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The ability to make a difference is one of the biggest factors in creating a rewarding career. The opportunity to be a positive change and get a sense of fulfillment can be found in a number of fields. If you’re looking for a meaningful job, explore this list of 20 jobs that help people.
Many want to dedicate their lives to a meaningful cause. In fact, lacking fulfillment at work is one of the top complaints that professionals have. There are many rewarding jobs that help people, and if you’re struggling to find one, it might be time to refocus your professional priorities.
Most people find meaning in community and helping others. If you fall into this camp, why not make service part of your work? If this sounds appealing, there are many career paths that allow you to help others daily.
In helping you find a rewarding path, we’ll cover the following topics:
Why get a job helping others?
20 jobs that help people
There are many reasons to get a job that helps others. Some are altruistic, and others are more personal. Here are some of the main benefits of incorporating service into your professional life:
The ability to make a difference. So many of us want to make a positive difference in our communities, but it can be hard to find the right path. If you’re able to get a job that helps others, you’ll have the opportunity to improve their lives in incredible ways.
A personal feeling of fulfillment. When employees feel that their work is meaningless, they often suffer burnout and dissatisfaction. Embracing service is a great way to achieve the sense of fulfillment that might be lacking in your current work environment.
Community. Isolation is a major component of unhappiness, and many employees suffer from a lack of personal interactions. Service requires collaboration with others and engagement with people in your community, making it a great way to overcome loneliness.
There are so many service jobs that it would be impossible to list them all here. However, we’ve brought together some of the most popular to help you understand your options. Here are 20 of the best careers that help people:
Social workers have the vital job of connecting people in need with the public services they require. You’ll find these professionals in a wide range of work environments, from high schools to hospitals. Many have a specialty, such as addiction treatment or child and family services. During their work, social workers may conduct crisis interventions, help clients apply for public services, or refer patients to medical and psychological specialists. Median annual salary: $55,350
A counselor is one of those jobs that helps people in crisis. They conduct therapeutic sessions with their patients and discuss issues of concern, such as substance abuse, depression, bullying, anxiety, and relationship issues. Median annual salary: $49,710
Psychologists are doctors who specialize in mental and developmental health. Their primary task is to help people live better, more fulfilling lives through the use of therapy. They assess mental, emotional, and developmental conditions, provide diagnoses, and then seek to find the root causes of the conditions. Psychologists may also conduct research projects, participate in professional seminars and conferences, or teach in universities. Median annual salary: $85,330
Psychiatrists are trained in both mental health care and conventional medicine. While they also focus on mental and emotional health, they use a combination of medication and therapy to treat their patients. As you might guess, psychologists have a long educational path and must earn an M.D. just like other doctors. Median annual salary: $220,430
If you want to make a serious difference in the lives of others, you can’t do much better than becoming a surgeon. Unlike physicians, surgeons focus less on diagnosis and more on treatment. Their extensive training and education requirements prepare them to complete a wide range of surgical interventions, from appendectomies to hernia repair. Median annual salary: $229,300
In simple terms, a physician is what most people think of when they hear the word “doctor.” These medical professionals specialize in diagnosing and treating diseases and injuries, from measles to broken legs. It’s no exaggeration to say that a doctor has one of the jobs that helps people by improving the lives of those around them. There are many different types of doctors, and if you choose this path, be prepared to choose a subdiscipline that interests you. Median annual salary: $229,300
We’re all familiar with a teacher’s job because we’ve all had one that made a difference in our lives. If you have a knack for working with young people and a desire to make a difference, this might be the career right for you. As a teacher, you’ll design lesson plans, supervise field trips and extracurricular activities, and monitor the well-being of your students. These professionals may work with students of all ages, from kindergarten to high school. Median annual salary: $61,690
Although many aspiring medical professionals set their sights on becoming doctors, nurses are just as important to the medical system. No matter what medical facility you visit, the nurses will outnumber the doctors and provide the majority of the everyday services. Common tasks for these dedicated employees include coordinating patient care, administering medication, and assisting doctors with major procedures. As with doctors, nurses can specialize in a wide variety of fields, such as anesthesiology, oncology, or pediatrics. All-in-all, there are few jobs that help people as much as nursing. Median annual salary: $81,220
When disaster strikes, emergency medical professionals are often the difference between life and death. The category of emergency medicine includes two main job categories–EMTs (emergency medical technicians) and paramedics. The main difference between these two jobs is the level of training required. Paramedics have a higher level of training and are qualified to perform more advanced medical procedures. Both EMTs and paramedics are primarily responsible for responding to emergency medical calls, stabilizing patients, and transporting them to hospitals for in-depth care. Median annual salary: $39,410
