These 10 Jobs Bring The Most Satisfaction and Meaning in Life

Having a job that feels meaningful leads to a well-rounded, content life. In an ideal world, the salary of one’s job would reflect their passion for it; however, we know that this isn’t always a reality. This is something many people have experienced firsthand after sacrificing pay to pursue their dream careers.

The Most Meaningful Jobs

shutterstock 2162651885 set out to determine which jobs are the most and least meaningful when taking a variety of factors into account. They compared 454 jobs and rated their sense of job meaning (that their work makes the world a better place), salary, job stress, and job satisfaction. After surveying more than 2 million workers, they have found the most meaningful jobs in the US.

20. Education Administrators, Preschool and Child Care Center/Program

education administrator preschool
  • Median pay: $33,200
  • High meaning: 90%
  • High satisfaction: 81%

Education administrators are in charge of the overall operation and management of schools and childcare centers, including maintaining budgets, supervising staff, establishing educational programs, and creating policies. They often act as liaisons between teachers, parents, and other stakeholders.

19. Physical Therapists

physical therapist
  • Median pay: $73,400
  • High meaning: 90%
  • High satisfaction: 79%

Physical therapists help people of all ages with injuries or illnesses by helping them improve their mobility, reduce pain and stiffness, and ultimately restore functionality. By providing personalized treatment plans that involve manual therapy, therapeutic exercise, and lifestyle management coaching, physical therapists can often help their patients regain the quality of life they enjoyed before their injury or illness.

18. First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Police and Detectives

  • Median pay: $69,200
  • High meaning: 90%
  • High satisfaction: 85%

First-line supervisors and managers of police and detectives are responsible for managing the activities of law enforcement personnel, such as patrol officers, detectives, and special agents. They ensure that all duties assigned to staff are completed efficiently, maintain records of daily activities, and review reports to identify trends/issues. They also assess their team’s performance on a regular basis and provide guidance for improvement.

17. Medical Appliance Technicians

medical appliance technician
  • Median pay: $37,900
  • High meaning: 90%
  • High satisfaction: 78%

Medical appliance technicians are responsible for fabricating, fitting, and repairing medical devices that help patients with physical disabilities or injuries. They use a variety of materials to create prosthetic limbs, orthotics, braces, and other products that increase the mobility of their clients. In addition to designing these products from scratch, they also make sure they fit correctly and are comfortable for the patient.

16. Family and General Practitioners

  • Median pay: $165,000
  • High meaning: 90%
  • High satisfaction: 78%

Family and general practitioners are primary care doctors that provide comprehensive medical care to patients of all ages. They diagnose and treat a variety of illnesses, conduct physical exams, order and interpret diagnostic tests, counsel patients about preventive health care, and refer patients to specialists when needed. By providing regular exams, they help their patients stay healthy and avoid potential health complications.

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15. Counselors, All Other

  • Median pay: $34,000
  • High meaning: 90%
  • High satisfaction: 77%

Counselors specialize in helping people with personal, family, or mental health issues. They provide emotional support and guidance to those suffering from mental health issues, crises, or relationship problems. Depending on the type of counseling they provide, counselors may also use techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy to help their clients overcome mental health issues.

14. Speech-Language Pathologists

speech language pathologists
  • Median pay: $65,700
  • High meaning: 90%
  • High satisfaction: 79%

Speech-language pathologists assess and diagnose communication disorders, such as stuttering, articulation problems, autism spectrum disorder, and language delays. They provide individualized treatment plans that involve listening, speaking, reading, writing, and cognitive skills to help their patients improve their communication abilities. Speech-language pathologists also counsel patients on how to use alternative communication methods, such as sign language.

13. Epidemiologists

  • Median pay: $69,000
  • High meaning: 91%
  • High satisfaction: 77%

Epidemiologists are public health professionals who study the occurrence and spread of diseases. They investigate outbreaks to identify possible sources of infection, track the spread of infectious diseases, and develop strategies to prevent their spread. By doing so, they help protect individuals and communities from health threats.

12. Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education

kindergarten teacher
  • Median pay: $39,000
  • High meaning: 91%
  • High satisfaction: 81%

Kindergarten teachers are responsible for teaching basic academic and social skills to children aged 5-6. They plan and implement activities that promote the physical, emotional, and social development of their students. They also create a safe learning environment that encourages creativity and curiosity in their students.

11. Occupational Therapists

occupational therapist
  • Median pay: $64,400
  • High meaning: 91%
  • High satisfaction: 77%

Occupational therapists work with individuals of all ages who have physical, mental, or developmental disabilities. They create individualized plans to help their clients develop or recover daily living and work skills. They also provide instruction on how to use assistive devices, like wheelchairs and prostheses, to maximize their independence and improve their quality of life.

