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The 8 Most Meaningful Jobs in Healthcare


If you’re searching for a career in which you can have a positive impact on people’s lives and the health of your community, look no further than healthcare. Eight of the 13 most meaningful jobs are in healthcare, according to PayScale. What’s more, healthcare jobs are expected to increase 29% through 2022, compared to an average of 11% for all other sectors, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Here are the most meaningful healthcare jobs, according to PayScale:

1. Surgeons

96% Find Job Meaningful

Becoming a surgeon is no easy task. Almost all surgeons complete at least 4 years of undergraduate school, 4 years of medical school, and depending on their specialty, 3 to 8 years in internship and residency programs. With all of the education and training required to become a surgeon, it’s no wonder 96% of them feel fulfilled by their jobs. Physician and surgeon jobs are expected to grow 18% through 2022.

2. Radiation Therapists

93% Find Job Meaningful

Radiation therapists are focused on improving the lives of cancer patients. They treat cancer and other diseases by administering radiation treatments. Who wouldn’t find meaning in that type of work? Most radiation therapists complete programs that lead to an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in radiation therapy. Radiation therapy jobs are expected to grow 24% through 2022.

3. Chiropractors (tie)

92% Find Job Meaningful

You can thank your chiropractor for getting that crank out of your neck. Chiropractors treat patients with health problems of the neuro-musculoskeletal system, which includes nerves, bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. They use spinal adjustments, manipulation, and other techniques to manage patients' health concerns, such as back and neck pain. Chiropractors must get a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree and a state license. Doctor of Chiropractic programs typically take 4 years to complete and require at least 3 years of undergraduate college education for admission. Chiropractor jobs are expected to grow 15% through 2022.

3. Psychiatrists (tie)

92% Find Job Meaningful

Psychiatrists treat people with mental disorders, including intellectual disabilities and substance use disorders. They use a combination of therapy and medicine to help people deal with stress, trauma and mental illness. Given the importance of their job, up to 12 years of academic study and clinical training is required to earn a psychiatry degree. Psychiatry jobs are expected to grow 16% through 2022.

5. Anesthesiologists (tie)

91% Find Job Meaningful

Anesthesiologists are primarily responsible for the safety and well-being of patients before, during and after surgery. This may include administering “general anesthesia” or “regional anesthesia,” where only a portion of the body is made numb. Anesthesiologists complete a 4 year undergraduate college degree that includes satisfying pre-med requirements. They must follow undergraduate education with 4 years of medical school. After medical school, they complete a 4 year anesthesiology residency program. Many also complete an additional fellowship year of specialty training. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not track the job outlook for medical specialties like anesthesiology; however, physician and surgeon jobs are expected to grow 18% through 2022.

5. Rehabilitation Counselors (tie)

91% Find Job Meaningful

Rehabilitation counselors help people with emotional and physical disabilities live independently. They work with clients to overcome or manage the personal, social and professional effects of disabilities on employment or independent living. Rehab counselors typically must have a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling. Some positions require certification or a license. Rehab counselor jobs are expected to grow 20% through 2022.

5. Occupational Therapists (tie)

91% Find Job Meaningful

Occupational therapists (OTs) treat injured, ill or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They help these patients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working. OTs typically have a master’s degree in occupational therapy. All states require occupational therapists to be licensed or registered. OT jobs are expected to grow a whopping 29% through 2022.

5. Epidemiologists (tie)

91% Find Job Meaningful

Epidemiologists investigate patterns and causes of disease and injury in humans. They seek to reduce the risk and occurrence of negative health outcomes through research, community education and health policy. Epidemiologists need at least a master’s degree from an accredited postsecondary institution. Most epidemiologists have a master’s in public health (MPH) or a related field, and some have a doctoral training in epidemiology. Epidemiology jobs are expected to grow 10% through 2022.


To compile this list, PayScale asked over 2 million professionals whether their work is meaningful, and ranked almost 500 professions based on the percentage of people in each of those jobs who answered "yes." To see the entire list of meaningful jobs from PayScale, click here.


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