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Careers that involve helping people

Michael Feder

Written by Michael Feder

Kathryn Uhles

Reviewed by Kathryn Uhles, MIS, MSP, Dean, College of Business and IT

In this article

  • People spend about a third of their lives working, and a career that helps others can impart meaning and fulfillment to those years.
  • Careers in healthcare, behavioral science, education, technology and business can positively impact other people.
  • Discover your educational pathway to a new career.

People today spend up to one-third of their lives — or 90,000 hours — working. What’s more, a growing body of evidence points to a strong connection between helping others and life satisfaction.

Knowing that, it makes sense to look for ways to spend that time in a capacity that applies both your skills and knowledge to the greater good.

Many careers in healthcare, education, behavioral science, business and technology offer just that. Let’s explore some of the options.

Jobs in healthcare

Careers in healthcare can provide the opportunity to help patients who are coping with disease, infection, injury, or behavioral or mental health challenges. Caring for and assisting vulnerable patients is often enriching for that reason.

The first step toward a career in patient care is very often obtaining a healthcare degree. Depending on your career path, this will provide valuable instruction in skills and processes you’ll need each day in a healthcare profession.

Healthcare jobs include the following:

Registered nurse

Becoming a nurse allows you to work directly with patients, family and the community if you so desire. Registered nurses (RNs) provide assessments, perform diagnostic tests and create treatment plans — all of which directly help patients. Nurses also may help manage nursing informatics, which includes the collection and analysis of patient data.

  • Salary: As of May 2021, RNs earned an estimated wage between $59,450 and $120,250, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
  • Education: RNs can benefit from skills and knowledge they obtain from an undergraduate degree — often a bachelor’s degree in nursing. A master’s degree in nursing can further qualify RNs for a job in nursing administration, informatics or education.

Salary ranges are not specific to students or graduates of University of Phoenix. Actual outcomes vary based on multiple factors, including prior work experience, geographic location and other factors specific to the individual. University of Phoenix does not guarantee employment, salary level or career advancement. BLS data is not geographically based. Information for a specific state/city can be researched on the BLS website.

Health information specialist

Health information specialists help manage an organization’s health information: collecting, analyzing and securing health information to identify trends in data that can contribute to improved patient outcomes.

A bachelor’s degree in health administration can help you learn skills to become a health information specialist. To further strengthen their candidacy in the field, aspiring health information specialists may obtain a master’s degree in health administration with a concentration in informatics.

Healthcare manager or administrator

Managers and administrators oversee many day-to-day operations in a healthcare environment, from scheduling personnel to patient care.

Jobs in education and behavioral science

Educational careers provide the opportunity to teach students in a variety of fields. Behavioral science, meanwhile, offers opportunities for both research and hands-on careers.

Some potential career paths include:

Social worker

Social workers help connect individuals, families and communities with a variety of assistive resources and services.

With a social work degree, professionals can contribute to implementing real change across a community. They might help keep children in school, for example, or assist parents in coping with mental health challenges.

  • Salary: As of May 2023, social workers earned between $39,580 and $104,580, with a media wage of $ 63,770, according to BLS.
  • Education: A bachelor’s degree in social work can help you learn how to work productively with families and individuals as well as understand social welfare policies


Teachers provide direct academic assistance for students in pre-k–12 schools. They instruct students in foundational fields like science, math and language.

  • Salary: As of May 2023, teachers earned between $46,960 and $104,440, with a median wage of $63,680, according to BLS.
  • Education: A degree in education can help you prepare for licensure or certification while also imparting skills related to education theory, classroom management techniques and more. 

Jobs in business and finance

Jobs in business and finance might not be the first thing that comes to mind for careers that help people. However, the right finance or business career can enable you to help others in a variety of ways. You might encourage smart financial management, ethical business practices or other decisions that help people achieve success and fulfillment.

Some examples of such careers are:

Personal financial planner

Personal financial planners help clients make decisions regarding investments for long-term goals. They help people consider options like stocks, bonds, real estate and retirement funds.

  • Education: A business-related bachelor’s degree helps aspiring financial planners learn valuable skills, particularly when they want to work for a larger financial firm. To become a personal financial planner, you might also need to obtain a state license or register with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 


Accountants assist with financial record preparation and review, note potential risks and opportunities and suggest advice and solutions for business and individuals.

  • Salary: As of May 2023 accountants earned between $50,440 and $137,280, with a median wage of $79,880, according to BLS.
  • Education: A bachelor’s degree in accounting helps students learn skills to be considered for hire. In addition, accountants need to obtain licensure that qualifies them for practice in a specific state.

Human resources (HR) manager

Human resources managers play a pivotal role in human resource management. HR managers serve as advocates for an organization’s workforce. They help employees negotiate benefits, understand updates to medical plans and mitigate disputes with other employees. They might also organize social functions or informal gatherings where employees can socialize and network.

  • Salary: As of May 2023, HR managers earned between $81,060 and $239,200 with a median wage of $136,350, according to BLS.
  • Education: A bachelor’s degree in business with a human resource management certificate can help aspiring HR managers fortify basic personnel management skills. Such a certificate also demonstrates your commitment to the HR field.

Jobs in information technology

Cybersecurity analyst

Cybersecurity analysts work to keep organizations and employees safe from cybercrime. They deploy strategies that help fortify organizational devices, networks, servers and databases from hackers.

Cybersecurity analysts monitor an organization’s IT infrastructure and are responsible for any response to an attempted cybersecurity attack. They also help to educate employees on the best ways to keep their devices and data secure.

  • Salary: As of May 2023, cybersecurity analysts earned between $69,210 and $182,370, with a median wage of $120,360, according to BLS.
  • Education: If you’re looking to get into cybersecurity, a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity can help. Depending on the size and complexity of your organization’s IT department, you might also benefit from earning a master’s degree in cybersecurity.
When it comes to helping others, opportunities exist a variety of fields. Let University of Phoenix help you find the path that’s right for you!
Headshot of Michael Feder


A graduate of Johns Hopkins University and its Writing Seminars program and winner of the Stephen A. Dixon Literary Prize, Michael Feder brings an eye for detail and a passion for research to every article he writes. His academic and professional background includes experience in marketing, content development, script writing and SEO. Today, he works as a multimedia specialist at University of Phoenix where he covers a variety of topics ranging from healthcare to IT.

Headshot of Kathryn Uhles


Currently Dean of the College of Business and Information Technology, Kathryn Uhles has served University of Phoenix in a variety of roles since 2006. Prior to joining University of Phoenix, Kathryn taught fifth grade to underprivileged youth in Phoenix.


This article has been vetted by University of Phoenix's editorial advisory committee. 
Read more about our editorial process.


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