Careers for Idealists

Jan 17, 2020

There are a number of career paths and job fields that may be of interest to individuals who are idealists. An idealist's specific interests and passions will help them determine the best fit for them.

Career Options for Idealists

An idealist is an individual who likes to view the world for what it could be, rather than what it is. They love imagining ways they could make a positive difference in the lives of others. Though idealists are often considered dreamers, many idealists are very action-oriented, especially when they are in a career that allows them to explore their idealistic tendencies completely. Though they may be driven by visionary philosophies and ideas about the world, being in a career that allows them to create positive change may help an idealist turn this cerebral quality into a tangible one. Here, we discuss several career options for idealists.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Social & Community Service Manager $65,320 13%
School & Career Counselor $56,310 8%
Social Worker $49,470 11%
Lawyer $120,910 6%
High School Teacher $60,320 4%
Environmental Scientist $71,130 8%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Jobs for Idealists

Social & Community Service Manager

As a social and community service manager, you would likely be employed by a non-profit or governmental human service organization or private social service company. Such organizations are often catered to a specific portion of the population, like single mothers, addicts, the homeless, or children. Social and community service managers' job responsibilities often change day by day, but generally involve managing staff, running programs, evaluating a program's effectiveness, fundraising, and meeting with potential donors and a board of directors.

This job is a great way for an idealist to focus on a specific issue or area of concern. To become a social and community service manager, you will usually need a bachelor's degree in an area like social work, business, or public health, along with some work experience. Some organizations may require you to have a master's degree.

School & Career Counselor

School and career counselors often work at elementary and secondary schools, universities, and other educational centers to provide guidance and advice to students. They may help students figure out what schools to apply to, administer various personality and career assessments, and provide general counseling to students who have questions and concerns about the future. These professionals can also work with students on social, academic and behavioral issues.

An idealist in this position can have a very positive impact on students, especially those who are struggling socially or academically. To become a school and career counselor, you will need to obtain a master's degree in counseling and licensure by the state in which you wish to work.

Social Worker

Social workers have many different duties and responsibilities depending on the types of cases they manage. A social worker usually works with an individual or family who has some sort of need and connects them to resources that can help meet these needs. This may include linking an addict with programs for recovery, an unemployed individual with government assistance and job programs, or a single mother with resources that can help her manage a family on her own.

An idealist's optimism and hope for positive change could help them perform the duties of their job well and even provide inspiration to their clients. To become a social worker, you need at least a bachelor's degree, though clinical social workers need a master's degree and two years of experience in a clinical setting.


While being a lawyer may seem like an unusual choice for an idealist at first glance, it could actually be an ideal fit depending on the chosen area of law. Some lawyers may work in areas like immigration law, where they aid individuals who want to move to the United States to be closer to family, find job opportunities, or to escape trouble in their home countries. Others may work as in-house counsel for non-profit or relief organizations. Many lawyers also do pro bono work, which is free legal counsel/ services on the behalf of an individual who could not otherwise afford an attorney.

An idealist working as an attorney has the opportunity to create real and lasting change in many individuals' lives. To become an attorney, you must complete a bachelor's degree along with law school. Then, you are required to pass the bar exam in the state in which you want to work.

High School Teacher

High school teachers can instruct on number different subjects, from math, to a foreign language, to literature. An idealistic teacher has a great opportunity to inspire their students in an area that they are truly passionate about. They also have the chance to be a strong influence on students at a pivotal point in their lives.

To become a teacher, you have to obtain a bachelor's degree in secondary education or a degree in the subject you want to teach, along with teaching credentials/licensure.

Environmental Scientist

Idealists who are concerned about the welfare of the Earth may want to consider a job as an environmental scientist. There are a number of different areas these professionals can work in, depending on their area of expertise and interest. Some may be focused on environmental health and how the changing environment affects humans. Others may be focused on climate change or the human impact on the Earth.

As an idealist, this job could allow you to create a better and healthier Earth. You will need to earn a bachelor's degree in natural science or environmental science to obtain a job in this field.

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