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The 7 Jobs That Offer the Highest Meaning

You don't need to get fulfillment from your job: sometimes, a decent salary is enough. But if you know you're a person who can't be happy unless their days are spent doing something meaningful, these occupations might be a place to start your hunt for your next career.

priest

(Photo Credit: francisco_osorio/Flickr)

Note that salaries vary widely, here, as do stress levels and sense of job satisfaction. Some of these occupations also require a significant investment on the education front, so you'll want to research each thoroughly, before you start making plans to change careers.

1. Clergy

High Meaning: 97 percent

Salary: $45,400

Typical Education: Masters (non-MBA)

High Satisfaction: 89 percent

High Stress: 68 percent

2. Directors, Religious Activities and Education

High Meaning: 97 percent

Salary: $35,900

Typical Education: Bachelors

High Satisfaction: 88 percent

High Stress: 61 percent

3. Surgeons

High Meaning: 94 percent

Salary: $299,600

Typical Education: Doctors of Medicine (MD)

High Satisfaction: 82 percent

High Stress: 79 percent

4. Education Administrators, Elementary/Secondary

High Meaning: 93 percent

Salary: $75,900

Typical Education: Masters (non-MBA)

High Satisfaction: 87 percent

High Stress: 85 percent

5. Chiropractors

High Meaning: 93 percent

Salary: $58,700

Typical Education: Doctorate (Ph.D.)

High Satisfaction: 65 percent

High Stress: 52 percent

6. Fire Fighters

High Meaning: 93 percent

Salary: $43,500

Typical Education: Associates

High Satisfaction: 84 percent

High Stress: 78 percent

7. Radiation Therapist

High Meaning: 93 percent

Salary: $69,800

Typical Education: Bachelors

High Satisfaction: 80 percent

High Stress: 64 percent

To see PayScale's full list of 450+ jobs, and how each compares for job meaning, salary, stress, and satisfaction, go here.

Tell Us What You Think

What's more important to you when it comes to choosing a career: money or meaning? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

5 Comments

  1. 5 Mike Mac 15 Jul

    Chiropractors are 1 of the 3 physicians recognized by licensure and insurances

    Medical Doctor

    Doctor of Osteopathy

    Doctor of Chiropractic you stated the education was a Ph.D it is not;Like any physician it is a Doctorate in the chosen Medical discipline.

  2. 4 tawster 14 Jul

    Clergy. If you know any clergy... what they openingly state and what they how satisfied they actually are... are generally two different things.

  3. 3 Nick_In_Detroit 11 Jul
    The top 2 are religious?  Why not a horoscope writer or other form of self-deception?  This is disgusting.
  4. 2 John the Revelator 11 Jul

    Dear Jen, 

    Explaining the method of selection here would be essential. Clergy? What are you smoking? Add witches then. Fireman? C'mon.Schoolmasters - whoa! Chiropractors, surgeons? Mein God! Despicable places to get into

     

     

  5. 1 Taranto 10 Jul

    Interestingly, I think that Clergy, Directors of Religious Education and Chiropractors belong in the least meaningful list.  

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