9 of the most rewarding careers (with salary information)
Updated 16 June 2023
Two people sit across from each other, with a list between them entitled, "Most rewarding jobs" that includes these roles:
• Animal caretaker
• Care worker
• Charity fundraiser
When choosing which career to go into, it is important to consider a number of factors, including how rewarding is that career. For many people, a rewarding feeling and a high level of job satisfaction can be the most important thing when it comes to finding a job. Many careers that involve supporting others, caring for others, working with animals and working with children may enable professionals to feel rewarded in their work. In this article, we look at some of the most rewarding jobs and the different aspects that make jobs rewarding.
What are the most rewarding careers?
Here is a list of some of the most rewarding careers:
National average salary: £16,157 per year
Primary duties: The main role of a teacher is to guide the learning of students, often in a specialised subject. They're responsible for planning and teaching classes in line with curriculums, setting and marking homework and getting involved with extra-curricular activities to support students' learning. You can choose which age group you want to teach, from nursery until sixth-form.
Teachers receive satisfaction by guiding and motivating pupils through their young lives. You may also decide to teach children with special needs or learning difficulties, providing satisfaction through caring for others. You may require at least a degree in your desired subject and usually a form of teacher training in this role.
Related: 14 essential teacher skills
National average salary: £18,381 per year
Primary duties: Animal caretakers have a love of animals and work to care for and look after animals and pets. Often your responsibilities may include grooming and exercising, cleaning and maintaining enclosures and finding homes for pets. You may work in shelters, rescue centres veterinary clinics or for animal charities.
Being an animal caretaker can be a highly rewarding role as you love for and enhance the well-being of animals. Whilst it can be both physically and mentally challenging, the end result can be worth it. Specific colleges offer qualifications in animal care, and employers like to see voluntary work experience when finding staff.
3. Care worker
National average salary: £10.19 per hour
Primary duties: A care worker is someone who provides support to protect individuals and families. Their primary goal is to improve the lives of people, reducing the effect of harmful situations on them. They may also be responsible for recommending plans, writing up assessments and working with other agencies, like child protection, where necessary.
Care workers may work with many different groups, including children, people with mental health issues and substance abusers. The work is often distressing, but simultaneously, helping these vulnerable people is very fulfilling. You require a Master's degree in social care to become a care worker, with some organisations desiring postgraduate study.
National average salary: £23,494 per year
Primary duties: A charity fundraiser's job is to raise money for charitable organisations. Charities survive on donations, so they build relationships to raise awareness of your particular charity's work and desires and encourage people to support them. They often work closely with businesses, communities and individual donors.
Charity fundraisers may organise events, activities and new, inspired methods to raise money and awareness. It is a very rewarding career, as you devote your time to helping those less fortunate than others. Employers often require you to have an undergraduate degree, with marketing and media courses often proving helpful to your specific sector.
National average salary: £25,332 per year
Primary duties: The role of a firefighter is to provide emergency support to those in immediate danger. They not only work to put out fires but also respond to calls of people trapped or caught, road accidents and people in dangerous circumstances. They also remain calm in scary situations, offering support to distressed individuals.
Firefighters may also attend schools and local community events to promote fire safety and educate people on what to do if a fire breaks out. As such, the role involves protecting and often saving people's lives, hence being very rewarding. To become a firefighter, you may require completing a series of tests and physical exams to ensure you're fit for the role.
National average salary: £30,298 per year
Primary duties: A counsellor listens to and offers support to individuals across several areas of their lives. They may help individuals who have problems with marriage, are unemployed, are dealing with bereavement or have mental health issues. Additionally, they may build trusting relationships, encourage patients to talk openly and identify solutions to problems.
In certain circumstances, counsellors refer patients to other health professionals like psychologists, if their condition requires further treatment. People who enjoy challenging methods to improve a person's quality of life may find this role very gratifying. A three-stage training course is available to individuals who wish to become a counsellor, detailed by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.
National average salary: £14.87 per hour
Primary duties: Nurses are medical professionals who provide consistent care for people with a wide range of physical and mental illnesses. They typically assess patients, listen to their needs, write up care plans and regularly observe their conditions. They often work in a close vicinity with doctors, therapists and carers.
As a nurse, you may be responsible for building trusting relationships with patients, as they often have regular appointments. You may offer a general level of care and support, helping to improve both the condition and well-being of patients. Nurses typically undergo a three-year undergraduate training course.
Related: How to become a nurse
National average salary: £58,432 per year
Primary duties: Doctors examine, diagnose and treat patients with illnesses and injuries. Doctors have expert knowledge of the medical field, offering high levels of support to people to care for their needs. As a doctor, you may work as a GP to offer general support, or in a hospital, specialising in a specific domain like cardiology or radiology.
Doctors often suggest treatment plans to individuals and have a duty to ensure that patients receive all the necessary care they require. They undergo long, intense training for the benefit of helping people overcome their illnesses. You require completion of a medical degree, which may include shadowing a doctor at surgeries.
National average salary: £67,849 per year
Primary duties: Dentists provide care and treatment to people concerning their teeth, mouth and gums. Dentists provide general care to individuals on a regular basis or carry out significant treatment such as removing, fixing and adjusting teeth, often using a wide range of complex techniques. They typically work alongside a team of hygienists, technicians and nurses.
Dentists provide care to all ages and often may refer patients to specialists if they require specific treatment, such as orthodontists. They also provide basic education to help people keep their teeth and gums healthy. Usually employed in the public sector or in private dental practice, you may require completing a five-year dental course to become a dentist.
What makes a career rewarding?
What makes a career fulfilling can vary from person to person, but there are some basic requirements that most people look for in careers. Some of these factors include jobs that:
Match your skill set: Most people find higher job satisfaction when they're placed in a role where they feel confident and skilled. Even careers in a new industry can prove rewarding if they provide professional development opportunities.
Offer diverse responsibilities: A job's day-to-day tasks can have a huge impact on career satisfaction, as many people find jobs more engaging when their position has some variety. Having some control over the tasks you do and when you do them can influence how you feel about your career.
Are at a company with a great reputation: Whether the company is a leader in its industry or simply known for treating employees well, working for a company that has an excellent reputation often leads to finding more fulfilment at work.
Provide opportunities for advancement: Knowing that you have opportunities to advance your career can play a role in how you view your job. This can include working towards a promotion or simply working for a company that supplies opportunities for professional development through workshops, training or seminars.
Have a company culture that aligns with your values: Whether you thrive in a more casual environment or you're seeking a structured atmosphere, finding a company that fits your needs may help you feel more engaged at work.
Allow you to care for others: Many people prefer jobs that enable them to guide, assist or serve people in some way. Helping others often creates feelings of positivity, which can sustain and energise individuals in the workplace.
Have minimal stress: Facing and overcoming challenges can make your career more rewarding, but only within reason. Companies that actively improve work processes and emphasise work-life balance often minimise employee stress.
Pay well: Your job feels more rewarding when you feel appreciated for your work. Though appreciation can come in many forms, one of the primary ways is through fair compensation for your time and efforts.
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.
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