While most people focus on the monetary aspect of a job, they often forget about the enjoyment factor. How can you spend most of your waking life doing a job whose only reward is a big paycheque? It doesn’t seem like much of a life to me!
So, instead of searching for monetary rewards, start looking at what’s meaningful to you, what you would feel satisfied doing day in and day out, and how you would push yourself to strive for more within that position.
To set you on the right path and give you some suggestions, we’ve compiled a list of the 20 most rewarding careers out there.
1. Nursery Teacher
Average salary: $56,900 / £24,000
While nursery teachers don’t earn a high salary, they do find their job fulfilling. As they are primarily responsible for a child’s education, nursery teachers find great satisfaction knowing that they’ve helped a human being grow and develop their skills.
Average salary: $47,100 / £36,708
Regardless of the religion that you follow, as a clergy, you’ll be responsible for arranging religious workshops and offer spiritual assistance. While dedicating your entire life to your faith won’t bring you much money, it will ensure you’re entirely satisfied.
3. English Teacher
Average salary: $63,730 / £42,363
As an English teacher, you can teach in any country and at any level you prefer, allowing you to move around without worrying about your career. It’s also a valuable job that lets you share your knowledge with others and help them develop their language skills.
Average salary: $197,070 / £102,425
Although being a surgeon is stressful, it’s also rewarding as you have such a significant impact on helping your patients. Depending on your field of study, you can focus on particular surgeries, illnesses and procedures – finding your niche is entirely up to you!
Average salary: $123,580 / £64,425
Some people might not have even considered anaesthesiology, but without this important profession, surgeons wouldn’t be able to carry out their duties and perform critical surgeries. To follow this career, you will need to complete a degree in medicine and a further four years of higher education in anaesthesiology.
Average salary: $158,120/ £59,790
Like doctors and English teachers, dentists are in high demand all over the world. By helping relieve dental pain and fixing cavities, dentures and root canals, dentists can enjoy a satisfying career.
Average salary: $77,480/ £33,000
As a counsellor, you can work in a variety of fields, from rehabilitation to school counselling and mental health. Through therapy and guidance, you can help your clients achieve more and get back on a healthy track, giving them the ability to transform their lives for the best.
Average salary: $77,030 / £57,750
Psychologists play an important role in today’s society by helping people overcome mental illnesses, trauma and stress. Although it’s not an easy profession and it takes years of education to qualify, it’s extremely gratifying in terms of both personal development and monetary rewards.
Average salary: $68,640 / £50,000
A chiropractor uses spinal adjustments and manipulation to relieve their patients of back, neck and shoulder pains. As a result, this fast-growing job has become a meaningful contribution to desk workers and physical labourers who suffer from various aches and pains.
10. Occupational Therapist
Average salary: $83,200 / £33,032
Occupational therapists work with patients that have suffered from recent illnesses or trauma and devise treatment plans to help improve their mobility skills. Although it’s a difficult job that requires a lot of stamina, it’s extremely rewarding when you witness a patient cross a hurdle and get better.
11. HR Manager
Average salary: $110,120 / £92,500
HR managers oversee the hiring and contractual process in an organisation, and they are also responsible for a happy and fair workplace. Their day-to-day duties can vary, which include resolving employee conflict and arranging induction days. This variety, however, is very rewarding for office professionals, and HR managers love executing equality within the workplace.
12. Athletic Trainer
Average salary: $46,630 / £22,000
Athletic trainers are highly qualified professionals that treat professional athletes and help them overcome any injuries, while also providing therapeutic plans. Becoming an athletic trainer is different from becoming a personal trainer in that you will need to complete an accredited bachelors or master’s degree and you will also need to obtain certification in athletic training.
Average salary: $70,000 / £36,496
Nurses play a huge part in the overall healthcare system. They provide direct patient care in hospitals, clinics or home visits, and they are essential to the recovery of a patient. Nurses are hands-on with all their patients, and they form strong bonds with them. Although challenging, their work is gratifying as they are responsible for their patients’ health.
14. Laboratory Assistant
Average salary: $51,770 / £22,500
Laboratory assistants assist researchers and scientists during lab tests and experiments. They are responsible for assessing samples and identifying illnesses and preparing diagnostics. To succeed as a lab assistant, you need great attention to detail and good time management skills.
Average salary: $119,250 / £62,500
If you’re the voice of reason and the type of person that likes to seek justice, then a career as a lawyer could be ideal for you. Depending on your niche, you could be solving murder cases, fighting legal battles for music labels or solving property debates, among other industries. What you will need is a forceful personality and the determination to succeed.
Average salary: $59,410 / £31,750
As a dietitian, you’ll be helping individuals and organisations to create nutritional diet plans and follow a healthier lifestyle. As you see admirable results on your clients, you’ll feel great satisfaction in your ability to transform people’s lives for the better.
Average salary: $33,380 / £29,034
As a paramedic, no two days will be identical. While on the job, you’ll need to respond quickly to emergency calls, as you’ll be the first person to arrive on the emergency scene and treat accident victims. Although the pay isn’t extremely high, paramedics can save people’s lives, and that in itself is extremely rewarding for many professionals.
Average salary: $49,080 / £32,000
Like paramedics, firefighters are also the first to respond to emergency calls and arrive on the scene. They put their lives at risk to save other civilians from burning buildings but are grateful that they are able to do so.
Average salary: Variable
Being a musician is an enriching career. You not only get to follow your passion but also bring joy to your listeners through your talents. While this career is ideal for those who are musically gifted, it’s hard to break into the industry and receive an income that you can live off. On the other hand, those that do make it in the music industry can enjoy a lucrative career.
20. Software Developer
Average salary: $101,790 / £45,000
In such a digital age, software developers are in high demand. These tech gurus are responsible for designing and creating the functionality of a working website. As a fast-growing freelance gig, software developers can enjoy a great work-life balance with a high salary attached to it.
While these career paths are deemed rewarding, you may find meaning in a different one that’s better suited to your interest. What’s important is that you choose a career with the intent of being happy within your position.
Which of these jobs appeal the most to you? Let us know in the comments section below.
Salaries are intended as a guide and vary depending on employer and level of experience.
Salary information is based on data compiled and published by a variety of sources, including the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook and the National Careers Service.