Looking for a Meaningful Job? These Are Your Best Options


Now we know which jobs will make you the most money on average — but will they make you happy in the long term?

For young college grads looking for their first job, money is certainly a big worry, with the average student leaving school in 2013 with $29,000 in debt. But as research has shown, more Millennials are more concerned with emotional fulfillment and social responsibility than with the immediate benefits of a big signing bonus, and balancing social impact with a comfortable income is increasingly becoming the goal for many new grads.

According to a survey by PayScale, finding that sweet spot of high-impact, high-paying jobs is incredibly difficult. Only few professions make it to the top of the quadrant, mostly in the medical field: surgeons, anesthesiologists, OB/GYNs, psychiatrists, etc. On the opposite side of the spectrum are the low-income jobs in the service sector that leave workers feeling unfulfilled, such as fast-food cooks, cashiers and cafeteria workers.

Somewhere in the middle is where most people find themselves, and many people end up trading one benefit for the other: While credit authorizers and information system managers make six-figure salaries, only half of them believe that their job has meaning; on the other hand, clergy members, firefighters and child care professionals have a lower income, but they find their work to be meaningful.

So unless you're planning on entering the medical profession, it's pretty difficult trying to find a fulfilling job that also pays you a lot of money — but for a younger, socially conscious generation, it might not be too much of a problem.

Check out the full graph below (click here for the interactive version):