People Helping People: A Guide to the Best Jobs That Serve the Community
| Last Updated October 16, 2020
A recent study showed that an astounding 85% of working adults in the US are satisfied with their jobs, ranging from somewhat happy to very happy.
Satisfaction levels depended on five different factors: pay, recognition, autonomy, the ability to advance, and finally, meaning.
Having a 'meaningful' job is an essential contributor to happiness at the workplace and beyond. Most people want to be able to say they're doing valuable, impactful work.
Having a job that serves the community is one way to increase your job (and personal) satisfaction level. These types of career paths influence the well-being of people both locally and globally, allowing the administrator to feel proud of their influence and abilities.
But what job is best for you? Are you curious about the depth of jobs that benefit the community and how you can carve yourself a position in that niche?
In this guide, we highlight some of the many options for you. If you're a caring, giving, hardworking person, the following professions might be right up your alley!
Social workers typically work in one of four areas:
- Children and families
- Mental health and substance abuse
What they do for each is similar: they help vulnerable individuals, families, and children who require assistance.
Social workers support these families and individuals in need by assessing their needs, determining goals for overcoming them, and developing a path forward.
A social worker can research different options, provide references, and do other tasks that improve an individual's or family's well-being. This work can take many forms, such as advocating for various community resources (food stamps, healthcare, etc.) and also checking in with clients, later on, to ensure their situations have indeed improved.
Firefighters and emergency medical technicians have an immediate impact on their communities, as their job is to directly serve those in need. The job isn't easy, but the overwhelming pride and accomplishment that comes along with it is tangible.
Firefighters and EMTs are first responders who go to medical emergencies—including, but not limited to, fires—and help people and/or property that's in danger.
Most firefighters have a basic understanding of the EMT position, but it's possible to be an EMT without also being a firefighter.
A 2020 survey found that there are about 3.7 million teachers in the US, with the majority—3.2 million—serving in public schools.
Education is undoubtedly a significant contribution to society. Teachers of children have the power to instruct and influence our youth, while professors in post-secondary schools, such as trade schools, colleges, and universities, have the ability to shape budding and growing minds into future leaders, humanitarians, lawyers, educators, politicians, and beyond!
Everyone has that one teacher they remember that helped shape their lives. As a teacher or professor, you can be that person—the one who instills confidence and faith and assists in the growth and development of an individual or an entire classroom.
Substance Abuse Counselor
As a substance abuse counselor, your mission is to help those going through addiction recovery.
This job includes many steps: evaluating a person's behavior, both physical and mental, enlisting the help of other professionals when needed, and advising on paths to move one forward through addiction.
What is an addict's openness to treatment? As a substance abuse counselor, it's your job to determine this and help that individual make a plan for overcoming their triggers and dependencies.
Part of an addiction counselor's job includes developing, recommending, and implementing recovery plans, as well as checking in down the line to ensure that client is staying on goal.
A therapist performs a service to their community, much like the other professions on this list. They are a licensed health professional that helps people to better their lives.
This job encompasses many duties, including helping a client develop better coping, cognitive, and emotional skills, reducing symptoms of mental illness, and serving as an unbiased person to offer guidance.
Therapists are nonjudgmental and objective observers and listeners that serve the purpose of helping those in their community heal. A relatively new trend in this industry is online counseling.
You may not have expected to see this career on the list, but interpreters and translators serve a great good in their communities. They translate one language to another, allowing viewers/listeners to follow along in their native tongue or sign language.
A translator or interpreter can work for a variety of individuals and organizations in courtrooms, meeting rooms, hospitals, schools, and beyond. In this way, an interpreter's or translator's job covers a broad scope and can help many a group or person.
Additionally, the job outlook is good, with a prospective growth of 20% by 2029.
Community Service Worker
It's right there in the job title: community service officers provide care and support to their communities.
Of course, with such a broad job description, a community service worker can expect their daily working life to encompass a wide variety of tasks. In that way, their job is very similar to that of a social worker, performing several different tasks that uplift those around them.
Often, community support workers help the elderly, disabled, and injured. They can provide these services from the patient's home or at a community care facility. Their job can encompass long-term care for their patients, providing health and social services well beyond an initial meeting.
Registered Nurse (RN)
What better community-focused job than that of an RN?
Healthcare jobs, including nursing, are a crucial part of the community.
Nurses have many responsibilities, including tasks such as administering medications, taking vital signs, serving as liaisons between patient and family/friends, transferring patients to different beds and/or rooms, caring for wounds, and much, much more.
These vital careers are reserved for those who are brave, dedicated, and hardworking. Nurses deal with a wide variety of situations daily, and even on a minute-to-minute basis. The job requires fast thinking, as well as the ability to switch gears quickly, all while being an anchor for their patients.
There are currently over 800,000 law enforcement officers in the US, which is the highest recorded total to date. Twelve percent of that number are female officers.
Crime-fighting is obviously not for the faint at heart. Being a law enforcement officer is unpredictable, at times dangerous, and possibly not even appreciated by all. Regardless, police officers perform their duties for the benefit of their local communities at all costs.
Being a police officer is a noble career that involves jobs, both big and small. It requires extensive training for several scenarios and is often uncertain on a daily basis.
Midwives are trained health professionals. They help women throughout their pregnancies, through the labor and delivery process, and provide check-ups afterward. Midwives can work from the comfort of the mother's home or at hospitals.
There are several types of midwives, mostly depending on the depth of schooling. Midwives can be:
- CNMs, or certified nurse-midwives, which are RNs with an additional level of certification
- CMs, or certified midwives, which are non-nurse midwives who still obtain degrees in healthcare and have passed a midwifery education program
- CPMs, or certified professional midwives, who are also non-nurses, but have obtained extensive schooling in childbirth, including outside of the hospital
Midwives provide care throughout pregnancy and birth. In addition to physical care, midwives also offer psychological support and encouragement for the mother. They assist in creating birthing plans, honoring those plans, and offering advice on things such as diet, health, exercise, and more.
Occupational or Physical Therapist
Occupational therapy and physical therapy are vital careers that provide help to those who have experienced injuries or who have developmental disabilities.
They evaluate their patient's needs based on their medical history, develop treatment plans, and help those individuals perform specific tasks.
They demonstrate exercises and actions, allowing their patients to eventually perform those tasks themselves. For example, for an occupational therapist, this could mean teaching a stroke patient to get dressed on their own again.
These Are Jobs That Serve the Community: Which Will You Pursue?
Jobs that serve are admirable and noble. They go above and beyond to benefit people right in your neighborhood, positively impacting your local community, and perhaps having an even greater impact.
If you want to get started on your destined career path, we can help.
Click here to find a school near you that meets your needs. We connect students with likeminded colleges, trade schools, or universities, allowing you to hone your skillset and become the best, most humanitarian employee or leader you can be. We wish you luck in all your ambitions!