Jobs That Make a Difference
Most people want to do work they can believe in, but don’t want to take a vow of poverty in the process. Fortunately, the world is full of careers that allow you to make a positive impact on your community. By learning how and where to look for these careers, it’s possible to make a difference and still make a living.
Careers That Make the World a Better Place
No matter what your interests are, you can find careers that make the world a better place. Educators touch the lives of the next generation, helping shape entire classrooms full of students. Healthcare jobs allow you to ease suffering and save lives. Working in insurance means you’re there to help when something breaks, or someone gets sick. Careers in law enforcement allow you to serve and protect, and careers in psychology prepare you to help any of these other fields.
If you’re wondering how to make a difference in the world, look no further than this list of diverse job opportunities that may ignite a spark to light your career down a path that helps others.
Many medical jobs require enormous time and dedication. For example, a pediatrician studies for more than a decade to help take care of children with preventative care, diagnosis, and treatment. For helping kids, they earn a mean salary of $184,000. But there are also more traditional 9-to-5 jobs in medicine as well, like working as a medical laboratory technician. Technicians perform tests and analysis for doctors, playing a critical role in diagnosing and preventing disease. Jobs like this allow you to help people every day, and enjoy a median salary of $50,930.
Healthcare jobs are also in high demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Employment in the health care and social assistance sector is projected to add nearly 4.0 million jobs by 2026, about one-third of all new jobs."
By the time a child starts school, they're spending more time with teachers and peers than they are at home. Classroom teachers are responsible for providing many of the essential skills that students will use through their entire lives. A great teacher prepares students to attend college and also to be more productive citizens. Elementary school teachers have a median salary of $55,490 and typically get the added bonus of summers off.
Experience as an educator can prepare you for further careers in education, like working as an instructional coordinator. These are the people who develop, test, and implement the curriculum that teachers will use. By helping keep students on track to learn skills that are relevant in a changing world, instructional coordinators help develop society as a whole. For their world-changing effort, they earn a respectable median salary of $62,460.
Law Enforcement Jobs
Forensic scientists study the scientific techniques needed to examine evidence and create leads for law enforcement agencies. They use DNA profiling, ballistic fingerprinting, blood pattern analysis, and similar techniques to link evidence to criminals. Whether the guilty are caught or innocent people face injustice often comes down to what forensic scientists can uncover. Forensic science technicians never have to leave the lab, and earn a median salary of $56,750.
Without police officers, the law would mean very little. Working as an officer means monitoring criminal activity, responding to emergency calls, investigating crimes, and maintaining order. When disaster strikes, the police are who you call for help. For their service, police officers typically receive excellent benefits including insurance coverage, retirement planning, and a mean salary of $61,600.
Valuable items can break, get lost, or become stolen. Insurance agents give advice to people on how to protect their valuables. Agents spend their time seeking potential clients and helping them find a policy suited to their unique needs. Whether it’s your health, your home, or your car, agents are what stand between many people and a life-ruining disaster. Insurance agents have a median salary of $49,990, but often work on commission. That means the better you are at your job, the more you’ll make.
Claims adjusters are the people who are there to help when something breaks. Adjustors handle the on-site assessment of damage. They talk to witnesses, collect accurate information, and make an assessment of an accident. Whether it’s your leg or your ride to work, a claims adjustor makes sure that victims get the money they need to fix the problem. For their effort, claims adjusters earn a respectable median salary of $63,670. You can find similar jobs with above-average pay by checking out Career Wizard.
Sometimes life gives you challenges that you can’t handle alone. A rehabilitation counselor is someone who specializes in helping people with disabilities overcome life's challenges. They implement a rehabilitation program to address a person’s problems, consisting of anything from therapy to job training. For helping people lead happier, healthier lives, rehabilitation counselors earn a median annual wage of $38,000.
Similarly, marriage counselors help people deal with issues like domestic violence, depression, grieving, and substance abuse. They teach clients how to transition through a crisis, solve communication problems, and replace dysfunctional behaviors with healthy ones. One study in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy found 70% of couples who undergo marriage counseling end up with great marital satisfaction. For keeping families together, marriage counselors earn respectable mean salary of $49,000.
How To Find High Paying Jobs That Make a Difference
There are plenty of careers that help people besides doctors and cops, but you won’t be able to find them if you don’t know where to look. Here are a few tips for finding a fulfilling new career path that can help you help others.
- Tap into your network -- online and off! A good place to start is by expanding and exploring your own network. The people you know tend to be the best way to find a new lead on a job. People tend to make friends with similar interests, and your pals are often your most effective character references. On the other hand, if you don’t have a gaggle of friends, it’s imperative you start networking
- Attend industry events and meet with people in-person. Not every opportunity in the world will be posted online. People tend to hire who they know, or who comes recommended to them from someone they trust. Many of the best jobs out there will only be available to people who attend industry events, or otherwise have relationships within the industry. You can usually find these events at expo centers, college campuses, and online. Meeting new people is good, but all the better if the event you attend gives you an opportunity to show off some of your skills.
- Scout nonprofits online. There are also job opportunities you’ll only find online. For example, social media can be a gateway to a number of non-profit groups. With one search, you can find a dozen local non-profits you may not have known existed, or opportunities that are only available to those inside someone’s professional network.
We spend most of our adult lives at work, so it’s only natural that you want that time and effort to feel worthwhile. It’s not always easy to find a job that gives back to the community as much as it gives to you and your career. But if you spend the time searching and reflecting on your own values and interests, it is possible to find work you can believe in.