15 Best Careers That Help People In Need

Written by College Cliffs Team At, our team, comprising seasoned educators and counselors, is committed to supporting students on their journey through graduate studies. Our advisors, holding advanced degrees in diverse fields, provide tailored guidance, current program details, and pragmatic tips on navigating application procedures.

Reviewed by Linda Weems I got started researching colleges and universities about 10 years ago while exploring a second career. While my second career ended up being exactly what I’m doing now, and I didn’t end up going to college, I try to put myself in your shoes every step of the way as I build out College Cliffs as a user-friendly resource for prospective students.

Updated: January 3, 2024, Reading time: 14 minutes

Growing up, we hear the proverbial question, “What is your dream career?” or “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. Until adulting hits, we often ask ourselves, “Is this the career that I love?” or “Am I happy with my current profession?”

The words “Do what you love and never ever work a day in your life!” resonate best with adults who find themselves plunged into the realities of keeping a job and bearing the pains of pursuing a passion.

Careers That Help People in Need - fact

While most people are driven by financial stability and job growth when pursuing their dream jobs, some prefer meaningful jobs outside these factors. A great perk is that many of these jobs are already considered high-paying careers in the country.

Knowing which type of career to pursue is crucial if the joy of helping people outweighs financial stability, career growth, or honor!

Here are the 15 best careers that help people in need. We rounded them up to help you navigate your career choices, each with an average annual salary that professionals can expect, per the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Social Worker

Expected Salary: $55,350 per year

Social Worker - Best Careers That Help People In Need In 2023

What are the responsibilities of Social Workers?

Empathetic, caring, and resourceful people can find joy and purpose working as social workers. If you don’t mind working with various people in different age groups and diverse needs, pursuing a career in this field is undoubtedly a rewarding opportunity.

These people work with victims of domestic violence, trauma patients, refugees, neglected individuals, the elderly, children, and families.

Required Degree Program:

Individuals wanting to pursue a career as a social worker must have at least a bachelor’s degree in social work or any related field. Although an associate degree is already sufficient, graduates build upon other credentials to pursue entry-level roles.

Aspiring social workers can enroll in Walden University’s Online Bachelor of Social Work Degree, which requires 182 quarter credits for completion. The academic program provides a fast-track way to complete the Master of Social Work degree. The Council on Social Work Education is the agency that accredits the BSW and MSW programs at Walden University.

Registered Nurse

Expected Salary: $81,220 per year

Registered Nurse - Best Careers That Help People In Need In 2023

What are the responsibilities of Registered Nurses?

Registered Nurses are often regarded as modern-day heroes in the healthcare field.

These healthcare professionals are responsible for providing holistic patient care, including checking vital signs, administering medicines, facilitating diagnostic exams, collaborating with doctors, and other similar responsibilities.

Nurses, undoubtedly, play a crucial role within the healthcare industry. Pursuing a career in nursing is an excellent option for individuals seeking jobs that help people regardless of background status.

Required Degree Program:

Although completing a bachelor’s degree in nursing is a popular option for pursuing a career in the field, individuals may also be accepted with an associate’s or diploma in nursing. However, they will have to pursue further advanced studies or further credentials.

Many schools offer an RN-BSN program for students who have earned an associate degree or diploma in Nursing and seek to expand their skills and knowledge, including Bellevue College’s RN to BSN program.

Attending and completing an accredited nursing program by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education should be the standard for aspiring nurses. After earning a degree, they must ace the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses.

Occupational Therapist

Expected Salary: $93,180 per year

Occupational Therapist - Best Careers That Help People In Need In 2023

What are the responsibilities of Occupational Therapists?

If you love to have a meaningful career in the healthcare profession, pursuing a career as an occupational therapist is an ideal option.

These professionals help their patients with mobility problems or disabilities, illnesses, or injuries, providing them with rehabilitation, therapy, or treatment programs tailored to their goals, special needs, and circumstances.

Depending on their preferences and objectives, occupational therapists work in healthcare, educational, corporate, or private settings.

Required Degree Program:

To become an occupational therapist, graduates must have a master’s degree in occupational therapy as the standard requirement. Among other graduate schools, the University of Washington’s Master of Occupational Therapy program offers this academic program that the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education has approved.

UW’s program automatically qualifies its graduates for the Educational Staff Associate Certification in the State of Washington, allowing them to work with children in the public school system without further training.

After completing an academic degree and work experience, graduates have obtained a National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy-issued license to be an OTR or Occupational Therapist Registered.

Substance Abuse Counselor

Expected Salary: $49,710 per year

Substance Abuse Counselor - Best Careers That Help People In Need In 2023

What are the responsibilities of Substance Abuse Counselors?

Substance Abuse Counselors deal with individuals with alcohol and drug addiction and related mental illness caused primarily by other harmful substances.

These career paths also deal with patients with behavioral problems or addictions.

As substance abuse counselors, they work in various facilities, including private clinics, correction facilities, health centers, rehabilitation centers, and health facilities that treat mental health disorders.

They also educate patients about substance abuse and help manage programs for counseling patients.

