Career Options Involving Caring for Others
Most jobs that involve caring for others fall within the fields of medicine and healthcare or social services. These jobs include treating patients and/or providing basic needs for others, such as feeding and bathing. Below, we explore a few of the possible career options that involve caring for others.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2018)*||Job Growth (2018-2028)*|
|Physicians and Surgeons||$208,000 or more||7%|
|Mental Health Counselors||$44,630 (for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors)||22% (for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Career Information for Careers Involving Caring for Others
Physicians and Surgeons
Physicians and surgeons are some of the primary caregivers in the field of medicine. Physicians are trained to diagnose and treat a wide variety of injuries and illnesses, and they often specialize in a particular area of the medical field, such as pediatrics or obstetrics. Similarly, surgeons treat these various conditions, but through surgery. They may specialize in neurological, reconstructive, cardiovascular or other kinds of surgeries. Physicians and surgeons are responsible for taking a patient's medical history and establishing the best treatment plan, as well as answering any questions or concerns a patient may have. These professionals must undergo extensive education and training through 4 years of medical school (after 4 years of undergraduate study) and 3-7 years of residency programs.
Recreational therapists care for disabled, injured or sick patients by designing treatment plans that utilize recreational activities. Their overall aim is to improve the patient's emotional, physical, mental and overall health through different activities that interest them, such as art, sports, games, aquatics, music, drama and more. These therapists need to carefully assess the needs of their patients and then design a plan that meets those needs, which may involve group or individual activities. They will monitor the effectiveness of their plans and adjust accordingly. Most recreational therapists need a bachelor's degree, and they may need professional certification.
Mental Health Counselors
Mental health counselors provide care for patients suffering from an array of mental issues, such as anxiety, stress, depression, grief and more. They may work with their patients individually, in groups or as families and/or couples. They meet with their patients to discuss relationship problems and emotional health issues to try and modify behavior, help process their reactions and/or make decisions about the future. These professionals are also able to recommend outside resources, like support groups. They typically hold a master's degree and license.
Childcare workers focus exclusively on the care of children. They care for children when parents are at work or family is otherwise unavailable to do so. Their duties may include feeding children, bathing them, helping them with school work and more. Childcare workers are also trained to watch for emotional or developmental problems, and they work to ensure the safety of the children in their care at all times. They usually establish some kind of routine or schedule for the children that offers plenty of fun, interesting activities throughout the day. Their education requirements vary greatly depending on the state in which they work. Some may not be required to have any formal education, while others may need certification in the field.
Registered nurses (RNs) are another big component to patient care in the field of healthcare. They work closely with physicians and surgeons but provide more of the routine and day-to-day care that patients need, such as administering medication, teaching patients how to manage their condition, observing patients and more. They may also provide emotional support to patients and help coordinate their care. RNs can also specialize in different areas, including rehabilitation, genetics, cardiology and neonatal, among others. These professionals must be licensed, but they can hold a diploma, associate's degree or bachelor's degree in the field. The degree they hold may determine some of their specific job duties. For example, those with a bachelor's degree may hold more administrative positions.
Like recreational therapists, occupational therapists may work with injured, sick or disabled patients. Their overall goal, however, is to help develop and/or improve the skills of their patients that are needed for everyday living and possible employment. They use specific exercises and equipment to help patients learn or re-learn how to dress themselves, feed themselves, move with a wheelchair and more. They may constantly need to adjust their patients' individualized treatment plans as goals are met and/or needs arise. They may also work with the patient's family or employer to discuss the patient's needs and ways to assist them. Occupational therapists need at least a master's degree and license, but some may pursue a doctorate.