Whether you’re just graduating, or moving on to a new career, chances are you are looking for a rewarding job. One that will not only pay the bills, but jobs that help people, and make a difference in the world.
If that’s not what you’re doing, consider giving it another thought. A lot of people today are just doing what they think will provide them with the highest paycheck, but that often leads to low satisfaction. Long term happiness is not always driven by money, but waking up and feeling like you’ve done something meaningful to help solve a problem in this world.
Don’t assume you have to sacrifice money for satisfaction. There are plenty of rewarding jobs that also come with excellent salary and benefits. Most of the time if you put your mind to it, you can find something that you’re passionate about, and also meets your financial needs.
But it can’t hurt to have some help in thinking through these job opportunities, so here are our top 50 jobs if you are looking to help people.
*All salary data is from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics unless otherwise noted.
Table of Contents
Jobs in an educational field can be immensely satisfying and have an enormously positive impact on the world at the same time. Young people, and increasingly people looking to change careers later in life need high-quality education.
1. High School Teacher
Median Salary: $59,170
Let’s start with the job that’s going to take the most training on your part. Being a high school teacher can be great work, with equally great benefits. You will also have the satisfaction of knowing you are helping to grow our next generation of leaders.
2. School Counselor
Median Salary: $55,410
In a world of increasing social media, and other online distractions, the role of school counselors is critical. Not only helping to direct people to the places they can be most successful but also help with any emotional issues kids may have along the way.
3. Teaching Assistant
Median Salary: $26,260
If you don’t have a teaching degree, that doesn’t mean you can’t participate in the process. Schools all over the country need aids and assistants to help in the classroom and other facilities. If you are someone who cares about the development of children, check out the needs of your local schools. They often are looking for in-class aids, and you may find your services are more than welcome
4. Sports Coach
Median Salary: $32,270
What kids do outside of school can be just as important as what happens in the classroom. These days, most kids seem to be involved in many different extra-curricular activities, and you can make an impact.
There are some of these jobs that require certifications, like a swim instructor, but others like becoming a soccer or football coach require nothing but a little experience, and willingness to work with kids.
No doubt you can have a considerable impact on a child’s development in these roles. Many kids end up looking at their coach’s as one of the most significant role models in their lives.
5. Substitute Teacher
Median Estimated Wage: $28,680 (based on an hourly wage of $15.56)
If you don’t have a teaching degree, but do have a bachelors degree in a teachable subject, substitute teaching may be for you. There are different requirements in some states for becoming a substitute teacher, but most states either require only a bachelor’s degree or a substitute teaching license. Regardless, it’s typically less than a full teaching degree, and can be a great way to have an impact on young people.
6. Local community classes
Median Salary: Class dependent
If you have a specialty in something like finance, art, or cooking, you may find you’re services are in demand at local community centers. These centers serve people of all ages throughout the country. In most cases, you don’t need a degree, just some proven expertise in a particular area. Teaching local community classes is a great job that helps people learn additional life skills.
Emergency Responder Jobs
This category is a no-brainer since these jobs are by their nature helping people in distress. These jobs can be stressful in their own right, so don’t take this leap without some confidence. An emergency responder job can be immensely satisfying, so if it fits your personality, then give these jobs some serious thought.
1. Police Officer
Median Salary: $62,960
If you watch too much news these days, becoming a police officer might seem a bit daunting. These stories often feature negative stories about police interactions with the community, but that’s not the reality in most cases. Police officers in many areas are well respected and appreciated members of the community. After all, these are the people that keep us safe at night.
Being a police officer comes with a wide range of different activities, and can be hazardous at times, so be sure you’re up for the task.
In general, being able to help people in all manner of situation can be a very satisfying job.
Median Salary: $49,080
This job is not for the faint of heart. Most people see a fire, and they run the other direction, which is what makes firefighters so unique. If you have something inside you that makes you run towards danger with no fear, a firefighting career might work for you. The help you’ll give to others in the process speaks for itself.
Median Salary: $33,380
Becoming an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) gives you the chance to make a significant impact on people. Every day you’ll be met with the opportunity to help people at the moment they need you most. Again, this job shouldn’t be taken lightly as you will see a fair share of adverse outcomes, but it’s the life-saving part that makes people want to do this job.
Related Topic: High Paying Jobs with Little Schooling
Healthcare Jobs that Help People
Yes, most jobs in the healthcare sector help people in one way or another. If you have an interest in a specific field, it’s hard to go wrong because of the increased needs of medical personnel as our population ages. We’ve picked a few specific professions we think are especially satisfying if you can make it through the rigorous educational requirements.
