and it might be possible to reduce those factors while still making a lot of money. In theory anyway!