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5 rewarding jobs that help people and give back to the community

At a glance

  • There are many paths to consider, including social work, nursing and teaching, if you’re eager to help people and your community.
  • Giving back doesn’t have to involve working with people. Certain roles in environmental science and research can help people and communities in indirect but important ways.
  • Explore University of Phoenix’s programs in nursing, education, the social sciences and more if you’re interested in educationally preparing for a career that could benefit your community. 

Working as a career professional in the service of your community can be rewarding. While these jobs often require dedication and hard work, they offer the potential to help people and make a positive difference in the lives of others.

Jobs that help people include roles like healthcare workers, counselors, social workers and more.

Empathy, patience, compassion, and problem-solving and communication skills are common characteristics of people who work in these roles. To take full advantage of your capacity to help others in your career, it may help to go back to school and further your education

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5 jobs that help people

Whether you’re pursuing a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree, there are rewarding jobs you can pursue if you’re looking to help people and give back.

1.  Teaching

Teaching can be enriching as you witness your students’ progress and help shape their minds to become better citizens. Teachers can also play a crucial role in helping lay the foundation for children or young adults and their social and educational skills. Many find it satisfying to help mold young minds.

You might opt to teach many subjects to one grade level, or you could pursue a specialization, such as teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) or special education students. Teaching others a new language or creative elective can also be incredibly helpful to students and satisfying for teachers if they are passionate about their specialty subject.

There are many types of teachers, such as:

  • K–12 teachers educate children from kindergarten through high school. They’re often required by their state to have a bachelor’s degree and licensure.
  • Special education teachers provide instruction for students with physical, emotional or mental disabilities. They’re typically required to have a bachelor’s degree. Some roles require a master’s degree and specialized training or a state license.
  • Secondary teachers typically work with middle grade to high school students in a single subject, such as English, math or science. They may also help prepare students from transitioning into adulthood and mentoring them about post-graduation plans. Educators at this level typically need at least a bachelor’s degree, although a master’s degree can also be helpful.
  • Learning and development directors observe training programs and analyze how productive they may be or how they might be improved. Communication and problem-solving skills play a strong role in this position.

If you’re looking to learn more about online education degree programs, including graduate options, like a Master of Arts in Education/Adult Education and Training, University of Phoenix (UOPX) offers flexibility and convenience, making it possible to prepare for a career in teaching.

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2.  Nursing

Nursing is an essential occupation within the healthcare industry. These professionals offer a wide range of skills to help both patients and doctors. For example, nurses might assess patient conditions, take down medical histories, perform diagnostic tests and analyze results, operate medical equipment and more. What nurses do can also be determined by if they specialize in a certain field, such as labor and delivery, pediatrics, oncology or public health.

Nurses can have an immense impact on patients, sometimes going as far as saving lives, aiding births, helping people manage or eliminate chronic pain and, in some circumstances, being the only person available to be by a patient’s side. Overall, they often have a lasting and positive impact on their community as a whole. Many nurses find helping others incredibly productive and rewarding.

Education for nursing roles generally falls into three categories: non-degree, degree and advanced degree. Non-degree nurses include licensed practical nurses and certified nursing assistants. A registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree in nursing can be eligible for roles such as charge nurse or public health nurse, along with other leadership roles.

Nurses with an advanced degree, such as a master’s in nurse education from University of Phoenix, may be eligible for several roles, including nurse educator, nurse instructor, adjunct instructor, clinical nursing instructor, education director or school of nursing director. Nurses with a master’s in nurse administration may be eligible for roles such as clinical director, clinical manager, nurse supervisor, nurse administrator and nursing director.

Nurses who pursue a doctorate, such as a Doctor of Nursing Practice from University of Phoenix, have other career options, such as a nurse educator or nurse professor. Such roles impact the wider community through educating the next generation of nurses as well as continuous quality improvement in healthcare environments in general. Many find these roles rewarding as they help a larger group of people.

University of Phoenix focuses on providing registered nurses with professional, post-licensure education and competencies through several programs. The Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program helps nurses develop and enhance their nursing practice skill set. Master’s programs emphasize nurse education, nurse administration, informatics and more. The Doctor of Nursing Practice is a terminal degree for nurses looking to affect patient outcomes through education.