1. Physical Therapist
Median Salary: $86,850
If you haven’t been paying attention, the population is getting older with baby boomers reaching retirement age. That alone leads to a lot more people with the need for a physical therapist. Not only does this job give you the ability to help people who are getting older, but also to help people of all ages affected by various injuries. Helping someone recover from something often leads to a very satisfying work environment.
Median Salary: $77,030
Mental health is a topic that has been on the rise for many years. The reality and acceptance of mental health disorders are leading to an increase in the number of people seeking treatment. People of all ages need these services, but especially our youth who are navigating a very complicated path in today’s world of social media.
Related: Work From Home Jobs
Median Salary: $170,560
Is there anything better than being able to help a young child. Being a pediatrician is a challenging but very satisfying job that allows you to help children and families every single day.
The job doesn’t come easily since you have to spend four years in medical school and an additional three years in a medical residency. But if you’re serious about finding a job that helps people, it’s hard to beat this pick.
Median Salary: $208,000 (probably higher as the BLS lumps all physicians and surgeons together for this number)
Becoming a surgeon is one of the most challenging medical fields to take on. That said, it comes with its own set of rewards, as you can see from the median salary. But not only does this job pay well, but you’ll also have the satisfaction of helping people who are in need.
Whether people have an orthopedic issue, cancer, or some other issue, surgeons can often save lives or significantly improve them. If you can withstand four years of medical school, and an additional three to eights years of residency, then take a look at this occupation.
If you love babies, and love pregnancy, then being a Doula might be an option for you. Also known as a birth companion, a Doula is a person there to support a soon-to-be mother. One of the perks of this job is that you don’t need to be a medical professional like a midwife, although you will need to get some certifications that require some training.
Regardless, you will find yourself in a position to help people in what can be a very stressful period of their life.
6. Respiratory Therapist
Median Salary: $59,710
This job may not be at the top of most peoples radar, but it’s a great career with many different opportunities. Most respiratory therapists will find themselves working at a hospital working with patients who have breathing difficulties.
Other opportunities also exist, from working with people in their homes to specialty doctors offices in need of these professionals. Regardless, the high median pay, along helping people in the process should have you considering this job.
Related Topic: Alternatives to College
Median Salary: $48,990
Being a religious leader can have a significant impact on large numbers of people. If you are a very religious person, you might find this career path can lead to long term happiness.
People who are struggling with all manner of problems often come to clergy members for guidance and advice. This offers you the ability the help people through your job, at the same time as spreading a message you genuinely believe. Those two things put together can lead to a very satisfying career.
Median Salary: $47,730
A chaplain is usually a religious representative associated with a secular organization. A chaplain can be found within several organizations, but are common at hospitals, prisons, businesses, sports teams, and more.
Depending on the organization, you may encounter many different situations as a chaplain, with most of them aimed at helping people.
Median Salary: $27,650
A professional conservationist is employed to help protect a specific thing. The term can be applied broadly to many different areas but is most often used when referring to the environment. Given a large number of corporations have with competing interests, conservationism has become a hot topic.
In a world where corporate interests can often outway the societal costs, being a conservationist is an essential job. With the potential to help millions of people lead better lives this career can be extremely satisfying.
2. Political Lobbyist
Median Salary: $115,110 (uses political science data from BLS as a lobbyist is not addressed specifically).
Ok, the term lobbyist can be associated with a lot of things, both good and bad. And there is no doubt you can end up on the wrong side of the lobbying game so be sure you are comfortable with this job selection. But if you have good intentions, and align yourself with a good lobbying group, you can end up helping a lot of people. Influencing the legislator is the name of the game in lobbying, and influencing them to make decisions that benefit a greater good helps a lot of people in the process.
Median Salary: $115,110 (uses political science data from BLS as a politician is not addressed specifically).
This one can be tricky because politics is a hard game. But if you play it right, you can be successful and have it lead to a very satisfying job at the same time.
The question is can you hold true to your values, and also navigate the complex political landscape. Politicians sometimes need to make unpleasant compromises to get things done, and that can be difficult for many people. If you are a strategically savvy person with a knack for speaking, politics might be a game worth testing out.
Related Topic: Read My Perfect Resume Review
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for a job, whatever the reason, take the opportunity to find a satisfying opportunity. Doing jobs that help people offer people that chance, and may also provide the ability to earn a good living at the same time.
Young and older people alike often make the same mistake of chasing the biggest paycheck. But find someone who truly enjoys waking up and going to their job every day and ask them what makes the most significant difference. You will likely find they have a job that gives them a sense of purpose. That purpose can be very different for each individual, so see what satisfies you most, and find a way to make a living doing it.
You might just be a happier person for because you did.