Jobs that Help Others & Pay Well

Many people are motivated by a desire to help others, but they still want to earn a good salary from their career. Continue reading to learn more about careers that involve helping others that pay good salaries.

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Career Options for Occupations that Involve Helping Others and Pay Well

Occupations that involve helping others commonly fall within fields such as healthcare, emergency services and education. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports social workers earned a median annual salary of $46,890; EMT's and paramedics had a median salary of less than $33,000, which are public service oriented careers. Listed below are other careers that involve helping others and offer salaries exceeding $60,000.

Job Title Median Salary* (2016) Growth* (2014-2024)
Police and Detectives $61,600 4%
Speech-Language Pathologists $74,680 21%
Postsecondary Teachers $75,430 13%
Psychologists $75,230 19%
Medical Scientists $80,530 8%
Registered Nurses $68,450 16%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Occupations that Involve Helping Others and Pay Well

Police and Detectives

Police and detectives help ensure the safety of the public by enforcing laws, and investigating and apprehending suspects when laws are broken. They may perform tasks such as issuing traffic tickets, or they may actively investigate an assault, murder or other serious crime. A bachelor's degree can be an asset, although it's possible to enter this field by completing academy training and meeting physical requirements. The median salary for police and detectives is over $60,000 per year.

Speech-Language Pathologists

Speech-language pathologists are required to have a master's degree and license; they enjoy a median annual salary of $74,680. They are healthcare professionals who help people who have issues with swallowing or communication. They diagnose and treat patients who may have a stutter or inability to enunciate specific sounds; some of their patients may include people born with a disability or those who need to re-learn how to speak after suffering the effects of a stroke.

Postsecondary Teachers

Postsecondary teachers are education professionals who work with students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees. They can play a vital role in helping students determine what studies to pursue so that they can reach their academic and career goals; they may perform research in their field of specialty. Through their research or the students they teach they may have an impact on things such as medical treatments, educational philosophies, or mental health treatments. A doctoral degree is usually required to be a postsecondary teacher, and postsecondary teachers in almost every discipline enjoy a median salary of more than $60,000 per year.


Some entry-level jobs in this field can be pursued with a master's degree, but a doctoral degree is typically required to be a psychologist, and a license may also be required. Psychologists are involved in performing research about brain functions; they may also work directly with patients to help determine if a disorder is affecting their behavior or causing emotional issues and develop treatment plans for those patients. They can perform a significant role helping patients address and manage psychological issues. The median annual salary for psychologists exceeds $75,000 per year.

Medical Scientists

With a median annual salary exceeding $80,000, medical scientists enjoy a good salary and work in a field where they can help a lot of people, even if they never meet them in person. They research diseases and study possible treatments to determine how to prevent, manage or cure illnesses. From vaccines to prescription medications, medical scientists play an important role in the development of medical treatment options. Medical scientists need a Ph.D. or medical degree.

Registered Nurses

Registered nurses need to have a license, and they can pursue a career after earning a diploma, bachelor's degree or associate's degree in nursing. They play an important role helping people who are ill or injured by providing direct medical care. They may give patients medications, assist with medical tests, update patient charts and report concerns to physicians and other nurses. The annual income for registered nurses is over $68,000 per year.

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