Meaningful Well-Paying Jobs

off?Doing well by doing good? has been a popular refrain over the past several years among an increasing number of professionals who want to bring home serious paychecks and also do work that makes a positive difference.

To determine which jobs provide healthy salaries alongside a sense of purpose, compensation data site PayScale asked workers in 453 jobs from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) to provide compensation data and determine whether their work makes the world a better place.

While many jobs from which respondents take great meaning are among the lowest paid occupations, a handful of professions deliver salaries in the high five- and six-figures and a sense of contribution.

The annual pay referenced here includes salary or hourly wage as well as bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, and other cash earnings, but excludes equity, retirement benefits, and non-cash benefits.

Once again, the field with the strongest representation at the intersection of pay and purpose is medical practitioners. Surgeon retains its place at the top of the list, with 96% of the field deriving strong meaning from their work and those with titles like general surgeon, neurosurgeon, and orthopedic surgeon bringing home a median annual salary of $304,000.

Anesthesiologists, Psychiatrists, Internists, and Obstetricians and Gynecologists rotate positions slightly since last year but still round out the top five. Chief Executives?nearly three quarters of whom feel their work betters the world and who take in a median annual salary of $126,000?remain the lone professionals outside of healthcare to crack the top 10.

Further down the list, jobs like Podiatrists and Optometrists continue the healthcare trend, but a broader spectrum of professions is represented. Seventy-two percent of Nuclear Power Reactor Operators find their work, for which they can expect median annual pay of $82,500, deeply meaningful.

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