For some people, the perfect career is one in which they can earn a living, while also improving the lives of other people. Careers in public service have many benefits beyond just a pay check. If the idea of working in a profession that benefits your community appeals to you, these seven careers may be worth considering.
1. Social and Community Service Manager
Social and community service managers are responsible for creating and administering community programs. These jobs are often available at non-profit organizations, nursing homes and government agencies. People in this profession are usually in charge of grant writing, fundraising, hiring and training staff and analyzing program data. Most of these positions require an advanced degree, such as an online MPA.
2. Substance Abuse Counselor
Approximately 21 million Americans have at least one addiction, but only about 10% are currently being treated. Substance abuse counselors provide group or individual counseling for patients who are trying to overcome a drug, alcohol or other addiction.
Because other mental health and behavioral issues often contribute to addiction, substance abuse counselors may also provide therapy aimed at helping patients handle stress and relationships more healthily. You will likely need a Bachelor’s degree or higher plus clinical experience and a license to pursue this career.
3. Mental Health Counselor
This profession is similar to a substance abuse counselor, but rather than focusing primarily on addictive behaviors, mental health counselors assist people who are suffering from mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, grief and relationship issues. In this career, you may choose to work for a private practice, run your own practice or work for a school, prison or private employer. You will need at least a Master’s degree, clinical experience and a license.
If you would like the benefits of being a medical professional without having to make life and death decisions regularly, consider being a dentist. Oral health is a very important component of overall health. In addition to relieving the pain caused by conditions such as cavities or abscesses, maintaining good oral hygiene can reduce the risk of serious health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
Additionally, the appearance of a person’s smile plays a large role in overall confidence and self-esteem. To become a dentist, you will need to complete an undergraduate degree plus four years of dental school.
5. Physical Therapist
2.8 million Americans suffer workplace injuries every year. Many of those people require physical therapy to regain the mobility and functional use of their injured body parts so they can return to work. Additionally, elderly people, people recovering from surgeries, people with certain chronic conditions and people recovering from injuries such as broken bones or damaged joints often require treatment from a physical therapist. Most physical therapists will need a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree and a license.
6. Social Worker
Social workers are responsible for helping individuals and families who need help with food, housing, childcare and other essential services. They are also called upon to investigate cases of child and elder abuse and assist with placing children who have been removed from abusive homes with foster families. Social workers need at least a bachelor’s degree and many positions require master’s degrees and licenses.
7. Nurse Midwife
Nurse-midwives provide gynaecological exams and other prenatal care, deliver babies and help educate new parents about how to care for the health and wellbeing of their children. To enter this profession you will need a master’s degree and a license.
If you want to get more out of your career than a pay check, one of these seven career choices may be a good fit for you. These careers offer the opportunity to learn valuable skills, earn a good living and help your community while doing so. If these seven careers do not sound appealing to you, there are many others to choose from. Consider consulting with a local career counselor for more ideas.