34 Rewarding Jobs That Help People

High-Growth Jobs That Help PeopleIs your interest in jobs that help people driven by a strong desire to connect with other human beings, assist them through hard times, or help them navigate the complexities of everyday life? Do you want to feel good about the work you do? Here's the reality: You absolutely can. In fact, you could soon be making the world a better place and earning a decent living while you're at it.

All kinds of career paths offer the chance to make a meaningful difference. For instance, when it comes to purposeful jobs, helping people in healthcare settings tends to be a top choice. But it's also smart to explore other sectors when looking for rewarding jobs. Helping children or assisting with national security, for example, can be good ways to make positive contributions to your local community, the nation, or the world.

To be a humanitarian, you have to care about people you don't necessarily know personally and show them kindness by helping to ease their suffering in some way. Many humanitarians help provide international aid in developing countries by working for non-governmental organizations (NGOs). They often hold master's degrees and have started their careers by volunteering and accumulating a lot of field experience. But providing international aid isn't the only way to be a humanitarian. Any work you do that helps make other people's lives better will qualify.

In fact, jobs that can help change the world include those related to areas like teaching, counseling, nursing, occupational therapy, journalism, science, the arts, and wind and solar energy. Of course, many people in business also contribute to widespread change, especially those who pursue entrepreneurship.

And don't forget that making a positive impact can be very enjoyable, even when it's on a smaller scale. For example, personal training, massage therapy, cosmetology, early childhood education, and physical therapy assisting are fun jobs that involve helping people.

So take this opportunity to check out several different ways you can embark on a meaningful career path and make a lasting difference in people's lives. Explore jobs where you help people:

Job growth data is based on estimates for the decade from 2018 to 2028.1 Salary range estimates are based on May 2018 data unless otherwise noted.2


Jobs That Help People Improve Their Health

Improve Their HealthIf you are interested in jobs that help people, then the healthcare industry is probably the first thing that pops into your mind. And rightfully so. Because of America's growing and aging population, healthcare is expected to be a major employer in the coming years. In fact, it is estimated that healthcare and social assistance will be the fastest-growing industry from 2018 to 2028. The industry is expecting an annual increase in employment of 1.6 percent, amounting to an additional 3.4 million jobs.3

So what does all of this mean for you? It means that there is an excellent outlook for healthcare careers—helping people like you assist those who are struggling with a variety of medical issues. Check out the five occupations below that could help fulfill your desire to make a difference:

1. Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

Provide routine patient care under the direction of a registered nurse (RN). Daily tasks could include recording vital signs, giving medications, updating patients' records, and assisting doctors and RNs with procedures and tests. Note that LPNs are referred to as LVNs (Licensed Vocational Nurses) in California and Texas.

  • Annual salary range—$33,680 to $62,160 or more
  • Forecasted job growth—11 percent
  • Typical entry-level education—Certificate or diploma

2. Massage Therapist

Offer patients a variety of therapeutic and relaxation massage services. Through soft-tissue manipulation, you could bring your clients relief from sore muscles, help them recover from injuries, and provide other benefits that assist in improving their overall wellness.

  • Annual salary range—$21,340 to $78,280 or more
  • Forecasted job growth—22 percent
  • Typical entry-level education—Certificate or diploma

3. Medical Assistant

Assist physicians with a variety of important medical tasks. A routine day could consist of responsibilities like helping patients get ready for exams, collecting lab specimens, completing routine lab tests, drawing blood, changing dressings, and explaining treatment procedures to patients.

  • Annual salary range—$24,790 to $47,250 or more
  • Forecasted job growth—23 percent
  • Typical entry-level education—Certificate or diploma

4. Registered Nurse

Provide valuable assistance to physicians and oversee LPNs/LVNs and other medical support staff members. You could carry out numerous tasks, including evaluating patients' symptoms, dressing wounds, helping develop treatment plans, and educating patients about medications, special diets, and other self-care matters.

