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, also known as medical and health services managers, plan, direct, and supervise the staff and operations of a medical facility, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

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 career expert Laurence Shatkin.

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Education: A bachelor's degree in health administration is what you should have as a prospective medical and health services manager, according to the Department of Labor. Keep in mind that master's degrees in health services, business administration, public health, public administration, and long-term care administration, are also common.

Median Annual Salary:
Medical and health services managers: $90,940*


Career #2 - Elementary School Teacher

Elementary school teachers help younger students prepare for later schooling with instruction in basic subjects like reading and math, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. They plan lessons, grade students' assignments, and communicate with parents about their child's progress.

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 a bachelor's degree in elementary education, says the U.S. Department of Labor. Some states may require teachers to major in a specific content area.

Median Annual Salary:
Elementary school teachers: $53,590*


Career #3 - Human Resources Specialist

Human resources specialists are usually responsible for finding and placing workers within a company. They may administer labor contracts, handle payroll and benefits, and help with new employee orientation, 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: Education requirements vary by position and employer, according to the Department of Labor. However, candidates must usually have a bachelor's degree in business, human resources, or a related field.

Median Annual Salary:
Human Resources Specialists: $56,630*


Career #4 - Registered Nurse (RN)

Registered nurses (RNs) coordinate the care of patients, and educate the public about different health conditions. They might also record patients' medical histories and assist with medical tests, 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: Registered nurses typically obtain either an associate's or bachelor's degree in nursing, or earn a diploma from an approved nursing program, according to the Department of Labor. They also must complete a national examination for licensure.

Median Annual Salary:
Registered nurses: $66,220*


Career #5 - Veterinary Technician

Veterinary technicians work under the guidance of a licensed veterinarian, generally in private clinical practices. Their duties may include performing laboratory tests and talking to animal owners to explain their pet's condition, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

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 Shatkin. This bond could carry over to the technicians who assist the veterinarians, as well.

Click to Find the Right Veterinary Technician Program.

Education: Veterinary technicians usually have an associate's degree in veterinary technology, according to the Department of Labor. They must also obtain certification or be registered or licensed, depending on the state.

Median Annual Salary:
Veterinary technologists and technicians: $30,500*


Career #6 - Social Worker

Social workers usually help people solve or cope with issues ranging from relationship problems to addiction to serious illness, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. They develop plants to improve clients' well-being and follow up with them to ensure that their situations improved.

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: Although a bachelor's degree in social work is the most common requirement for direct-service social worker positions, some employers may hire workers who have a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as psychology or sociology. Social worker jobs in schools and health care, usually require a master's degree in social work. Clinical social workers must be licensed in the state in which they practice, too.

Median Annual Salary:

Child, family, and school social workers:$42,120*

Health care social workers:$50,820*

Social workers, all other:$56,510*


*All salary information from the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Employment and Wages data, May 2013.

Chloe West also contributed to this article by updating the information on 08/03/14


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