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The 5 Best Jobs for Do-Gooders


First things first: not everyone needs saving the world to be part of their job description, and that’s 100 percent OK. For some people, giving back happens on the weekends, or after work, and the office is just the place where they earn a paycheck. For others, however, no job could be truly rewarding – well-compensated or not – without the feeling that the work they do helps others. As part of PayScale’s data package, Best Jobs for You, we included a special section just for these folks.


(Photo Credit: phalinn/Flickr)

These are the jobs held by folks who are most likely to say that their profession gives back – while earning a higher-than-median salary, to boot:

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1. Orthopedic Surgeon

One-hundred percent of orthopedic surgeons say their work makes the world a better place, a sentiment we’re sure their patients would agree with. Orthopedic surgeons earn a typical salary of $337,800 a year, but after 13-14 years of post-secondary education and training, we’d say they’ve earned it.

2. Police Chief

Police chiefs don’t make as much money as orthopedic surgeons – their typical salary is $63,100 a year – but the excitement of the job and the satisfaction that comes with keeping their community safe makes up for the relatively modest income. One-hundred percent of police chiefs say their job makes the world a better (and safer!) place.

3. Elementary School Principal

Principals earn an average salary of about $78,000 per year, and have the opportunity to shape young lives. No surprise, then, that 98 percent of those surveyed said that their jobs improved the world.

4. Senior Pastor

Pastors aren’t in their profession for the money – their median salary is around $54,000 annually – but their job is rewarding in other ways. In addition to guiding the spiritual growth of their flock, senior pastors may hold important leadership roles in their community. Ninety-eight percent said their jobs make the world a better place.

5. Executive Director, Non-profit

Ninety-five percent of executive directors for non-profits reported feeling that their job was making things better, despite the job’s high stress and low pay. (Relative to private industry, that is. Executive directors at non-profits earn a median of around $60,000 a year.)

Tell Us What You Think

How important is giving back, in terms of your perfect job? We want to know! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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