  • Annual salary range—$50,800 to $106,530 or more
  • Forecasted job growth—12 percent
  • Typical entry-level education—Associate or bachelor's degree

5. Physical Therapist Assistant

Work alongside a physiotherapist and offer support to help patients recover from injuries and illnesses. You may assist with educating patients about exercises for increasing strength, teaching patients how to walk with crutches or other devices, and providing massage and electrotherapy treatments.

  • Annual salary range—$33,780 to $79,810 or more
  • Forecasted job growth—27 percent
  • Typical entry-level education—Associate degree

Careers That Help People Maintain Brilliant Smiles

Maintain Brilliant SmilesHave you considered jobs that involve helping people take care of their teeth and gums? Oral care is important for many Americans, and that has been shown through the recent growth in the dental industry. In one 10-year period, the number of dental firms grew by 10.6 percent, and the number of individual dental establishments rose by 13 percent. That growth amounted to a 16.4-percent increase in dental employees.4

The demand for dental care is projected to remain strong in the coming years. So getting into the dental industry could be a great way for you to help others. Check out two of the top career choices within the sector:

6. Dental Assistant

Take on a key role within a dental office assisting hygienists and dentists. Preparing patients for treatments, sterilizing equipment, processing x-rays, and assisting with procedures are just a few of the things you could be responsible for each day.

  • Annual salary range—$26,940 to $54,800 or more
  • Forecasted job growth—11 percent
  • Typical entry-level education—Certificate or diploma

7. Dental Hygienist

Examining patients, teaching them about proper dental care, cleaning their teeth, monitoring their treatment plans, and taking x-rays are just a few of the many responsibilities that dental hygienists take on within a dental office.

  • Annual salary range—$51,930 to $101,820 or more
  • Forecasted job growth—11 percent
  • Typical entry-level education—Associate degree

Jobs Helping People With Diet and Exercise

It is likely that you have heard about the obesity epidemic in America. But is it really as bad as the media reports? Have a look at these facts:5

Jobs Helping People With Diet and Exercise
  • The average American currently consumes 57 more pounds of meat in a single year than in the 1950s, as well as two-thirds more fat and 45 percent more grains.
  • It is estimated that fast food makes up 11 percent of the average diet among Americans. And as fast-food sales rise, so does the average body mass index of the population.
  • Around 80 percent of people in this country do not exercise enough.
  • The American population spends over $20 billion annually on weight-loss schemes, which include everything from fad diets and pills to surgery and liposuction.

It is clear that many Americans who are facing challenges with obesity may be able to benefit from sound fitness and nutrition strategies. So if proper diet and exercise is an important cornerstone in your life, then you may want to consider turning that interest into a career in which you could make a real impact on people's lives. Here are three fitness and nutrition jobs you could consider:

8. Dietitian or Nutritionist

Share your expertise in food and nutrition with your clients. Show them how to develop proper eating habits and follow special diets when needed. You may find yourself teaching clients about how food can prevent illness and improve chronic conditions while calculating people's nutritional requirements, developing eating plans, and offering your services in group and community settings.

  • Annual salary range—$38,460 to $84,610 or more
  • Forecasted job growth—11 percent
  • Typical entry-level education—Bachelor's degree

9. Fitness and Wellness Coordinator

Plan and coordinate fitness and wellness activities for gyms, fitness centers, health facilities, corporations, and many other types of organizations that are invested in the well-being of their clients or employees. You could help people improve their fitness, nutrition, and mental health through a range of activities like exercise classes, education programs, and wellness activities.

  • Median salary—$82,8506
  • Forecasted job growth—10 to 14 percent6
  • Typical entry-level education—Bachelor's degree

10. Personal Trainer

Use your expertise in nutrition and the human body to assist people with achieving their weight and fitness goals. Work to keep your clients motivated while delivering fun, safe, and effective workouts tailored to their needs and current fitness levels.

