If you’re like most Americans, you have been feeling happier these days.

And no, it’s not just that you are excited about Halloween. Most Americans are feeling a better sense of well-being, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index,www.well-beingindex.com, which attributes this increase to the economic recovery, along with improving consumer confidence and signs of life returning to the housing market.

According to Gallup, the August national well-being index score of 67 ties with February 2008 as the months with the highest score in the survey’s 20-month history. It finds well-being to be improving across all ages and income groups, in every region of the country.

Another Gallup poll looks at well-being when broken out between different careers. The results vary, with some jobs providing more happiness or more satisfaction than others.

This does not sound like a surprise finding, though the reasons may be. For one, money plays a role, but it is not the only factor to take into consideration.

While business owners ranked number one in well-being, they also worked the most. However, given that it is most likely work they want to do, it makes sense that they are more satisfied.

Business owners really take the lead in work environment though, scoring 16 points above the next group, farming and forestry. Those in the farming and forestry field scored the highest in emotional health and healthy behavior.

No surprise, the “Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index findings reveal that different labor often does result in different lives, especially when looking at six specific domains of well-being.” The index looks at life evaluation, emotional health, physical health, healthy behavior, work environment and basic access. The report goes on to say, “Understanding the different components of well-being and which occupations thrive and suffer in each regard is an important step toward identifying areas of need where employers can make changes to improve the well-being of their workforce, in turn helping to improve the health of the national economy.”

What would improve your well-being? Owning your own business? If you are both the employer and employee, it would be easy to note areas that you would like to change, and improving your well-being may be up to you.

While the occupational group categories do provide more details, the categories-including business owners, sales, construction and manufacturing-are still broad and do not address the range in these careers.

The NDT profession is a varied one, encompassing many different industries, which could fit into several of these categories. For proof, visitwww.asnt.orgfor the American Society for Nondestructive Testing’s (ASNT) images of 24 hours in NDT provided by various organizations. The 24 hours look very different. They include desks and conference rooms, along with some work that made my erratic office temperature not seem so hazardous.

I have yet to be submerged in open water on the job, so images of offshore divers in swirling water was a jolt to the system, as I sit safe and warm in my office. Others featured complex machinery and pipeline inspection.

ASNT membership also illustrates the diversity of the NDT profession, as its NDT practitioners and members work in manufacturing, construction, education, research, consulting, services and the military.

No matter which category you fall into, for those of you in NDT or materials testing, October is a busy time for the industry, with MS&T and the ASNT fall conference this month.

And, of course, Halloween is still something to get excited about.