Careers That Are Great for Caring People

Feel Good Careers

Learn more about careers with a strong feel good factor.

Are you looking to launch a new career where you can help others and make a difference? A job that lets you feel truly good about what you do every day could mean the difference between a rewarding experience and just another 9-to-5.

The good news is that there are plenty of rewarding career opportunities in fields as diverse as health care, education, and business.

Keep reading to learn about six careers that could make you feel good about your impact on the people around you.

Career #1 - Health Care Administrator

Health care administrators plan, direct, and supervise the staff and operations of a medical facility to help make sure things are running smoothly and patients' needs are met, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In this type of role, you could be helping anywhere from dozens to hundreds of people a day by making sure their health care experience is efficient and seamless.

Feel Good Factor: "Managing a health care facility can be more satisfying than managing most other kinds of businesses because the goal is to make people healthier. Instead of shipping manufactured widgets, you're turning out people who have been cured of diseases," says Shatkin.

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Education: It's typical to obtain a master's degree in a health care-related field if you're hoping to pursue this career, according to the Department of Labor. However, you may be able to get started at smaller medical practices with a bachelor's degree in a field relevant to health care.

Average Annual Salary:
Medical and health services managers: $93,670/year*

Career #2 - Teacher

Teachers help students grow socially, emotionally, and intellectually by conveying to them a variety of concepts and ideas. They might teach anything from math to a foreign language to music or art.

Feel Good Factor: Teaching allows you to shape young minds and introduce students to exciting concepts, like how the human body works or the mysteries of outer space. "It can be very rewarding to open a person's eyes to new knowledge and open up new possibilities for a career and enriched life," Shatkin says.

Click to Find the Right K-12 Program.

Education: Public school teachers in all 50 U.S. states must have a license, and most need a bachelor's degree in education or a related field, says the U.S. Department of Labor. It's smart to take courses on teaching methods and principles, as well as classes in the particular subject you'd like to teach.

Average Annual Salaries:
Elementary school teachers: $54,330/year*
Middle school teachers: $54,880/year*
High school teachers: $55,990/year*

Career #3 - Human Resources Specialist

Human resources specialists are usually responsible for finding and keeping the best possible employees for jobs within a company. They might mediate conflicts, handle payroll and benefits, or manage staff training and development, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Feel Good Factor: "One of the satisfactions of being a human resources specialist is helping people find jobs where they fit in and that make maximum use of their potential. Another is the satisfaction of building a team that works together well," Shatkin says.

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Education: You can seek this sort of job with varying types of education, according to the Department of Labor. Whereas you may want to have a bachelor's degree in human resources or labor relations for some positions, other companies may prefer a business or information technology bachelor's degree. Courses you may want to take with a human resources career in mind include training and development, statistics, compensation and benefits, and legal issues in employment.

Average Annual Salary:
Training and development specialists: $57,280/year*

Career #4 - Registered Nurse (RN)

RNs give medical advice, treat patients, and educate the public about issues having to do with health care, illness, and medicine. They also might record and file patients' medical records and assist with medical tests and diagnoses, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Feel Good Factor: Nursing can let you give back to patients in a variety of ways. "Registered nurses provide not only medical support but also emotional support," Shatkin notes. "They cheer up people at the same time that they deal with their medical problems. They also educate people about good health habits, such as hygiene, exercise, and a healthy diet."

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Education: Nurses typically obtain either an associate's or bachelor's degree in nursing, according to the Department of Labor. They also must complete a national examination for licensure. Taking science, psychology, and social science courses can generally help you prepare for a career in nursing, according to the College Board.

Average Annual Salary:
Registered nurses: $67,720/year*

Career #5 - Veterinary Technician

Veterinary technicians are to veterinarians what nurses are to physicians; that is, they assist vets with all the duties of a veterinary clinic, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. This could include performing and analyzing medical tests, helping with general pet care, and educating pet owners about their animals' health.

Feel Good Factor: Veterinary technicians make connections not just with the animals they treat, but with their owner, as well. "People have such a strong bond with their pets that they greatly appreciate what the vet does," says career expert Dr. Laurence Shatkin.This bond could carry over to the technicians who assist the veterinarians, as well.

Click to Find the Right Veterinary Technician Program.

Education: Aspiring veterinary technicians should pursue an associate's degree in veterinary technology. The Department of Labor notes that it's important to make sure the degree program you choose is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

Average Annual Salary:
Veterinary technologists and technicians: $31,030*

Career #6 - Social Worker

Social workers usually help people solve or cope with issues ranging from relationship problems to addiction or mental illness. Depending on the setting in which they work, they might help people seek out housing, health care, or drug or alcohol treatment programs, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. They might also provide counseling and assistance in finding work or coping with a disability.

Feel Good Factor: These professionals tend to enter people's lives when those people need the most help. "Social workers … may help a client deal with an abusive relationship or enroll in a program to overcome an addiction. In a medical setting, they can get the satisfaction of helping a patient deal with a disability," says Shatkin.

Click to Find the Right Psychology Program.

Education: While it's possible to seek work as a social worker with a bachelor's degree in social work or a related field like psychology, those with advanced degrees in social work may enjoy the most marketability, according to the Department of Labor. Licensing and certification are required in most states. The College Board recommends taking courses like psychology, history, and social sciences.

Average Annual Salary:
Child, family, and school social workers: $43,850/year*

*All average salary information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, May 2010 statistics.

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