Required Degree Program:

While a bachelor’s degree is a minimum requirement, many facilities require substance abuse counselors to have a master’s degree in addiction studies, counseling, or any related field.

Grand Canyon University has a Master of Science (MS) in Addiction Counseling that can be completed 100% online, requiring only 36 credits for degree completion.

Graduates gain the expertise to meet the requirements for licensure as LISAC-Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor or LASAC-Licensed Associate Substance Abuse Counselor. Graduates have the option to pursue other certifications from related organizations.

Early Childhood Educator

Expected Salary: $35,330 per year

Early Childhood Educator - Best Careers That Help People In Need In 2023

What are the responsibilities of Early Childhood Educators?

If you love pursuing a job that helps people, especially children, being an Early Childhood Educator or Preschool Teacher may be your dream career.

Engaging with children aged five years and below, these teachers teach young children how to speak, talk, read, and interact with other young children.

Early childhood educators prepare and develop learning programs involving numbers, alphabets, shapes, and colors as part of their day-to-day tasks.

They also advocate for children’s learning development and safety, observing progress or signs of developmental or behavioral problems.

Required Degree Program:

Although an associate’s degree is sufficient, many schools require that their applicants hold a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education. Liberty University offers a 120-credit hour Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education Interdisciplinary Studies program that can be finished in 3.5 years.

The 100% online program features eight start dates annually and no required login schedules during completion. It includes an optional field experience that can be accomplished in an approved location near students’ residences.

Physical Therapist

Expected Salary: $97,720 per year

Physical Therapist - Best Careers That Help People In Need In 2023

What are the responsibilities of Physical Therapists?

Becoming a Physical Therapist is a fulfilling career for people who love jobs that help people regardless of their medical condition.

Their greatest sense of fulfillment is seeing their patients improve with their help through rehabilitation or treatment programs.

These professionals assist patients with various exercise programs or mobility to restore their normal mobility, eliminate risks of permanent disabilities, and relieve physical pain or injury.

Required Degree Program:

Completing a CAPTE-accredited doctorate program in physical therapy is mandatory for professional practice. Aspiring PTs can enroll in the University of Central Florida’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Physical Therapy Education.

It is a 3-year lock-step program that includes multiple clinical education experiences, with 8 to 12 weeks of completion.

After completing the DPT program, graduates become National Physical Therapy Examination-eligible, which the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy requires.

Speech Language Pathologist

Expected Salary: $84,140 per year

Speech Language Pathologist - Best Careers That Help People In Need In 2023

What are the responsibilities of Speech-Language Pathologists?

Speech Language Pathologists help patients with language-related and speech disorders and communication and swallowing disorders.

These professionals also deal with patients who have challenges in hearing as well as those who want to modify their accents.

SLPs develop individualized talk therapy treatment or rehabilitation programs and alternative communication methods as part of patients’ immediate treatment.

With flexible work schedules, these professionals can work with a particular disorder or age group.

Required Degree Program:

As the standard requirement, pursuing an occupation as a Speech-Language Pathologist requires a master’s degree. The University of Massachusetts Amherst offers a Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology program.

This Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology-approved program requires an off-campus practicum completion.

Students must pass the Reading and Writing sub-tests of the Communication and Literacy Skills part of the MTEL-Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure.

Like most programs in the US, the curriculum has me the Certificate of Clinical Competence in SLP requirement of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Dental Hygienist

Expected Salary: $81,400 per year

Dental Hygienist - Best Careers That Help People In Need In 2023

What are the responsibilities of Dental Hygienists?

If you love working in a job that helps people with their dental problems but can’t afford to become a dentist, working as a dental hygienist is a fulfilling career.

These professionals help patients by providing and educating them regarding preventative oral care.

Their daily tasks include advising patients on good oral health, screening or examining for oral health problems, and cleaning patients’ teeth.

Required Degree Program:

Unlike other rigorous fields in the healthcare industry, becoming a dental hygienist requires an undergraduate degree in dental hygiene. Regis College offers associate and bachelor’s degrees in Dental Hygiene.

The programs allow students to gain foundational knowledge in biomedical sciences while obtaining practical training in the school’s Regis College Dental Center. The Commission on Dental Accreditation-accredited programs help students sit and pass the licensure as dental hygienists.

Marriage and Family Therapist

Expected Salary: $56,570 per year

Marriage and Family Therapist - Best Careers That Help People In Need In 2023

What are the responsibilities of Marriage and Family Therapists?

Marriage and Family Therapists are mental health advocates offering specialized professional services to married couples and families experiencing relationship problems or crises.

They help couples explore different aspects and issues affecting their marriage, finding the best solutions to specific marital problems.

Required Degree Program:

Pursuing a marriage and family therapist career requires a bachelor’s degree in counseling, psychology, or any related field.

Students can further their studies by completing a graduate program like the University of Wisconsin-Stout’s Master of Science (MS) in Marriage & Family Therapy program. It is one of the two programs in the country that are Commission on Accreditation for Marriage & Family Therapy Education-approved.

