Find Out Exactly What You
Should Be Paid
Find Out Exactly What You
Should Be Paid

Best Jobs for Do-Gooders

Are you looking for a job that makes a difference in the world? PayScale’s data whizzes analyzed thousands of job titles to identify the best jobs for do-gooders. Workers in these jobs are amongst the most likely to say that their jobs make the world a better place, and they earn more than the median salary for workers in the United States.

Orthopedic Surgeon

Phalinn Ooi / Flickr

1. Orthopedic Surgeon

It takes a lot of education and training, but Orthopedic Surgeons top PayScale’s list of jobs for do-gooders on all counts. Not only do Orthopedic Surgeons typically earn a whopping $337,800 a year, but 100 percent say that their jobs make the world a better place. That’s a high job meaning statistic even for the medical field, where workers are more likely than most other job types to report high job meaning in general.

Police Chief

2. Police Chief

Keeping the streets safe from criminals is truly a job designed for do-gooders – 100 percent of police chiefs are confident that their jobs make the world a better place. That unanimous sentiment puts Police Chiefs near the top of our list, even though they typically earn just $63,100 per year. Police Chiefs sacrifice high salary for the excitement and intrinsic rewards that come with this job.

Elementary School Principal

3. Elementary School Principal

Think being a teacher is rewarding? Elementary School Principals report some of the highest job meaning statistics of any profession. Ninety-eight percent of Elementary School Principals are confident that their work makes the world a better place. Considering how many young lives they influence every day at work, it shouldn’t be a surprise that being a principal ranks high on our list of good jobs for good people.

Senior Pastor

Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr

4. Senior Pastor

It makes sense that pastors and clergy members report high job meaning, but Senior Pastors, who have dedicated a good portion of their lives to serving congregations and guiding church members, come in fourth overall in our list of meaningful jobs. While they don’t earn a huge salary, nearly all Senior Pastors (98 percent) tell PayScale that their job makes the world a better place.

Executive Director

5. Executive Director, Non-Profit

Non-profit jobs can be challenging. Workers in non-profits often report high stress and lower salaries than their peers who work in for-profit companies. However, employees who work for non-profits are often driven by the mission of their organization. Executive Directors of Non-Profit Organizations earn much less than executive directors at private companies, but 95 percent say that their work makes the world a better place.

Fire Captain

Jason OX4 / Flickr

6. Fire Captain

Though they put life and limb at risk, the work that Fire Captains do and the teams they oversee save lives (and the occasional kitty cat). Ninety-four percent of Fire Captains state that their work makes the world a better place, and if you’ve ever had a close call where a fireman saved the day, you would probably agree. You might also think that they deserve more than their median salary of just over $60,000.


7. Chiropractor

If you think you feel good after a visit to the Chiropractor, he or she reports feeling even better. Ninety-four percent of chiropractors report a high sense of job meaning, and they earn a respectable median income of $59,500.

Behavior Analyst

8. Behavior Analyst

Behavior Analysts help clients and patients improve their lives, so their work definitely makes the world a better place, one person at a time. These workers typically have close relationships with their patients, so they get to see the difference their work makes on a very personal level – it’s no wonder that 94 percent of Behavior Analysts rate their jobs as meaningful.

Director Program Management

9. Director of Program Management, Human Services

Working in human services is hard, but it’s rewarding work for those do-gooders who are willing to take on this challenge. Workers in this field face limited budgets and heartbreaking stories from their clients, but they make immediate impacts in the lives of people who need it most. Ninety-four percent of Directors of Program Management in Human Services say that their jobs make the world a better place.

Nurse Midwife

Sandor Weisz / Flickr

10. Certified Nurse Midwife

What could be more rewarding than bringing life into the world? Certified Nurse Midwifes help new parents through the birthing process, providing physical and emotional comfort during one of the scariest, but also happiest, moments of their lives. No wonder 93 percent of Certified Nurse Midwives say they have meaningful work. Earning a typical salary of almost $90,000 isn’t a bad thing either!


Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Salary and career advice to put you a step ahead.
newsletter icon