10. Rehabilitation Counselors

rehabilitation counselor
  • Median pay: $39,100
  • High meaning: 91%
  • High satisfaction: 74%

Rehabilitation counselors provide counseling services to individuals with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities. They help their clients develop self-management strategies and build skills that will enable them to lead more independent lives. They also advocate for the rights of their clients and connect them to resources such as employment opportunities, educational programs, and financial assistance.

9. Anesthesiologists

  • Median pay: $273,000
  • High meaning: 91%
  • High satisfaction: 83%

Anesthesiologists are physicians who administer anesthetics prior to surgeries or other medical procedures. They monitor the patient’s vital signs during the procedure and adjust the anesthetic levels if necessary. Anesthesiologists also provide pain management services to patients throughout their recovery process.

8. Psychiatrists

  • Median pay: $197,000
  • High meaning: 92%
  • High satisfaction: 85%

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating mental health disorders. They provide psychological assessments, prescribe medications, and implement therapies to help their patients manage their symptoms. Psychiatrists also work with other healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive care for their patients.

7. Chiropractors

  • Median pay: $60,100
  • High meaning: 92%
  • High satisfaction: 70%

Chiropractors treat musculoskeletal problems and disorders through the use of manual manipulation. They adjust the spine and other joints to restore movement and improve function in their patients. Chiropractors also provide information on proper posture, nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle modifications to help their patients stay healthy.

6. Radiation Therapists

radiation therapist
  • Median pay: $70,200
  • High meaning: 93%
  • High satisfaction: 86%

Radiation therapists use radiation to treat cancer patients. They administer precise doses of radiation to target the tumor and minimize damage to healthy tissue. Radiation therapists also monitor their patients during treatment, adjust the dose when necessary, and provide support to help them cope with their diagnosis.

5. Education Administrators, Elementary and Secondary School

education administrator
  • Median pay: $76,700
  • High meaning: 95%
  • High satisfaction: 88%

Education administrators are responsible for managing the daily operations of schools and other educational institutions. They develop curriculums, implement policies and procedures, manage budgets, and oversee personnel within their organization. Education administrators also work with parents, teachers, and students to create a safe and supportive learning environment.

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4. Directors, Religious Activities and Education

religious director
  • Median pay: $37,600
  • High meaning: 96%
  • High satisfaction: 84%

Directors of religious activities and education are responsible for leading religious-based programs within congregations, schools, or organizations. They develop religious curriculums, lead worship services, provide pastoral care to members of the congregation, and counsel individuals seeking spiritual guidance. Directors of religious activities and education also connect their organization to community resources in order to further its mission.

3. Surgeons

  • Median pay: $304,000
  • High meaning: 96%
  • High satisfaction: 83%

Surgeons are medical doctors who perform operations or other invasive procedures to treat a variety of conditions. They diagnose illnesses, prescribe medication, and operate on their patients in order to repair damage or remove diseased tissue. Surgeons also work with teams of healthcare professionals to ensure their patients receive comprehensive care before and after surgery.

2. English Language and Literature Teachers, Postsecondary

english language professor
  • Median pay: $43,600
  • High meaning: 96%
  • High satisfaction: 74%

English language and literature teachers at the post-secondary level are responsible for teaching their students the fundamentals of English grammar, writing, and literature. They create lesson plans, grade work, provide feedback to their students, and create a learning environment that is conducive to student growth. English language and literature teachers also use technology to enhance their student’s learning experiences.

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1. Clergy (all denominations)

  • Median pay: $46,600
  • High meaning: 98%
  • High satisfaction: 90%

Clergy are people of faith who provide spiritual guidance and support to their congregations. They preach sermons, lead worship services, counsel individuals in need, and perform religious rites such as baptisms and weddings. Clergy also organize community outreach activities and connect their congregation to resources that can help them with material needs.

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happy teacher

The jobs listed above demonstrate the wide range of meaningful and satisfying careers available today. Whether you’re looking for a career in healthcare, education, religion, or any other field, there are plenty of options that can provide you with both high meaning and job satisfaction. With the right mindset and dedication to your chosen profession, you can find a job that suits you best.

This article Most Meaningful Jobs in The US Ranked was produced and syndicated by TPR Teaching.

I'm an Irish tutor and founder of TPR Teaching. I started teaching in 2016 and have since taught in the UK, Spain, and online.

I love learning new things about the English language and how to teach it better. I'm always trying to improve my knowledge, so I can better meet the needs of others!

I enjoy traveling, nature walks, and soaking up a new culture. Please share the posts if you find them helpful!

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