Top 10 Jobs That Make A Difference

A person’s career can be a big part of their identity. Many hope that their work can reflect their deeply-held values, so it’s more than just how they make money to support themselves. When you go to work, do you feel like you’re making a difference? Does your career positively impact others? Whether you’re in school considering your future or looking to change your current job, here are ten jobs that make a difference for the world:


Students of all ages struggle in school. It could be because of a learning disability, limited resources, or a lack of help at home. Some tutors are also hired to help students meet specific goals like getting a certain score on a standardized test or prepping for advanced classes. Organizations that employ tutors typically require at least a college degree. The average hourly rate is between $17.00-$21.00. Pay can depend on the demographic the organization serves and the subject.

Mental health advocate

A mental health advocate is a type of social worker that focuses on people with mental illnesses. They help clients with issues like billing, insurance, medication, and keeping up with appointments. This job is found at a variety of organizations, such as non-profits, nursing homes, advocacy groups, hospitals, and more. A bachelor’s degree in social work is usually the first step in this career. Other certifications may be helpful or needed. In the US, the average annual salary is close to $44,000.

Human rights lawyer

This type of lawyer focuses on human rights law. They tackle cases on all kinds of discrimination (racial, ethnic, gender, etc) and violations of human rights, like the right to work in a safe environment. To win cases, human rights lawyers must know the law inside and out, research, and communicate with clients and others in the justice system. Some universities offer specific programs for human rights law. There are positions available at law firms, NGOs, think tanks, and other organizations. Pay varies, but according to ZipRecruiter, an international human rights lawyer’s average annual salary is close to $72,000.

Disaster relief

There are a variety of jobs available in disaster relief. Work includes preparing emergency response plans, responding to disasters, recovering after a crisis, and working to prevent disasters in the future. There are positions at local and national emergency management agencies, as well as nonprofits and private companies. The average salary for this type of work is about $61,000. Disaster relief workers go through formal programs and earn certifications.


Nurses are in high demand these days. Most places require at least a nursing diploma, but a master’s degree or doctorate in nursing practice opens up more opportunities. Nurses must also pass a certification exam and get a license. There are a variety of jobs within the nursing field, like clinical nurse specialist, nurse practitioner, or nurse-midwife. Pay varies, but the average hourly rate is $30.13.

Environmental engineer

Environmental engineers focus on infrastructure like clean water systems, waste disposal, and so on. They’re also often responsible for collecting information on the environmental impacts (like pollution) of projects. A good environmental engineer plays a big role in keeping people safe. Qualifications include a degree in engineering and a professional license. In the US, the average salary is around $68,500.

Grant specialist

Many organizations depend on grants. A grant specialist’s tasks include finding funding, writing letters, and preparing budgets. Many have a degree in marketing, communications, or English, but it depends on the organization’s focus. As an example, an organization like a research lab will most likely look for specialists with some kind of science background. In the US, the average salary is $53, 578.

Physical therapist

This healthcare job focuses on helping clients move and perform essential functions in their daily lives. They’re there for people recovering from injuries or who have long-term illnesses. Physical therapists can work for hospitals, private clinics, schools, the military, and others. Qualifications include a doctoral degree and certifications. In the US, the average pay for a licensed physical therapist is just over $91,000.

Housing advocate

Housing advocates help houseless and other low-income communities find temporary or permanent housing. Tasks include taking assessments, connecting clients with services, advocating costs with landlords, and working with others who might be on the client’s team, like a mental health advocate. Housing advocates are within the social work field, so they’ll need at least a bachelor’s in social work or a related degree. The average annual pay is $35,000.

Guidance counselor

Guidance counselors work with students, helping them with academic goals and preparing for the future. Most are found in elementary schools and high schools, but some work with college students, too. Qualifications vary, but most schools require a master’s degree and other certifications or licenses. The average salary in the US is around $57,000.

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