Come Fly Away: The 20 Most Popular Dream Jobs

Living the dream.
Living the dream. / Robert Recker/The Image Bank via Getty Images

What makes for a dream job? For most people, it means pursuing their passion to the extent that work doesn’t feel like work. That can vary widely, but there are some occupations that seem to be more intriguing to people than others.

Recently, money transfer site Remitly used Google search data to speculate on some of the most common dream jobs. The methodology was simple: They tracked the searches for “how to be a…” with an accompanying occupation. Here’s what come up globally:

  1. Pilot
  2. Writer
  3. Dancer
  4. YouTuber
  5. Entrepreneur
  6. Actor
  7. Influencer
  8. Programmer
  9. Singer
  10. Teacher
  11. DJ
  12. Blogger
  13. Doctor
  14. Professor
  15. Flight Attendant
  16. Firefighter
  17. Judge
  18. Lawyer
  19. Attorney
  20. Psychologist

Dreams of flying are apparently common, as are dancing and becoming a YouTube personality. Vocations like teaching, medicine, and law are also appealing.

Does reality measure up to aspirations? According to CareerExplorer, which charts job satisfaction, pilots report an average career happiness of 3.8 stars out of 5. The outlook is less promising for teachers: A 2022 survey of 1300 teachers found that only 12 percent reported being “very satisfied” with their work.

If you’re more interested in data-driven job prospects, a 2023 list by U.S. News and World Report might prove interesting. Their rankings charted jobs by salary, satisfaction, stress level, and market growth. Coming in first? Software developer, followed by nurse practitioner.

[h/t Remitly]