  • Annual salary range—$20,160 to $76,090 or more
  • Forecasted job growth—13 percent
  • Typical entry-level education—Certificate or diploma

Jobs That Help Seniors Live More Comfortably

Live More Comfortably During Their Senior YearsSeniors are living longer due to public health improvements and medical advancements, which means that there will be more demand for long-term care services. The demand will likely be intensified by the fact that 20 percent of the American population will be seniors by 2050. And it is estimated that over two-thirds of people aged 65 and older will require some level of assistance or support in their remaining years of life.7 So it's no surprise that home health aides represent the fastest-growing occupation in the healthcare sector.3

A growing number of seniors require daily care from kind and compassionate individuals such as yourself. And you can see that there could be ample opportunities to find jobs that help seniors live more comfortably in their later years when they may no longer have the independence that they once had. So take a moment to consider the three career options below that could allow you to put your caring nature into action:

11. Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Support seniors in a variety of care settings while working under the supervision of an RN. You could be responsible for assisting with many day-to-day tasks like helping patients and residents take baths, get dressed, and eat their meals.

  • Annual salary range—$21,290 to $39,560 or more
  • Forecasted job growth—9 percent
  • Typical entry-level education—Certificate or diploma

12. Home Health Aide

Care for vulnerable seniors who could use a helping hand. Likely in a private residence or assisted-living facility, you could assist with basic routine care and daily living activities. Those tasks could include light household cleaning, bathing, brushing teeth, administering medicine, and changing dressings.

  • Annual salary range—$19,060 to $32,180 or more
  • Forecasted job growth—37 percent
  • Typical entry-level education—Certificate

13. Personal Care Aide

Work in nursing homes, hospitals, and private residences while offering valuable support services to the elderly. Helping with cooking, housekeeping, dressing, bathing, grooming, running errands, and doing laundry are a few of the many tasks that could fall under your responsibility. You may also plan engaging activities like reading or playing games.

  • Annual salary range—$18,740 to $31,650 or more
  • Forecasted job growth—36 percent
  • Typical entry-level education—Certificate

Careers That Help People Overcome Social Challenges

Millions of Americans require help in the form of social assistance. Just think about these facts:

Overcome Social Challenges
  • Around one-fifth of Americans receive some form of public assistance.8
  • There are over 440,000 children in foster care, and the average length of stay is almost two years.9
  • In 2017, an estimated 7.5 million children were involved in investigations alleging maltreatment against them.9
  • Of Americans aged 12 and older, approximately 20 million experience challenges with substance abuse and dependency.10
  • Around 553,000 Americans are homeless.11
  • Roughly 38 million Americans live in poverty.8

Considering the above statistics, it's little wonder that the community and social services sector is expected to grow by 11.2 percent between 2018 and 2028.3 That rate of growth could enable you to take advantage of many kinds of opportunities. For example, a career in social work is a chance to help people in areas as diverse as healthcare, mental health support, addictions counseling, services for the elderly, school counseling, and child and family services. Consider jobs like:

14. Community Health Worker

Deliver important health services to underserved members of the community, such as uninsured workers and immigrants. Some of your responsibilities may include treating minor illnesses, screening for communicable diseases, offering family-planning services, providing medical referrals, and caring for pregnant women and children.

  • Annual salary range—$26,070 to $65,890 or more
  • Forecasted job growth—13 percent
  • Typical entry-level education—Associate or bachelor's degree

15. Human Service Assistant

Lend a helping hand to individuals who are experiencing difficult times. Likely under the supervision of a social service professional, you could find yourself working with clients who are experiencing hardship. You may be developing treatment plans for them, putting them in touch with other community support services, and monitoring their progress.

  • Annual salary range—$22,430 to $52,420 or more
  • Forecasted job growth—13 percent
  • Typical entry-level education—Certificate or diploma

16. Social Worker

Contribute to improving the well-being of individuals, families, groups, and communities. You could be assisting people who are facing any number of situations, which could include circumstances like adoption, addiction, terminal illness, disability, divorce, and unemployment.

