People earning between $100,000 and $124,999 are the happiest in the country, but any more than that and happiness begins to peter out according to new research released by psychometric testing company Onetest.


86 per cent of those in the aforementioned income bracked reported as being satisfied with life, compared with just 80 [per cent of those earning $125,000 to $150,000. Surprisingly, those earning between $75,000 and $99,999 were more happier than their loaded counterparts, with 82 per cent saying they were satisfied with life.


Onetest head of psychology Cherie Curtis said this data showed salary and finances influence people’s satisfaction, but only up to a point.


“Once you have finances in order, you can provide for family, pay your bills and you’re earning in line with your peers, motivation through money starts to have a plateau effect,” Ms Curtis said.


“There could also be correlation between higher salary and seniority, and there could be a correlation between seniority and stress.”


The study also suggested a correlation between high earning industries and high satisfaction, with mining, oil and gas workers on the highest average salary ($91,903) which is about 42 per cent more than the average worker’s salary of $64,697.


This was followed by the average salary in insurance on $79,688 and banking and finance on $76,923.


The hospitality, sport and tourism industry still had the lowest current salary at $42,695, followed by research and development at $45,455 and arts and humanities at $48,864.


The study also found that it pays to be smart, but not necessarily in an academic way.


There was a correlation between high cognitive ability - meaning the ability to retain information and problem solve - and high salaries.


People who registered “far above average” cognitive ability received starting salaries that were on average 18 per cent higher than their peers with “far below average” scores.


The relationship was found to be twice as powerful as a person's grade point average in predicting their first salary.


Ms Curtis said cognitive ability was a powerful predictor of job performance.


“Unfortunately a lot of people rely on the GPA to shortlist candidates but it’s fairly flawed because it’s not a standardised measure across the country,” she said.


“People with higher cognitive ability tend to solve those things more effectively and more quickly, and they respond better to training and learning.”


Industry by percentage of workers satisfied

Mining Oil and Gas – 87 per cent
Defence - 84 per cent
Insurance - 81 per cent
Environment - 81 per cent
Consulting - 79 per cent
Government - 77 per cent
Utilities - 77 per cent
Law - 75 per cent
Engineering - 75 per cent
Health - 75 per cent
Information Technology - 73 per cent
Construction - 71 per cent
Banking and Finance - 68 per cent
Business and Commerce - 68 per cent
Research and Development - 66 per cent
Fast Moving Consumer Goods - 63 per cent
Accounting - 63 per cent
Arts and Humanities - 60 per cent
Hospitality, Sports and Tourism - 55 per cent
Marketing and Sales - 54 per cent