Finding a career that makes a real difference can be challenging. The good news is that for those looking for careers helping people, there are many good opportunities that pay a decent salary.
Five of those careers are: nutritionist, youth counselor, social worker, teacher, and nurse. While this list does not include every job that involves helping others, these positions have the potential to impact the lives of families for generations. Salaries provided are based on figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Nutritionists provide guidance for people who need to eat healthy. Usually individuals who see nutritionists need help developing healthy eating habits to reduce the risk or postpone the effects of chronic conditions that are associated with unhealthy eating.
The obesity epidemic that affects both children and adults points to the need for more professionals who can offer sound nutrition counseling. People who learn to eat healthier not only save their own lives, they can involve their families in developing healthy eating habits.
Becoming a licensed nutritionist or dietitian requires a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and an internship where the candidate practices under the direction of a qualified supervisor. Once the program is completed the nutritionist takes a nationally recognized exam to become a registered dietitian and must meet state requirements for a license where appropriate.
The median salary for a licensed nutritionist or registered dietitian is around $53,250 per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
2. Youth Counselors
Youth counselors work with young people in community centers or through nonprofit organizations. A person in this position may coordinate mentoring programs where they match young people with mentors who can help with tutoring or who spend time encouraging youth and helping them meet their goals.
Counselors also plan and implement activities in after school and summer programs. Helping young people stay out of trouble and on the right track is the main impact of a youth development counselor’s work.
Generally, a youth counselor needs at least an associate degree in a human development area, however many programs may require a bachelor’s degree. A youth development counselor should expect to undergo a background check, including a criminal records check. He or she can expect to earn $22,600 per year.
3. Social Workers
Social workers help people who are dealing with all sorts of problems. Some of the duties of Social workers in various settings include linking people to needed services, investigating reports of child abuse and neglect, working as therapists in mental health centers, coordinate services for older adults and assisting families with discharge planning when a patient needs extensive follow-up care after a hospitalization.
Most social work positions require a bachelor’s degree in social work, with therapy and supervisory positions requiring a master’s degree. Most agencies prefer that social workers be licensed, which means taking a national exam or meeting the licensing requirements of the state where the individual is employed. Social workers earn a median salary of $42,480 per year.
Teachers are one of the top careers helping people. Everyone who has attended school or who goes to college should thank a teacher. Doctors, attorneys and business people all sat at the feet of teachers before they earned credentials that put them in positions of respect and six and seven-figure incomes.
Teachers make many sacrifices, including dealing with behavior problems while maintaining a learning environment and taking work home to make sure they are prepared for the next day. However, one of the perks is that most teachers have some extended time off, usually about two months during the summer and several days off during the spring and during the holidays.
Most compelling is that a teacher who stays in the field for 30 years can impact the lives of several thousand young people in a positive way. Teaching salaries depend on the states where teachers are employed. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for teachers are in the range of $53,000 per year.
Nursing is another area that falls under careers helping people. Nurses provide care to sick and recovering individuals based on physician’s orders. Nursing care includes assessing needs, developing care plans, documenting patients’ progress, and administering medications and educating patients regarding self-care.
Nursing offers unlimited opportunities for those willing to obtain advanced degrees. Those with bachelor’s degrees or higher earn more money. The median pay for registered nurses is more than $64,000 per year.