  • Annual salary range—$28,310 to $90,490 or more
  • Forecasted job growth—11 percent
  • Typical entry-level education—Bachelor's degree

17. Substance Abuse Counselor

Addictions counseling is a career in social work that involves supporting individuals who are experiencing alcoholism or challenges related to drug dependency. Your primary responsibility could be to deliver and modify treatment plans and offer support services to help your clients overcome their addictions.

  • Annual salary range—$28,240 to $72,990 or more
  • Forecasted job growth—22 percent
  • Typical entry-level education—Diploma or associate degree

Careers That Help Children Receive Quality Care

Benefit from Quality Care for Their ChildrenWhen you think of meaningful jobs, helping children may come to mind. And if you are kind, caring, and patient, then there are probably countless parents who would appreciate your skills. After all, around one-quarter of children aged four and under are enrolled in some form of center-based care.12

So whether you picture yourself working with infants, toddlers, preschoolers, or even school-aged kids, there are a variety of career paths you could consider. Below are four jobs found in the childcare sector that could fulfill your desire to positively affect the country's youngest citizens.

18. Daycare Manager

Oversee the daily operations of a daycare center and handle important tasks such as developing curriculum, hiring and training staff, communicating with parents, managing the center's finances, and ensuring that the physical environment meets legal requirements and is safe and appropriate for the children.

  • Annual salary range—$30,900 to $83,730 or more
  • Forecasted job growth—7 percent
  • Typical entry-level education—Associate or bachelor's degree

19. Early Childhood Educator

Care for small children, normally five years old and younger, in a number of childcare settings. You could be primarily responsible for teaching and engaging children while keeping them safe. On any given day, you could be handling anything from helping kids eat their lunch and getting them ready for naps to teaching them how to read and taking them to play at the park.

  • Annual salary range—$17,750 to $34,430 or more
  • Average annual job openings—177,30013
  • Typical entry-level education—Diploma or associate degree

20. Special Education Preschool Teacher

Offer assistance to preschool-aged children who have special needs and disabilities. Your key responsibility could be to tailor instruction and activities toward helping kids progress and achieve their academic, behavioral, and social goals.

  • Annual salary range—$34,300 to $100,160 or more
  • Forecasted job growth—8 percent
  • Typical entry-level education—Associate or bachelor's degree

21. Teacher's Assistant

Deliver additional student support and instruction by assisting teachers in classroom settings. Your day could involve reviewing instructional materials with students, helping a teacher maintain order in the classroom, assisting with marking, supervising students, and setting up equipment and preparing materials for demonstrations.

  • Annual salary range—$18,670 to $41,020 or more
  • Average annual job openings—153,90013
  • Typical entry-level education—Diploma or associate degree

Jobs That Help People Feel Protected

Feel ProtectedDid you ever consider that you could help people by making them feel safer in their homes and within their communities? That's what a job in criminal justice could do. Having a strong sense of personal security is a top concern for many citizens, and there is some cause for concern.

Although violent crime rates across the country have been trending downward, it is estimated that more than 1.2 million violent crimes were committed in 2017. And even though property crimes have also been decreasing, there were still an estimated 7.7 million property-crime offenses in 2017.14

The United States' crime rates contribute to the country having one of the highest incarceration rates in the world. There were approximately 2.1 million prisoners in custody at the state and federal levels at the end of 2016. And when these prisoners are released, they still may have a period in which they remain on parole and/or probation. Actually, there were 4.5 million adults under some form of community supervision in 2016.15 That number is much higher than the incarceration rate since many criminals who've been convicted of minor offenses are able to avoid jail time by participating in community supervision programs such as probation.

So you can see why law enforcement and public safety is a concerning issue for many Americans. You could help these people feel safer and more protected by joining the legal and criminal justice field. Check out these three career possibilities:

22. Corrections Officer

Perform an important role within the criminal justice system by maintaining order within correctional facilities like jails and prisons. Your daily tasks could include inspecting facilities, transporting and monitoring prisoners, carrying out disciplinary measures, and ensuring the safety and security of inmates and other correctional staff members.

