Top 5 Health Care Careers That Make a Difference

Looking for a career that will help make the world a better place? Try one of these health care jobs.

It's a New World for Health Care Workers

health care career worker in world-changing role


Most of us have had our share of jobs that feel like fun—maybe you spent a summer scooping ice cream, dog-walking or working at a radio station. Every job matters. But how often do we get to work in jobs that impact us emotionally, and serve other people beyond fulfilling their basic needs? How often do we work in jobs that we feel can change the world?

From Payscale's 2015, 10 Most Meaningful College Majors, the data-crunchers compiled a list of the Top 10 Majors That Matter. Respondents were full-time employees who completed bachelor degrees. That’s why you won’t see any mention of fields like medicine, chemistry or nanotechnology on this list. But these fields of study are likely to lead you to meaningful work—with far fewer years spent in the classroom.

Of the Top 10 reported majors, five are in the health care field. Let’s take a look:

1. Nursing

It’s no surprise that 84 percent of nurses self-reported a meaningful work environment. Nurses provide essential support during every step of a patient’s experience in health care. View the most important duties of Certified Nursing Assistants. By serving so many, nurses are forerunners in changing the world, one patient at a time. Read our tips on pursuing your health care education in today’s economy.

2. Community Health Education

One of the main focuses of community health education is disease prevention among various populations. The role includes teaching others about healthy behaviors and promoting policies that support public health initiatives. A community health educator can have a positive influence on both individuals as well as large communities. Read more about what you can expect in a public health career.

3. Medical Laboratory Science

Medical technologists perform technical and scientific functions in lab settings—such as testing for disease and helping to control and minimize infections. The results technicians find ensure that doctors make a correct diagnosis. Their contributions to the field of medicine are critical.

Many entry-level positions require an associate’s degree and training, allowing you to begin work fairly quickly as a medical lab tech, pharmacy tech, radiologic tech, surgical tech and veterinary tech.

4. Biomedical Engineering (BME)

One popular position in biomedical engineering, or BME, is ultrasound technician. Also called diagnostic sonographers, they use sound waves to provide medical images. Their accuracy and attention to detail helps find life-threatening diseases early and gives patients peace of mind in stressful times.

5. Dental Hygiene

Not only do dental hygienists report a meaningful work environment, but the career is ranked as one of the best jobs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report. From educating patients about proper dental care to cleaning teeth, a dental hygienist stays busy with a wide array of duties. Learn about becoming a dental hygienist.