3.  Health management

Health management jobs include positions such as office manager, practice manager, program manager and health manager. Many clinics and healthcare offices would not be able to run smoothly without their managers. Without clinics and healthcare offices, citizens of communities would not be able to get the healthcare they need because operations would not be as functional. If you want a job that helps people behind the scenes but affects the bigger picture, this is a role to consider.

Office managers and other managers in healthcare might be responsible for the following:

  • Creating and implementing goals to better service their workplace
  • Monitoring budgets and managing finances
  • Recruiting, training and supervising staff members
  • Creating work schedules
  • Managing record-keeping
  • Managing law and regulation compliance

Overall, a healthcare facility could not run properly without a manager, which makes this a pivotal role for individuals who thrive in detail-oriented administrative work and who also want to have a positive influence in their community. In such a role, they help everyone from their co-workers to patients.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these roles typically require a bachelor’s degree, but education for particular jobs may vary. Experience in an administrative or clinical role prior to applying for these management roles is also typically helpful. An officer manager role does not necessarily require a bachelor’s degree, but an employer might prefer it.

If you’re interested in a health management role, explore the Bachelor of Science in Health Management degree program at University of Phoenix. This online degree is designed specifically for allied health professionals, such as dental hygienists, medical assistants, and speech, physical or occupational therapists, who want to pursue an education in health management.

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4.  Environmental science

Environmental science involves understanding how people interact with the environment and the effects it may have. It’s also an interdisciplinary approach to supporting diverse stakeholders in mitigating impact to the environment. Helping reduce environmental footprints helps not only now but also can leave a lasting impact for generations. If this is important you, environmental science is a field to consider.

Professionals in this field might work with local governments, communities or private industry to assess the impact of business and community decisions on the environment.

Environmental science jobs include:

  • Environmental analyst
  • Environmental safety specialist
  • Environmental program specialist

To pursue a role in environmental science, you may need a degree in environmental science or a related field. Many organizations offer internships and volunteer opportunities that allow people to gain experience and build their skill set before pursuing a career.

5.  Case manager

A case manager in the social work field helps guide clients through complex agency systems. These systems have sensitive and sometimes competing interests, as well as policies and laws that must be followed. Case managers must be committed to researching and understanding the best courses of action and outcomes for their clients.

While some find this role challenging at times, helping others as a case manager also has the potential to feel incredibly satisfying given the serious nature of casework. Positions like this can directly help others in a more immediate fashion and results can sometimes be seen immediately.

As sometimes the only resource for someone in need, a case manager can leave a lasting impact that can propel an individual’s life into a more productive or positive space. Over time as a case manager, you will likely help a variety of people in your career and never even truly know the depths of your influence.

Case manager responsibilities may include:

  • Implement established protocols to identify clients in need of assistance
  • Advocate for clients and help them navigate complex systems
  • Develop resources as needed, including financial resources
  • Review, recommend and modify agency policy

Case managers can play a major role in the lives of clients who are going through problematic situations. If you’re looking to work closely with individuals to help them through what may be some of the most challenging trials of their lives, this role is one to consider.

If working as a case manager, child protection specialist, family service worker, foster care worker or social service coordinator interests you, learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Social Work​ degree at UOPX.

Available programs at University of Phoenix

If you’re looking to build a career that gives back, University of Phoenix can help you prepare. Here are a few fields of study to consider:

  • Education degrees — Education degrees at UOPX develop skills so you can individualize instruction for students, maintain educational standards and innovate your lesson plans with the latest technology. In addition to degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels, UOPX offers certificate programs in areas like special education and education leadership, as well as continuing teacher education opportunities.
  • Nursing degrees — The nursing degree programs at UOPX are designed to enhance the career opportunities of registered nurses. Learn the theory and practice of contemporary nursing and how to apply your skills to the quality and safety of patient care through bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs.
  • Healthcare degrees — At UOPX, healthcare degrees prepare students to make a positive impact on the health of individuals, families and communities. Explore bachelor’s and master’s programs in such fields as health administration, health management and public health.
  • Behavioral science degrees — Behavioral science degrees at UOPX instruct students in problem-solving methodology that enables them to help others through personal and family crises. Discover programs in social work, mental health counseling and correctional program support services.
  • Environmental science degree — Make a difference in today’s environmental landscape. This program covers renewable resources, sustainable green living, urban infrastructure and the changing climate.
Michael Feder


Michael Feder is a content marketing specialist at University of Phoenix, where he researches and writes on a variety of topics, ranging from healthcare to IT. He is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars program and a New Jersey native!


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