  • Annual salary range—$31,140 to $76,760 or more
  • Average annual job openings—33,80013
  • Typical entry-level education—Certificate

23. Homeland Security Specialist

Administer security programs designed to keep the country safe and secure. Depending on the level of the position, you could be tasked with preventing terror attacks and other national threats, responding to potential threats, keeping borders safe, performing cybersecurity measures, and conducting intelligence analysis.

  • Average salary—$115,31616
  • Typical entry-level education—Varies greatly, from an associate to master's degree or combination of education and experience, depending on the level of the position

24. Security Guard

Protect people and property and prevent crime in a variety of settings like retail stores, malls, banks, office buildings, museums, casinos, and universities. Depending on the organization in which you are employed, you could enforce laws and security measures, monitor cameras and alarm systems, manage access to restricted areas, conduct security screenings, and detain violators until law enforcement officials arrive.

  • Annual salary range—$20,290 to $49,650 or more
  • Average annual job openings—153,80013
  • Typical entry-level education—Certificate

Careers Helping People Care for Their Animals

Care for Their AnimalsCollectively, Americans spend more than $75 billion on their pets each year.17 This high level of spending reflects the fact that pets are extended members of many U.S. families. So why not help these people out by offering the high-quality pet care they desire?

You could consider anything from caring for a pet's beautiful fur to helping an animal in distress. Check out these three common animal care career paths:

25. Animal Groomer

Keep people's animals looking their best. In a safe and comfortable environment, you could care for animals' fur, nails, teeth, and ears to improve their hygiene and appearance. You may be able to begin your career at a kennel, day- or extended-care center, or pet store.

  • Annual salary range—$18,160 to $37,250 or more
  • Forecasted job growth—16 percent
  • Typical entry-level education—Certificate

26. Veterinary Assistant

Take on a supportive role as part of a veterinary team. Along with feeding and weighing animals, you could be responsible for providing nursing care and medications to animals, offering emergency first aid care, collecting samples, conducting lab tests, and other routine tasks that support the animals' well-being.

  • Annual salary range—$19,950 to $38,890 or more
  • Forecasted job growth—19 percent
  • Typical entry-level education—Certificate

27. Veterinary Technician

Deliver extensive animal care services under the supervision of a veterinarian. Tasks such as providing emergency first aid, collecting lab samples and running tests, taking and developing x-rays, getting animals ready for surgery, giving medications and vaccines, and offering dental and post-operative care could make up a large part of your daily activities.

  • Annual salary range—$23,490 to $50,010 or more
  • Forecasted job growth—19 percent
  • Typical entry-level education—Associate degree

Jobs Helping People Feel More Beautiful

Feel More BeautifulMany people want to feel beautiful. They may desire perfect hair, glowing skin, or glamorous nails. And that is one reason why it is projected that the U.S. beauty and personal care industry's revenue will reach $80.3 billion in 2019.18 That amounts to a large number of people who could use your help with achieving their desired look.

You could gain a great deal of personal satisfaction from helping to increase a person's self-esteem by treating his or her skin condition. Or delighting a bride-to-be by helping her look absolutely flawless for her big day. These moments can make a difference in people's lives. So if you think that you would enjoy a job where you help people feel better about themselves, then you may want to consider one of these beauty careers:

28. Cosmetologist

Offer a range of beauty services to your clients in order to help them look and feel their best. The services you could offer include cutting and coloring hair, performing facials, applying makeup, giving manicures and pedicures, and providing hair-removal services. You may even be able to own and operate your own salon.

  • Annual salary range—$17,980 to $50,110 or more
  • Forecasted job growth—8 percent
  • Typical entry-level education—Diploma

29. Esthetician

Provide a wide range of skin care services to help your clients repair and maintain beautiful, glowing skin. Working in settings like salons, spas, and resorts, you could spend your days offering facials, waxing and sugaring services, body wraps, aromatherapy, makeup application, eyebrow tinting, chemical peels, and many other skin care treatments.