Home Health and Personal Care Aide/Caregiver

Expected Salary: $30,180 per year

Home Health and Personal Care Aide or Caregiver - Best Careers That Help People In Need In 2023

What are the responsibilities of Caregivers?

A list of the best jobs that help people wouldn’t be complete without caregivers on the list.

These individuals are primarily visible in offering selfless human services, including providing holistic support and care for older adults, direct patient care for individuals recovering from surgery or illnesses, and helping veterans and disabled people.

Required Degree Program:

Becoming a caregiver doesn’t necessarily require extensive or rigorous academic programs. A high school diploma is sufficient to work in this fulfilling profession.

However, they must be trained in providing efficient and quality housekeeping tasks, including cleaning, bathing, meal planning, scheduling medications, and cooking meals, depending on their patients’ needs. Besides basic skills, caregivers should know emergency response and first aid skills.

Physicians and Surgeon

Expected Salary: $229,300 per year

Physicians and Surgeon - Best Careers That Help People In Need In 2023

What are the responsibilities of Medical Doctors?

One of the most popular jobs that help people is a physician, providing direct patient care to all types of people.

As a part of the healthcare system, physicians and surgeons diagnose, examine, and treat patients requiring medical attention.

There is nothing more rewarding than doctors seeing their patients with utmost gratitude after they’ve healed from their medical condition or illness.

Required Degree Program:

Aspiring physicians and surgeons complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing, pharmacy, biology, or any related discipline. After completing their undergraduate studies, they must proceed with an MD program before pursuing their residency programs.

Johns Hopkins University offers a flexible way of completing an MD-PhD Combined Degree for students aspiring to receive extensive training in specialized aspects of biomedical sciences while pursuing medical training.


Expected Salary: $39,410 per year

Paramedic - Best Careers That Help People In Need In 2023

What are the responsibilities of Paramedics?

Also known as Emergency Medical Technicians, Paramedics are highly skilled professionals who provide emergency care to patients during emergencies.

They are the first responders who can facilitate emergency treatment, provide initial assessment, perform CPR, provide basic and advanced life support, and transport patients safely to hospital facilities for further medical attention.

Required Degree Program:

Aspiring paramedics can enroll in Creighton University’s Bachelor of Science in Paramedicine program. The 128-semester hour academic program is recognized by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs as recommended by the CoAEMSP-Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Professions.

Besides academic credentialing, graduates must have strong mental and physical stamina and be quick to act and resolve problems during heightened situations.

They must have CPR certification and pass national/state-specific certification examinations, such as the National Registry EMT certification and National Registry Paramedic certification from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians.

High School Teacher

Expected Salary: $62,360 per year

High School Teacher - Best Careers That Help People In Need In 2023

What are the responsibilities of High School Teachers?

High School Teachers’ primary responsibility is to mentor and educate adolescents for the next stage of their academic life.

These educators must help students develop as well-mannered individuals, find their passion and calling, and prepare them for the future.

Like most educators, high school teachers evaluate and monitor their student’s progress, create lesson plans, and guide them throughout their academic journey.

Required Degree Program:

To start a rewarding career as a high school teacher, graduates must have a bachelor’s degree in their preferred area of discipline and obtain teaching training and qualifications, depending on state-specific requirements.

Aspiring educators can choose from Western Governors University’s various teaching degrees, with each program fully accredited by the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation through 2025.


Expected Salary: $51,680 per year

Firefighter - Best Careers That Help People In Need In 2023

What are the responsibilities of Firefighters?

Firefighters have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. It’s almost like fighting crimes like police officers–only it’s the powerful natural force you are up against!

But if you don’t mind the same adrenaline rush and having a physically demanding profession, working as a firefighter is the best job that helps people for you!

Firefighters respond to fire-related emergency calls in residential homes, buildings, and other properties. These professionals drive firetrucks, operate water equipment, and climb ladders to save people’s lives and advocate safety.

Apart from a firefighter’s primary responsibility, they perform first aid, provide essential medical attention, and treat victims on the fire scene.

Required Degree Program:

While a high school diploma is more than enough to join the firefighting industry, aspiring firefighters must complete training at a fire academy. They must also complete the EMT certification and undergo examinations, including drug tests, medical exams, physical exams, and written assessments.


Expected Salary: $159,530 per year

Dentist- Best Careers That Help People In Need In 2023

What are the responsibilities of Dentists?

Dentists are the go-to professionals with anything related to oral health. These professionals provide a series of dental care regimens, including deep cleaning to remove and prevent cavities and tooth decay, correcting deformed teeth, and dental filling.

Dentists also perform dental surgery, ready x-rays, administer anesthetics, and facilitate denture measurements.

Considered healthcare workers, they are often employed in dental clinics, while others pursue private practices in their facility, working with dental assistants and dental hygienists.

Required Degree Program:

Graduates must complete a Doctor of Dental Medicine or Surgery and pass the Integrated National Board Dental Examination to become licensed dentists.

Aspiring dentists must complete a graduate program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation, such as the Doctor of Dental Medicine program at Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health and West Virginia University’s Doctor of Dental Surgery program.

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