Studies indicate that when people perceive their work as meaningful, they feel more fulfilled and aligned with their purpose. Of course, meaningful work can be different for everyone, but most feel that it’s doing something that helps others. If you want to help people feel better, there are several rewarding careers that can help you do just that. These include psychologists, therapists, nurse practitioners, and occupational therapists, to name a few. But these careers in particular make this list of the best jobs in America because they are so fulfilling both personally and financially to those who choose them as their career paths. Here, we’ll explore what those careers are and how they help others.
Being an FNP
If you’re considering a rewarding career helping others feel better, becoming a family nurse practitioner (FNP) is a good place to start. Clinical nurse specialists (CNSs) and FNPs are both mid-level professionals who work with physicians to provide medical care for patients—and they play increasingly important roles in medical care across many specialties.
FNPs help people of all ages with a variety of health care issues and concerns. As advanced practice registered nurses, FNPs must have a master’s degree in nursing (or FNP degree) and then pass an exam to become certified. They must also meet licensing requirements specific to their state or province before working independently in patient care. Often considered primary care physicians, FNPs work in hospitals, clinics, private practices, and urgent care centers on a part-time or full-time basis. This can make them especially attractive to family doctors looking for some relief from their workload and willing to pay for it with extra income from using an FNP on their schedule.
Being a Therapist
If you’re interested in the mental health field, becoming a psychologist, counselor, or therapist might be for you. Because there are so many different forms of therapy, choosing one that fits your personality and interests is critical. Great therapists are able to empathize with their clients while also maintaining an objective outlook on their lives, providing help and solutions where needed. They also take into consideration the location they’re serving. The best therapists in NYC, for example, might be helping clients overcome the social anxiety of constantly encountering large groups of people.
In order to become a therapist, you must be licensed by your state. After you’ve earned a master’s degree in counseling or another mental health field from an accredited school, you’ll need to apply for a license through your state government. Becoming a psychologist, however, requires a bit more time. A doctorate in psychology is typically required for clinical psychology positions. While some colleges offer programs leading to both a bachelor’s and doctoral degree, it’s also possible to earn your doctorate by earning an advanced professional degree in clinical psychology after your master’s degree.
Being an Occupational Therapist
The role of an occupational therapist is to help people in daily living activities and at work, both pre- and post-injury. They are medical professionals who use their skills to help those with health conditions or injuries learn new life skills. They typically work in hospitals, private practice offices, nursing homes, and schools. But in addition to treating patients, they can also participate in research projects or provide education for students. Occupational therapists often complete a four-year undergraduate degree program, then move on to earn a master’s degree before becoming certified as an occupational therapist by taking state tests and working under supervision for two years in order to gain hands-on experience. And according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this career is expected to grow 17 percent this decade, which is much faster than average.