Some people are born altruists—and you may very well be one of them. Perhaps you have a wealth of compassion and a natural inclination toward helping your friends and family members, and, as you examine career options, hope to put these innate traits to work.
Fortunately, there are a host of professions that have the potential to make a dramatic impact on the lives of others, from school psychologists who counsel students during their formative years to social workers who keep families together.
Deciding which of these careers that help people is a solid fit for your interests and professional aims is more elusive. With this guide in hand, you may be able to identify the path you’d like to take—and land on just the right profession during your job search.
3 Jobs That Help People
It’s safe to say that nearly every occupation helps people in some capacity. But if you’re on the hunt to discover a career path that helps people in a more straightforward manner, one of these professions might resonate with you.
#1 Registered Nurse
Registered nurses (RNs) are the lifeblood of healthcare facilities. From providing emergency treatment in an urgent care facility to furnishing patients with the information they need to care for themselves after a medical procedure, RNs can make an enormous difference in people’s lives—particularly during moments fraught with fear or pain.1
This job may be right for you if…
You count empathy as one of your leading characteristics. Additionally, nursing may be a wise career track if you:
- Have an interest in medicine
- Thrive in a fast-paced environment
- Collaborate well with others
The path to becoming an RN entails earning either an associate in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN).2
You must also meet your state and employer’s nursing requirements and successfully complete the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX). If you choose to advance your career, you may also pursue a master’s in nursing (MSN), a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP), or a Doctorate of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD).
#2 Marriage and Family Therapist
Marriage and family therapists have the potential to offer invaluable guidance to couples and families experiencing tension on issues surrounding everything from communication to fidelity.3
As a marriage and family therapist, you may be able to:
- Provide couples and/or families with strategies to improve their relationship
- Identify and recommend mental health professionals, such as a psychiatrist, when needed
- Give clients a safe space to explore, clarify, and express their feelings
Marriage and family therapists may also have the opportunity to zero in on a specialty, such as working with couples who might be experiencing the strain of welcoming aging parents into their home or helping families navigate a complication like a chronic illness.4
This job may be right for you if…
You have an inherent interest in human psychology and behavior. Further, it may be an organic fit if you possess any of the following characteristics (or have an interest in developing them):
- Strong interpersonal and social skills
- Excellent ability to listen, communicate, and offer feedback
To become a marital and family therapist, you will need a minimum of a master’s in marital and family therapy (MFT) before applying for licensure in your state.
Should you choose to deepen your knowledge and expand your scope of practice, you may have the option to pursue a Doctorate of Psychology (PsyD) in Marital and Family Therapy. Either way, you may be able to help families and couples restore their relationships (if ever there’s a lasting, positive impact).
#3 Clinical Psychologist
Clinical psychologists work in various healthcare settings and provide psychological services to people through every stage of their lives, whether it’s a young adult struggling with schizophrenia or an adult wrestling with anxiety.5
Given that one in five American adults is affected by a mental health complication per year, you would be fulfilling a vital role that impacts not just individuals but, possibly, your community as a whole.6
This job may be right for you if…
You have a strong sense of social obligation.
Clinical psychologists and other professionals in the mental health and medical fields must legally abide by a code of ethics to ensure sensitive information remains private. The field of clinical psychology may also be an apt career choice if you:
- Have robust written and verbal communication skills
- Enjoy engaging in critical thinking
- Consider yourself naturally sympathetic
It’s important to note that clinical psychologists are not restricted to working only in a mental health setting. For example, individuals who earn a PhD in Clinical Psychology may choose to work in higher education or clinical research.
In most states, clinical psychologists who work directly with patients in a healthcare environment must hold one of the following:7
- Master’s in Clinical Psychology
- Doctorate of Clinical Psychology (PsyD)
- Doctorate of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology (PhD)
An MA in Clinical Counseling may be a sound option if you want to provide counseling services.
Additional Careers That Help People
It ought to go without saying that these aren’t the only jobs that help people. A few other positions you may consider exploring include:8
- Organizational Psychologist
- Social Worker
- Occupational Therapist
- Police Officer
- Speech Language Pathologist
Discover Your Professional Calling at Alliant International University
Jobs that help people work in both ways: They stand the chance of making a profound, enduring impact on the lives of others while affording those that perform them a rewarding, meaningful career.
Alliant International University can help you find the role that will bring you lasting satisfaction on the professional and personal level.
Whether you’re interested in pursuing an advanced degree in Psychology or your teaching credentials, our programs will provide you with the knowledge you need to make a difference. And with campuses in San Francisco and Sacramento, as well as Southern California, Central California, and Phoenix, we provide a variety of locations to pursue opportunities.
Explore our programs today to jumpstart a career that keeps on giving.
- The Best Jobs That Help People - US News & World Report.” https://money.usnews.com/careers/slideshows/the-best-jobs-that-help-peo…. Accessed March 23, 2023.
- “How to Become a Registered Nurse.” NurseJournal, March 21, 2023. https://nursejournal.org/registered-nursing/how-to-become-a-rn/. Accessed March 23, 2023.
- “The William & Mary Educational Review.” https://scholarworks.wm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1006&context=wm…. Accessed March 23, 2023.
- “Should I Be a Marriage and Family Therapist? 9 Pros and Cons.” https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/should-i-be-marriage…. Accessed March 23, 2023.
- “Pursuing a Career in Clinical or Counseling Psychology.” American Psychological Association. American Psychological Association. https://www.apa.org/education-career/guide/subfields/clinical/education…. Accessed March 22, 2023.
- “About Mental Health.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, June 28, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/learn/index.htm. Accessed March 22, 2023.
- How to Become a Clinical Psychologist.” CORP-MAT1 (TEACH), December 23, 2022. https://teach.com/careers/psychology/clinical-psychologist/. Accessed March 21, 2023.
- “35 Top Jobs Focusing on Helping People and Communities.” https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/jobs-for-helping-peo…. Accessed March 23, 2023.