Do Good and Make Good: 5 High-Paying, Socially Conscious Careers

Do Good and Make Good: 5 High-Paying, Socially Conscious Careers
  • Opening Intro -

    Every student in university has this conflicting thought:

    How can I make a significant impact on the world and also make a lot of money?


The two desires seem diametrically opposed. A career in a nonprofit, for example, is less likely to pay the same annual salary as a title in a financial investment firm.

Eventually, each student has to decide whether to save the world or save for a sports car and summer home. It can seem to be a difficult choice, but with a little research and foresight, many people discover meaningful careers that also pay big salaries. Here are five to investigate:

1. Defense Attorney

Every person is innocent until proven guilty, and a criminal defense lawyer ensures that clients’ trials are fair and equitable.

While movies and television shows often exaggerate the role of a defense attorney as either a sinner or saint, depending on the story, they are crucial in real life.

Defense attorneys interview potential clients and investigate crimes alongside police and the prosecution, making sure both parties conduct their work properly and within the rules of the legal process.

They may also uncover new evidence that strengthens the client’s defense. When a client is innocent, a good defense attorney helps keep a law-abiding person out of jail.

2. Health Services Manager

It is no surprise that healthcare careers, from surgeon to nurse practitioner, offer one of the best ways to both earn a living and help people enjoy healthier lives.

If you would rather avoid several years of medical school, however, there are still options available. A health services manager is one.

Health services managers oversee operational duties in a healthcare organization. In other words, they ensure clinicians have a work environment conducive to assisting the ill and infirmed. Common duties include managing staff training, maintaining budgets, creating work schedules and coordinating delivery of care.

3. Grants Manager

As a grants manager, you can make money by finding money for noble causes. Many organizations and foundations offer grants, or funds allocated for a specific purpose that do not require repayment. Grants managers research available grants and submit detailed applications in an effort to secure the grant for their organization.

Once a grant is awarded, grants managers design and implement the program and processes that fulfills the grant requirements and report on the effort. In most organizations that employ a grants manager, this professional is considered part of the overall leadership team.

4. Hydrologist

Access to clean water is a growing global concern. Consider, for a moment, that water consumption has doubled in the past 50 years, according to the United Nations, and nearly 3 billion people around the globe have no access to basic sanitation. To meet the challenge, hydrologists are called into action, solving water quality and availability challenges at home and abroad.

If you love science and want to make a real impact on Earth’s future, hydrologist is the role for you. Identify and help eliminate pollution factors by using state-of-the-art computer models and digital measurement tools while traveling far and wide.

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5. Solar Installation Professional

Though it is a political-policy hot topic today, the need for green energy technology will only grow, especially when it becomes more affordable for businesses and homeowners to invest in the technology. Solar installation technicians are already sought after, and many of these technicians quickly move up the ladder to leadership positions within the industry.

How are you helping society? Consider that solar power offsets more than 70 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually in the United States, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. That’s the equivalent of planting more than 1.2 billion trees.

It may seem difficult to find a career that both pays well and helps society, but there are plenty of such professions out there. The bigger challenge may be choosing a career that’s right for you. With a little effort and a lot of patience, it can be done.

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Categories: Career Planning