While we’re on the topic of medical jobs, we’d be remiss to skip over physical therapists. This is a job that helps people suffering from physical injuries. Physical therapists use structured regimes of physical movement to improve patient mobility, heal injuries, and reduce pain. If you’re looking for a medical job without attending medical school, becoming a physical therapist might be the right path. Median annual salary: $97,720
For many, there’s nothing more rewarding than helping kids. If you’re passionate about helping young people live healthier lives, consider a career in pediatric medicine. Pediatricians have all of the same tasks as doctors, except that their patients are infants, children, and adolescents. These tasks include administering medications and vaccinations,diagnosing illnesses, and developing treatment plans. Pediatricians can also specialize in areas like surgery, cardiology, and immunology. Median annual salary: $203,240
Physical health is one of the most important factors in living a fulfilling life. If you want to help people in your community achieve this goal, consider a career as a physical trainer. If you’re interested in this path, it’s essential to maintain your own health and exercise regularly. This will allow you to provide helpful advice and act as a personal example for your clients. As a trainer, you’ll assess the physical fitness of your clients, develop a unique exercise regimen, guide them through their workouts, and track their progress. Median annual salary: $45,380
Many people around the world suffer from speech impediments. These conditions can impair an individual’s ability to interact with others, limit communication, and cause social anxiety. If you’re interested in helping others overcome these barriers to success, speech pathology might be the field for you. Speech pathologists diagnose speaking and swallowing issues and create personalized therapy plans. The conditions they treat may be related to social factors, developmental issues, cognitive barriers, or physical trauma. Median annual salary: $84,140
We already mentioned EMTs and paramedics, but who makes sure that these professionals arrive on time? The answer is dispatchers. Dispatchers are the professionals who answer the phone when you call 911. Their job is to ascertain the nature of your emergency, and dispatch the appropriate assistance, whether that’s police, firefighters, or emergency medical personnel. This job is extremely important and it’s no exaggeration to say that a good dispatcher saves lives on a daily basis. Median annual salary: $46,900
Addiction specialists are counselors who specialize in ending and reducing substance abuse. In this position, you’ll be able to help people in your community overcome obstacles such as alcoholism and drug use. Like other counselors, addiction specialists meet with clients, assess their conditions, and develop customized treatment plans. As an addiction treatment specialist, you may use a variety of treatment techniques, including talk therapy and medication. Median annual salary: $49,710
These days, most people go to hospitals and gynecology clinics for prenatal care and childbirth, but this wasn’t always the case. In the past, midwives played a vital role in the care of mothers and newborns. Midwifery is currently experiencing a revival, with many parents seeking out expert midwives to assist them during pregnancy. As a midwife, you’ll provide prenatal and postpartum care, assist with labor and delivery, and address complications, often in collaboration with other medical professionals. Median annual salary: $115,540
No matter what field you work in, you’ve probably interacted with human resources professionals. These individuals are responsible for ensuring employee well-being in the workplace and connecting workers with the services they need to succeed. Human resources managers oversee payroll and benefits, conduct training and onboarding sessions, and help foster a thriving company culture. Median annual salary: $130,000
Lawyers are legal professionals who help their clients navigate the ins and outs of civil and criminal proceedings. Their job is essential and ensures that everybody gets fair representation in the legal system. This is especially true for public defenders, who are responsible for defending clients who can’t afford to hire private firms. Depending on which path you choose, becoming a lawyer might be a great way to help those around you. Median annual salary: $135,740
Pharmaceutical interventions are a vital part of the medical industry and can make a massive difference in people’s lives. Pharmacists are the professionals responsible for supplying patients with medications that treat their medical conditions. As a pharmacist, you may work in a retail pharmacy, private clinic, hospital, or assisted living facility. Your tasks will include compounding medications, filling prescriptions, educating patients, and assisting other medical professionals with treatment plans. Median annual salary: $132,750
Without financial stability, it can be very challenging to build the life you want. Millions of people in the U.S. struggle with financial difficulties, and this is where financial coaches come in. These professionals have a deep understanding of how finance works, allowing them to help their clients achieve a better standard of living. They may help their clients save more of their income, consolidate and eliminate debt, plan their retirements, or build a robust investment portfolio. Median annual salary: $95,390
Having a career that helps people first starts with a high quality resume. Check out Career.io’s Resume Builder to get started.
Helping others is one of the best ways to achieve a sense of meaning and fulfillment in your professional life.
Jobs that involve service are a great way to make a difference in your community and overcome personal isolation.
The medical and emergency services fields are great places to look for jobs that help people.
Patrick is a Nashville-based writer and editor who loves a good turn of phrase. He has worked for a variety of clients but has a special interest in career services, travel, and the arts. When not writing, Patrick is an avid musician who enjoys exploring the sights and sounds of Music City.