  • Annual salary range—$19,330 to $59,790 or more
  • Forecasted job growth—11 percent
  • Typical entry-level education—Diploma

30. Nail Technician

Give people beautiful nails and offer a variety of other hand and foot care services. Your manicures and pedicures could include treatments like massage and hot stone application, and you can provide your clients with beautiful nails by applying polish, nail art, or acrylic, gel, or other artificial nails.

  • Annual salary range—$19,700 to $33,490 or more
  • Forecasted job growth—10 percent
  • Typical entry-level education—Certificate

Careers That Help People Run Their Businesses

Run Their BusinessesThe U.S. economy is on the upswing, and a growing economy means growing businesses. When businesses are growing, they usually require more workers to help stay on track and meet targets. Actually, most businesses would not survive without the help of dedicated, caring employees. If you like the idea of helping a company grow and prosper, then you may want to think about pursuing a professional career like one of the options below:

31. Accountant

Prepare, maintain, and analyze financial records for organizations ranging from small businesses to large corporations. Setting up accounting systems, producing financial statements, preparing budgets, analyzing operational costs, auditing accounts, and preparing tax returns are only a few of the many financial responsibilities that could make up your job.

  • Annual salary range—$43,650 to $122,840 or more
  • Average annual job openings—146,00013
  • Typical entry-level education—Bachelor's degree

32. Administrative Assistant

Support a business' office in an essential administrative role. Contribute to the efficient operations of an organization by responding to public inquiries, scheduling appointments, drafting documents, maintaining filing systems, preparing presentations, and handling many other day-to-day administrative responsibilities.

  • Annual salary range—$23,060 to $56,010 or more
  • Average annual job openings—233,500 (not including jobs in the legal and medical sectors)13
  • Typical entry-level education—Certificate or diploma

33. Human Resource (HR) Specialist

Assume a significant role within an HR department and perform key tasks related to recruiting, interviewing, training, and developing workers. Many of your responsibilities could involve the areas of employee relations, compensation and benefits, and worker retention.

  • Annual salary range—$36,270 to $104,390 or more
  • Average annual job openings—67,70013
  • Typical entry-level education—Associate or bachelor's degree

34. Marketing Specialist

Build a company's brand and image in a positive light and develop strategies that promote and sell products and services. You could be asked to develop and execute marketing campaigns, analyze market and customer data, coordinate events, and help the organization break into a new market.

  • Annual salary range—$34,310 to $121,080 or more
  • Forecasted job growth—20 percent
  • Typical entry-level education—Associate or bachelor's degree

Go Beyond the Ordinary

Are you feeling primed to uncover your natural abilities while preparing to take on one of the transformational jobs that help people overcome obstacles? You can make your first move right now. Simply enter your zip code into the search tool below to generate a list of programs in your area that could help you prepare for careers that make a difference!



1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, website last visited on September 23, 2019.

2 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, website last visited on September 23, 2019.

3 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, website last visited on September 23, 2019.

4 American Dental Association (ADA), Very Large Dental Practices Seeing Significant Growth in Market Share, website last visited on September 23, 2019.

5 PublicHealth.org, Obesity in America, website last visited on September 23, 2019.

6 O*NET, website last visited on September 23, 2019.

7 Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Rising Demand for Long-Term Services and Supports for Elderly People, website last visited on September 23, 2019.

8 United States Census Bureau, website last visited on September 23, 2019.

9 U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children & Families, website last visited on September 23, 2019.

10 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, website last visited on September 23, 2019.

11 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, The 2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, website last visited on September 23, 2019.

12 Child Trends, Child Care, website last visited on September 23, 2019.

13 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Employment Projections, website last visited on September 23, 2019.

14 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), "2017 Crime in the United States," website last visited on September 23, 2019.

15 Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), Correctional Populations in the United States, 2016, website last visited on September 23, 2019.

16 FederalPay.org, website last visited on September 23, 2019.

17 American Pet Products Association (APPA), "Pet Industry Market Size & Ownership Statistics," website last visited on September 23, 2019.

18 Statista, "Revenue of the beauty and personal care industry in the United States from 2009 to 2019," website last visited on September 23, 2019.