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Jobs That Help People and Pay Well

Wouldn’t it be awesome to be paid handsomely for doing something that helps a whole bunch of people?

It’s not a pipe dream.

You and eons of people would be tickled pink if they could do work for a living which was enjoyable (as in “This job makes the world a better place”) and which paid enough to live on, and to build a nest egg for the future!

Too many thoroughly enjoyable jobs – writer, artist, teacher—don’t necessarily pay much and so, although they garner top billing in the helpful category, they don’t quite cut it in the generous income department.

“There have GOT to be some jobs that apply to both genres!” you’re apt to be thinking, and you’d be right.

There ARE jobs which pay wages well above and beyond those of the majority of mainstream jobs.

We’ve compiled a listing of professions which those performing the jobs have admitted that they can’t wait to get to in the morning, AND which pay well above the norm.

Note: This survey was designed by PayScale, a site which computes compensation data. The methodology?  Four hundred and fifty-three persons selected from the Occupational Information Network were asked not only how much they made, but whether their job REALLY made a difference. Did it, perchance, help the world?

With that set of direct questioning, what was determined was that quite a few (more than were expected) jobs were purposeful AND paid very well.

As was to be expected, many jobs which society considers menial and which paid only marginally did not make it to the list, although they were chock full of purpose.

Here, then, are the ones that did:

Overview:  The heftiest representation of highest-paid folks who love their jobs and feel that they are being of service in their capacity occurred in the health field.  The Medical Practitioners listed here are all highly paid and extensively trained professionals.  At the very top of the select group of these specialists were :


Those surgeons who self-identified as Orthopedic Surgeons, Neurosurgeons or General Surgeons claimed a bring-home pay of around $304,000 per annum.

In the same field, but making substantially less money, were:

Anesthesiologists – making $273,000;

Obstetricians (health sub-specialists in childbirth labor and delivery) – bringing in $204,000 ;

Internists (specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of diseases, as well as dealing in prophylactic or preventive treatment ) – at $197,000;

Psychiatrists – at $197,000;

Family and General Practitioners – pulling in $165,000;

Pediatricians – with a yearly salary of $149,000;

Dentists – at $129,000;

Podiatrists – at $116,000.

The above-listed specialists also used their hands to heal and were  trained quite extensively to achieve their positions.  Their take-home pay was estimated to be around half of that of the highest-paid category, but it was still sizeable by any standards.

Switching categories, the next group of well-paid and most meaningful work occurred in the field of business and industry.   And this position bore the title of:

Chief Executives.

A full three-quarters of Chief Executives claimed that they felt that their day-to-day activities were helping to make the world a better place.  The standard take-home pay for Chief Executives was in the ballpark of $126,000 per year.

Jumping from the business and industry category back into the Medical field, the very next level of professions included a wider spectrum of health spots.

The following jobs were reported to be highly fulfilling in that the practitioners felt that they were being of service to man- and womankind:

Pharmacists – pulling in $113,000;

Physicists (These are scientists who study a wide range of physical phenomena which is broken down into matter and energy. The metric for problem-solving/conceptualizing usually involves mathematics.)– at $104,000;

Optometrists – reporting a salary of around $102,000;

Physician’s Assistants – with a salary of approximately $88,100;

Next in line:  Nuclear Power Reactor Operators. According to the Labor Department, these workers operate and/or control nuclear reactors.  Their positions may include the starting and stopping of equipment; the keeping of careful records; positioning control rods, and overseeing controls.

Nuclear Power Reactor Operators might work in colleges; governmental buildings; institutions of scientific learning and research, or for electrical power generators.

This grouping reported a take-home pay of around $82,500 per annum. Perhaps it was the fact that part of their job entailed correcting crucial abnormalities and making necessary adjustments in emergencies which accounted for their above-average (72%) level of satisfaction—and for their feeling that their jobs were of benefit to the world.

Not too far down the list, a segment of those professionals working in the field of education chimed in as being extremely happy.

However, the actual job claiming this satisfaction wasn’t the direct hands-on teaching spot; it was, instead, the administrative role which reported overall job satisfaction.  (Specifically, elementary and secondary school administrators fell into this category.)

How much did they earn?  Around $76,700 per year.  And a whopping 95% — the highest cut of all categories –felt that their work had a positive influence on the world.

Physical Therapist (or physiotherapy, as it’s often referred to, deals in physical rehabilitation and seeks to remediate immobility via mechanical force and some prescribed movement) – brought in a salary of around $73,400.

And those working with animals and claiming to be able to relieve their suffering– Veterinarians – were reported to be making around $72,400 per year.

In another helpful administrative role, Medical and Health Services Managers were next in line.  (Also known as Healthcare Executives, these roles involve planning, directing and overseeing healthcare.  Some medical services managerial jobs may involve the oversight of an entire center, and some health services managerial roles may involve managing patient’s records. In both cases, a focus on technological innovations and preventive health care has, of late, more and more become a necessary part of these positions.)  – These spots paid an annual salary of around $70,800.

Radiation Therapists (who utilize ionizing radiation to control disease)- pull in around $70,200.

Audiologists  (medical specialists trained to diagnose and rehabilitate conditions of hearing loss) –  are paid $69,500 per year.

Epidemiologists (these positions are seen as one of the jobs upon which public health hinges; the epidemiologist deals in the investigation and examination of patterns of health and disease which affect an entire population) – make approximately $69,000 per year.

Next in line:  Law enforcement managers.  This position turned in a phenomenal rating in terms of feeling that their jobs had meaning.

Ninety percent of job categories which dealt primarily with supervising or managing police officers and detective reported an extremely high level of job satisfaction with their profession—they felt that their jobs did make the world a better place.

The take-home pay for this group was around $69,200 per annum.

Speech-Language Pathologists – this category is paid approximately $65,700.

And there you have it!

There’ s no question about it: these positions all take training and dedication, but you’d get all that, and more, back many times over.

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